For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:
INSS’s puerile, preposterous proposal
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The cynically minded may be forgiven for suspecting that the prime goal of INSS’s newly launched plan is the demolition of Jewish communities, rather than the future resolution of conflict or enhanced Israeli security
It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):
ISRAELI FRONTLINE: http://www.israelifrontline.com/2018/10/into-the-fray-insss-puerile-preposterous-proposal.html
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22882
JERUSALEM HERALD: https://www.jerusalem-herald.com/single-post/2018/10/25/INSS-Peace-Plan-Remove-Jewish-Communities
JEWISH PRESS: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/into-the-fray-martin-sherman/into-the-fray-insss-puerile-preposterous-proposal/2018/10/21/
JEWS DOWN UNDER: https://jewsdownunder.com/2018/10/19/into-the-fray-insss-puerile-preposterous-proposal/
Several short excerpts:
You have to quit confusing a madness with a mission.” – Flannery O’Connor.
Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim – George Santayana.
It seems that if you have sufficient funds, there is no limit to the unmitigated nonsense you can promote in the guise of profound policy-oriented research.
Last week, we were witness to a jarring corroboration of this disturbing assessment, when the well-heeled Institute for National Security Studies, (INSS), recently dubbed “the leading Think Tank in Israel”, released its plan for “A Political-Security Framework for the Israeli-Palestinian Arena”.
Orwellian potpourri of the perverse & paradoxical
Compiled by a team of well-known, in-house INSS researchers, including former high ranking IDF officers, senior diplomats, and experienced participants in past negotiations with the Palestinians, the “plan” presents a perverse and paradoxical potpourri of machoistic rhetoric as camouflage for unilateral concessions, Orwellian use of language to conflate diametrically contradictory concepts as being somehow conceptually consistent and forlorn hopes that repackaging past failed endeavors will somehow ensure future success.
“No-one to agree with, nothing to agree on…”
Echoing precisely what two-state opponents have been insisting on for decades, he reiterated: “There is no-one to agree with, there is nothing to agree on—and the implementation [of any two-state initiative] is dangerous”. …But then, astonishingly, rather than arrive at the rational conclusion that the pursuit of the two-state objective be abandoned, he did precisely the opposite
Develop Arab economy, choke Jewish communities
Indeed, the more cynically minded might well be forgiven for suspecting that it is a blueprint whose primary goal is demolition of Jewish communities, rather than the promotion of future resolution of conflict or enhanced security for Israel—a suspicion explicitly intimated to me by one former IDF Major-General.
Some trenchant questions
From its published material is not quite clear how, and where, INSS envisions the IDF deploying in order to maintain “operational freedom of action throughout all of Judea-Samaria, from the Jordan River westward”. However, in one of the appendices that accompany the “plan”, we read: “The IDF will deploy in the external envelop of Judea-Samaria, reserve for itself the right of operational freedom of action in the Palestinian areas and continue to be responsible for security until some other [unspecified] arrangement is attained.
This of course raises several trenchant—and unanswered—questions.
A formula for open-ended “occupation”
INSS’s pretentions to address the errors of the 2005 Disengagement by refraining from full IDF withdrawal from territory it excludes from Israel’s final borders, only underscore its fatal flaws and just how poorly thought out it is…For, it means that, by Israel’s own admission, any territory beyond the barrier in which the IDF is deployed, will, in a stroke, be converted from “disputed territory” to “occupied territory”, and the IDF from a “defense force” to an “occupying force”.
Unilateral disengagement in slow motion
Although the INSS protests that its “plan” is not a repetition of the disastrous unilateral “disengagement” from Gaza, it is in fact, precisely that—executed in stages, rather than in one fell swoop. Thus, instead of immediately demolishing the Jewish communities, INSS proposes strangling them—and letting them wither and die. Instead of proactively giving the IDF orders to withdraw, INSS proposes creating conditions that would make its deployment unsustainable
South Lebanon all over again?
It takes little predictive acumen to the foresee the inevitable outcome of these pressures: The eventual unilateral withdrawal of IDF forces—precisely as was the case in South Lebanon, when a combination of international disapproval and domestic clamor resulted in the total abandonment of the territory to Hezbollah.
The fiction of “friction”?
The INSS “plan” repeatedly refers to its aim of “reducing friction” between Jews and Arabs. This claim has an eerie ring to it, reminiscent of the rationale advanced to justify the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza…and look how splendidly that worked out!
The misleading WAZE analogy
In marketing its “plan”, INSS invokes catchy rhetoric to mask its substantive lacunae. It is presented—somewhat incongruously—as a sort of political “WAZE” (the widely used Israeli GPS navigation system) that will provide Israeli policy-makers freedom of choice in selecting the best route to arrive at INSS’s preferred destination—a homophobic, misogynistic Muslim majority tyranny on the fringes of greater Tel Aviv.
But of course WAZE is “destination agnostic”. It will lead you into a treacherous quagmire if that is what you set as your destination—as has INSS.
The time has come for INSS to accept political realities and re-calibrate its political WAZE accordingly.