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July 23, 2006


I can imagine Olmert felt he hadn't had a chance to establish himself in office long enough to make a major move like this, and I suppose Sharon felt he had enough on his hands with Gaza - but yeah, if the offer was real then it was a horrible blunder not to act on it.

rilkefan: it wasn't an offer; it was an Israeli proposal for an offer to make to Lebanon (which is why I noted that it gave the Lebanese some good stuff; that would have been less interesting had they proposed it.) But yeah, it would have been nice to give it a try.

I mean: Israel and Lebanon have some pretty serious common interests, if they can ever manage to get to them.

Now we'll never know.

Seems to be the intention behind the military action -- to prevent the possibility of such negotiated resolutions. After all, the more militant Israelis are fond of saying that talking with Arabs does not work.

The current invasion is a lesser version (so far) of 1982. Why anyone expects a better result than the 1982 adventure is a mystery. The warmongers among us may hoot and holler about this latest round of wonderful killing, but all that it does long term is sow the seeds for the next round of killing.

And the later round of killing is then cited as proof that talking cannot work.

Ok, misunderstood. I should have said, if the offer was realistic, blah. The Israelis could have delivered on their end - what about the other side?

Yes. It would have been worth pursuing.

But I wonder about the disarmament of Hezbollah mentioned in the first point. How was this to be accomplished? I thought part of the problem here was that Hezbollah was stronger than the Lebanese army, so some outside force would have to be involved. Who was that to be?

Quite likely Hezbollah would have vetoed it. What are they without an enemy? But it would have been a real diplomatic coup for Israel to offer a generous deal and have it rejected. So it was a missed opportunity any way you look at it.

As I noted in a comment to Hilzoy's "Little List", this would have been a new and preferable attempt to actually make peace with the neighbors. Jonathon Edelstein does not seem to think it is so fully a missed opportunity as Hilzoy's last line would indicate, although certainly harder to put forward after a week or more of hostilities. Still, one can never do something in a lost past, and the present is ever with us. I would hope that there could be the will in Israel to move on this path.

no need to worry. as Condi says, this turmoil is all simply birth pangs. something better is coming.

h/t Digby

There's something innately suspect about the eternally missed diplomatic opportunity. Not to say such missed opportunities don't ever exist, but there's such a strong emotional impulse to find them retrospectively once things have blown up.

on the bright side, Condi is going to Lebanon and Israel, she just had to do it in secret

in the above peace plan, just as with so many other proposals (the most recent "roadmap," Oslo, etc.) the first step is almost always the disarming of the terror groups, and a cessation of their violent attacks against Israel. In no case has this ever been done, and yet Israel continues to get the blame for ruining the chance for peace. It is true that Israel has often not fulfilled every obligation it had under various plans, but, again, the first step to most every plan was a disarmament of the terror group(s) and a cessation to their violence, and in no instance was this ever fulfilled by the supposed negotiating partners of Israel.

Israel deserves much criticism for certain things, and bears responsibility for others, but it pains me to see Israel continue to get blamed for stalling various peace plans when this fact is often discarded or minimized by the very critics who are doing the blaming. (And I'm not suggesting here that "blame" is the point of everything, but merely pointing out a greatly missed point when peace plans are discussed, and blame then assigned, especially when it is the failure of past peace plans that needs to be taken into account when current or future peace plans discussed.

by the way, re: my comment above -

to those who argue as to why any group would agree to disarm or stop their attacks without whatever action by the other side, the point here is that it had been agreed on in the peace plan they are party to - if they agreed to it, they should be bound by it, and if they fail to abide by it, the other side should not then be blamed.

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