It’s always worth reading articles for different nuances about the current political situation (Matzav) in Israel, especially when the word Matzav is a reminder of the Matza that we have recently been eating.
Before discussing the politics, here are a couple of brief and hopefully not too controversial comments about this years Pesach. Firstly, our Aviv Matzot were not as crisp as normal, and we were happier with the Solomons. Secondly, some of our family live on Lemon Butter spread on the Matza, and miraculously our supply of Lemon Butter just lasted the 8 days. For a friend who is not familiar with this staple, a slightly more complex (though still straightforward) internet version of the recipe is here To maintain the spirit of Pesach, we will continue with Pesach Matza meal porridge for another couple of days.
Back to the political situation, a good article by Zalman Shoval, former Israel Ambassador to the U.S. and MK, explores the issue of what to do when there is no peace. See here
Shoval begins with the comment ” The catchphrase that “peace is the best security” doesn’t sound very convincing to most Israelis, looking around the tumultuous Middle East.”
Shoval continues with a cogent reminder of reality …. “Conventional wisdom in most of the international community regards the “return” of Israel to the pre-1967 armistice lines, a.k.a. the Green Line, with or without minor rectifications, as the key to a solution to the problem, disregarding, among other things, such “small” matters as the Jewish people’s historical, moral and legal rights in the areas which Israel is asked to relinquish, but perhaps more to the point in view of Middle Eastern realities, ignoring Israel’s dangerous security situation. The latter reality was expressly recognized by UN Security Council Resolution 242 in its reference to secure borders, as well as by a majority of American presidents since 1967; Ronald Reagan stated that “Israel should never be asked to return to where it was 8 miles wide,” Jimmy Carter accepted in the 1978 Camp David agreements and Israel’s continued presence in “specified security locations” in the future Palestinian autonomy, and George W. Bush agreed with Ariel Sharon on the security-based “settlement blocs,” not forgetting that it was only because of Arab miscalculations that in 1967 Israel’s narrow waist wasn’t cut in two and that the links between its capital Jerusalem and the rest of the country weren’t severed.”
He concludes with …. “Moshe Dayan, who opposed both Palestinian statehood and Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria, but had extensive contacts with Palestinian leaders and opinion-makers, reached the conclusion that there was no way that Israelis and Palestinians could reach a final, formal peace agreement which would be supported by a majority of people on both sides; what Israelis could live with would be anathema to most Palestinians, and vice versa. He, therefore, believed that the best, perhaps the only, way to make progress would be by means of steps, including unilateral ones and practical on the ground arrangements, with the aim of handing the Palestinians almost unlimited authority for running their own lives, but keeping security matters in the hands of Israel, and leaving the question of sovereignty in abeyance. Much of what Dayan thought 35 years ago still holds true today. Such proposals or similar ones presently making the rounds in think tanks and political quarters may not actually “solve” the Palestinian-Israeli problem, but could at least reduce some of its dimensions and allay its potentially dangerous fallout. There may be other ways as well, perhaps with greater cognizance of developments since the 1978 Camp David Conference. These could include partial or interim agreements or even unilateral steps. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has stated more than once that he doesn’t want to rule over another people, adding, however, that any arrangement would have to take into consideration Israel’s security concerns.”