Peter Beinart, a favorite of Israel bashers, edges closer to Bibi than to Abbas (AMERICAN THINKER) Leo Rennert / Blog 03/20/12)
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Peter Beinart, a former editor of the New Republic and a rising star
for Israel bashers, has an op-ed column in the March 19 edition of
the New York Times, entitled "To Save Israel, Boycott the
Beinart takes special aim at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
what he terms his "pro-settler policies" in the West Bank He
accuses Netanyahu of setting the stage for a one-state solution -
permanent Israeli control of the West Bank. And he advocates a
boycott of goods produced by settlers beyond the 1949 armistice line
in order to halt or reverse such a trend.
But it´s when Beinart starts sketching an outline of what a future
peace may hold for Israel and the Palestinians that things get really
interesting. In fact, on three major dimensions of a two-state deal,
Beinart ends up closer to Bibi than to Palestinian President Mahmoud
For starters, Beinart declares his opposition to a "right of return"
to Israel for millions of Palestinian refugees -- "an agenda that, if
fulfilled, could dismantle Israel as a Jewish state." Check. But
this is Beinart in full agreement with Netanyahu and in strong
disagreement with Abbas, who vows never to sign a peace accord
without a full-fledged Palestinian "right of return.
Second, Beinart opposes extension of any anti-Israel boycott to
goods from East Jerusalem because Palestinians in that part of the
capital can gain Israeli citizenship. Thus, given that Beinart
limits his boycott tactics to the West Bank, it would seem that he
has no real problem about the legitimacy of Jerusalem remaining
Israel´s united capital. Check. Here again, Beinart edges closer to
Netanyahu, who opposes a divided Jerusalem, than to Abbas, who wants
East Jerusalem as a future Palestinian capital and doesn´t
differentiate East Jerusalem from the West Bank.
Third, Beinart is amenable to Israeli retention of major settlements
across the 1949 line and, in fact, calls on "moderate" settlers
living there to "agitate for a two-state solution that would make
possible their incorporation into democratic Israel." This, too, is
a stance in closer proximity to Netanyahu, who has offered to
negotiate such an outcome, than to Abbas, who wants virtually the
entire West Bank, plus all of East Jerusalem.
Thus, irony of ironies, Beitart -- after blaming Netanyahu for all
the ills that bedevil the peace process -- ends up edging closer to
Netanyahu than to Abbas on plausible specifics of a peace deal.
The main reason why Beinart pretzels himself into such an incongruous
agenda is that he´s so consumed with his anti-Bibi onslaught that he
pays absolutely no attention to Abbas´s maximalist demands that keep
the peace process in a frozen impasse. Netanyahu is perfectly
willing to resume negotiations on all the points enunciated by
Beinart. Abbas, however, is not. If Beinart is intent on advancing
his own peace agenda, he would do better to make Abbas his main target
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