Jewish homes an obstacle to peace to WaPo
In "U.S. shifts its position on Israeli settlements" (11/19/19), the Washington Post states that the U.S. acceptance of Israeli settlements in the West Bank "upends 40 years of US policy." Quite right — a failed policy.
The Post states that "the announcement drew immediate criticism" and then parades the opinions of Dennis Ross, "who played a lead role in shaping Middle East policy under several administrations from Reagan to Obama," and Aaron David Miller, "a former Middle East peace negotiator under Republican and Democratic administrations." Both were similarly critical of the move.
Clearly the settlements are not "an obstacle to peace," as supposed by the Post and the so-called experts, whom the Post has been quoting for years. In Gaza, the removal of settlements only led to more rocket attacks, not fewer. And the Palestinians fought to "liberate" — i.e., destroy — the state of Israel before there was a single settlement in the territories.
Of course, settlements have been a convenient excuse for Arab apologists and Palestinians, who blame them for their past suicide bombings and other acts of terror against the men, women, and children of Israel. As if a nonviolent act of home-building could be a prima facie justification for murder.
The late Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer once said, "Cured grievances are easily replaced." In Gaza, the terrorism is no longer blamed on settlements, since there aren't any, but on Israeli (and Egyptian) measures to squelch the importation of rockets.
But of course, the Post listens only to people like Ross and Miller, who share the paper's own views. There were plenty of experts on the other side of the political divide who consider the decision proper, ground-breaking, and long overdue.
The Post, Ross, and Miller have expressed similar views before regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They have this in common: they all have a perfect record — they have been wrong every single time.
When one is so wrong for so many decades, a commonsense journalist would search for a new approach to the conflict. But that does not stop the Post and its like-minded experts from printing the same policies they have been advocating endlessly without a modicum of success. If they were players in Major League Baseball, they would be batting .000. They would be sent down to the minor leagues or maybe a local softball field.
You would think that if the Post wanted to glean accurate insights into decisions and events in the Middle East, they would explore other sources. But no, the Post keeps going to the same losers every single time. The views and recommendations of Ross, Miller, and others in their service have only perpetuated a history of bloodshed, without helping the situation on the ground. Criticizing Israel does nothing but embolden Palestinian terrorists. Just as one needs to speak French to be understood in France, one needs to use strength to repel the terrorism of the Palestinians. That is what they understand.
Why not try a new approach? The cries of the very same critics of the embassy move to Jerusalem, the U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel, and now this announcement about Israeli settlements have not led to violence in the streets as they and the Post predicted.
Let's keep an open mind about this and other pro-Israel decisions without letting political acrimony sway our thinking. Analyzing the news with politically biased instincts is only a recipe for continuing to get it wrong.