Perhaps, a glimmer

An interesting piece today in Ha’aretz by Imad Shakur, a former Arafat advisor and member of the Palestinian Revolutionary Council. He makes some provocative points about Israel becoming a more “normal” country because it has “lost” a war yet survives as a state.

Whether or not he is right as to the military balance remains to be seen. But at the end of the piece, he includes a crucial statement:

The objective truth is the strength and existence of the Palestinian people, who agreed to the formula of two states for two peoples, since that is the beginning of the formula. It ends with real sustainable peace.

This formula of “two states for two peoples” is crucial. It is what Arafat rejected at Camp David and Taba, insisting on the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to pre-1967 Israel, which would have swamped Israel demographically. Essentially, Arafat wanted two states for one people.

The touchstone to peace is whether enough Israelis and Palestinians endorse the formula that Shakur espouses and is enshrined in the People’s Voice Accord, which remains the only possible peace plan. This article seems to indicate that another prominent Palestinian figure is. That is good news.

It’s not much, but nowadays, we take what we can get.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

3 thoughts on “Perhaps, a glimmer”

  1. Strikes me as just a bit premature to declare this war "lost" already. Maybe a bit of wishful thinking?

  2. Why yes, history is important.
    Perhaps it might be instructive for Mr. Zasloff and some of the commenters here to look at a little bit of it:
    India (Britain)
    Algeria (France)
    Vietnam (France,United States),
    Afghanistan (Russia)
    etc.,etc., ad nauseum.
    Hell, lets throw in a little Sun Tzu, just for fun:
    "Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy;
    Next best is to disrupt his alliances;
    The next best is to attack his army.
    The worst policy is to attack cities. Attack cities only when there is no alternative."
    Isn't it wonderful that Olmert and Bush are such great warrior/historians?
    I mean, what could possibly go wrong with these guys at the helm of our respective ships of state?

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