Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It Takes Two

Recently, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has been floating a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank if peace talks stutter. Today, Palestinian officials firmly rejected that possibility, arguing that it would perpetuate the conflict and pose a barrier to a comprehensive and lasting solution to it.

There are plenty of things appealing about a unilateral withdrawal, and plenty of legitimate dangers (the Gaza experience illuminates both). But the Palestinians firm rejection of unilateral Israeli action is important, because it establishes that "ending the occupation" is not entirely in Israeli hands. It's not entirely in Palestinian hands either, of course. It's simply the fact that for a deal to happen, both sides are going to have to put the work in. Hence, any description of the conflict that puts the onus or blame entirely on one side is missing the point. Even the PA does not want this conflict solved via force of Israeli will alone.


EW said...

"Today, Palestinian officials firmly rejected that possibility...."

OfficialS? As in, more than one official? I only counted one.

David Schraub said...

"A top Palestinian official" may have been more accurate, but from all the reports I've seen he was speaking on behalf of the Palestinian Authority as a whole.