Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Parallels are Astounding

It's amazing how much the internal dynamics of Israel and the Palestinian Authority remind me of each other right now.

For example, one constant refrain about the PA is that it isn't a "partner for peace." Though there are Palestinian leaders who talk the talk, and may even be willing to walk the walk. the PA is internally divided, and many key members of Fatah and other constituent PA elements have no interest in pursuing a peace deal with Israel.

Now compare that to this article where Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman declares that "now isn't the time" for negotiations with the Palestinian, versus this article from the same day where Netanyahu says he's willing to negotiate with Abbas "anytime, anywhere". Obviously, on one level this is yet another example of Lieberman being a massively destructive loose cannon. But on another, it's a symbol that the Israeli government, like its Palestinian counterparts, may be too fractured to be able to make a credible commitment to any serious peace agreement.

Meanwhile, in the Lieberman article he talks about how Israel doesn't need any lectures on how to deal with violent "price tag" settlers. And while I'm not sure I think they need a "lecture", again, Israel and Palestine seem to have a remarkable similarities in terms of how they deal with their homegrown terrorists. In both cases they'll capture them, sometimes, and hold them, sometimes, but not consistently or reliably, and their hearts don't really seem into it. And, surprise, surprise, that breeds mistrust amongst their counterparts.

Unfortunately, matching dysfunctions don't lead to a happy, productive relationship, so I don't expect any progress in the near-future.

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