Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 12/24/2010

Interview with Israeli ambassador Michael Oren (Part 1)

By Jennifer Rubin

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren looks older and thinner than he did when he took office in May 2009. That is perhaps understandable, given that the man renown for his historical scholarship and battlefield exploits had never served as a diplomat before and assumed office during one of the most contentious periods in U.S.-Israeli relations. It was a year that included a nasty public spat with the Obama administration over housing in Jerusalem, an ongoing tussle over West Bank settlements, the resumption and then quick break off of direct negotiations with the Palestinians, the flotilla incident, a devastating fire, the persistent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, growing tension in the Jewish state's relations with Turkey, venom-filled anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations and more.

When I met him in his modest embassy office this week, aides shuffled in and out, trying to keep him on schedule. But Oren waved them off. He is at heart a historian and at ease providing not simply Israel's position on a variety of issues but the historical context for recent events. I asked him about the impression in the region that American influence is on the decline. His answer began 200 years ago. "For roughly two centuries," he explained, "American influence in the Middle East was on the increase." While America was "by no means the predominate power in the Middle East," he said, from the time Thomas Jefferson sent the first overseas fleet to the Middle East through a period of robust trade, America had a presence in the region. During the Cold War, Oren continued, "America was not the sole superpower." It is "only since 1989, with the fall of the Soviet Union, that the U.S. became the sole, predominate power. Now America is being challenge not by external parties but by Iran, Turkey... especially Iran." And "Islamic extremism," he continued, while not a country is "certainly a power." He spoke precisely, careful not to criticize the current administration, but offering a pointed observation: "Middle East governments are extremely attuned to such challenges and are watching very carefully."

He nevertheless cautioned against exaggerating the extent of any American decline: "Having said all that, no one can challenge American military on the land and in the sea. The Chinese may have a growing economic influence, but they don't have two fleets and 280,000 troops in the region. They can't mediate between Israel and the Arabs. Nobody has that influence. And for Israel, America is an ally par excellence."

In a year characterized by public spats and private pressure largely centering on Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Oren prefers to focus on the "multi-faceted" nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship -- on trade, intelligence sharing and development of an anti-ballistic missile system.

Moreover, he stresses the unique benefits that Israel brings to the alliance, being the sole nation in the region able to quickly field an immense military that is loyal to a democratic government, and which is unequivocally pro-American. "That's the alliance," he said emphatically. He then digressed, "I have to wonder, when the 'realists' attack. Who is the U.S. supposed to have this type of alliance with -- Yemen? Who do they have in mind to replace us?" He added, "All alliances come with costs."

The so-called peace process ended recently, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton essentially conceded that what the administration has been doing didn't work. What happened, and what's the lesson to be learned? Oren said carefully: "The administration came into office with a great emphasis on mediation and a focus on settlements. Mr. Netanyahu made an unprecedented gesture in freezing settlements for ten months." But as soon as the settlement freeze ended, the Palestinians "left," he said bluntly. "They are reluctant to negotiate if they can get what they want outside of the negotiations, if Latin American countries, for example, will recognize them." But, he cautioned, "There is no alternative to face-to-face negotiations." (I couldn't help but notice that his language, not coincidentally, matched Clinton's comments last Friday.)

So what's next? Again, he began with some historical perspective. "There are two models [of state building] in the Middle East. In the first, you build from the bottom up. Then you are bestowed or declare independence. The second is that you attain independence and figure out what institutions you will have later. This was the model for Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Israel is the first model. We had more than 60 years to build institutions. We already had coinage, stamps, schools, health care. The big problem on the day of independence was finding a check that said 'State of Israel'. Oslo was the classic second model, and Arafat rejected institution building. We saw how that worked out. It's building an edifice over an abyss."

So does the Fayyad plan, which focuses on building up the West Bank economy and helping to create civil Palestinian institutions, offer the way forward? Oren said he understands that there needs to be a "political horizon" for the Palestinians, just as there was the Balfour Declaration and other "milestones on our political horizon." The Palestinians, he said, "Need to know they're not building up institutions for the heck of it." He said of negotiations and institution-building that "optimally, the two should work in tandem." But, he said, the negotiation track and the institution track need not proceed at the same pace. In essence, Oren is advocating that talks in some form continue, but that institution-building may work at a faster clip.

We shifted to Iran. Again, he stressed the close collaboration between Israel and the U.S. on the Iranian threat. But it's clear there is a difference in perception between the U.S. administration, which repeatedly declares that sanctions are "working," and the Israeli government. "The sanctions are very much appreciated," he said. "They got up and running. They are impacting the Iranian economy." But he emphasized, "They have not impacted Iran's nuclear behavior. Now they are talking about 'ratcheting up' the sanctions. That's good but the ultimate test is whether Iran will cease enrichment on its soil." What about the use of force? He said, "The position of both the U.S. and Israel is that all options remain on the table. But it is important for Iran to take that seriously, to lend that credibility." He declined to offer a specific way of enhancing the credibility of a military option, saying only, "There are ways to communicate that [a military option is real] to the Iranians."

I asked him whether democracy and human rights promotion in the region are important to Israel's security. He responded: "For Israel specifically, we have an interest in ensuring that any Palestinian state on the West Bank be a democratic state -- in the sense that all parties would be bound to the democratic system and its values." In other words, elections without rights for everyone -- "women, people of different sexual preferences" -- are insufficient.

In part 2 of my interview, which I'll publish on Sunday, Oren discusses the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, media bias and what the transition from private citizen to ambassador has been like.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 24, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Israel  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What did the Republicans get on START?
Next: Friday question

Comments

Another point of view below:

"SHIP OF FOOLS 1” went down on Yom Kippur. 2600 young Israelis, the flower of a generation, drowned with it. The “incapable” Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal, and the glorious Bar-Lev Line, the pride of the Israeli army, collapsed. One can pinpoint the exact minute when the euphoria died: on live TV we saw dozens of red-eyed Israeli soldiers crouching on the ground, frightened and humiliated, with moustachioed Syrian soldiers glowering over them. End of the Israeli superman mystique.

“Ship of Fools 2” will also founder. We cannot foresee how. Will it be a war that will lay waste to our towns and villages? Will it be an Islamic revolution in the Arab countries? Will world politics change dramatically?

There is one important difference between Ship 1 and Ship 2: then the whole world loved us, now many around the world detest us. The manifesto of the 26 leading European elder statesmen, who demand that their successors change the European policy towards Israel, is a very bad omen. When the inevitable crisis arrives, world public opinion will no longer be on our side. It will be on the side of the Palestinians.

Somebody wrote this week that America’s support of Israel is a case of “assisted suicide”. In Israel, assisting suicide is a crime. Suicide itself, however, is allowed by our laws.

Those whom the Gods want to destroy, they first make mad. Let’s hope we recover our senses before it is too late.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is a contributor to CounterPunch's book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery12222010.html

Posted by: rcaruth | December 24, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to both for this interview.
I would have liked Ambassador Oren's view on Russia's relationship with Israel, and influence on Iran because I see Russia having a more robust relationship with Israel in a changing historical dynamic.

In his 'digression': "I have to wonder, when the 'realists' attack. Who is the U.S. supposed to have this type of alliance with -- Yemen? Who do they have in mind to replace us?"

Very diplomatic - to cite Yemen instead of Egypt :) I suggested to my congressman Engel (a future interview with J-Ru?) that America's view of Israel needs to emphasize the value of a reliable, stable ally in proximity to the Suez Canal and Red Sea, and to stop obsessing with apartments in North (Ramat Shlomo) and South Jerusalem (Har Homa).

The false linkage between 'peace with the Palestinians' and U.S. interests in West Asia needs to stop.

Another question: who can the U.S. rely on as a strong ally in the new world of cyber-warfare?

Looking forward to part 2, even without mention of Russia.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 24, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"On December 17, Bolivia extended diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine within its full pre-1967 borders (all of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem). Coming soon after the similar recognitions by Brazil and Argentina, Bolivia's recognition brought to 106 the number of UN member states recognizing the State of Palestine, a state whose independence was proclaimed on November 15, 1988. While still under foreign belligerent occupation, the State of Palestine possesses all the customary international law criteria for sovereign statehood, no portion of its territory is recognized by any other country (other than Israel) as any other country's sovereign territory and, indeed, Israel has only asserted sovereignty over a small portion of its territory, expanded East Jerusalem.
---Of the world's nine most populous states, eight (all except the United States) recognize the State of Palestine. Of the world's 20 most populous states, 15 (all except the United States, Japan, Mexico, Germany and Thailand) recognize the State of Palestine."

John V. Whitbeck, an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel, is author of "The World According to Whitbeck".
http://www.counterpunch.org/whitbeck12222010.html

Posted by: rcaruth | December 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Attention getting read. How does any State address the hate against the Jews? Negotiations? I don't think so. How many generations to erode this hate...if ever it can be done? What about the history of the human being hating and killing his fellow human being? We have many, many miles to travel to erase the lizard brain part of us. Read Hannah Arendt "The Origins of Totalitarianism." Read her "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil." Scary how we are. Banality of evil??? Oh, my.

Posted by: rgenetaylor | December 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"So what's next?" asks Ms. Rubin. How about the Obama administration doing the unthinkable and actually standing up to the Israelis? Asking them nicely to abide by international law and quit building settlements across the pre-1967 borders hasn't worked because Obama didn't intend for it to work but rather for it to LOOK LIKE he's doing something about the issue.

How about instead of asking nicely he gives them an ultimatum? As in "Either you get serious about the peace process and quit settlement construction or the U.S. largesse ends today. No more billions of dollars in yearly giveaways to Israel. No more covering for Israeli barbarism when it is condemned by the U.N. It ends today. Make your decision."

And how about making A.I.P.A.C. register as what it really is, a lobbying organization for a foreign country? Funny, the Turks, Irish, Italians etc. all have their own lobby shops to steer legislation in their respective interests and guess what? They are all registered as foreign lobbying organizations. Time for the same rules to apply to everybody.

But of course Obama won't do that because if he did then A.I.P.A.C. would crank its propaganda machine into high gear and use its tired old argument where it accuses anybody who points out Israel's faults of being "anti-Semitic" as if that term has much meaning left due to its repeated misuse by the Zionist lobby. When Congress and the White House are more likely to criticize members of their own party than a foreign government that has repeatedly been caught spying on America then something is drastically wrong with the balance of power in Washington.

Posted by: Agonizing_Truth | December 24, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Typical. Right turn is more like Likud Turn. Neocon Turn. Such a shame.

Posted by: wpost16 | December 24, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The basic reality in Israeli-Palestinian relations today is that there is no conceivable deal between the two that both governments could sign onto and then enforce. Any policy aimed at increasing the likelihood of a deal at this point, then, is doomed to fail, and to be counter-productive. Leftist Israelis like Avnery have been predicting doom for decades and due to their utter impotence and discrediting within Israel, will continue to do so (they, as a political tendency, are certainly doomed). The settlements are irrelevant to any future arrangement--no one has ever explained why some suburbs around Jerusalem and some scattered Jews elsewhere in the West Bank makes Palestinian self-government impossible. Nor will recognition of a Palestinian state by a few, or dozens, of countries, make Palestinian self-government any more possible. It will just encourage the Palestinians in their fantasy ideology.

The most helpful thing to do would be to encourage the Palestinians to build their own economic and political institutions, to forget about the Palestinians in other countries and, most of all, put an end to their death cult, which consumes them with hatred for Israel and Jews. The Israelis don't need much encouraging, but the best thing they can do is make it clear to the Palestinians that the clock is ticking--Israeli society, no more than any other, isn't static, and its geographical and demographic shape doesn't wait upon the Palestinians achieving sanity. In other words, the Israelis should create the facts on the ground that will ensure their security in the event that there is never an agreement with the Palestinians, while leaving open for as long as possible the possibility for such an agreement--which is pretty much what they would do naturally, anyway.

Posted by: adam62 | December 24, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

How does any State address the hate against the Jews?

most of all, put an end to their death cult, which consumes them with hatred for Israel and Jews

80/20 Rule,80% of the Palestinians and the Jews are decent sane people. 20% of both groups harbor feelings of Radical hate for each other,but what does this have to do with the "right" of national self determination of Palestine to be a nation. Arguments outside of the Palestinians are irrelevant. It's their call,if they fail,they fail,if there's war,there's war,but the US/Israel sphere of interest can't negate Palestine's right to be a nation. If they decide,it can't be done,fine with me,as long as its their call.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 24, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"I asked him whether democracy and human rights promotion in the region are important to Israel's security. He responded: "For Israel specifically, we have an interest in ensuring that any Palestinian state on the West Bank be a democratic state -- in the sense that all parties would be bound to the democratic system and its values." In other words, elections without rights for everyone -- "women, people of different sexual preferences" -- are insufficient."

This is exactly what I'm referring to,Regarding Israel's opinions/interests,they are stated above,but the nation is Palestine,and they do't have a care about Israel's interests/opinions regarding how they govern themselves. Anymore than any nation cares about outside nations opinions on their internal affairs.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 24, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

rcaruth,

Let the Palestinians try! Let them declare a state, let them try and maintain it, let other countries recognize them if they wish--even more, let them go to war with Israel over the borders, if they want. Who could stop them? The emptiness of "rights" without capability, what Lee Harris called some years back "honorific sovereignty," is nowhere revealed more clearly than here. All I ask is that no one try to save the Palestinians from the consequences.

Posted by: adam62 | December 24, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

rcaruth,

Let the Palestinians try! Let them declare a state, let them try and maintain it, let other countries recognize them if they wish--even more, let them go to war with Israel over the borders, if they want. Who could stop them? The emptiness of "rights" without capability, what Lee Harris called some years back "honorific sovereignty," is nowhere revealed more clearly than here. All I ask is that no one try to save the Palestinians from the consequences.

Adam,what are you talking about?,they will get all the aid they need,from those nations that feel it is in their best interest to give Palestine Aid,just like we feel that it is in our best interest to continue to give aid to Israel. There be no WW5*(LOL) over this issue. The 15 largest countries that already recognize Palestine will pour it in. Look at what China is doing in Africa,if you want a preview of coming attractions,and don't forget the EEC.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 24, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Whatever your view of the peace process, Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth, and this cannot continue indefinitely.

A solution must be found to relieve the pressure cooker that will not wait for the building of some amorphous Palestinian economy and institutions. Among the reasons the Soviets won at Stalingrad was recognition that they could take extrordinary casualties that the Germans could not. This lesson has so far been lost on the Gaza Palestinians. Hopefully, they will never learn it.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Adam,what are you talking about?,they will get all the aid they need,from those nations that feel it is in their best interest to give Palestine Aid,just like we feel that it is in our best interest to continue to give aid to Israel. There be no WW5*(LOL) over this issue. The 15 largest countries that already recognize Palestine will pour it in. Look at what China is doing in Africa,if you want a preview of coming attractions,and don't forget the EEC. "

You are surprisingly naive when it comes to the necessities of national sovereignty, especially given your hard headed realism on economic matters. Let everyone pour money into the Palestinian sinkhole, let them send advisors, doctors, other forms of aid--they will find that all that still doesn't make for a state. I'll be glad to watch all of these bad, naive and cynical actors waste their time, money and credibility.

Posted by: adam62 | December 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever your view of the peace process, Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth, and this cannot continue indefinitely.

A solution must be found to relieve the pressure cooker that will not wait for the building of some amorphous Palestinian economy and institutions. Among the reasons the Soviets won at Stalingrad was recognition that they could take extrordinary casualties that the Germans could not. This lesson has so far been lost on the Gaza Palestinians. Hopefully, they will never learn it."

The warning implicit here is ridiculous--whatever number of casualties the Palestinians can accept the Israelis could inflict, +1, rather quickly, if they wanted to. The humanitarian concern is real, but not Israel's, and not nearly as bad as plenty of other places. The solution is also not far to find--open up Gaza to international trade, allow for emigration of the Palestinians into other Middle Eastern countries, etc. First of all, though, get rid of Hamas--who wants to get started on that?

Posted by: adam62 | December 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"You are surprisingly naive when it comes to the necessities of national sovereignty"

I never said they would be sucessful;I never said it would help the peace process,the ONLY point I am making is that they have the "Right" of self determination,WIN,LOSE,OR DRAW. Furthermore, you and Beniyarr seem to be saying that Palestine has to accept certain preconditions before it can have its nation,and those preconditions need to meet the "Interests" of Amerirael.WRONG
They have an existential right to form their own state. Sucess of that state will be determined by other factors luck,skill,aid,etc etc. Bangladesh,Somalia,Afghanistan,and Pakistan have "failed/Failing" states to some degree;but they all had the "Right" to try it out.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 24, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"I never said they would be sucessful;I never said it would help the peace process,the ONLY point I am making is that they have the "Right" of self determination,WIN,LOSE,OR DRAW. Furthermore, you and Beniyarr seem to be saying that Palestine has to accept certain preconditions before it can have its nation,and those preconditions need to meet the "Interests" of Amerirael.WRONG
They have an existential right to form their own state. Sucess of that state will be determined by other factors luck,skill,aid,etc etc. Bangladesh,Somalia,Afghanistan,and Pakistan have "failed/Failing" states to some degree;but they all had the "Right" to try it out."

I never said otherwise--my attitude to it is, essentially, "go ahead, make my day." I suppose any group, that defines itself according to any criteria it likes, has such an "existential" right--Wales, perhaps, of maybe The Bronx will be next. Everyone else has the same existential right to relate to such entities as corresponds to their own sense of their own interests. I doubt the Palestinians will go for it, because once they ditch the cover of international legitimacy, all bets are off. So I don't deny their right--I would just hope Israel then takes advantage the situation to advance its right to secure whatever territory it needs in the West Bank to address it's own existential needs.

In general, you seem to be arguing (implicitly) for a world in which countries and, presumably, individuals, risk themselves in the name of their existential rights and desires and solicit the active agreement and reciprocal solidarity of others willing to join the risk, rather than asking for permission and piling up the UN resolutions, federal bureaucracies and Supreme Court decisions, much more than is the case now. If I'm reading you right, then we agree on something much more fundamental than this disagreement on the Middle East.

Posted by: adam62 | December 24, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

If I'm reading you right,

You are absolutely reading me right. And applying those principles here,I feel the Red states have the right to secede and form their own version of the "American Dream",and the Blue states have the right to form their own socialist regime. California and New York need to seperate themselves for economic survival. They send $50* revenue to the Federals for every one they get back.
We're just too big not to fail. It's like a marriage gone bad,we're spending all of our energy/money trying to glue something together,that "Nature" demands to be split up. Was it good for the Soviet Union to break up? Possibly. Maybe we should follow their lead.
*The Feds being Bankrupt means they eventually going to need it all,and then comes the Default.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 24, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I would first try a strict does of federalism before we get to full scale secession.

Posted by: adam62 | December 24, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, I would try a strict dose of federalism before heading towards full scale secession.

Posted by: adam62 | December 24, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

A holiday message from the future government of Palestine: "...Hamas would not rest until Israel was ousted from Palestine, said Ahmed al-Jabari, leader of the Izz a-din al-Qassam Brigades, adding that Israel had two options – to leave Palestinian territories or face death. He said that Hamas resistance would continue as long as Zionists remained in Palestine. ..."
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hamas-israel-has-two-options-death-or-leaving-palestinian-lands-1.332867

[Note to rcaruth whose brain is damaged by too much Avnery Counterpunch: Hamas, Fatah, and everyone in the Palestinian Authority define Palestine as all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. There are no maps in Gaza or the West Bank (or Damascus, etcetera that show even a sliver of a nation called Israel. When Hamas says "die or leave", they mean EVERY JEW because, to the Palestinian Muslims, ALL of Israel is a "settlement".

No EU country except maybe Norway will continue to throw money they do not have into a Palestinian state, so, in some ways, let them have their state - then they can have their civil war, and turn into another failed state requiring ineffective UN peacekeepers. If The Palestinians attack Israel, then Israel can fight a legal defensive war.

The absurdity of the left in supporting this nonsense beggars belief. There are NO 1967 borders. There is a 1949 armistice line.

The left needs to adopt Kashmir as their 'evil-of-colonialism' cause since it is rumoured that some Kashmiris are really descendants of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 25, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

let them have their state
Posted by: K2K2

That's all I'm saying,and once that happens,events will play themselves out.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 25, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Well, I would try a strict dose of federalism before heading towards full scale secession.
Posted by: adam62

Federalism ended in 1861.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 25, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

let them have their state
Posted by: K2K2

That's all I'm saying,and once that happens,events will play themselves out.


Who's stopping them? But you must also let everyone else decide whether and how they'd like to recognize that state.

Federalism ended in 1861.


And secessionism in 1865. I think we have a better chance of restoring federalism.

Posted by: adam62 | December 25, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I respect Ambassador Michael Oren as thoughtful, informed, and soft spoken philosopher and historian, whose opinions and insights are based on decades of personal experience in war and peace. He is now an Ambassador, and as such he and his opinions are no longer his own and have to be carefully weighed before being expressed, that is, as the British are wont to say, an Ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country. Mr. Oren knows perfectly well that the entire Palestinian Israeli peace negotiations have been a charade since they began in Oslo with the arch Palestinian terrorist Yassir Arafat. Arafat, Erekat, Abbas, the PLO, the PA, and the Hamas have all been working out of the same game plan, with their vision of the end game being the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jews. Israel has been trying it's best to modify and moderate the Palestinian positions with concessions, appeasements, and unilateral territorial withdrawals but to no avail. It would serve the cause of peace between Palestinians and Israelis for Mr. Oren to come forth and speak this unpleasant truth plainly and unreservedly. This would let both sides, as well as any real or potential interlocutors, know exactly where the parties stand, and then the negotiations might actually have the chance of a positive outcome. Unfortunately, Mr. Oren has chosen to blur rather than clarify the issues between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and apparently prefers to let the Obama administration and it's peace making team wallow in the discredited Left wing Palestinian narrative of the imperialist and oppressive Israeli occupation of a peace loving and victimized Palestinian underclass. I have read much of Mr. Oren's well though out writings on a variety of subjects, and I am deeply disappointed that he seems to have lowered himself to the level of just being another unsavory diplomatic shill.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 25, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Who's stopping them? But you must also let everyone else decide whether and how they'd like to recognize that state.

OK Adam,see comment #3 on this posting

And secessionism in 1865. I think we have a better chance of restoring federalism.

Similiar factors are likely to facilitate the "break-up" of the US as played out for the USSR,Bankruptcy,Imperial Overreach,REFUSAL TO BACK UP THEIR CURRENCY WITH HARD ASSETS EVEN IN THE FACE OF DISSOLUTION,overreaching ignorance of Macroeconomics&Monetary Policy.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 25, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

OK, we'll see what all that "recognition" amounts to. Has there been an exchange of Ambassadors? Are there one or two states of Palestine? Is the PA the recognized authority in Gaza, where it has no authority at all? Etc. It's all honorific, I'm sure.

Regarding secession/federalism, you're makign predictions, which may or may not come true; according to your own scenario, a controlled transition to federalism would be the better case, so I'll keep thinking in those terms.

Posted by: adam62 | December 25, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Adam,check this out;it's right up your alley.
http://blogs.forbes.com/joelkotkin/2010/12/23/a-new-era-for-the-city-state/?boxes=opinionschannellatest

Posted by: rcaruth | December 26, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company