Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bernard Lewis Pops the Question

One of my least favorite people in all the universe is Iran's Ahmadinajad. A true-to-form Nazi copy, Iran's president felt compelled to negatively comment on the Annapolis Mideast Peace Conference--to no one's surprise. He's a complete idiot. No one expects any conventional progress on the issues, whatever they are. The real accomplishment is that Syria attended along with the other Arab states. Which brings me to one of my favorite people, professor emeritus of Princeton University, the aged sage, Bernard Lewis. Lewis had a short piece in the Wall Street Journal the other day. You should read the entire article; I'll put in the link at the end. Lewis' greatest contribution to Middle Eastern difficulties is his clarity of thought. Here's a the nutshell view:

Herewith some thoughts about tomorrow's Annapolis peace conference, and the larger problem of how to approach the Israel-Palestine conflict. The first question (one might think it is obvious but apparently not) is, "What is the conflict about?" There are basically two possibilities: that it is about the size of Israel, or about its existence.

If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.

If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.

And now you must go on to read the entire article. It is short but here is an area where greater mind's than pea-brain Ahmadinajad must prevail.

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