Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

The Non-Issue of Settlements

Cohen: The conflict concerns sovereignty and security

Print Email

Roger Cohen published a fabulous op-ed today. It’s extremely useful because Cohen is what you’d call, for lack of a better term, a liberal on matters Israeli-Palestinian, and yet he makes a point that I think a lot of liberals are having trouble with due to their commitments and values (and it’s a point I tried to make yesterday), which is that, even if you believe the settlements are unethical, illiberal, Israel’s Original Sin, and all that, there is no persuasive case that, as of right now, they are even close to the main obstacle to peace—which means that the Obama administration’s unrelenting focus on them has been extremely ill-advised. Argues Cohen:

No U.S. president should invest his personal capital by inaugurating direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders when those talks are set to abort weeks later over an issue—Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank—that’s long been sitting there like a big truck on the road.

Yet that’s what President Barack Obama has just done, allowing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to snub a personal request that a 10-month moratorium on building in the West Bank be extended in the interests of negotiation. Palestine can’t get born if the land for it keeps eroding.

The amateurish air of desperation attending this unseemly sequence has now given way to the outright desperation of American-Israeli horse-trading over what concessions, guarantees, blandishments, military hardware et al. the United States might offer Israel in exchange for a 60-day extension of said moratorium.

Anyway, read the whole thing. I don’t agree with all ten of his points—point eight, that many Gaza residents would go along with a Palestinian Authority-led state in the West Bank, seems spectacularly wrong—but Cohen is an insightful reporter whose heart is in the right place but whose head and eyes are telling him something much more simple: “[Palestinians’] thirst for sovereignty is matched only in intensity by Israel’s insistence on security. Here lies the hinge of peace.”

Going, Going, Gone [IHT]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Hi there I am wondering if I can use this article on complete of my blogs if I link endorse to you? Thanks!

Excellent blog you’ve got here. You will see me looking at your stuff often. Saved as a favorite!

Alexander Pope~ Words are like leaves and where they most abound Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

Hello there, I found your blog via Google while looking for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

The Non-Issue of Settlements

Cohen: The conflict concerns sovereignty and security

More on Tablet:

11 Non-Jewish Celebrities—and 2 Jewish Ones—Show Off Their Hebrew Tattoos

By Marjorie Ingall — You don’t have to be Jewish to sport Hebrew ink. But some of these stars should have thought twice before going under the needle.