Ari Shavit, the Zionist revivalist author who was laurel’d by American media last year, has published his idea of a “New Peace” plan in the New Republic. He says that the Palestinians didn’t get a state under the old peace process because they are “victims of an anachronistic political culture whose negative ethos makes it especially difficult” to offer necessary concessions.
For instance, they wouldn’t recognize the Jewish state and Zionism’s legitimate claims– “the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancient homeland.”
And Arabs aren’t ready for democracy. Shavit speaks bleakly of “Arab political culture” in the “merciless Middle East.”
But the Palestinians can get economic peace, in this manner:
New Peace will not forsake the hope that eventually a democratic Middle East will emerge. But it would acknowledge the political culture of the Arab world and the Palestinian people as they are now and it would try to make the most out of it.
How can all this come about? Very simply. First, Israel will freeze all settlement activity beyond the separation barrier. Then Israel will initiate limited pullouts from designated areas in the West Bank. The Palestinians will commit to turning every piece of liberated land into a development zone in which massive building projects (resembling those in the new Palestinian city of Rawabi) will take center stage. The Saudis and the Gulf states will finance those development enterprises. The Egyptians and Jordanians will give the process political backing and military guidance. The United States will oversee it all, and Europe will do what Europe does best: NGO activity and civil-society building. While the Israelis and Palestinians advance the process with unsigned understandings and undeclared cooperation, the Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, and Turks will institute major regional economic projects.
I.e., taxation without representation. And if it seems like a fantasy, consider this about freezing settlement activity: Peace Now issued a report yesterday on unending settlement construction. JTA:
Israel promoted plans and tenders for nearly 14,000 housing units in the West Bank during the nine months of peace talks, the activist group Peace Now said.
An average of 50 apartments was built daily in the West Bank throughout the U.S.-backed negotiations launched last summer, the nongovernmental organization said in a report issued Tuesday.
From the Peace Now report, a graph of settlement housing tenders under recent Israeli governments: