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Peace process: Aaron Miller moves from ‘too big to fail’ to ‘rock and roll will never die’

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Aaron David Miller, from the Wilson Center

Aaron David Miller, from the Wilson Center

In 2012, longtime peace processor Aaron David Miller used the phrase “too big to fail” to characterize the two-state solution. He explained to listeners on National Public Radio:

I think the idea of Palestinian statehood though is simply too compelling still. In a way, it’s too big to fail.

Then in 2013, he said the U.S. friendship with Israel was “too big to fail.” He wrote at Politico:

Unlike Lehman Brothers, the U.S.-Israeli relationship is too big to fail; but until it’s clear where this interim agreement [with Iran] is headed, this relationship will be rocky.

Well, times change, but Aaron David Miller isn’t going anywhere. He served in several American administrations, and has become the go-to center-right expert on the conflict; so with the failure of John Kerry’s peace negotiations, he was back on National Public Radio yesterday, and asked how bad a blow this is to the peace process. Sound-bite:

MILLER: Is it fatal? No, because the reality is, like rock ‘n’ roll, the peace process is never really going to die and it’s not going to die and Kerry will be back to it because Israelis and Palestinians have a proximity problem. They’re literally living on top of one another and there’s no status quo.

I guess we should call that progress?

P.S. Michele Kelemen quoted no Palestinians on that NPR report, while allowing Miller to dismiss the idea that Palestinians are or will ever be living under apartheid. Mustafa Barghouthi and Ali Abunimah and Raji Sourani and Ahmed Moor don’t agree.

P.P.S. In fairness to the peace process, I’d note that Miller also used the “too big to fail” line about the US relationship with Saudi Arabia and with Syria’s Assad.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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16 Responses

  1. Citizen on May 2, 2014, 11:50 am

    I disagree. There is a status quo. And I see nothing current that will change it. That’s exactly the problem. So what is the point of your article here, Phil Weiss? That the AIPAC is too big to fail? I concede, if so, you have a major point there. This does nothing but frustrate non-Jewish Americans like myself. Is there a just, humanist, American path you suggest? If there, is what it it? I don’t get your point.

    • DICKERSON3870 on May 2, 2014, 1:26 pm

      There isn’t always a nice, concise point – but I’ll give it a try nonetheless. Let’s just say that members of the Washington D.C. “commentariat” (represented in this instance by Aaron David Miller) are extremely unlikely to definitively “call it” as to the “(two-state) peace process” in the sense that the lead doctor in an emergency room “calls it” when there is no further point in trying to resuscitate a patient.
      This also applies to the Obama administration, despite what Kerry has said in the past about there only being a year and a half left to reach an agreement and salvage the two-state solution. When the Obama administration draws to a close, they will mumble something about the fact that despite their inability to bring about an agreement, at least there were “very fruitful discussions” that should help the next administration “get off to a good start” with the “(two-state) peace process”. The U.S. government dares not admit it has been living a lie and that the two-state solution is actually dead, because it would then inevitably be asked “what’s next?” And that’s a question the U.S. government can’t possibly cope with. Not to mention that pronouncing the two-state solution dead is definitely a bright red line with the “two-state fakers” at AIPAC.

  2. Kay24 on May 2, 2014, 12:06 pm

    Talking about Rock and Roll…I always liked Pink Floyd. Now two members are calling on the Rolling Stones to NOT play in Israel. Thank you, that’s another” brick in the wall” that will help BDS cement their campaign.

    “Pink Floyd calls on Rolling Stones to boycott Israel
    ‘Playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid,’ writes Roger Waters. – Haaretz

    • Krauss on May 2, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Rock and roll is dead. It isn’t to old white guys like Miller. But how many rock bands dominate the charts today? It’s mostly pop, hip-hop and some EDM(usually mixed in with other songs). Sure, there’s still rock music around, but it doesn’t hold the sway of young people like it did. And I lay the blame on this on the old rock bands, who refused to retire and choked off the younger bands because of it. People are nostalgic.

      • RoHa on May 2, 2014, 8:54 pm

        I don’t know that any younger bands wanted to stick with rock and/or roll. It grew up (with me) in the 50s, dominated the 60s, but by the end of the 70s it was well on the way out. And while I deplore the hideous noises made by Young People Today, I do so because they insist on blasting them through loudspeakers in supermarkets, shopping centres, and even some car parks. But I would be disappointed in young people if they didn’t do anything I disapproved of.
        R & r is nostalgia for old gits. It is dead.

  3. joer on May 2, 2014, 12:16 pm

    If the “peace process” never dies, that means there will never be peace…because if the goal of the process is met, the process won’t have a reason to exist. Without realizing it, Miller admitted the truth-the goal of the process is not to finally have real peace, but to go on forever with these endless negotiations and diplomacy.

    • Donald on May 2, 2014, 1:58 pm

      “Without realizing it, Miller admitted the truth-the goal of the process is not to finally have real peace, but to go on forever with these endless negotiations and diplomacy.”

      I agree. “The peace process” is a fig leaf that allows liberal Zionists to feel good about themselves while Israel maintains the occupation.

      • joer on May 2, 2014, 7:28 pm

        Actually, Donald, Zionists have always have had a lot to feel good about: they settled an uninhabited country, they fought off millions of crazy homicidal Arabs, they invented hummus, plus they have the creative imagination to make all of that up. I think the point of the peace process is to divide the Palestinians, and keep the more compliant ones “tied up in court” for years-actually decades by this time-while illegal settlements are built.

  4. Woody Tanaka on May 2, 2014, 12:28 pm

    “because Israelis and Palestinians have a proximity problem.”

    Indeed, as the whites and blacks in the Jim Crow South and in Apartheid South Africa had a “proximity ‘problem'”. Saying “like rock ‘n’ roll, the peace process is never really going to die” — when it is properly understood that the “peace process” is really a euphamism for continued Israeli agression and oppression of the Palestinians — sounds a lot like predicting “segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever.”

  5. James Canning on May 2, 2014, 2:13 pm

    Araon David Miller should simply say that Israel can continue to grow its illegal colonies in the West Bank but the growth of the illegal colonies of Jews in the WB will not change Israel’s borders. “Should” is the operative word here.

    • libra on May 2, 2014, 3:07 pm

      @James Canning

      The Israeli aim is a creeping ethnic cleansing in the WB as more and more of the land is taken over, forcing the Palestinians into an ever smaller space and fractured space. Palestine is more than a legal abstraction on a map, it’s a physical reality. Land taken over is land denied and it will be hard to get that back as Palestinian living space in any two state solution via the any ‘peace process’.

      Given that you are a regular reader on MW, I fail to see why you so complacent about this slow ethnic cleansing via displacement or why you place such faith in a two-state solution.

      • brenda on May 2, 2014, 3:34 pm

        fine comment, James, much better than what Aaron David Miller did say. I found Miller’s comment quite obscene.

  6. Krauss on May 2, 2014, 2:39 pm

    Michele Kelemen quoted no Palestinians on that NPR report, while allowing Miller to dismiss the idea that Palestinians are or will ever be living under apartheid. Mustafa Barghouthi and Ali Abunimah and Raji Sourani and Ahmed Moor don’t agree.

    Ugh.

    Why does NPR and NYT turn into Fox News whenever the Israel/Palestine conflict comes up?

    This is disgusting.

  7. palijustice on May 2, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Yes it is disgusting. No matter how cruel Israel is to the Palestinians (and it is indeed cruel, even sadistic), NPR and the rest of the mainstream media will ignore this to protect Israel’s image. It’s censorship. I always say follow the money trail to get reasons why things happen in this country, in every sphere.

  8. wondering jew on May 3, 2014, 12:06 am

    As long as the PLO has not declared the two state solution as dead, the two state solution is still alive. (In fact Gaza, although under siege is well on its way to independence. I am sure that my formulation will offend most of the people here, but there are no Israeli troops in Gaza. Israel is still at war with Gaza and so Gazans suffer plenty and have plenty to complain about. But Gaza has a border with a country other than Israel and though its access to the sea is highly limited by Israel, it is essentially an independent country at war with Israel. Because the PLO or Hamas controls Gaza (in a way that it does not control any part of the West Bank) the thought that the PLO or Hamas will invite Israel back into Gaza is absurd. So though this solves nothing regarding the West Bank, the fact that the PLO is not about to abandon its claim of independence regarding Gaza will affect their overall strategy to all the territory (of mandate Palestine 1947) that Israel occupied after the 67 war.

    Thus regarding Gaza, the peace process, which has done nothing for Gaza since the withdrawal of 2005, is still “alive” regarding Gaza, because annexation is not the next (possible) step in Gaza, as it is regarding the West Bank if the PLO were ever to call Israel’s bluff and say, “enough already, annex us and give us the vote.”

    • talknic on May 3, 2014, 2:56 am

      @ yonah fredman A) UNSC res 1860 … you’ve never read it? Oh well, for people who’re honestly interested http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/96514396E8389A2C852575390051D574

      B) ” Gaza, although under siege is well on its way to independence” Oxymoron “Gaza … though its access to the sea is highly limited by Israel, it is essentially an independent country … “ Another oxymoronic statement

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