Umm-[UN] May Be Shmumm But Not This Time-pt.2

It was on 10 October when I wrote the piece about what actually happened now at the UNSC, and the reminder is nothing like” I told you so”, as I happen to be both right and wrong in my political , as well as soccer predictions.

At least, so far as the latter is concerned , I simply cannot bring myself to be simply analytical. Analytical and Beitar Yerushalayim and Arsenal?[imagine me as a fan of Reds… Gewald], but when it is about politics, it is something else, and I hate the fact, that this prediction proved right, as I really yearned it to be SO wrong. That said, the inevitable happened, and the inevitable is not just vindictiveness on the part of Barack Hussein Obama, and a lot of it was in place, but also the fact, that when dealing with the Palestinian issue in general, and the settlements in particular, we have always lived on borrowed time, and every celebration of self-delusion somehow, sometime comes to an end.

Self delusion in this case had three dimensions; First, that we can do what we want and in the end, as we say, yiheye beseder[will be ok, a typical Israeli expression], second, that in the relationships with the US, not just with the current Obama Administration , but also with other administrations, we are the senior partner in the alliance, and the US is the junior one. An illusion which was backed up by talks like, ”but Congress is on our side”, and others, which blinded us to the demographic/cultural/political changes in the US, which are NOT in our favor. Thirdly, by turning the question of settlements into a focal point of our policy with regard to the Palestinians, thus choosing the one issue on which we have always been in a not so splendid isolation in the court of both world politics and also world public opinion. Some eyebrows may be raised by my loyal readers, but I , a veteran of the settlement drive, a dedicated ideological supporter of it , have come to the conclusion, which was published by me, that exactly because the settlement drive succeeded, it is about time, to downgrade our national effort concerning them to a lower place in our national agenda.

Yes, the settlements are not the core of the conflict, far from it, as the Gaza experience proved. Every single Jew was forced out of their residence, and we got back 20,000 rockets, Hamas and three rounds of fighting. It is arguably also the case, that because of the settlements, not despite them, there has ever been ANY political process with the Palestinians, as they may have viewed the settlements as the one big, insurmountable barrier to a Palestinian state the way they want it to be. I can go on and on, praising the settlers with their dedication, using all the Hasbara arguments in our arsenal, and we have many which are so right and useful,but in the end of the day, I come to the simple conclusion, that when analyzing the conflict with all its complexities, the question of the fate of the settlements cannot be the ONE which will determine our policy on the expense of any other of the dimensions of the conflict.

For those who do not want to make ANY territorial concession, then it is so logical to view the settlements as the issue according to which all else is decided. Sure, I hate the thought of having to surrender even one iota of our historic homeland, I hate even more though, the inevitability, as I see it of being obliged, by the cumulative effect of all the domestic, regional and international constraints to give up more than just iota of our historic homeland, but no arrangement will be possible without it, and , turning back to where we started this piece, ALSO the new Trump Administration will say it to us in unmistakable terms, and sooner rather than later. A call here to all those who happen to think otherwise- Donald Trump wants America First, to make America great again, and on some issues, he will prove very difficult to deal with , while not on all. Altogether though, he can prove to be even more vindictive than what Obama is.

This is now THE no.1 challenge of PM Netanyahu-find what is in common between you and Trump, not between you and Naftali
Bennett, and concentrate on that, rather on appeasing your coalition partners with regard to every particular settlement.
A fruitful cooperation with Trump can neutralize a lot of the potentially ill-effects of the SC Resolution, and take a lot of the sting out of it. Pandering to Benett will not do that. Leadership based on realistic reading of our national priorities and capabilities is what is most needed now.

About the Author
Dr Josef Olmert, a Middle East expert, is currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina
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