Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Alternatives, part II

The Israeli Right are feeling threatened by the alternative peace plan. They've lambasted it as "[giving] peace a bad name by relenting to all Palestinian demands and not taking into account basic Israeli demands", making too many concessions (including it seems the obvious one of abandoning the settlements and withdrawing behind the Green Line), and as "Palestinian propaganda". But the best bit is this:

The former Israeli Labour Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, said the proposals enabled the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to argue that the impasse in peace negotiations "stems not from terrorism but from Ariel Sharon's uncompromising policies".

And we wouldn't want anyone to think that, would we?

Sharon stays in power because of the intifada. He can pursue his violent policies because he has spread the myth that there is no-one on the Palestinian side to negotiate with. Those behind the Geneva Accord have shown the lie behind that. Whether their deal is workable remains to be seen, but they have at least put the possibility of peace back in the public consciousness.