Friday, July 29, 2005

# Posted 3:30 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

AN EDUCATED PALESTINIAN MASTERS THE ART OF DENIAL: Yesterday morning's Post carried an op-ed expressing great frustration with the long wait that Palestinians must endure when they enter and exit the Gaza strip.

The column's author, Laila El-Haddad, is a Harvard graduate and a correspondent for Al Jazeera's English web service. She is also the mother of a 16-month old who is not given to patience when forced to wait on line. As the author points out, the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza strip will not eliminate such lines, since Israel will still control its borders. Or as the author puts it, the Israeli plan will
Effectively mak[e] Gaza the world's largest open-air prison, with 1.5 million Palestinian inmates.
So, you might ask, what does the author envisage as the best way to resolve this unfortunate situation? You guessed it: Unilateral concessions from the US and Israel. Or as the author puts it:
This disengagement cannot yield a lasting peace unless it brings justice for the Palestinian people. So long as the Bush administration continues to turn a blind eye to illegal settlements in the West Bank and Israel maintains its control of Gaza's borders -- including its sea and air space and land crossings -- the disengagement will suffer a fate similar to that of [the] Oslo [process].
As someone who often tries to persuade newspaper editors to publish my op-eds, I understand that authors must be as concise as possible or risk having their work rejected. But would it really have hurt Ms. Haddad to pay some sort of minimal lip service to justice for the Israelis as well? Would she have compromised her argument against Sharon's policy by acknowledging that the persistence of suicide attacks may possibly, just theoretically, just hypothetically, have something to do with the long lines on the way in and out of Gaza?

I guess some of you may wonder why I'm even wasting my keystrokes on such a cliche bit of agit-prop. But when a mother and a journalist and a Harvard graduate can't even bring herself to recognize the necessity of compromise, I wonder how any sort of peace process will be possible.
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