Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Departing from the party line

Earlier this month, Norm highlighted Jonathan Freedland's, erm, revision of the standard Guardian line on Iraq and Bush. In last week's New Statesman, the same journalist also had some interesting things to say about Israel and Sharon:
On 7 February 2001, the day after Ariel Sharon won his first landslide election victory, this is what I wrote in the Guardian. "It's as shocking as if Jean-Marie Le Pen had become president of France, or Ian Paisley ruled over Northern Ireland. [...] For anyone who wishes peace for that nation and its neighbours, today is among the darkest of days."
[...]
The choice was not between the right, just solution and Sharon's plan: it was between Sharon's plan and nothing.

People like me decided to seize on what Sharon was offering. Let him do the heavy lifting, potentially ending 90 per cent of the occupation; [...]

And there is a wider lesson here for the left, which watches the Israel-Palestine conflict so closely. We can keep demanding absolute justice for the Palestinians and a complete resolution of the conflict, but the result will be that the Palestinians get nothing. We can demand a full, final peace treaty, but we will find ourselves in the same camp as Binyamin Netanyahu, who also says nothing should be resolved until everything is resolved. He, too, demands perfection, knowing it will never happen.
...

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