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Semiformalishmaybe

Handling a Losing Game

One of the most difficult things about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that there are so many frames from which to view it. One can focus on the history, the effects of instability/violence on both sides (or just one), or so many other things, each of which suggests weakness or strength, advantage or disadvantage from prolonging the conflict. It being sided, there are a number of outcomes that might come from resolving it or leaving it one way or another:

  • Status quo forever
  • Conflict is prolonged long enough for shifting demographics, politics, and/or power in neighbouring countries to cause the conflict to be solved, one way or another, with external force
  • Palestinians commit to never using violence again, are forced into negotiations on extremely weak terms and are given the least desirable lands in a two-state solution
  • The same, but the Israeli left is influential enough to ensure less-terrible terms and South and North Palestine become viable states
  • Israel-as-it-is-now loses a demographics game and becomes Arab-citizened enough to need to attempt some kind of cultural fusion between its various denizens
  • The Israeli far-right wins enough elections to gain support to do ethnic cleansing, expelling all Arabs in "greater Israel" (for whichever meaning of the term we use) to make room for more settlers
  • Enough support is offered from outside to Palestinian militants to destabilise the country enough that the state crumbles
  • Sufficiently destructive weapons are used against Israeli cities that the state crumbles
  • A one-state solution is forced on the country through external carrots and sticks, transforming the nature of the state
  • Nationalism and militancy of both sides are dialed back sufficiently, with enough cultural changes, for a peaceful and harmonious two-state solution
The thing that leaps out at me the most is the recent peace; is it a good or a bad thing for Israelis? Palestinians?
  • On one hand, we could make a strong case that it's a win for Palestinians because far more Palestinians died than Israelis, presumably the latter members of the IDF. Presumably there was also far more damage to Palestinian infrastructure in Gaza.
  • On the other, we could make a strong case that because the structural inspirations for violence remain in place and continue to damage the Palestinians, while their ability to meet structural impingement with violence is removed under a truce, they face disappearing under oppression; they have nothing to negotiate with because they are being damaged without having any in-system rejoinder.
In this case, a simple call for an end to violence is effectively asking Palestinians to accept disappearing under a system built against their benefit. This is why I can't support UN calls for peace unless the UN is willing and able to violate the sovereignty of a racist state in order to force a decent solution (robust against revenge and truly aiming for the welfare equally of both peoples). The UN is probably not capable of that, and it may be an impossible goal; in that case I would prefer the UN stay out of the conflict. There may be no solution through violent conflict, but neither does it ask a side to suffer injustice with no response.
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