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A Time For Severance

Tony Judt does not fall into that bland, familiar trap that most journalists fall into when commenting on Israel, where criticism of one side is levelled with a critique of the other. While the Palestinians have indeed missed chances to peruse peace, he argues in today's New York Times, it is Israel that has missed more of them.

... a 40-year occupation (against the advice of its own elder statesmen); three catastrophic invasions of Lebanon; an invasion and blockade of Gaza in the teeth of world opinion; and now a botched attack on civilians in international waters. Palestinians would be hard put to match such cumulative blunders.

Judt's best lines come at the end of the article, summing up the folly of a commando raid on a boat trying to breach the naval blockade of Gaza that left nine people dead:

Along with the oil sheikdoms, Israel is now America’s greatest strategic liability in the Middle East and Central Asia. Thanks to Israel, we are in serious danger of “losing” Turkey: a Muslim democracy, offended at its treatment by the European Union, that is the pivotal actor in Near-Eastern and Central Asian affairs. Without Turkey, the United States will achieve few of its regional objectives — whether in Iran, Afghanistan or the Arab world. The time has come to cut through the clichés surrounding it, treat Israel like a “normal” state and sever the umbilical cord.

To read the whole article, click here.

BAA No Way

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