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Geneva and the Fence: two non-solutions

12/12/2003

The critics say that the Geneva Accords solve nothing. Are they right?

The critics say that the "separation fence" solves nothing. Are they right?

Strictly speaking, and for different reasons, both are right. Neither approach is a solution to the problems of Israel and the Palestinians.

The Geneva Accords certainly don't solve anything. They aren't a peace agreement so much as a meeting of a Model UN or a game of Rotisserie Baseball, an American pastime that involves the formation of imaginary baseball leagues that parallel the real ones.

Here's how it works: a group of friends gathers at the start of an actual baseball season. They meet periodically over the following months to bargain for the services of real ballplayers. Here's how the official website, at http://www.rotisserie.com/whatis.html, explains it:

The idea is to simulate owning and managing your very own baseball team comprised of actual players. You select your players from the rosters of teams in the American or National leagues and compete against other teams in your own unique league. The batting and pitching stats that your players generate in real life fuel the competition in your rotisserie league. The winner gets a trophy, a cash award, or any other prize your league decides. It's the next best thing to owning a major league baseball franchise!
In just this fashion, a group of friends with no real authority gathered by the Dead Sea in Jordan to negotiate amicably the imaginary disposition of actual assets. Unlike in Rotisserie, they all won. And just like Rotisserie, they can gather to play again next year if they wish.

The separation fence is quite different. It doesn't even pretend to be a solution. Instead, at its very best, it attempts to manage a problem that is assumed to be permanent.

I don't know which is more depressing.

Analyst

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000131.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Analyst @ 06:25 AM CST [Link]

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Replies: 2 comments

Quite.

Posted by Ian @ 12/13/2003 12:27 PM CST

The question is "Who is fighting whom?" If you boil down much of the attitudes expessed recently, it is easy to come to the conclusion that the civilian populations on both Israel and Palestine sides are anxious for peace and willing to give up something to arrive at a workable peace. On the other hand, the governments of Israel and the Palestinians are standing firm on their basic demands which are incompatible. As long as the current governments are in place, or until they alter their stance, peace has no chance!

Posted by Elchanan Ross @ 12/13/2003 11:18 PM CST


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