The Corner

What’s Wrong With Geneva?

I’ve been waiting for someone to make a good case against the Geneva Accord that has the Israeli government throwing a conniption. Amir Taheri, whose stuff is consistently excellent, weighed in yesterday in the New York Post. I have to say, I’m not convinced. Taheri scores the Geneva architects for ignoring the fact that peacemaking is a political process rather than a technical and diplomatic one. But the whole idea of the Geneva effort is obviously to influence the political process in Tel Aviv, Washington, and the West Bank. Seems to me that the sort of pressure exerted by the Geneva architects is exactly what we should want from Israeli and Palestinian civil societies. This Taheri point, seems to me, is especially weak: “The ‘wise men’ of Geneva may not have realized it, but by ignoring normal political institutions – especially elected organs of decision-making – they may have bestowed some legitimacy on those who want the future of Palestine to be decided by unelected militants and suicide-bombers. After all, if Beilin and Abd-Rabbo can sign an accord, there is no reason why militant Jewish settlers and Hamas suicide-bombers should not have the right to tear up any accord.” So, well-intentioned people on both sides getting together to talk about peace encourages suicide bombings? Come on…


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