Thursday, January 24, 2013

Whose Advice - Friedman or Sullivan?

As Sen. John Kerry starts his confirmation for the post of Sec. of State, there is bit of a debate in giving an advice to the incoming secretary of state. We have New York Times columnist Tom Friedman opening the inning as:

"On Israel-Palestine, the secretary of state should publicly offer President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority the following: the U.S. would recognize the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank as the independent State of Palestine on the provisional basis of the June 4, 1967, lines, support its full U.N. membership and send an ambassador to Ramallah, on the condition that Palestinians accept the principle of “two states for two peoples” — an Arab state and a Jewish state in line with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 — and agree that permanent borders, security and land swaps would be negotiated directly with Israel."


Not in specific to Arab-Israel conflict, but on a related note of Iran nuke issues; we have the rebuttal by the  renowned foreign policy expert Prof. Drezner:

"I write now, however, because in his latest column he has migrated from the merely foolish to the ill-considered and dangerous."


Now, no renowned blog post is complete without the rebuttal in comments section. So Prof. Drezner, has this profound comment:

"With all that said, I could make a case for Friedman's recommendation with respect to Iran. "


For all this, Andrew has his following sane advise:

"In my view, the president and next secretary of state should now lay out a detailed, mapped, two-state division that the US supports and present it to both Fatah and Jerusalem. If Jerusalem balks, the US should switch its vote at the UN to abstain on Palestinian statehood. If the PA balks, we'll discover something important about them: their willingness to sacrifice for a state alongside and at peace with a Jewish one. Hamas? Leave them out of it for a while, or open up a back-channel. But as Obama's power waxes and Netanyahu's wanes, it would be crazy not to seize the moment."


In all this cacophony, I am with Andrew Sullivan on this issue. So Senator Kerry, you got it where you need to keep your ears open and listen.

Best wishes Sec. nominee Kerry. 

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