web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Krauthammer’s Crystal Ball


Media-Monitor-logo

Share Button

Going through some old issues of The Weekly Standard magazine on a recent rainy day, the Monitor was struck by a November 9, 1998 cover story from the acclaimed columnist Charles Krauthammer that fairly shouted Crystal Ball.

Krauthammer began the piece, titled “The Coming Palestinian State,” with a defense of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s performance at the Wye River summit (this was, of course, Netanyahu’s first go-round in the prime minister’s chair), a performance that had been derided by critics on both the left and the right.

Netanyahu, Krauthammer pointed out, had by the time of his election in 1996 come to accept Oslo as a fait accompli; had in fact campaigned not on a platform of abrogating the treaty but of insisting on Palestinian compliance and reciprocity.

“The point,” argued Krauthammer, “is that Netanyahu never was a zealot. He has long believed that a solution to the Palestinian question would require some territorial compromise. He was never a ‘Land of Israel’ ideologue. He would, of course, have preferred to hold on to every inch for security reasons. But he understands realities.”

Netanyahu’s primary goals were to halt the one-sided nature of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and to somehow safely steer the country through – if not completely around – the interim territorial withdrawals agreed to by the previous Israeli government.

Yasir Arafat, encouraged by former prime minister Shimon Peres, had been under the impression that even before the start of the “final status” negotiations Israel would hand over approximately a third of the disputed land in each of three redeployments – in effect leaving Israel with no bargaining chips just as the key issues of East Jerusalem and Palestinian statehood were placed on the table.

“Netanyahu’s entire strategy for the last two years,” Krauthammer wrote, “undertaken at huge diplomatic and personal political cost, has been to reduce Arafat’s expectations…. On this he won. Wye ratifies the victory. Arafat had 27 percent of the territories when Netanyahu came to power. Wye gives him 13 percent more. Oslo’s interim phase will end with Israel having given up 40 percent of the land.

“From the Israeli point of view, this is an extraordinary achievement. It leaves Israel with a serious chunk of territory on the West Bank to bargain with.”

It is when he turned his attention to what Arafat received at Wye that Krauthammer’s tone took a dark turn. That additional 13 percent of land promised to Arafat, he noted, was crucial not so much for its size as for the isolated pockets of Palestinian-controlled territory that would now be linked. And with Gaza and the West Bank connected by two special roads, the land under Arafat’s jurisdiction suddenly appeared more than ever like a real state.

And the biggest prize of all, he added, was that President Clinton would shortly travel to Gaza to formally address a large conclave of Palestinians – a visit ostensibly tied to an understanding that Arafat would convene the Palestine National Council for the purpose of excising the anti-Israel clauses in the PNC charter, though it was always unclear how serious the Palestinians were about the undertaking.

What was clear, wrote Krauthammer, “is that an American president will come to Palestine to bless its Congress, address a Palestinian festival celebrating coming independence, and launch it on that road.”

A road, it should be said, that Clinton fully supported. Krauthammer made the point, downplayed or ignored by Jews who loved to contrast Clinton so favorably with the first President Bush, that at the 1991 Madrid peace talks the Bush administration “explicitly declared that it would not support a Palestinian state.”

No such declarations were ever heard from Clinton.

In the end, Krauthammer feared, Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state and the outbreak of war. It was only a matter of time before one side or the other would be forced, most likely by cataclysmic events, to surrender its chief claims.

“That,” he concluded, “is the crisis waiting to happen. For now, Wye is the bridge to that crisis, the last agreement between Israel and the Palestinians we are likely to see before the fateful showdown.”

So spoke Krauthammer two years before Arafat launched the Second Intifada in September 2000, ushering in one of the bloodiest eras in Israeli history and in the process wrecking the suicidal delusions of Israel’s so-called peace camp.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Share Button

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Krauthammer’s Crystal Ball”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Bob Grant

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Camelot-112213

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.

It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/krauthammers-crystal-ball/2010/01/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: