Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football

Every fall for decades Charles Schulz would draw a cartoon with Lucy enticing Charlie Brown to kick a football she promised to hold for him.  Every year, when he was just about to kick it, she would pull it away, and he would end up on his back on the ground, wondering how he could be so gullible to be fooled again.

Lucy is Israel, Charlie Brown is the Arabs, and the football is Palestinian statehood.  Every year or so, some Middle Eastern leader, concerned about the rising anger caused by the plight of the Palestinians, will apply to the Americans for relief.  The Americans will phone Tel Aviv, and request another football kicking session.  The Israelis will meet with the Palestinians, promise much (rumors and hints, but with impossible catches), and then  . . . pull the football away.  Sometimes, Israel’s American agents will help to snatch the football out of harm’s way.  A year or so later, after the embarrassed old Palestinian leadership has been replaced (and Israel again lacks a ‘negotiating partner’), the Arabs will be fooled again.  It’s a trick that never stops working.

The Israeli negotiating posture reminds me of another cartoon, this time “Dilbert”.  It is well described here:

“In the first panel, the pointy-haired boss leans into Dilbert's cubicle and says, ‘Let's have a little premeeting to prepare for the meeting tomorrow.’ Dilbert turns around in the next panel and says, ‘Whoa! Do you think it's safe to jump right into the premeeting without planning it?’ In the final panel, Wally and Dilbert are sitting at the meeting table and the point haired boss says, ‘Okay, Let's get this preliminary premeeting meeting going.’ Wally is turned to Dilbert saying, ‘You think you're funny but you're not.’”

Here is the cartoon (for most cartoons, see here, and for all of them, see here; this is useful for searching).  The parallels are obvious.

The Israelis won’t agree to any kind of real Palestinian state as it would require them to fix their borders, thus forever ending the dream of Greater Israel.  As long as the Likudniks continue to have the unwaivering and mindless support of the Americans, the dream survives, and any kind of peace is impossible.  That is why the Lobby power has to be defeated before Middle East peace is possible.


Anonymous said...

Every year the Palestinians hold out the football of peace and then they pull it away, preferring war, and they will never give it up, because to give it up would end the dream of Muslim control of the entire Middle East.

See how easy it is to make empty analogies?