ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


Finlandization by mattsteinglass
June 15, 2007, 8:36 am
Filed under: Israel

In a typically excellent Slate column on the collapse of faith in the two-state solution for Israel-Palestine, Shmuel Rosner ends by looking back to the moment when the seeds of today’s catastrophe in Gaza were planted.

In 2004, in a lengthy interview with Ha’aretz, Ariel Sharon’s aide Dov Weisglass uttered some words that provoked a great deal of criticism. In light of this week’s events, they seem almost prophetic, even if not exactly in the way he intended them to be. The pullout plan, Weisglass said, “supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” As a result, he said, “you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state” until “the Palestinians turn into Finns.”

The problem, of course, is that to a certain extent, what turned the Finns into Finns was…having a state. What do you call a Finn who doesn’t have a state, and is occupied by his more powerful neighbor for 40 years? You call him an Estonian — and, if you are Russian, you better keep your distance from him, because he doesn’t like you very much.


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