Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Debut of The Erlanger Plan


Erlanger: A man with a plan

In a "news analysis" (translation: news-page editorial) today, the New York Times's Steve Erlanger urges governments to quit fussing around with nonsense designed to "please Israel" -- and get down to the hard work of appeasing Hamas and turning a blind eye to its genocidal ambitions and terrorist methods.

Erlanger rolled out what I guess you can call The Erlanger Plan, aimed at giving Hamas a smoke screen behind which it can pull the strings of a supposedly terror-free Pal government. He began by showing his usual solidarity with the terror gang. In his view this isn't a murder mob that blows up civilians in buses, but rather a civil rights organization. You know: The right to vote, the right to free speech and the right to violence. Hamas, he says, "defends the right to use arms to combat Israeli occupation."

Well now, I thought that the Pals signed peace agreements and so on and so forth actually agreeing to do the opposite, but Steve here believes they're not worth the paper they're printed on. And as Soccer Dad points out, "combatting Israeli occupation is coded language, not just for attacking soldier but for attacking civilians too." Why not? It's their right!

On to The Erlanger Plan. As is typical in such "news analyses", Erlanger projects his notoriously pro-Palestinian opinions behind "diplomats":

So diplomats are trying to come up with a set of words that could make Hamas a more acceptable client. One senior Western diplomat said Hamas was thinking about supporting a government led and dominated by technocrats, and not formally led by Hamas.


Under The Erlanger Plan, Hamas would recognize a Saudi "peace plan" that essentially is an Israeli "surrender plan," in which Israel retreats to the '67 borders in return for ..... nothing. Erlanger concedes that this plan "does not exactly recognize Israel." (No s--t, Sherlock.)

The Erlanger Plan calls for Hamas to endorse the Saudi non-plan to "provide the words sufficient to ending its isolation." Then "Hamas could also agree to prolong the current 'cease-fire' with Israel for a year or more," keep a "kind of unwritten temporary armistice with Israel," tone down the rhetoric (i.e., improve its propaganda, with Steve's help). Steve assures us Hamas is "already doing" that.

"If Mr. Abbas works with a technocratic prime minister, with Hamas approving policy from behind a screen, that would be a long way from the 'transformation' of Hamas, and it would not be very satisfactory for Israel," says The Erlanger Plan. "But in the real world of diplomacy, it may just be enough." It would certainly be enough for the New York Times, needless to say.

Oddly missing from the Erlanger Plan "analysis" is that President Bush in his State of the Union Address last night couldn't have been more emphatic in saying that spraying perfume on the Hamas pig is not acceptable. OK, maybe the prez was fibbing when he said, pretty bluntly, that Hamas "must disarm" and "recognize Israel." Erlanger didn't mention any of that stuff and, in fact, his unambiguous statement of U.S. policy went totally unnoticed in the State of the Union.

In fact, the Times gave more attention to a cheap publicity stunt by the Gold Star Moron, Cindy Sheehan, than it did this clear statement of U.S. policy toward Hamas.

I think we'll be seeing more of The Erlanger Plan in the weeks ahead, as the Times news and editorial pages grapple with the defeat of one of the central tenets of the Sulzberger Indifference Template -- the myth of Palestinian moderation.

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