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[2009.02.12]America and Israel









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发表于 2010-3-18 01:44 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
America and Israel

Will the relationship change? Yes it can

Feb 12th 2009 | WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition

Israel and the Palestinians seem stuck in a poisonous morass, as Israeli voters shift to the right. President Barack Obama has a chance of hauling them out of it

AT FIRST glance, the chances of peace between Arabs and Jews in the Holy Land look dimmer than ever. If Binyamin Netanyahu ends up as prime minister (see article), Israel’s voters will have elected a man who, on paper at least, is unwilling to let the Palestinians have anything more in the way of a state than a hollowed-out Swiss cheese of feebly linked cantons. He says the moderate Palestinians are too weak to control the West Bank and need to be strengthened, under Israeli supervision, before any more territory can be handed over to them.


Moreover, even if the centrist Tzipi Livni wins the day, with her support for talks leading to two states living peacefully side by side, the Palestinians are for the moment so sour and so divided that they have no government or leader strong enough to cut a deal and make it work. In any event, after Israel’s ferocious assault on the Gaza Strip in December and January, there is no certainty that the current ceasefire will hold with the Islamists of Hamas, which still rules that territory despite its pasting.

Yet hope persists, in part because Barack Obama has a chance of making American policy more even-handed and more effective, after eight years mostly wasted by George Bush and, before that, another eight years in which Bill Clinton tried but failed, to bring the two sides together. More even-handed means more sympathetic to Palestinians. But it also means more security, in the long run, for Israel.


True, nothing spectacular is likely to happen for months. For one thing, an Israeli government could take weeks or more to emerge, and could then prove hobbled by religious and other clamps. For another, Mr Obama, who sees the American economy as his priority, has yet to acquire his own Middle East team, let alone policy, under the dual aegis of Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state and George Mitchell as his special envoy. Besides, not just the Palestinians but also the Arabs and the wider region are in diplomatic disarray.


Many of those Americans urging Mr Obama to take a new approach towards Iran, for instance, admit that little of substance is likely to alter until after Iran’s presidential election in June, when the erratic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may—or may not—be ousted (see article). Iran, by the by, still eggs Hamas on to make negotiations with Israel difficult if not impossible.


Syria is more promising. Even Mr Netanyahu, if he succeeds in forming a government, is likely to respond favourably to American suggestions that he continue the efforts of his predecessor, Ehud Olmert of the Kadima party, led now by Ms Livni, to negotiate a deal with Syria, whereby Israel would give up the Golan Heights in return for a peace treaty similar to those already signed with Jordan and Egypt. Opening a “Syrian track” is widely considered, by the new policymakers in Washington, to be a good idea. But an Israeli deal with Syria alone is no substitute for negotiations over the nub of the matter: a direct deal between Israel and the Palestinians.


Mr Obama faces three early tests. The first, and perhaps the easiest, is to spell out his vision of a Palestinian state. Its outlines are well known and have been more or less agreed by sensible Palestinians and Israelis, including those in power, for the past decade. Israel would return to the armistice line that existed before the 1967 war, with minor adjustments and territorial swaps of equal size and quality, and would probably keep the three biggest Jewish settlement blocks that bulge out from the 1967 line. Jerusalem would be tortuously but fastidiously divided, allowing each side to have its capital there, with international oversight of the holy places. Palestinians would be granted a symbolic right for their refugees to return on the understanding that only a small and carefully calculated proportion of them would actually do so. Palestine would be sovereign but demilitarised, with an international force, perhaps led by NATO, securing its borders, both along the Jordan valley and maybe between Gaza and Egypt. A road-and-rail link, internationally monitored, might well connect the 50km (30 miles) or so between Gaza and the West Bank.


Mr Olmert himself recently announced, soon after his decision to leave office amid corruption allegations, his wholehearted adoption of the broad package described above. In particular, he mentioned a need to give back “all or nearly all” of the occupied territories and to let the Palestinians have their capital in Jerusalem, on its east side. The clear support of Mr Obama would bolster the region’s many moderates and put recalcitrant Israelis and Palestinians alike on the spot.


The president’s second big test, widely mooted, will be to warn the Israelis that further expansion of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank, either by extension of boundaries or “natural growth”, is totally unacceptable—and will have painful repercussions if it goes on. It is unlikely, in the short run, that an American president, even Mr Obama, would have the nerve to cut military or other aid to Israel in a hurry. The only president to have threatened to do so was George Bush senior, in 1991, when he said he would withhold guarantees on loans. Since then, every Israeli leader has continued to allow settlement expansion, in contravention of international law, without a serious American reaction.


In a recent article in Newsweek one of Mr Bush’s advisers on Israel-Palestine, Aaron Miller, made a rueful confession:

在《新闻周刊》近期一片文章中,布什的以巴政策顾问Aaron Miller发了一个充满悔意的声明:

In 25 years of working on this issue for six secretaries of state, I can’t recall one meeting where we had a serious discussion with an Israeli prime minister about the damage that settlement activity—including land confiscation, bypass roads and housing demolitions—does to the peacemaking process. There is a need to impose some accountability. And this can only come from the president. But Obama should make it clear that America will not lend its auspices to a peacemaking process in which the actions of either side wilfully undermine the chances of an agreement America is trying to broker. No process at all would be better than a dishonest one that hurts America’s credibility.


Cutting aid is not the only lever Mr Obama has for jolting Israel into acquiescence over the settlements. Louder verbal expressions of dismay than any of his predecessors have made would be one more. Letting Israel know that the United States cannot any longer be certain to veto finger-wagging resolutions at the United Nations would be another.


Drawing in Hamas

But Mr Obama’s hardest test of diplomacy will be drawing Hamas, directly or indirectly, into negotiations. As things stand, Hamas remains excluded because it has refused to meet three laid-in-concrete conditions: a disavowal of terrorism; accepting Israel’s right to exist; and going along with previous agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), the nationalist umbrella group to which Hamas does not belong, which would imply acceptance of a two-state solution. Mr Obama during his election campaign and Mrs Clinton since her appointment as secretary of state have reiterated those conditions. Yet a growing body of fixers trying to solve the Israel-Palestine problem, including many Americans in the Obama camp, now think Hamas must be involved, while at the same time knowing that Hamas is certain not to meet those three conditions unambiguously or straight away.


On paper, Hamas rejects Israel’s existence outright. Its charter, which contains anti-Semitic slurs and slanders, seeks to establish sharia law on all the territory of mandated Palestine, between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean. It glories in martyrdom. Since 1993, and especially during the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) from 2001 to 2004, it has carried out more than 100 suicide attacks on Israeli civilians, killing at least 400. It has sanctioned the firing of rockets, though mostly home-made and rarely lethal, at Israeli towns across from Gaza. It reviles its secular rival, Fatah, for its supposed treachery in accepting the Jewish state and the principle of Palestine’s partition.


But Hamas is probably indispensable if there is to be a breakthrough towards negotiation. For one thing, it may well be the most popular Palestinian group (see table to the left). It won the last general election in the Palestinian territories fair and square, with nearly 44% of the votes to Fatah’s 41%, getting a big majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament. And it still controls Gaza, despite its recent pummelling by the Israelis and despite a blockade and economic sanctions that have lasted intermittently for more than three years. Hamas says it would stop firing rockets, at least for a period, if the blockade were lifted.


In any event, Hamas is more pragmatic than its charter suggests. In conversations with various Western notables, including former President Jimmy Carter and a former head of the American Jewish Congress, Henry Siegman, and in articles in the Western press (in the Guardian, the Washington Post and elsewhere), its two most prominent leaders, Khaled Meshaal, its secretary-general, and Ismail Haniyeh, its prime minister, have edged towards meeting that trio of conditions.


They state that Hamas would accept Israel “as a reality” if it withdrew to the 1967 boundary and if the Palestinian people accepted the terms of a final deal in a referendum. Hamas would also agree to a hudna, a ceasefire plus a political engagement, which—depending on circumstances and on whom in Hamas you talk to—could be 18 months, ten years, or even 50.


Plainly, differences rumble within in Hamas. Its leadership is scattered, with Mr Meshaal in Damascus, Mr Haniyeh in Gaza and nearly all those elected to parliament and resident in the West Bank now in Israeli prisons. Some of the religious zealots may well believe in the obnoxious charter. Others, including Messrs Meshaal and Haniyeh, try to brush it off and then, if pressed, dangle it as an item for negotiation, much as Fatah used the dropping of the PLO’s charter, which equally rejected Israel’s existence, as a bargaining tool.


Most Palestinians who voted for Hamas also, judging by a raft of opinion polls, actually support the notion of two states. Hamas’s popularity is based not on its call for Israel’s annihilation, but on its reputation for honesty in contrast to Fatah’s for corruption, on its determination to fight against Israel and on Fatah’s failure, so far, to win a state by negotiation. Most Palestinians still want unity between Fatah and Hamas so that a broad government can prise a state out of Israel’s hands, on the West Bank and Gaza.


Nearly two years ago, at Mecca, the two groups did sign a short-lived unity accord. Hamas agreed, among other things, to “respect” previous PLO agreements, which implied an acceptance of Israel via a two-state solution, though the precise wording later got tangled up in angry semantics: did respect mean accept, and so on? In any event, a few months later, when Fatah was poised militarily to unseat Hamas from its control of Gaza, the Islamists—as they explain it—launched a pre-emptive coup, since when they have kept Fatah, often ruthlessly, out of power in the Strip.


There is little doubt that Mr Mitchell will seek to draw Hamas in. He learnt, during his successful peace-broking in Northern Ireland in 1995-98, that groups such as the Irish Republican Army could not be expected to meet preconditions, such as a definitive disavowal of violence, if an eventual peace was to be achieved. It would be astonishing if he did not apply similar logic—though necessarily, at this stage, in private—in dealing with Hamas. Britain’s Tony Blair, who as prime minister worked closely with Mr Mitchell for peace in Northern Ireland, may become more active as an international envoy for peace in Israel-Palestine. It is increasingly clear that no deal in that case will stick if only one half of the Palestinian movement is involved.


From AIPAC to J Street

In mainstream American politics, especially Jewish-American circles, the idea of talking to Hamas has been virtually taboo. This is no longer true. After Mr Obama’s election, a group of senior bipartisan foreign-policy veterans handed a compelling letter, still unpublished, to the incoming president. Its signatories included Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, who headed the National Security Council in Mr Carter’s and George Bush senior’s White House; Lee Hamilton, a Democrat who for many years chaired the House committees on foreign affairs and intelligence; Sam Nunn, a Democrat who chaired the Senate’s armed services committee; Paul Volcker, a long-time chairman of the Federal Reserve; Mr Siegman; and James Wolfensohn, a former head of the World Bank who was more recently entrusted by the younger President Bush with reviving the Palestinian economy.

在主流美国政治中,尤其是在犹太裔美国人中,同哈马斯谈判一直是一个禁忌,但情况再也不同了。在奥巴马当选后,在外交政策方面有丰富经验的一些政客向当选总统递交了一封尚未发表的强制性信件。签名者包括Zbigniew、布热津斯基以及曾在卡特和老布什政府中领导过国家安全委员会的斯考克罗夫特;曾担任众议院外交与情报委员会主席多年的民主党人李?汉密尔顿;曾担任参议院军事委员会主席的Sam Nunn;曾长期担任美联储主席的Paul Volcker;还有Siegman和沃尔芬森,沃尔芬森为世界银行前行长,前不久被小布什指派为恢复巴勒斯坦经济官员。

The letter’s three key demands were that Mr Obama should appoint an even-handed special envoy with real clout (done); that he should spell out a clear vision for a Palestinian state (awaited); and that he should seek to draw Hamas into talks (not so easy). A key member of Mr Mitchell’s staff, Fred Hof, who previously co-drafted Mr Mitchell’s famous report on the state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2001, is close to the Scowcroft group.

信内有三个关键要求:一是奥巴马应当任命一位公平的有实际影响力的特使(该条已经实现),二是奥巴马应制定出清晰的巴勒斯坦建国方略(期待中),三是奥巴马应寻求将哈马斯拉到谈判桌上来(这一点不那么容易)。米切尔团队中一位关键成员Fred Hof,曾在2001年就巴以冲突状况同米切尔一起起草了一份著名报告,他同斯考克罗夫特集团走得很近。

Mr Mitchell’s appointment was warmly applauded by that group and greeted coolly by many in the old pro-Israeli lobbies, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). More to the point, though there have been other recent envoys to the Middle East, none has as much potential influence on the president as Mr Mitchell. General Jim Jones, too, Mr Obama’s new national security adviser, is a tough realist with recent experience in trying to improve security between Israel and Palestine. He is in hock to neither side.

对米切尔的任命受到了上述集团的热烈称赞,也受到了诸如美国以色列公关委员会等亲以色列游说势力中许多人的适度欢迎。更重要的是,虽然近来也有其他一些被派到中东的特使,但没有一个像米切尔一样对总统有这么大的潜在影响力。奥巴马的国家安全顾问Jim Jones将军,也是一位强硬的现实主义者,近来曾表示要改善巴以之间的安全状况。他不受巴以任何一方束缚。

No one is sure how Mrs Clinton, as secretary of state, will relate to Mr Mitchell—or to the Israelis and Palestinians. Since she became a senator for New York, she has ardently echoed more or less whatever AIPAC has said about Israel-Palestine. But some people recall how, when it was still controversial and her husband was president, Mrs Clinton called for a Palestinian state and even kissed Yasser Arafat’s wife after she had castigated Israel, a moment of horror in AIPAC’s eyes. Most probably, if Mrs Clinton sees a chance for a breakthrough to peace, she will go for it, whatever her previous constituents may think.


As for Mr Obama himself, no one is certain what he thinks; listening on such ticklish issues has been his forte. But those who have discussed Israel-Palestine with him reckon he is a lot more knowledgeable, even-handed and open-minded than his predecessor. He will not jump into the morass without careful preparation, but there is a fair chance, once Mr Mitchell has drawn up a plan, that the new president will engage quite soon.


Most Americans still strongly back Israel in its determination to defend itself (see our table, left). Expressions of support for the Israelis during the Gaza war and an inclination to blame the Palestinians for starting it ran nearly four-to-one in the Israelis’ favour. Evangelical Christians, a large and powerful constituency, still revere Israel as ordained by God to hold sway over the Holy Land.


But look harder at the polls and you see a striking shift in several sets of American attitudes, particularly among Democrats and liberal and younger Jews, which may give Mr Obama more room for manoeuvre. A big gap in support for Israel between Democrats and Republicans has opened up. Most striking is the emergence of a vigorous bunch called J Street, which declares itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace” but is far keener to see the Palestinian point of view. It is bluntly opposed to AIPAC and the array of groups that have backed Israel whatever the circumstances. In the new Obama era, the J Street people, together with a budding variety of other outfits, such as Americans for Peace Now, are on a roll, and are beginning to make at least some headway on Capitol Hill. Most strikingly, J Street has outspokenly called for Israel and its American friends to engage with Hamas.

但仔细看看民意调查,大家会看到在美国人几种态度中,特别是在共和党和自由派犹太青年中,出现了突出转变,这可能给奥巴马的中东调停更多空间。在民主党和共和党中,对以色列的支持出现了很大差距。最引人注目的是一个被称为“J 街道”的群体的出现,他们宣称自己“亲以色列,也亲和平”,但更希望听到巴勒斯坦人的观点。不管形势怎样,这些人遭到了美国以色列公关委员会和其他一些支持以色列的团体的反对。在新的奥巴马时代,“J 街道”人群,将和诸如“现在就要和平的美国人”等新生组织正不断涌现,并开始在国会中取得一些进展。最醒目的是,“J街道”已直接呼吁以色列和它的美国朋友同哈马斯打交道。

AIPAC is still very powerful. Many congressmen who have lauded J Street for what it is doing are wary of backing it openly, though it says more than 40 (of 435 in the House of Representatives) have publicly accepted its endorsement. But AIPAC is rattled. The point that J Street makes most forcefully is that, in the end, AIPAC has been bad for Israel’s security by invariably encouraging it to pursue policies that will not lead to peace with Palestinians.


Mr Obama has many friends who passionately back the Israeli cause, not least his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The new man is also close to many young Jewish Democrats who sympathise with J Street’s thesis that “tough love” is what Israel needs if it is to survive, by squeezing it into giving the Palestinians a fair deal. Many knowledgeable gloomsters think a two-state solution is too late already. Today’s picture is bleak. But maybe there is a last-chance opening for a new president with a new team, new tactics, and a different set of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian backers, including Jewish ones, back home.

奥巴马有许多强烈支持以色列事业的朋友,这其中也包括他的参谋长联席会议主席Rahm Emanuel。新总统也与很多年轻的犹太裔民主党人走得很近,这些人支持“J街道”组织的观点,认为以色列要想生存就需要“挚爱”,并将它结合进与巴勒斯坦达成公平的协议中去。许多有见识的“悲观主义者”认为两个国家的解决方案已经太迟了。今天的形势很暗淡。但对有新团队、新策略,以及包括美国犹太人在内的不同的亲以色列和亲巴勒斯坦人的支持,奥巴马可能还有最后的机会。

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发表于 2010-3-18 01:44 | 显示全部楼层

第四段,Yet hope persists,yet这里表示转折。倒数第二句sympathetic,同情。


第八段,three early tests中的early这里是指expected in the near future,不久;很快。

第九段,on the spot,是指in a difficult situation。




这句话不是很通顺,需要重新整理一下。lend its auspices,翻译成“支持”比较好些。of either side ,任何一方。

cannot any longer be certain to veto finger-wagging resolutions at the United Nations would be another

这里cannot any longer be certain to的意思是不再必定/必然会……,而不是“不能再……”。finger-wagging resolutions中,finger-wagging,“摇指头的”,表示“责难;非议”等,这里是说美国可以改变以往针对联合国“谴责”以色列的“决议”一贯予以否决的做法。实际上是在威胁以色列要对美俯首帖耳。

第十四段,two-state solution,最好作为专有名词翻译,加引号(“两个国家的解决方案”,比较简洁的是“两国制”解决方案)。the nationalist umbrella group to which Hamas does not belong,这句中的belong to 漏译了。umbrella group 中的umbrella并不是“保护伞;庇护”的意思,而是something that encompasses or covers many different elements or groups;having the function of uniting a group of similar things ,也就是指“伞状/型组织;伞子团体”,由许多团体联合/统合而成的组织。不过直译通常比较费解,意译就可以了,比如“综合/联合”之类的,或者不译。

第十五段,rejects Israel’s existence 中reject翻译成“否认/拒绝承认”比较好。

for its supposed treachery in accepting the Jewish state and the principle of Palestine’s partition.

treachery 应该是指“背叛”,因为法塔赫accepting...。accept翻译成“承认”比较好。the principle of Palestine’s partition,分割方案,这里是指1988年11月巴勒斯坦全国委员会通过的《独立宣言》明确巴勒斯坦接受1947年11月29日联大通过的第181号决议(分治决议):规定巴勒斯坦在1948年结束英国的委任统治后建立一个犹太国和一个阿拉伯国,耶路撒冷则国际化。

第十六段,Henry Siegman漏译了。
Khaled Meshaal, its secretary-general,有关哈马斯的报道中没有“秘书长”的职务,有报道称马沙尔为哈马斯“政治局主席”。





第廿一段,though necessarily, at this stage, in private这里是“尽管眼下会谈必然是私下/秘密进行的”的意思。

It is increasingly clear that no deal in that case will stick if only one half of the Palestinian movement is involved.

one half of the Palestinian movement ,这里的意思是说巴勒斯坦运动的一半力量。无疑地,只有哈马斯和法塔赫团结起来,才能代表整个巴勒斯坦人民。所以和平进程必须要这两方都参与进来。

第廿二段,a group of senior bipartisan foreign-policy veterans handed a compelling letter中,bipartisan漏译了;compelling 这里是Urgently requiring attention; arousing strong interest之意,“急迫;令人注目德;引起兴趣的”。

Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, who headed the National Security Council in Mr Carter’s and George Bush senior’s White House;

Sam Nunn:萨姆·纳恩。
Paul Volcker:保罗·沃尔克。
more recently entrusted by the younger President Bush with reviving the Palestinian economy. 这里more recently可以翻译成“早前”,沃尔芬森2005年5月被中东问题有关四方(Quartet)任命为中东问题四方特使,其任务之一就是振兴(revive)巴勒斯坦经济。1年后因中东和平路线图陷入僵局而离职。现任特使就是英国前首相布莱尔。

第廿七段,in its determination to defend itself ,下定决心/坚决保护自己。

第廿八段,It is bluntly opposed to AIPAC and the array of groups that have backed Israel whatever the circumstances这里,be opposed to 是指“反对……”,不是“被……反对”。whatever the circumstances是限定那些groups的,是指他们不分青红皂白、盲目支持以色列。
on a roll 漏译了:好运连连;连连得胜。

第卅段,Rahm Emanuel,拉姆·伊曼纽尔,奥巴马的幕僚长(chief of staff)——白宫办公厅主任。
by squeezing it into giving the Palestinians a fair deal.这里的it应该是指以色列,意思是这些亲以团体出于对以色列的“挚爱”,为了她的生存着想,应该逼迫她与巴勒斯坦人达成公平协议。
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发表于 2010-3-18 01:45 | 显示全部楼层
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