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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Arab Peace Initiative’

Ex-intel chief invites Saudi royal to Jerusalem to talk peace

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Israel has not accepted the Saudi peace initiative because the Arab League has turned it into a take-it-or-leave-it deal, Israel’s former military intelligence chief said.

Amos Yadlin, who headed the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate from 2006- 2010, made the statement during a public talk in Brussels with Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, director of the General Intelligence of Saudi Arabia from 1979 to and the youngest son of the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

Yadlin invited Faisal Al Saud to Jerusalem to discuss the details of the proposal but the Saudi declined and called the invitation an unhelpful appeal to emotion and distraction from the main issue.

“The real problem is that the Saudi initiative became the Arab League dictate in a summit in Beirut in 2002,” Yadlin said. “The Saudis modified it into a take it or leave it offer with parameters we can’t accept: Mostly in the issue of returning the Golan to Syrians,” Yadlin said, adding that the settling of the Palestinian refugee problem was also a stumbling block.

Faisal Al Saud disputed Yadlin’s assertion and retorted that Israel should accept the proposal in principle, “and then negotiate on the details.”

The meeting was organized by the German Marshall Fund as follow-up to a public exchange in Munich four months ago between Faisal Al Saud and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is also Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians.

The Saudi asked Livni why Israel did not follow up on the initiative, which Saudi Arabia tabled in 2001 and which proposes normalization of ties between Israel and Arab League members in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from all areas Israel captured in 1967 and  a “just solution” to the Palestinian refugee issue that would be “agreed upon” by the parties. Yadlin, who attended the talk in Munich, agreed to provide a reply in Brussels, the talk’s moderator, The Washington Post associate editor David Ignatius, said.

“There is nothing under the table, no hidden agreement or underhanded move or secret clauses to it, the Arabs will recognize Israel diplomatically, normalize relation and hostilities in return for Israel withdrawing from all lands occupied in ’67,” he said.

The speakers, who started off amicably, interjected each other’s sentences after Yadlin invited  Faisal Al Saud to come to Israel, “pray at the [Al Aqsa] Mosque … and come to Knesset and speak to the Israeli people.”

Faisal Al Saud said he would “absolutely not consider it” and criticized Yadlin, saying: Let us not use emotions as means to influence or attempt to divert attention here from the important issue that the Arabs put forward what the rest world agrees is a viable and genuine, sincere proposition for a comprehensive solution.”

But Yadlin said the Arab peace initiative needs to be updated and should serve as a basis for further negotiations.

He added: [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to come to Jeddah and Mecca tomorrow, tomorrow.”

 

State Dept: No Guarantee Arab League Recognize Israel Even after Deal

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

In her Friday news briefing, State Dept. Spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked: since the Arab league’s offer to accept the right of Israel not to be annihilated if only it withdrew from all the territories it acquired in 1967, will the league embrace the Jewish State should a deal with the Palestinian come through, or will there be other demands?

It’s a fair question on several levels, especially if the deal, should it, God forbid, take place, is softer on territorial demands than the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

You would think that would be the problem, right? You would be wrong. It’s all about Syria.

The reporter’s question on Friday was: The Secretary has repeatedly made remarks on the Arab Peace Initiative and how it “holds out the possibility of normalizing relations with Israel.” He’s said this numerous times, but in December, at the Saban Forum, he said, “Israel would enjoy a normal peaceful relationship the minute this agreement” – as in agreement with the Palestinians – “is signed with 22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations, 57 countries in all.”

That was the promise – very similar to the blunt promises of sticks and carrots with which Secretary Kerry has been saturating Israel’s official, left-leaning media. That’s been the gist of Tzipi Livni’s call to give up a few negligible, ancient stones in favor of regional peace and prosperity, courtesy of our loving Arab neighbor states.

Reported continued: Now, I was with someone at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy the other day who made the note that the Arab Peace Initiative (API) has a very distinct qualification to that, which is that Israel “completely withdraw from the occupied Arab territories, including the Golan Heights.”

Indeed, the argument could be made that while Judea and Samaria are integral parts of the promised biblical Eretz Israel, the Golan’s status has always been less certain, even in Jewish sources. If Israel is tearing out its historic heartland, what’s the big deal about giving back a part of Syria?

Reporter continued: So is the Secretary working on having the Arab League amend the API, or is the hope that the Arab League put aside the API and endorse some future Kerry plan? One of those two things has to happen. Otherwise, his statement isn’t entirely accurate. Is that right?

Ms. Psaki responded: Well, as you know, we’re working with both parties on a framework for negotiations. We don’t have a final framework that’s even being discussed at this point, so in terms of what will or won’t be in a framework, never mind a final agreement, that’s not something I could speak to or we have the information to speak to.

So far nothing but hot air which has no relation at all to the question. It’s what spokespeople do.

Ms. Psaki continued: He is in constant touch with the Arab League and the Arab Peace Initiative Follow-On Committee and briefs them regularly every couple of months about the status of the discussions, the status of the negotiations, and where things stand. And they have indicated very publicly their support for those efforts. In terms of what the outcome will be and what will be needed or required, I’m not going to make a prediction of that because we have several steps to take before then.

Yes, but her boss had indeed made a prediction, it’s the centerpiece of his sales pitch to the Israelis: just say yes to some form of a Palestinian state, and the whole region will become your oyster. You can do all that song and dance and then retreat into a quiet corner and pretend you have no idea what we’re talking about, “what do you mean dance, moi?”

J Street Speech Reveals Hagel Will Push Saudi Peace Initiative

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Posts’ blog Right Turn, bless her heart, has learned from her Senate sources that the “left-wing group J Street” was refusing to provide a video of Chuck Hagel speaking before the group’s first conference in 2009.

“Senators were tipped off that Hagel departed from his prepared remarks and made controversial comments to the J Street Conference. In exchanges with Senate Armed Services Committee staff, J Street volunteered the prepared remarks and said it decided not to provide the complete video for fear that Hagel’s remarks would be taken out of context,” Rubin wrote on Tuesday.

She commented that J Street would have to provide the tape, should the Armed Services Committee issues a subpoena for it. Finally, on Tuesday night, Rubin updated her story to report that J Street contacted the Senate Armed Services Committee to report that it was going to post the entire video of Hagel’s 2009 speech online.

I downloaded the video and sat and transcribed portions of the tape itself, to male sure they did not differ from the online text. In my opinion, the truly alarming text was delivered by Hagel in the official speech, which he read, word for word. I will get to it later, and share with you why I think Hagel may be the worst thing to hit the U.S.-Israel relationship since Casper Weinberger locked the IAF off the Iraqi ballistic missile launchers.

But, first, here’s the stuff that didn’t make it into the official speech, and came at the short Q&A portion at the end. Hagel was asked by the host what advise he would give newly elected Prseident Obama, who took him on as an advisor, regarding the Middle east.

Hagel responded: “Engagement. I’ve never understood a great nation like the United States who would be afraid to engage. Why are we afraid to talk with someone? If we believe that we have a pretty good system—and I don’t think we should go around the world imposing it on anyone—but if we have some sense of who we are, and believe in who we are, then why wouldn’t we engage? how in the world do we think we can make a better world? How in the world do we think isolating someone is going to somehow bring them around to your way of thinking? I think just the opposite. So, engagement.”

Big applause.

“2 – it seems to me a comprehensive framework of a foreign policy is essential. Because I have never believed you go to war in Iraq, you go to war in Afghanistan, and believe that you can deal with those battlefields, those countries, in microcosms, or narrow channels. These are regional issues. There will not be any peace in the Middle East or in Afghanistan, central Asia, without Iran somewhere…”

Host: “So Iran is connected to Afghanistan, and Afghanistan is connected to Israel and Palestine, and connected to Syria…”

Hagel: “It’s all connected.”

More dangerous words have not been uttered since Wayne Wheeler and Andrew J. Volstead from Minnesota invented the 18th Amendment (the one about not letting the boys coming back from war in Europe have a drink). The notion that the war-loving Afghani tribes are shooting and tooting on account of the Iranians not liking the delayed peace negotiations in Ramallah, which in turn drives the rebel army outside Damascus is the craziest pile of horse manure dumped on the American political scene since the Domino theory.

And it’s no wonder the J Street folks have kept those comments out. In light of the civil war in Syria and the emerging civil war in Egypt, they make the presumptive Secretary of defense sound like Jimmy Carter.

In that vein, just look at what the man said about Syria, back in 2009:

“I believe there is a real possibility of a shift in Syria’s strategic thinking and policies. For its own self interests… not because they want to do a favor for the U.S. or Israel. If we can convince Damascus to pause and re-consider its positions and support regarding Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and radical Palestinian groups, we will have made progress for the entire Middle East, Israel, and the U.S. Syria wants to talk – at the highest levels – and everything is on the table.”

My Lord – is there even one assumption in that pile of fragrant stuff that is still true today? Is this man capable of making even one observation that isn’t a trite cliché and hopelessly divorced from Middle east reality?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-street-speech-reveals-hagel-will-push-saudi-peace-initiative/2013/01/30/

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