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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Arab Peace Initiative’

El-Sisi Walks Back Statement to AP about Israeli-Arab Peace

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

(JNi.media) Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s office announced on Monday that the translation of the president’s interview with the Associated Press on Saturday on the peace process and relations between Arab countries and Israel was not accurate, Al Ahram reported Tuesday. According to the AP, on Saturday night El-Sisi said that Egypt’s 40-year-peace with Israel should be expanded to include more Arab countries—while resolving the Palestinian issue. “Efforts should be renewed to solve the Palestinian issue and expand Egypt’s nearly 40-year-peace with Israel to include more Arab countries,” he was quoted as having said.

But Alaa Youssef, a spokesperson for the Egyptian president, responding to questions by Egyptian journalists in New York, said that El-Sisi spoke about reaching a complete peace solution in the Middle East and how it would be positive for all the people in the region.

Youssef added that when the Egyptian president spoke about relations between Arab countries and Israel, he stressed that it would not happen except after a solution is reached to the Palestinian issue, and there’s a declaration of a Palestinian state according to the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The official spokesperson added that only establishing a Palestinian state would create a new reality that would allow the peace between Egypt and Israel to expand into other Arab countries. The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative calls for Israel’s withdrawal from the Palestinian territories in exchange for full normalization of ties between Israel and the Arab world.

El-Sisi’s quotes were later understood in the Arab media as if the Egyptian president was calling for the expansion of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel to include other Arab countries, Al Ahram reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted he welcomed the El-Sisi statement calling on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas “to return immediately to the negotiating table in order to advance the diplomatic process.”

US Mid East Envoy: Israel Cruel Occupier, Abbas Man of Peace

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Philip Gordon is U.S. Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region. Gordon was appointed to this position in March of 2013.

In a tongue-lashing directed solely at Israel, Gordon embodied the grotesquely unbalanced position of this U.S. administration, claiming the supporters of terrorism are peaceful, and the supporters of peace are akin to terrorists.

Gordon was speaking at the ill-fated Haaretz Peace Conference. Ill-fated because it was revealed to be both hypocritical and unerringly ill-timed. During the “peace” conference attendees verbally and physically attacked Naftali Bennett, a member of the Israeli Knesset. The tzeva adom rang through the building in Tel Aviv where the conference was held, forcing those present to run and seek shelter in doorways. Some peace conference.

But the speech given by Gordon was astounding in its sole focus on Israel as the party in the conflict which needs to change, Israel as the sole party in the conflict which needs to accommodate, Israel as the sole party in the conflict which needs to grasp the opportunity to make peace with its enemy, “before it is too late.”

There was not one sentence in a very lengthy speech which took Abbas to task either for demanding the release of all “political prisoners,” i.e. murderers, or for glorifying and providing pensions for genocidal terrorists, or for insisting that its hoped-for future state would be one that practices apartheid and will be judenrein.

The following are only some of the most egregious and aggressively naive comments made by Philip Gordon in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, July 8:

Israel confronts an undeniable reality: it cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability. It will embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israels democratic fabric, and feed mutual dehumanization.

As the President has said, neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a sovereign, free, and secure people in their own land.Or to quote one of your own leaders, Ariel Sharon: It is impossible to have a Jewish democratic state, at the same time to control all of Eretz Israel. If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all.

Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israels security. We know all too well the troubles that can arise for Israel internationally when there is no movement on the political track, especially when settlement activity continues to make the potential peace map more difficult and to undermine international support for Israel. On this, I should also be clear of the United States longstanding position: we consider settlements illegitimate and an impediment to progress on peace negotiations. Settlement announcements would be a counter-productive reaction to the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers.

Really? How about this undeniable reality: Any Palestinian State will be a racist, terrorist state which will be fully militarized and which will not just “tear at Israel’s democratic fabric,” but will tear at – perhaps tear apart – Israel completely, which is the goal of most of the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs.

And thanks for that shot about the scariest thing in the Middle East, oh, not ISIS, not masked terrorists who love to plunge their hands into the carved open bodies of dead Jews, and not young adults who revel in sawing off the heads of Jewish infants, no, not those, but the far scarier houses for Israeli families!

Gordon continued:

In contrast, if we fail to come back to peace talks, renewed efforts to isolate Israel internationally and legitimize Palestinian statehood unilaterally are all but certain. The United States will do all it can to fight boycotts and other delegitimization efforts. But in many of these realms, particularly outside the Security Council, our ability to contain the damage is limited, and becoming more and more challenging. This is what American friends of Israel mean when they express concerns about the potential for Israeli isolation if peace talks do not succeed. Let me be absolutely clear that these are not threats. The United States will always have Israels back. Thats why we fight for it every day at the United Nations, where we have worked diligently to ensure Israel is treated fairly and on par with all other states.

But as Israels greatest defender and closest friend we owe it to you to ask fundamental questions which in fact many Israelis are asking themselves: how will Israel remain democratic and Jewish if it attempts to govern the millions of Palestinian Arabs who live in the West Bank? How will it have peace if it is unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupations and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security, and dignity? How will we prevent other states from isolating Israel or supporting Palestinian efforts in international bodies if Israel is not seen as committed to peace?

As becomes clear from reading Gordon’s speech, his information about the Middle East must come from the New York Times or the Guardian. Did you notice that only Israel will be a pariah if the peace talks fail? The Palestinian Arabs, with no obligations, no responsibilities and no punishment if peace doesn’t break out, is the pitiable party suffering from occupation and deserving of “sovereignty, security and dignity.”

The remaining problematic paragraphs follow. Please note that Gordon takes arrogance to a new level by demanding Israel be prevented from undertaking any steps that are not dictated by the United States, and where the Arab Peace Initiative is portrayed as a great deal for the Jewish State. And Gordon, apparently one not able to omit a single failed policy from his noxious stew of Israeli Insults also slips in that adjective beloved by all haters of Israel: contiguity, and the insistence on the Green Line with land swaps, as the only permissible peace template. How’s that for patent support for this devil spawn of a creature, the Palestinian Unity Government?

Given where we find ourselves, it is understandable that some on both sides are looking at other options, some of which were presented at this conference today. But most of these are stop-gaps at best. At worst, they are a recipe for continued or increased conflict or isolation. A one-state solution is implausible, and would effectively mean an end to the Jewish and democratic nature of your state. Unilateral annexation of West Bank territories populated by Israelis is wrong, illegal, and a recipe for Israels isolation. The United States could never support it, and I doubt any of Israels other friends would. Other unilateral or interim measures may appear tempting alternatives, but they do not solve Israels and the Palestinians long-term problems. In fact, they could deepen them. The fact remains, only a negotiated solution two states for two peoples can give Israelis and Palestinians the futures they need and deserve.

Israel should not take for granted the opportunity to negotiate that peace with President Abbas, who has shown time and again that he is committed to nonviolence and coexistence with Israel.

President Obama has articulated his vision for what peace looks like on several occasions. It hasn’t changed. But it bears repeating today, and at this forum.

A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace. While the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel.

Negotiations should therefore result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. Any peace agreement will require robust security provisions that safeguard Israels security. And the Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in an independent, sovereign and contiguous state.

Gordon’s presentation was a paean to appeasement and anti-Israel racism. It alone could have triggered the tzeva adom.

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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