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May 6, 2015 / 17 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian State’

Syria (Today) and ‘Palestine’ (Tomorrow) II

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

As I noted last week, what is currently taking place in Syria closely resembles what we can ultimately expect in a future “Palestine.”

In principle, and contrary to his beleaguered country’s overriding legal rights and security interests, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a Palestinian state back in June 2009. Yet Mr. Netanyahu, more or less prudently, conditioned this concessionary agreement on prior Palestinian “demilitarization.” More specifically, said the prime minister: “In any peace agreement, the territory under Palestinian control must be disarmed, with solid security guarantees for Israel.”

In fact and in law, this published expectation offers no effective obstacle to Palestinian statehood, or to any subsequent Palestinian war against Israel.

Neither Hamas, now subtly closing ranks with its once more powerful Muslim Brotherhood mentors in post-Morsi Egypt, nor Fatah, whose “security forces” were recently trained by American General Keith Dayton in nearby Jordan at very great American taxpayer expense, will ever negotiate for anything less than full sovereignty. Why should they? Supporters of Palestinian statehood can readily discover authoritative legal support for their stance in binding international treaties.

Easily misrepresented or abused, international law can generally be manipulated to serve virtually any preferred geo-political strategy, a jurisprudential twisting sometimes referred to as “lawfare.” For example, pro-Palestinian international lawyers, seeking to identify self-serving sources of legal confirmation, could conveniently cherry-pick pertinent provisions of the (1) Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (the 1933 treaty on statehood, sometimes called the Montevideo Convention), and/or (2) the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Israel, as an existing sovereign state, has a basic or “peremptory” right to survive. From the standpoint of the government’s responsibility to assure citizen protection, a responsibility that goes back in modern political thought to the 16th century French philosopher, Jean Bodin, and also to the seventeenth-century English theorist, Thomas Hobbes, this right is also a fixed obligation. It was, therefore, entirely proper for Netanyahu to have originally opposed a Palestinian state in any form, an opposition, incidentally, once shared by Shimon Peres, himself the proudest Israeli champion of a “two-state solution.”

To wit, in his otherwise incoherent book, Tomorrow is Now (1978), Peres had said the following about Palestinian statehood:

The establishment of such a state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into [Judea and Samaria]: This force, together with the local youth, will double itself in a short time. It will not be short of weapons or other military equipment, and in a short space of time, an infrastructure for waging war will be set up in [Judea, Samaria] and the Gaza Strip…. In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel’s existence.

In writing about “time of war,” this former prime minister had neglected to mention that Israel is already locked in a permanent condition of war. The war, not “tomorrow” (whatever that was intended to signify) is now. Pertinent target “infrastructure installations” could include Dimona, and also a number of other presumably vulnerable Israel nuclear reactor facilities.

Any Israeli arguments for Palestinian demilitarization, however vehement and well intentioned, are certain to fail. International law would not even expect Palestinian compliance with any pre-state agreements concerning the right to use armed force. This is true even if these compacts were to include certain explicit U.S. guarantees. Moreover, per the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, because authentic treaties can only be binding upon states, a non-treaty agreement between the Palestinians and Israel could prove to be of little or no real authority.

What if the government of a new Palestinian state were somehow willing to consider itself bound by the pre-state, non-treaty agreement? Even in these very improbable circumstances, the new Arab regime could have ample pretext to identify relevant grounds for lawful treaty termination.

A new Palestinian government could withdraw from the treaty-like agreement because of what it regarded as a “material breach,” a reputed violation by Israel that allegedly undermined the object or purpose of the agreement. Or it could point toward what Latinized international law calls Rebus sic stantibus. In English, this doctrine is known as a “fundamental change of circumstances.”

Syria (Today) and ‘Palestine’ (Tomorrow)

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

As the Syrian “revolution” continues to unravel, there is conspicuously little talk about “Palestine.” More precisely, despite the recurrent mantra of alleged Palestinian centrality to a comprehensive Middle East peace – an avalanche of warnings to Israel that has been repeated, endlessly, as if it were some sort of religious incantation – the world now understands differently. Finally, it is plain to see, all such allegations of Palestinian state primacy had been contrived. Utterly contrived.

These allegations had always represented a very carefully engineered lie. Nothing more.

Sometimes, even in the Middle East, truth does eventually emerge intact. Now more than ever it is apparent – incontestable, in fact – that the Arab/Islamic world has long been preparing to destroy itself. Now more than ever, it is abundantly clear that Israel is not, and has never been, the problem.

Ultimately, for Israel’s myriad Arab/Islamic regional enemies, the truth is scandalous. Even if Israel had never been created, these enemies would have been kept very busy slaughtering each other. Even if Israel had never “happened,” these foes’ markedly atavistic preparations for war, terror, and genocide would have been unhidden and irrepressible. Even if Israel had never existed, their lethally crude inclinations toward one another would have managed to surface.

There are several additional ironies to the blighted history of blaming Israel, most of them dealing with Israel’s disproportionate contributions to science, technology, education, and medicine. In this connection, as thousands of Syrians are presently being torn, mangled, and burned at the bloodied hands of other Syrians, they are getting treatment, in substantially increasing numbers, at Israeli hospitals. There, Jewish doctors, entirely without any sort of compensation, are capably and compassionately healing the grievous wounds of Arabs brutalized by other Arabs. The enormous bill for such medical services is being borne, without complaint, by the overburdened Israeli taxpayer.

In Israel, rendering such pro bono medical assistance to Arabs is not unprecedented. Indeed, on many occasions Israeli doctors have ministered not only to large numbers of Palestinian civilians but also to Palestinian terrorists, sometimes even immediately after these aspiring heroes and “martyrs” had committed unspeakably barbarous attacks upon Israeli schools, buses, and restaurants. On occasion, upon learning that their lives had been saved by Jewish physicians, they energetically spat at the ministering doctors and nurses.

Accounts of such grotesque behavior are only too well known among Israeli health professionals. I have heard them myself, directly from several physician friends in Hadera, Haifa, and Jerusalem.

What are the noteworthy connections between Syria and “Palestine”? In essence, what is currently taking place in Syria closely resembles what we can ultimately expect in “Palestine.” There exists, in these two intersecting regional catastrophes (one already underway, the other aspirational and still impending), a common reflection of irremediable fragmentations in the Arab world and propensities for violence and cruelty.

In a Palestinian state – in any Palestinian state – the internecine rivalries now so starkly evident in Syria could be quickly replicated, or even exceeded, by what would be ignited between Hamas, Fatah, and assorted other splinter terror factions. Significantly, some of these Palestinian factions, especially the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) are headquartered in Syria.

As I have indicated before on these pages, once a 23rd Arab state is carved out of Israel, rocket bombardments upon Israeli cities from Gaza would be augmented by multiple, coordinated missile assaults from Lebanon. Sunni Hamas and Shiite Hizbullah would gleefully collaborate in any joint war against “The Jews.” At the same time, Fatah could fall under attack from some of its Sunni “partners” in Palestine.

This is to say nothing about what can still be expected in Iran (which regards Syria’s al-Assad as a Persian satrap) and, perhaps more urgently, from Iran.

Israel, a country half the size of Lake Michigan, one that renders massive humanitarian aid to others, even in parts of North and South America, has had absolutely nothing to do with causing persistent Middle Eastern conflict, repression, and squalor.

Even if Israel had never been formally re-established in 1948, these disabling and interactive conditions would likely still be ubiquitous and full-blown. Nonetheless, although Washington fully understands the long and scandalous history of scapegoating Israel, President Obama remains stubbornly committed to the so-called “Road Map.”

Dep. Minister Hotovely: the Solution Is Greater Israel without Gaza

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Speaking at a Spoke at a conference of Professors for a Strong Israel in Jerusalem Sunday, Transportation Deputy Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud-Beiteinu) said the solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict lies in annexing Judea and Samaria and turning Israel into a Jewish state with a small Arab minority enjoying equal rights.

The conference debated an option of transforming the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan into a Palestinian state. “The Jordanian initiative is good, but there’s a problem with it—we don’t control it,” Hotovely said. “There may be a revolution there tomorrow or in a hundred years. We need an additional option which would be an active Israeli initiative: the vision of Greater Israel, with one correction – it would be without Gaza.”

“This is not an instantaneous plan, it’s a plan for a generation,” Hotovely added.

According to Hotovely, the plan of annexing the territories of Judea and Samaria, including its Arab population, which would enjoy equal rights and obligations, “is absolutely possible, with a few emphasized points: bolstering aliyah, which has been neglected in the last decade, and bringing over about a million and a half Jews who would cover the demographic problems. In addition, we must have control over Palestinian and Israeli Arab education, to prevent incitement and to implement the Basic Law of the Knesset.”

According to Hotovely, “It isn’t right that [late MK Rabbi Meir] Kahane is illegal, but Zoabi and Balad (Arab anti-Zionist party) are legal. When all is said and done, this is a national, not a bi-national state, with an Arab minority which would grow only by about 5% compared to its size today.”

Regarding the negotiations going on right now between Israel and the Palestinians, Hotovely said that Prime Minister Netanyahu had entered the negotiations with a heavy heart and under heavy American pressure.

“As prime minister, if he sees it as an Israeli interest, he must pursue it. We have the responsibility to present the alternatives, as in this conference today.”

MK Hotovely said the current political negotiation is different from previous ones in its quest for a Palestinian state within temporary borders. What will remain unresolved would be the fact that the Palestinians do not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, there is no solution for the refugees and there is no arrangement regarding Jewish settlements.

“Nevertheless, it will result in a bona fide Palestinian state with a UN representation, which will harm Israel,” Hotovely said.

America’s Problems in the Middle East are Just Beginning

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

It’s 2015, and there is a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), financed by Iran, wins an election on a platform demanding the expulsion of the Jews from Israel. Iran meanwhile smuggles shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to terrorist cells in Palestine that can take down civilian airlines at Ben-Gurion airport. With backing from the Egyptian military, Fatah throws out the elected Hamas government and kills larger number of Hamas supporters. What will Washington do? Given the track record of both the Obama administration and the Republican mainstream, one would expect America to denounce the use of violence against a democratically-elected government.

Such is the absurdity of both parties’ stance towards Egypt: the Egyptian military is doing America’s dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as “apes and pigs.” It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets in support of the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk. America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.

As it happens, Iran already is smuggling weapons via Syria to the West Bank to gain leverage against the Abbas government, as Stratfor reports (hat tip: the Daily Alert ), including surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles. Hamas crushed Fatah in the 2006 West Bank elections parliamentary elections 74-45, and made short work of the supposedly moderate Palestinian faction when it seized power in Gaza in 2007. As Syria disintegrates, along with Iraq and Lebanon, the artificial borders of Arab states drawn first by Ottoman conquerors and revised by British and French colonial authorities will have small meaning. Palestinians caught up in the Syrian and and Lebanese conflagrations would pour into a new Palestinian state and swell the ranks of the hard-core Jihadi irredentists. Iran will continue to use Hamas as a cat’s paw.

Among other things, the American response to the events in Egypt show the utter pointlessness of American security guarantees in the present negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Authority. Even in the extremely unlikely event that Mohammed Abbas chose to make peace with Israel, he would face a high probability of civil war, just as Ireland’s independence leader Michael Collins did when he struck a deal with the British for an Irish “Free State” rather than a republic. Collins killed more Irishmen than the British did in the preceding independence struggle. I do not want to compare Abbas to Collins, and I do not think he has any attention of making peace with Israel. But American blundering in Egypt has closed out the option, for whoever makes peace with Israel will require a free hand with Iranian-backed rejectionists.

America forgets that it corrected the flaw in its founding by killing 30 percent of Southern men of military age during its own Civil War, so many that the Confederate Army collapsed for lack of manpower. There are numerous wars which do not end until all the young men who want to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so. And of all of history’s conflicts, none was so likely to end with this sort of demographic attrition as the present war in the Middle East. Compared to the young Arabs, Persians and Pakistanis of today, American Southerners of 1861 were models of middle-class rectitude, with the world’s highest living standards and bright prospects for the future. The Europeans of 1914 stood at the cusp of modernity; one only can imagine what they might have accomplished had they not committed mutual suicide in two World Wars.

Today’s Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims have grim future prospects. The world economy has left them behind, and they cannot catch up. Egypt was at the threshold of starvation and economic collapse when the military intervened, bringing in subsidies from the Gulf monarchies. The young men of the Middle East have less to lose, perhaps, than any generation in any country in modern times. As we observe in Syria, large numbers of them will fight to the death.

America cannot bear to think about its own Civil War because the wounds are too painful; in order to reunite the country after 1865, we concocted a myth of tragic fratricide. Wilsonian idealism was born of the South’s attempt to suppress its guilt for the war, I have argued in the past. That is an academic consideration now. America’s credibility in the Middle East, thanks to the delusions of both parties, is broken, and it cannot be repaired within the time frame required to forestall the next stage of violence. Egypt’s military and its Saudi backers are aghast at American stupidity. Israel is frustrated by America’s inability to understand that Egypt’s military is committed to upholding the peace treaty with Israel while the Muslim Brotherhood wants war. Both Israel and the Gulf States observe the utter fecklessness of Washington’s efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The events of the past week have demonstrated that America’s allies in the Middle East from Israel to the Persian Gulf can trust no-one in Washington-neither Barack Obama nor John McCain. Those of us in America who try to analyze events in the region will be the last to hear the news, and the value of our work will diminish over time.

Behind the News in Israel.

Young Netanyahu: No to Independent Terror State

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Excerpts from “Fighting Terrorism”, 2001 Edition, by Benjamin Netanyahu, page 119-120.

Understandably, many Israelis do not want to see that [Gaza] base expanded twenty times to include the West Bank, thereby having an Iranian-influenced Islamic domain hovering over its major cities, and within 10 miles of the sea.

Such a PLO-Hamas state would sooner or later threaten to topple the pro-Western Hashemite regime in Jordan, the majority of whose population is composed of Palestinian Arabs, many of them susceptible to the fundamentalist message.

A Palestinian-Islamic state on the West Bank of the Jordan River might soon expand to the East Bank as well (i.e. the present state of Jordan).

Above all, a PLO-Hamas state is likely to eventually deteriorate into a new avatar of the PLO terror state in Lebanon, which was responsible for the exportation of terror far beyond the Middle East…

It might take several years for such a state to reveal its true nature. It might first wish to build up its power, adopting a relative docile outward appearance to continue receiving Western aid and Israeli concessions. But the underlying irredentist and terrorist impulses are at the core of its political ideology and raison d’etre  are unfortunately not likely to disappear.

Even now it is possible to correct the mistakes which the Labor government has made in its efforts to appease Palestinian terror.

Stability may be achieved and terrorism put on the defensive if Israel reassumes responsibility for its own security and asserts a policy of local autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs instead of the independent terror-free zones (editor:  state) now being built.

It will take some time for the rest of the world to understand what many in Israel now know: that far from producing the durable peace all Israelis yearn for, the continued expansion if an armed Palestinian domain is merely a stepping-stone to the eventual escalation of conflict and the continued march of Islamic militancy in the Middle East and beyond.

 

Bennett: ‘The Idea of Establishing a Palestinian State Reached a Dead End’

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Jewish Home Minister Naftali Bennett stated that the very idea of a Palestinian state in Eretz Israel has reached a dead end.

“Our biggest problem is the unwillingness of Israeli leaders to state clearly that Eretz Israel belongs to the nation of Israel,” Bennett said at a conference inJerusalem of the Yesha Council (Yesha is an acronym for Judea and Samaria).

He added that the only real solution is “to build, to build, to build” in Judea and Samaria. In his opinion, the Palestinian problem does not require a solution, it requires getting used to living with it.

Bennett gave an example of a friend of his from the Army, who took a shrapnel in his lower body, and continued to suffer intermittent pain attacks as a result. The doctors told him they could remove the shrapnel, but there was a 50 percent chance that he would become paralyzed as a result.

Bennett challenged his audience, to see how many of them would have opted for the surgery and a chance of paralysis, compared to learning to live with the pain. The answer was obvious: the Palestinian shrapnel will continue to cause Israel pain, but a final solution could cripple the Jewish state for good.

Bennett advocated imposing Israeli rule in the C area of the disputed territories, and there to invest a great deal in improving the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin who spoke at the same conference said this was strictly Bennett’s view and it did not represent the opinion of Prime Minister Netanyahu or the government.

Elkin said that despite his own general approval for Bennett’s view, he also recognizes that the coalition government includes partners like Tzipi Rivlin, whose views on the same issue are diametrically opposed to Bennett’s.

J Street: Demand Israel’s Peace Process Goal be Palestinian State

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

In a May 22 email to the many thousands on J Street’s virtual rolodex, the organization that calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace” revealed its true nature: it is focused solely and exclusively on the creation of a Palestinian State, and peace be damned.

It did this by exhorting its American followers to demand that the democratically elected Israeli leadership say out loud what J Street wants it to say.

J Street cued up from U.S. secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts to launch yet another initiative aimed at achieving peace between Israel and its Arab Palestinian neighbors.

But it then takes what it wants to be true, asserts it as if there is no other truth, and demands that Americans get aggressive with the Israeli government to make a public commitment to J Street’s view of reality, rather than what the Israeli government knows is reality.

Here’s the sleight of hand in J Street’s email:

The basis of any such effort, of course, has to be a two-state solution — an independent Palestine existing in peace and security alongside Israel. But is this the policy of the government of Israel?

Some members of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition are openly stating not only that they do not personally believe in a two-state solution but that the two-state solution is not official government policy. They wrangled about it publicly in a parliamentary committee meeting this week.

Member of Knesset and former Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) noted “substantial divides inside the government” on the question.

And MK Orit Struck (Jewish Home) came right out and said “two states for two peoples is not the government’s official position … it is perhaps Netanyahu’s position… but has not been accepted as the government’s position.”

J Street subtly takes what it says is a basis for a solution and converts it into the solution. In contrast, Israeli leadership is committed to having the goal of the peace process be peace. Such a position is apparently an affront to J Street’s worldview.

It is especially chutzpadik to demand that the Israeli government bend its knee to J Street and declare its support for the creation of a Palestinian state at this time of profound unrest in the Middle East.

This is a singularly dangerous time in Middle East history.  The terrorist-driven Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda and its affiliates are on the ascent.  The closest thing to a moderate Arab Palestinian leader is Mahmoud Abbas whose term as president expired almost 5 years ago.  Abbas routinely and publicly lionizes current and ancient terrorists and frequently admits, although mostly in Arabic,  that he is not committed to peace with Israel.

And Mahmoud Abbas is on record that not one Jew will be allowed to live and breathe in any Palestinian State.  So what exactly is it that J Street is demanding?

J Street’s letter imperiously casts anyone who disagrees with its vision of a perfect Middle East – one with a Palestinian State (whether or not there is peace) – as a roadblock to peace.  The hubris is dazzling.

For there to be any hope of progress, the Israeli government must state unequivocally that support for a two-state solution is a core principle of its foreign policy – as it has been under every Prime Minister since Yitzhak Rabin.

A simple declarative statement by Netanyahu or by Israel’s US ambassador Michael Oren would dispel these doubts immediately. They need to speak out now.

Adding still more urgency to its demand, J Street includes a quote from MK Ronen Hoffman, “how is it possible to expect the Palestinians to enter negotiations when part of our government opposes a Palestinian state?”

And yet, no demand is made of any Arab Palestinian leader to commit to peace with Israel.

Why isn’t J Street’s question turned around? Shouldn’t supporters of Israel logically ask this question, instead: “How is it possible to expect the Israeli government to enter negotiations with Arab Palestinian leaders when there is overwhelming evidence that few if any of the leadership supports peace with the Jewish State of Israel?”

J Street ends its May 22 email pooh-poohing the idea that mere talks between the parties is useful. Again it asserts its own position as if it were ultimate truth: “But what’s needed isn’t talk, it’s a resolution of this conflict and that will only happen if both sides are clearly committed to reaching the same goal: a two-state solution.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/j-street-demand-israels-peace-process-goal-be-palestinian-state/2013/05/23/

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