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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Peace Plan’

China’s Peace Plan: Outrageously One-Sided

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

I’ve heard suggestions that Israel should be looking east for allies, rather than toward the U.S. and Europe. Judging by the four point “peace plan” proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping while both PM Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas were in China, maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea. Do we really need another plan that doesn’t mention recognition of Israel as a Jewish state?

Here are the four points, with a few comments interspersed. You can decide for yourself if this represents a positive breakthrough.

First, the right direction to follow should be an independent Palestinian State and peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel. To establish an independent state enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the key to the settlement of the Palestinian question. At the same time, Israel’s right to exist and its legitimate security concerns should also be fully respected.

Just in case we have any question about whether the Chinese are taking sides, the “Palestinian people” have “inalienable rights” to specific territory while Israel has only a “right to exist.” The word “legitimate” is ambiguous, too — does it mean that Israel’s concerns are legitimate, or does it mean that only “legitimate” concerns should be ‘respected’?

As we know, there are no “1967 borders,” only 1949 armistice lines which neither side accepted as having any permanent significance, and which were understood by the drafters of UNSC resolution 242 as needing to be replaced by “secure and recognized” boundaries. And if “full sovereignty” includes militarization and control of airspace, then that is simply inconsistent with Israel’s security.

Second, negotiation should be taken as the only way to peace between Palestine and Israel. The two sides should follow the trend of the times, pursue peace talks, show mutual understanding and accommodation, and meet each other half way. The immediate priority is to take credible steps to stop settlement activities, end violence against innocent civilians, lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and properly handle the issue of Palestinian prisoners in order to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks. Comprehensive internal reconciliation on the part of Palestine will help restart and advance the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Ending violence against innocent civilians, if this means stopping Arab terrorism, would be great. But keep in mind that the PLO promised — when it signed the Oslo accords, and received weapons, money and training for its “police force” — to do just that. PLO-supported terrorism continued, before, during and after the murderous Second Intifada, under Arafat and Abbas, on both sides of the Green Line, and is even increasing today, giving rise to fears of a third intifada. So any agreement must include a way to ensure that the PLO would honor it, as well as a way to restrain Hamas and the other extremist factions.

I recall the ill-fated “Road Map,” whose full name was, “A Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” It called for “ending terror and violence” and stopping incitement as part of Phase I. Supposedly there would not be a Phase II if this didn’t happen. Of course it didn’t. Along the way, the idea of conditioning Israeli concessions on Palestinian performance seems to have been given up.

Regarding “settlement activities”: the argument has been that even if a “settler” adds a bedroom onto his house within an existing settlement, then he is somehow creating facts on the ground which prejudice a future agreement with the Palestinians. This is illogical, considering that (a) the settlement blocs where most Jews live are expected to remain part of Israel under any reasonable agreement, and (b) there is established precedent for Israel withdrawing from inhabited settlements.

But more important: Arabs, too, are building “settlements,” especially in Area C, the part of Judea/Samaria that is supposed to be under full Israeli control. Will they agree to stop their “activities” as well? Because they are the ones creating facts on the ground today.

Kerry Betting on the Wrong Horses

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

The Arab League foreign ministers who met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington last week were convinced that they had a mandate from the Palestinians to talk about possible land swaps between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Ahead of their departure to the U.S., the ministers had met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Doha, Qatar, and discussed with him the land swap idea.

At the meeting, the Arab League decided to dispatch a high-level delegation to Washington to brief the U.S. Administration on the Arab position regarding the resumption of peace talks with Israel. Headed by Qatar’s Hamad bin Jasim al-Thani, the delegation which met with Kerry also consisted of Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki.

Yet the Palestinians seemed to be surprised, following the meeting with Kerry, to hear the Qatari representative talk about possible land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority’s initial response was to issue a statement in English — not Arabic — voicing support for the land trade proposal. The statement said that this was an old idea that had been discussed in the past between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

But following strong condemnations from many Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority leadership took a step backwards.

First, the Palestinian Authority said that it was only prepared to discuss “minor” adjustments to the border between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Later, as the denunciations grew, the Palestinian Authority took yet another step backwards, saying it was opposed to making any “down payments” to Israel before the peace talks resumed.

In other words, the Palestinian Authority is not prepared to talk about any territorial concessions to Israel before the Israeli government accepts the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution.

Palestinian reactions to the land swap proposal seem to have angered Qatar and other Arab countries.

With the exception of a few Palestinian Authority officials, all Palestinian factions have come out strongly against the proposal. The anger has been directed especially against Qatar.

“Who gave the Qatari leaders the right to offer concessions to Israel on behalf of the Palestinians?” was the main charge leveled against the rulers in Doha.

Other Palestinians, including top members of Abbas’s Fatah faction, have also lashed out at the Arab ministers for “offering free concessions” to Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

Although the Palestinian Authority leadership had in the past hinted that it would be willing to accept the land swap idea, it is now obvious that it would never be able to win the Palestinians’ support for such a proposal.

As leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian groups emphasized over the past few days, no Palestinian leader has a mandate to make any concessions to Israel.

Even worse, the Arab League proposal is being viewed by many Arabs and Palestinians as part of an “American-Zionist conspiracy” to force the Palestinians to accept Israeli “dictates.”

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -ed.] seem to have absorbed the message and are now back to demanding a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, which were never official borders.

For Kerry, who has taken it upon himself to try to resume the peace process, this is all bad news.

It is bad news that the Palestinian Authority still does not have the courage to tell the Palestinians that without some form of compromise there will never be real peace with Israel.

It is bad news because it has once again become clear that the Arab countries, including the wealthiest and most influential, have no influence on the Palestinians.

Judging from their reactions to the land swap idea, many Palestinians continue to despise the Arab regimes, accusing them of serving as pawns in the hands of the U.S. and Israel.

The U.S. Administration needs to understand that the Arab League is an incompetent and ineffectual body that has long been ridiculed by most Arabs. This is a body that has never played an instrumental role in solving Arab crises such as the Lebanese Civil War, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait or the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.

It now remains to be seen whether Kerry and President Barack Obama will ever notice that they are betting on the wrong horses. Neither the Arab League nor the Palestinian Authority leadership has a mandate to offer any concessions to Israel or recognize its right to exist.

Memo to Obama: Mid-East Peace in 1 Hour or your Money Back

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Mr. President, this memo is written in a children’s book format for several reasons:

1. To force simplicity and brevity

2. To demonstrate how uncomplicated the issues really are

3. To introduce levity to an otherwise grim history

4. I know you’re the busiest human being on the planet, and this way it shouldn’t take much of your time

My memo advocates including everyone who lives between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in one democratic state with equal rights for all, with the proviso that it remain a Jewish homeland, as mandated by the nations of the world in 1920.

Just the other night, in Jerusalem, you said it couldn’t possibly be done.

You were wrong.

SOMETHING PROFESSOR EINSTEIN SAID

einstein

Albert Einstein was a great physicist who died in 1955. He was among those rare people who taught the world brand new ways of looking at reality. It’s not easy to come up with observations no one else had ever made before. That’s why Einstein is still admired, to this day. Obviously, he was a very wise man.

No one is absolutely sure, but many believe that Albert Einstein came up with the following clever definition of insanity:

Insanity, he supposedly said, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

It doesn’t mean that the people who engage in doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results are necessarily insane; only their actions are.

A LAND OF ARAB AND JEWS

ouch

In the country known both as Israel and Palestine, today live between 8 and 10 million people. The majority are Jews, the minority are Arabs, but there are also many groups which are neither Jews nor Arabs.

Back in 1947, the official count was 1.6 million Arabs and 600 thousand Jews. That’s when the first attempt was made to divide the land into two states, one Jewish, one Arab. This attempt ended in a war that lasted almost two years and claimed the lives of many thousands on both sides.

Remember what Einstein supposedly said about doing the same thing and expecting different results?

In 1993, another attempt was made to divide the land into two states. It resulted, just like in 1947, in rivers of blood. So the people in charge decided to try it again. And again. And each time they tried, they got rivers of blood.

Insanity.

You, Mr. President, have just urged the people in charge to have yet another go at the Two State Solution. It’s very scary to me, because I know what will happen as a result. I’m not nearly as wise as Albert Einstein, but even I get it after so many tries.

We must find another solution, one that hopefully won’t result in violence.

JUST LIKE NEW JERSEY

IL&NJ

The size of New Jersey, the 5th-smallest U.S. state, is about 7800 square miles (20,000 square kilometers).

The territory of Israel or Palestine (different people call it different names) is only a little bit larger – 10,424 square miles (27,869 Square Kilometers).

There are many Jewish and Arab communities in New Jersey. Like many other residents, Jews and Arabs enjoy the state’s proximity to the great city of New York, from the comfort of their suburban homes. I’m sure there are many things those two communities have in common, and many things they do very differently. Some Jews and Arabs probably collaborate in business and politics, others probably don’t go near each other.

But one thing we know for sure: there has never been a war, or even a bloody skirmish, between the Arabs and Jews of New Jersey.

Same people, same size land, more or less, but in one country the two communities live in constant hatred, in the other they live in peace.

Somebody in New Jersey is doing something right.

A HOMELAND FOR THE JEWS

the-land-of-israel
When, in 1947, the United Nations of the world decided to give the Jews a homeland in part of Israel or Palestine, they did it for more than one reason.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/memo-to-obama-mid-east-peace-in-1-hour-or-your-money-back/2013/03/22/

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