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June 26, 2016 / 20 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘solution’

Liberman Supports a 2-State Solution – Nothing to See Here Folks, Move Along

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

I received a flurry of messages last night from all my friends on the right side of the political spectrum following our new Defense Minister’s stated support for a 2-State solution.

“You see, Liberman zig-zagged again”, “Liberman’s showing his true colors”, “Liberman got power and shifted Left” and “Liberman’s going to be another Sharon”.

I’d say it’s open to debate if Liberman really zig-zags left and right all the time, or if he simply prefers to sometimes emphasize one aspect of his statements when convenient, while other times emphasizing the other half – leaving him open to criticism of zig-zagging, while allowing his spokespeople to emphatically deny any zig-zagging at all.

Though I don’t see much wiggle room in his statement that he plans to take out Ismail Haniyeh in just 1 more day – leaving us to wonder if perhaps Liberman is really more bark than bite.

To remind my friends, Liberman has always supported a 2-State solution. He’s said he would evacuate his home in Nokdim for peace. I believe he would.

But everyone forgets the parameters of Liberman’s 2-State solution plan – “The Populated-Area Exchange Plan“.

It’s not a one-way street.

Liberman envisions a Palestinian State consisting of all the Arabs on this side of the Jordan River – with no Jews, and an Israeli state on this side of the Jordan River – with a lot less Arabs citizens.

Liberman contends that the only way to end the conflict is to end the friction resulting from 2 opposing religious and nationalist groups occupying the same space – and it makes no sense (nor is it fair) to create a Palestinian State with no Jews, while keeping Israel as a dual-nationality state with an antagonistic Arab minority who self-identify as “Palestinian”- nor is it fair or right to make anyone physically move.

In Liberman’s plan, Israel would annex the major settlement blocks, while transferring the major regions of Israel where there are a majority of Arabs, over to the Palestinian State.

Israeli-Arabs, who constantly identify themselves as “Palestinians” would lose their Israeli citizenship but immediately gain Palestinian State citizenship. They wouldn’t have to move out of their homes – the borders would be redrawn around them – mostly in the “triangle” region in part of the Galilee.

I personally disagree with his solution for a number of critically important and fundamental reasons (to be discussed another time), but there’s certainly no denying Liberman’s correct identification of the problem and that his plan treats all sides equally (even if it is a left-wing plan).

Strangely enough, the group who should be supporting the plan the most are the most vehemently against it – Israeli-Arabs who self-identify as “Palestinians”.

In a poll in the year 2000, 83 percent of Israeli-Arabs opposed the plan, with only 11% were in favor.

You would think, that all these Israeli-Arabs demanding a Palestinian State, waving “Palestinian” flags and touting their “Palestinian” identity would love the idea.

But they don’t – they don’t want to be citizens of a Palestinian State – they want to be citizens of the Israel they hate – the Israel that gives them equal opportunity, equal rights, and isn’t under Arab control.

Interestingly enough, a friend of mine was talking yesterday with some Arabs from one of the villages under Palestinian Authority control and they said the same exact thing.

These PA Arabs want Israel to come in, kick out the Palestinian Authority and bring back the “Occupation” – they want life to be good again – as it was under Israeli rule. Most of their village wants that.

Liberman’s plan is unlikely to be implemented, simply because the Arabs themselves don’t want to live in a Palestinian State – which says a lot.

If anything, the first step Liberman should really be taking for peace is helping the poor Gazans escape from the terror of Hamas.

Set up an emigration plan – one-way tickets to Europe and Detroit with cash in their pockets and full bank accounts.

Within a year, the only people left in Gaza would be Hamas supporters, if even that.

And then Liberman could prove to us that “Mila zu mila” and take out Ismail Haniyeh.

JoeSettler

Israel’s ‘Iron Mole’ Offers Technological Solution to Terror Tunnels, Boosting IDF Deterrence

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday announced a new technological breakthrough in Israel’s effort to locate Hamas underground terror tunnels. Speaking after the announcement of the discovery of a terror tunnel reaching 90 feet into Israel from the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu boasted that the breakthrough had occurred only days earlier, making it a light-speed pace between pointing out the need for the technology, in August 2014, and the delivery.

The new technology has been dubbed “Iron Dome for Tunnels,” which JNi.media officially coined ‘Iron Mole,” feel free to share with the proper attribution.

According to Yedioth Aharonoth Monday night, the tunnel location feature is based on proprietary technologies developed in Israel’s military industrial complex. It includes a series of sensors that send data back to a system that uses algorithms to examine it. Apparently, all of that allows the end-user to spot the underground tunnels accurately, no false readings.

Hamas terror tunnel leading into Israel, exposed by IDF, April 18, 2016 / Courtesy IDF

Hamas terror tunnel leading into Israel, exposed by IDF, April 18, 2016 / Courtesy IDF

The speedy development cost all of $60 million and no one else but Israel has it. Of course, where else but in Israel are there dedicated terrorists trying to dig across the border to kill innocent civilians?

The question is, according to several Israeli analysts, will the realization that their ace in the hole (literally) is no more serve to deter the Hamas leadership from their ceaseless scheming against Israel, or will it drive them to yet another summer of mad rocket attacks on Israeli civilian centers, resulting in even more Arab death and destruction. The IDF believes—or hopes—that the lesson of 2014 is still fresh in Hamas’s mind. But it should be noted that Hamas and Hezbollah do not attack because they imagine they could win a direct confrontation with Israel — they attack for internal reasons—tighten the social ropes—and for external ones—elicit sympathy and financial support from the Arab world.

Meanwhile, the IDF is investing in finding an effective, permanent solution to the tunnels problem. It will include an upper fence above ground, a lower fence underground, and ongoing operations along the border with Gaza. The IDF has also been training in raiding tunnels and confronting Hamas diggers or fighters. At any given time, the IDF has about 100 engineering machines along the border.

Hamas terror tunnel leading into Israel, exposed by IDF, April 18, 2016 / Courtesy IDF

Hamas terror tunnel leading into Israel, exposed by IDF, April 18, 2016 / Courtesy IDF

Some analysts in Israel have suggested that the IDF’s technological superiority may have pushed the Hamas to seek its own technological advantage. Realizing that Iron Dome is simply too effective in blocking incoming, largely home-made rockets, Hamas is investing in developing more accurate, longer-range rockets to attempt to penetrate Israeli defenses. It has also invested in developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, as well as in training special elite forces (about 5,000 members), a naval commando unit, and an army of 800 diggers to keep trying to cut through under the fence.

JNi.Media

Israel: the Impudence Accompanying Betrayal

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

I’ve always been amazed that anyone thought the United States would ever act against the Iranian nuclear threat. There was never any chance that such a thing would happen. The United States would never go to war with tens of millions of people.

Moreover, there was never any chance the United States would let Israel “attack” Iran.

In a Huffington Post article by Steven Strauss, the author quotes Netanyahu:

“‘I believe that we can now say that Israel has reached childhood’s end, that it has matured enough to begin approaching a state of self-reliance… We are going to achieve economic independence [from the United States].’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a Joint Session of the United States Congress – Washington D.C., July 10, 1996 (Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs).”

Unfortunately, today, almost 20 years later, this is not a fair statement to quote. Strauss continues: “In 1997, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the U.S. In 2012, Israel was still receiving $3.1 billion annually in U.S. aid.”

This, however, is not an appropriate comparison today. Let us look at the current situation: Egypt will receive $2 billion in U.S. aid; Saudi Arabia will receive military aid as well as the anti-Asad Syrian rebels; Turkey will receive billions of dollars and probably military equipment. Moreover, the United States and Europe will also reach out to Iran, and Hizballah and Syria will receive aid from Iran. In addition, the Palestinians have not made the least bit of commitment on a two-state solution. In other words, only Israel would lose. And this is the childhood’s end?

Strauss further notes, “Israel has become an affluent and developed country that can afford to pay for its own defense.” But the point is that other hostile countries will be receiving more while Israel will get the same amount.

He continues, “… Israel has a well developed economy in other ways.” But again, Israel will be placed at much more of a disadvantage.

The article’s claim, “Other countries/programs could better use this aid money,” does not state the reality.

“Even domestically, the aid that goes to Israel could be useful. Detroit is bankrupt, and our Congress is cutting back on food stamps, and making other painful budget cuts.” Again, the United States does not face an immediate threat from its neighbors, while Israel does. Moreover, this is shockingly implying that Israel is stealing money from poor people in the United States.

In other words, this is not equivalent.

“Israel and the United States have increasingly different visions about the future of the Middle East.” But again, so what? This is absolutely irrelevant.

“A major (bipartisan) goal of the United States has been the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Once again, this is a policy that is impossible, but the United States is going to try to force it on Israel anyway.

Note that the less security the United States and the West provide to Israel, the more difficult it makes it to secure or promote a desirable two-state solution. Strauss adds, “However, the current Israeli government is clearly not committed to the U.S. vision, and has done everything possible to sabotage American efforts.”

The problem with this last point is that the Palestinians have always tried to sabotage this. If this concept hasn’t gotten across in a quarter century, I can’t imagine when it will get across.

The current Israeli government has tried for many years to achieve a two-state solution and has made many concessions. And if Kerry can’t take Israel’s side on this issue, then I can’t imagine how decades of U.S. policy has been carried out. To say that the Israeli government is not committed is a fully hostile statement.

This claims Israeli settlement and not Palestinian intransigence has blocked the peace process.

Note that the author of this article has “distinguished” credentials: “Steven Strauss is an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.”

Yet if this is what the U.S. government understands, it will end badly. Moreover, the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons is not the important point; rather, it is the transformation of the U.S. Middle East position that is significant. I do not believe there is any chance Iran will use nuclear weapons. The problem is that this is reversal of the U.S. policy. In other words, it is like going back to 1948 and opposing partition.

Finally, what this is all about is money and greed. Many European countries are drooling about the money to be made. For example, Vittorio Da Rold writes (Il Sole 24 ore), “Italian SMEs are hoping for a rapid agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in order to return as soon as possible to trade without limits with Tehran and the rich Iranian market in hopes of finding new markets in a time when the European market flirts with deflation.”

Barry Rubin

What Will Happen Now with US Middle East Policy?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Turkish Reader: Haven’t you understood yet that the US does not care about whether a Muslim country is ruled by Sharia [dictatorship] or by secular [democracy] law as long as that regime is pro-American? Isn’t this U.S. interests “über alles”?

Me: Yes I do care. First, no Islamist government is really going to be pro-American or pro-Western. Second, it won’t be good for that country’s people. Why should I feel differently to handing over Czechoslovakia to Nazi rule or Hungary to Communist rule than Turkey to Islamist rule?

Already there are starting to appear evaluations of what President Barack Obama’s second term will be like. I think that even though the Obama Administration doesn’t know or have a blueprint it is clear and consistent what the Middle East policy would be. It is a coherent program though as I say it is not necessarily fully or consciously thought out. The plan would be for a comprehensive solution which will leave the Middle East situation as a successful legacy of the Obama Administration.

There are three main themes of this plan, though as I say I’m not sure it has really taken shape. By 2016 they will all fail, and leave the West weaker.

The first is with Iran policy. The goal would be to “solve” the nuclear weapons’ issue by making a deal with Iran. One thing that is possible is that the Iranians just deceitfully build nuclear arms. The other that the will go up to the point when they can get nuclear weapons very quickly and then stop for a while. Probably either result will be hailed as a brilliant diplomatic victory for Obama.

This is how the nuclear deal is interpreted by Iran, in a dispatch from Fars new agency: “It seems that the Americans have understood this fact that Iran is a powerful and stable country in the region which uses logical and wise methods in confrontation with its enemies.” In other words America is an enemy of Iran that has backed down.

One thing Iran might get in a deal for “giving up””its nuclear ambitions would be something in Syria perhaps. It would probably look like this. It is possible that this deal would be in the shape of an unofficial partition of Syria, with the Bashar Assad regime surviving in 40 percent of the country including Aleppo and Damascus; another 40 percent would be controlled by a U.S.-backed rebels, mainly Muslim Brotherhood; and 20 percent would be a Kurdish autonomous area. I want to stress that I don’t believe that this would work and would in fact be the object of another Iranian stalling technique.and effort to gain total victory..

Iran wants primacy at least in the Shia world – meaning Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. It would just require Iranian patience if Iran is willing to devote extensive resources to this enterprise until it could seize the whole country. The U.S. probably won’t provide ground troops, which is understandable. And would the U.S. provide military and economic aid to an al-Qaida-Salafi-Muslim Brotherhood regime? At any rate the Iranians would either develop nuclear weapons or simply get to the point where they could if they wanted to and then stop, knowing that they could so at any time. Of course, this would relatively ignore Israel’s security needs.

And if a nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t materialize you can tell who will be blamed by an article named, “A Nuclear Deal With Iran Is Within Reach, If Congress Plays Its Part,”” in the prestigious magazine, Roll Call.

The second theme would be an illusion that it would be possible to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a two-state solution but actually moving toward the Palestinian real goal which is an Arab Palestine. Period. Regarding this issue it is probably that both sides would stall. Only Secretary of State John Kerry believes otherwise.

The Israeli side would mount a strategic retreat by gradual concessions hoping that the Obama Administration would end before too much damage was done. It is clear, for example, that prisoner releases, the granting of economic benefits and the entry of more laborers would be among the concessions given.Of course, this would also relatively ignore Israel’s security needs.

Barry Rubin

Nothing ‘Reasonable’ about Mideast Divide

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to swallow a painful and embarrassing concession to please the Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry had his moment of triumph.

In announcing the start of a new round of Middle East peace talks, Kerry has seemingly justified the way he has concentrated his efforts on an issue that was not in crisis mode and with little chance of resolution while treating other more urgent problems such as Egypt, Syria, and the Iranian nuclear threat as lower priorities.

But now that he has had his victory, the focus turns to the talks where few, if any, observers think there is a ghost of a chance of that the negotiations can succeed despite Kerry’s call for “reasonable compromises.”

The reason for that is that despite the traditional American belief that the two sides can split the difference on their disagreements, as Kerry seems to want, the problem is much deeper than drawing a new line on a map.

Ironically, proof of this comes from a new poll that some are touting as evidence that both Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution. The poll was a joint project of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. It shows, among other often-contradictory results, that a majority of Israelis (62 percent) supports a two-state solution while 33 percent oppose it. Among Palestinians, 53 percent support and 46 percent oppose the two-state solution.

But the question to ask about this poll and the conflict is what the two sides mean by a two-state solution. The answer comes in a subsequent query:

We asked Israelis and Palestinians about their readiness for a mutual recognition as part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows that 57% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 37% opposes it. Among Palestinians, 42% support and 56% oppose this step.

In other words, Israelis see a two-state solution as a way to permanently end the conflict and achieve peace. But since a majority of Palestinians cannot envision mutual recognition even after all issues are resolved and they get a state, they obviously see it as merely a pause before the conflict would begin anew on terms decidedly less advantageous to Israel.

There are many reasons why the peace negotiations are likely to fail. The Palestinians are deeply split, with Gaza being ruled by the Islamists of Hamas who still won’t even contemplate talks with Israel, let alone peace. Kerry has praised Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, but he is weak and hasn’t the ability to make a peace deal stick even in the unlikely event he signs one.

Though Netanyahu went out on a political limb to enable the talks to begin by releasing scores of Palestinian terrorists, Abbas has shown in the past that he will say no, even when offered virtually everything he has asked for. Netanyahu will rightly drive a harder bargain and refuse to contemplate a deal that involves a complete retreat to the 1967 lines or a Palestinian state that isn’t demilitarized. But it’s hard to imagine Abbas ever recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.

The real problem, however, isn’t about where negotiators would draw those lines. As the poll indicates, even after Israel withdraws from almost all of the West Bank (reports indicate Netanyahu is ready to give up 86 percent of it), a substantial majority of Palestinians still can’t fathom the possibility of mutual recognition and normal relations.

How can that be?

The reason is very simple and is not something Kerry or his lead negotiator Martin Indyk (a veteran of numerous diplomatic failures who hasn’t seemed to learn a thing from any of them) can fix. Palestinian nationalism was born in the 20th century as a reaction to Zionism, not by focusing on fostering a separate identity and culture from that of other Arab populations. That doesn’t mean Palestinians aren’t now a separate people with their own identity, but it does explain why they see that identity as indistinguishable from the effort to make Israel disappear.

Jonathan S. Tobin

US Media and the E1 Controversy

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

On Monday, the NY Times published an editorial which included this:

[Netanyahu’s actions] could doom the chances for a two-state solution because building in the E1 area would split the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.

Yesterday, NPR’s Philip Reeves, probably the single journalist most responsible for promulgating the 2002 “Jenin Massacre” blood libel against Israel, announced in a “news” broadcast that:

There’s particular concern over plans, still at a preliminary stage, for an area called E1. If built, this would cut the West Bank in two. Diplomats say this would make a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict almost impossible.

And today, I was greeted by the following in an editorial in the McClatchy-owned Fresno Bee newspaper:

Yet Israel has decided to … prepare construction of a 4.6 square-mile project near Jerusalem known as E-1. That would effectively cut the occupied West Bank in two and make establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel with Jerusalem as a shared capital, impossible.

Folks, look at a map. If you didn’t see it in my previous post, here it is again:

 

Do you see the “West Bank” cut in two? I don’t either. As I pointed out yesterday, if Israel annexes Ma’ale Adumim, the proposed Palestinian state will be wider at is narrowest point than Israel would be with pre-1967 borders!

If the problem is supposed to be that it will be harder for Palestinians to drive from Bethlehem to Ramallah, Israel plans a bypass road around Ma’ale Adumim for Palestinian traffic that would actually be faster, and would not require passage through the security barrier’s checkpoints. There are also plans for a 4-lane underpass to some Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, while others would not be affected at all by the planned construction.

Actually, the shoe is entirely on the other foot. If the E1 plan is notcompleted, then Palestinian construction in the area will cut off Ma’ale Adumim — a town of 46,000 that has been expected to remain part of Israel in all proposed peace agreements with the Palestinians — from the rest of Israel. It will make it harder for Israel to keep control of the strategic Jerusalem-Jericho road, which would be necessary to transport troops and tanks to the Jordan Valley in the event of an attack from the east.

Every Israeli Prime Minister since Rabin has supported the plan, but it has never been carried out because of pressure from the US and Europe. Meanwhile, illegal Palestinian construction in the area — illegal under the Oslo agreements, not that the Palestinians have ever paid attention — continues. It has already narrowed the corridor for the E1 plan, and at some point will make it impossible.

In other words, the true situation is exactly the opposite of what Palestinians and their supporters claim!

It’s time to face reality, which is that there will not be a two-state solution that will meet Palestinian requirements, because these requirements are incompatible with the survival of a Jewish state. Much as I would like to see Israel retain all of Judea and Samaria, and much as the Palestinians would like to see a ‘Palestine’ from the river to the sea, these outcomes are unlikely.

What could happen is a realignment in which Israel retains places with large Jewish populations (like Ma’ale Adumim) and areas that are strategically vital (like E1), and withdraws from others. This would have to be implemented unilaterally, but then the Palestinians have already officially renounced a bilateral solution by turning to the UN.

What I find remarkable is the way the US media have swallowed the Palestinian story hook, line and sinker, when a simple glance at a map would show that it is wrong. Are they following the lead of the administration?

Vic Rosenthal

Amir Peretz, Formerly of Labor, Embraces Tzipi

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Amir Peretz, former Histadrut union chief and former Defense Minister, is now a former member of the Avoda (Labor) party. He is moving over to the Movement (HaTnuah) party of Tzipi Livni (former head of Kadima, and former Foreign Minister).

Also moving over to Livni’s party is former general Elazar Stern. Stern announced on the radio that he fully supports the two-state solution. Although formerly considered center, his embrace of the two-state solution puts him squarely on the left.

Meanwhile, there are now plenty of new former Kadima members. Dalia Itzik announced her retirement from politics, and Roni Bar-On has resigned.

Dalia Itzik also implied that former PM Ehud Olmert would not be running this time around, after all the speculation that he might. For herself, Itzik has said, “Presidential hope is not dead.”

Exciting stuff.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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