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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘withdrawals’

Land for War

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

President Obama’s recent charm offensive in Israel apparently had two aims: First, to lull Israel into forfeiting timely military action against Iranian nukes in the hope that Obama will act instead; and second, to convince Israelis that now is the time to revisit the land-for-peace formula.

For years, the conventional wisdom — among Israel’s peace camp and its proponents abroad (Obama included) — has been that if Israel just relinquishes enough territory to its enemies, peace will arrive. But on most of Israel’s borders, history has revealed the naïve folly behind an idea that could just as aptly be called “land-for-war.”

Consider Syria. From 1948 to 1967, the Syrians regularly fired artillery shells from their dominant positions on the Golan Heights down at Israeli border communities and Fatah used the territory to launch terrorist raids into Israel, until Israel captured it in 1967. But since the U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and Syria began in 1999, peaceniks have posited that a full withdrawal by Israel from the strategic plateau in exchange for peace with Syria involved a risk worth taking. Their rationale was that — in an era dominated more by aerial threats (jets and missiles) than terrestrial ones (soldiers and tanks) — the territory was no longer vital to Israeli security and could be traded for a double boon: peace with Syria and elimination of Iran’s greatest strategic ally.

Current events reveal the deeply flawed assumptions underpinning the land-for-peace-with-Syria paradigm. No Israeli territorial concession is needed for Iran to lose its only Arab ally; the Syrian civil war will ultimately accomplish that. Basher Assad’s regime will eventually fall because the daily slaughter of one’s own people (with over 70,000 dead) is unsustainable when each atrocity can be instantly uploaded to the Internet. Whoever replaces Assad will be no friend to those who armed, funded, and prolonged his massacres: Iran and Russia. Iran and its proxy Hizballah have also been substantially involved in fighting the rebels on the ground, and thus will be distanced from postwar Syria far more than any Israeli-Syrian peace could have separated Iran and Syria.

More importantly, the land-for-peace formula with Syria would have transferred the strategic territory from Israel to an Alawite-led regime reviled by the mostly Sunni rebels who will eventually overthrow it and likely disavow its commitments — including any peace deal that might have been reached with Israel.

Indeed, the Syrian rebels already control much of the 200 square miles comprising the Syrian side of the Golan Heights (where they recently kidnapped 21 U.N. peacekeepers stationed there) and have openly threatened to attack Israel next. Israel comprises about 8,000 square miles. If those same rebels were on the 500 square miles constituting the Israeli side of the plateau thanks to an earlier “peace deal,” Israel would be that much closer to the errant projectiles of Syria’s civil war, and that much more exposed to whatever terrorist attacks on Israel the Syrian jihadist fighters plan after finishing Assad.

Hence, Israel’s tangible security asset (earned with the blood of its soldiers in the Six Day War) would have been traded for “peace” with Assad, but land-for-war with Syrian Islamists is what Israel may have received just a few years later.

Indeed, “land-for-war” has a compelling record. In 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon and in 2006 was attacked from there by Hizballah. It was only the force of Israel’s military response in the war that followed — rather than any territorial concession — that prevented any subsequent cross-border attacks by Hizballah, although the terrorist group still pursues murderous plots abroad, including in Europe (which still cowers from labeling Hizballah a terrorist organization).

Since Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005, Palestinian terrorists have launched almost 10,000 rockets from there at Israeli civilians (most recently on three days of last week and during Obama’s visit to Israel, violating yet another cease-fire agreement). Since the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord requiring Israel to hand over parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terrorist attacks have killed over 1,000 Israelis.

The 1994 Jordan-Israel peace involved very little land (and heavily depends on survival of the Hashemite Kingdom), so the best precedent supporting the land-for-peace model is Egypt, which agreed to peace with Israel for return of the Sinai Peninsula. That cold peace has held since 1979 mostly thanks to over $60 billion of U.S. aid to Egypt and an unpopular, secular autocrat (Hosni Mubarak). After Islamists hijacked Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the future of the Egypt-Israel peace is less certain, although Egypt now has so many economic and political problems that foreign military adventures seem unlikely.

Obama’s Timetable

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Just before his visit to Israel, apparently the Obama administration has leaked information that Obama is coming here not for a photo opportunity, but to seriously move the defunct peace talks forward. He wants, among other things, a timetable describing when Israel plans to withdraw from Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria or the “West Bank”).

Mr. President, according to my math and some websites, Abraham was born 1,948 years after creation (yes, Israel was re-established in 1948 and doesn’t that bring a smile to your face?). When he was 55 years old, Abraham was commanded to go to Canaan, modern day (and ancient) Israel. So, the first Jew to enter Israel was 2,003 years after creation…or…to put it in more familiar terms, 1758 BCE. So that makes our presence here in the land of Israel…oh, about 3,771 years, give or take a few (very few) when the Jews left for famine or whatever, and certainly, there have been Jews here continuously, for 2,000 years plus.

That is longer than any other nation alive today, certainly longer than any Arab/Palestinian/Muslim – or even Christian claim to this land. It is documented, substantiated, proven. It is in the ground, buried deep and rediscovered regularly by anyone who digs deep enough to find the history waiting to be uncovered.

But that isn’t what you asked, was it? You asked about when we’d be leaving. I did some calculations, using common sense, the current political situation, my own knowledge and research, and figured out that we’ll be pulling out of Yehuda and Shomron, the West Bank, etc. – about one week before never; two days after the end of the world.

We’ll be here, Mr. President, long after you have turned to dust, your memory not even a breeze in the wind.

We’ll be here, Mr. Obama, until the end of time. This is what God has promised and this is what we promise ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and theirs.

You want a timetable for when we’ll withdraw – I’ve given it to you.

Now, let’s talk about that other timetable – the one for peace in the Middle East. It will happen, Sir, when the Palestinians want it, and not before. When they learn to stop dancing in the streets when they succeed in murdering children and exploding buses. Peace will come when they have no desire to fire rockets at us and no interest in demanding one thousand Arabs at a value of the life of one Jew.

In other words, Mr. Obama – not in your lifetime, sorry.

So, really, if that’s why you are coming to Israel – perhaps you can save the gas, save the time. Unless, of course, you are bringing Jonathan Pollard home which is, as our Prime Minister said recently, long past due.

Assuming you still plan on coming, if I were you, I’d go back to Plan B and begin working on what pictures you want.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Will Obama Make Israel “an Offer it Can’t Refuse”?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

There is a report making the rounds that unnamed “Israeli sources” claim that Barack Obama will shortly “demand a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank,” presumably in return for the U.S. dealing with Iran. A 2014 deadline to establish a Palestinian state is mentioned.

Things like this surface all the time, and mostly they are simply nonsense. It is irresponsible for a journalist, or even a blogger, to publish what is essentially a rumor based on a single report which does not even include a source.

And yet…

There are certainly people in the White House who would think this is a good idea. Everyone knows, they would say, that only details prevent a two-state solution, and the main obstacle to moving forward is right-wing influence on the Israeli Prime Minister. Here’s an opportunity, they are saying, let’s take it.

The simple reason that there can be no two-state solution is that it entails the acceptance by the Palestinians of the continued existence of the Jewish state west of the Green Line, and that contradicts the essence of the Palestinian national project. Indeed, one could — I would — go so far as to say that Arabs who would accept a peaceful state alongside Israel as a permanent goal could not properly be called ‘Palestinians,’ since the very definition of a ‘Palestinian people’ negates Zionism (but perhaps I digress).

Dennis Ross, who knows as much about ‘peace processing’ as anyone, recently put forward a 14-point plan to bring about a two-state solution. It illustrates two things: one, that Ross possesses a paradoxical combination of intelligence, experience and the inability to see his nose in front of his face; and two, that the concessions it would require from the Palestinians are, as I said above, unthinkable.

Regardless, while a ‘solution’ — that is, an agreement that ends the conflict — is impossible, a coerced Israeli withdrawal in the context of an agreement that pretends to end the conflict is possible. And that is the danger.

Whether those who would like to force a withdrawal cynically understand that it would be disastrous for Israel’s security and don’t care (or welcome such a disaster), or whether they actually believe it would be a step toward peace is not important. What is important is that they might be able to sell the idea to a public — particularly liberal Jews — that to a great extent continues to believe in the two-state idea. And if they don’t object strongly enough, how could it be stopped?

The confirmation of Chuck Hagel, and particularly the collapse of Sen. Charles Schumer should be instructive. When push comes to shove, today’s liberals — even “strong supporters of Israel” like Schumer are Obama supporters first.

There is another aspect of the situation. That is that the combination of a blow against Iran with a blow against Israel would be a win-win for Sunni Muslim interests in the Middle East: the Saudis, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey would all like to see Iran defanged and Israel weakened vis-a-vis the Palestinians. Interestingly, Islamist Turkey, the Brotherhood and the Saudis seem to be the people that President Obama finds the most congenial in the region.

Everything seems to be lining up to their advantage. Israel withdraws, the U.S. bombs Iran, Hizballah responds by attacking Israel. Sunni forces, in particular those supported by Turkey, take advantage of the chaos (and the preoccupation of Hizballah) to finish off Assad and take control of Syria. Although the U.S. will support the Palestinian Authority for a time, Hamas — don’t forget, it is the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood — will soon get control of Judea and Samaria one way or another.

There are other unpleasant possibilities — U.S.-led U.N. or NATO troops in Judea/Samaria to ‘protect’ the peace agreement, which will end up protecting Palestinian terrorists against Israel, even the possibility of the IDF and Americans shooting at each other. Sound impossible? Chuck Hagel thought it was a good idea, as did Samantha Power, Obama’s “Senior Director of Multilateral Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/will-obama-make-israel-an-offer-it-cant-refuse/2013/03/05/

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