Avigdor Lieberman’s Peace Plan

The Middle East is nobody’s playground

In light of the recent inundation of peace initiatives in the region – predominantly originating from external players (such as the Saudi Plan and speaker Pelosi’s initiative in Damascus) – I would like to voice my reservations and conditions for any diplomatic negotiation.

On the Palestinian front, two points:

Firstly, I reiterate my position which I have stated publicly in the media, and privately to top US administration officials several times over the last six months: You can’t impose a political solution in the region before you ensure two basic prerequisites: Security for Israelis and prosperity for Palestinians.

Citizens on both sides of the conflict are tired of new peace plans and initiatives – they have been disappointed too many times over the last 14 years. Every individual – Israeli or Palestinian – has to see his own personal benefit in any agreement before endorsing it.

Secondly, any solution must take into account the status of Israeli Arabs (or as they prefer to be called, “Palestinians living in Israel”). The risk of ignoring this sector of the population is that we might find ourselves in the future with a Palestinian nation-state on the one hand, and Israel a bi-national state with over 20% minorities who have a strong, national bond to the neighboring state on the other.

In that occurrence, I predict we will either see an irridenta-type move to unite the predominately Arab Galilee and Negev desert regions with the future Palestinian state, or alternatively, a demand for their autonomy. Do not be mistaken – I am in favor of a two-state solution; not one and a half states for the Palestinian people and half a state for the Jewish people.

On the Syrian front:

There is no point starting any negotiations with talk about territorial concessions. Since the Camp David accords in 1978, the State of Israel has relinquished territory three times its size (Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, substantial parts of Judea and Samaria to the PA in the Oslo accords, and the Gaza strip to the PA in the 2005 disengagement), yet we are no closer to peace today than we were back then. In fact, we might be further away. The basis for peace with Syria must be peace-for-peace. This might sound revolutionary, but it is really the only formula that will ensure real peace, not a one sided real estate deal. If we can reach such an agreement, I am confident we will be able to settle our territorial disputes in an innovative way – such as the long term land lease that was part of the Israel-Jordan peace deal.

Lastly, the Middle East is nobody’s playground. You don’t get to be a part of the process unless you are willing to be an integral part of the solution. This is not an experiment in political science or international relations. For example, one of the issues deemed toughest to resolve – the issue of the Palestinian refugees – can be easily put to rest by minimal investment ending their transitory status in the surrounding countries.

April 10, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. Peace Plan. Peace Plan. What peace plan? It has been 5 years that I has assidually followed the trials and tribulations of the Israelis and the Middle East, in all aspects–political, religious, social. I have collected 41 book on the subject–read them all, read them all carefully–some on the right, some on the left , some pro-Israel, some anti-Israel. I’ve read enough. I’ve read enough on the Internet. There is too much to read. There are so many wise writers. All going in circles. There is nothing more I can learn. I know that sounds arrogant, perhaps, but I have a plan. I can propose a plan. It’s about time I say what I believe.

    I want to make a serious comment. I hesitated, looking at my keyboard for a long time. I hope no one wil snicker. I sighed. What can I say? What have I learned? One reaches a point where one believes one knows something –something!
    To me it is perfectly clear. The Jews must make the peace. It will not come from on high. It will never come from its enemies. The Jews enemies tell them as much. To their face! Without fear or hesitation Are Jews deaf? Can they not read? Jews must make — manufacture–produce–construct–its own peace. A do-it-youself peace.

    And here is the only peace I can imaging that will be a final solution, one way or the other. The time is past. The time is now. Just one final roll of the dice–win or lose–but bring an end these apparently impossible insoluable days: The Jews must Retake Gaza, annex the West Bank, transfer all Arabs elsewhere–anywhere–be done with it! Political Israel from the river to the sea. I cannot see it any other way. Any other way is no way. There is no other end. Any other way is a way without an end. I’m having a hard time believing Israelis are so stupid while Jews are so smart. It will be up to the Jews–if Jews want to continue to be Jews. The Israelis will not save the Jews. Therein lies the distinction to a peace plan that has the only chance to succeed.

  2. Yes,’tis poetic that the Jewish 24-hour day starts with the night and then with the day, light after darkness.

    “Who, faithless, faltering that the road is steep,
    Now raiseth up his drear insistent cry?
    Who stoppeth here to spend a while in sleep
    Or curseth that the storm obscures the sky?
    Heed not the darkness round you, dull and deep;
    The clouds grow thickest when the summit’s night.”

    (from Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Slow Through the Dark”)

  3. There are no Messiahs on the horizon and no bright star burning in the eastern skies.

    Perhaps just over the horizon? And remember; Stars are best seen when it is very dark.

    Hope is only hope when it is hope and faith is only faith when you are standing on the water.

  4. The world has not satisfied Lieberman’s two basic prerequisites, security for Israelis and prosperity for Palestinians.

    With respect to security for Israelis, the world is not prepared to allow Israel to have that for in so doing it could upset the Palestinians which in turn could upset the Muslim Middle East which in turn could upset the status quo unstable stability that the West needs in order to have any chance at furthering their own interests.

    As for prosperity for Palestinians, in spite of the mega billions showered on the Palestinians annually, they have not managed to ready themselves to become a state and they have squandered the prosperity the world filled their begging outstretched hands with.

    Whatever there may be to commend in Lieberman’s two state solution is rendered meaningless because his two state solution just will not appeal to the quartet who are still hawking their tattered road map that does not allow for Lieberman’s views or the Palestinians and Muslim Middle East who will only agree to a peace deal that has Israel put its head in a noose.

    Round and round it goes, but it is making Israel dizzy and that combined with hopes against hope for peace could well push Olmert and company over the edge into making even more stupid mistakes and public statements borne of insanity upon which the West and Palestinians might seize to force yet more insane concessions in return for the Palestinian word which has proven only worthless.

    There are no Messiahs on the horizon and no bright star burning in the eastern skies. Israel is on its own for now. One can only hope Olmert does nothing too stupid and if he does, that the Palestinians will once again blow their opportunity and save Israel from herself.

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