Can anything stop the “peace” process?

By Ted Belman

In my article The Geneva Accords are being elevated to government policy I wrote,

    The “peace process” is like an enormous ship traveling with great momentum to a predetermined destination. Nothing Israel can do will stop it or alter its course. While Israel continues to debate the details, the ship continues, inexorably.

The two-state solution has been planned for years.

    This is already a done deal. The wall, the roads and tunnels were all a part of the agreement as far back as President Clinton. However, the meetings are for public viewing, for the Arab world to see. The papers must be signed in public, but behind the scenes it is already done.”

Now Haaretz reports J’lem seeks Bush okay for IDF free hand in W. Bank

    [..]Israel wants to maintain effective military superiority in the territories during the talks, and ensure that it has the freedom to act against terror organizations in Gaza. “It is inconceivable that we would be prevented from continuing the extraordinary achievement against terror in the West Bank,” a source said.

    “In the previous year no Israeli was killed within the Green Line from an attack that came from the West Bank. In the West Bank, four people were killed. In the South, it is true that quiet has not yet returned to Sderot, but we are carrying out an effective and focused offensive there. Hundreds of terrorists were killed last year.”

    Israel would like the U.S. to agree to a number of limitations on the future Palestinian state’s sovereignty. Israel wants Palestine to be completely demilitarized, and for Israel to be able to fly over Palestinian air space. Border crossings would be monitored by Israel in such a way that the symbols of Palestinian sovereignty would not be compromised, but Israel would know who was coming and going.

    Israel is to propose the deployment of an international force in the West Bank and along the Philadelphi Route in Rafah, and would ask that a permanent Israel Defense Forces presence remain for an extended period in the Jordan Valley.

    Jordan Valley ‘tripwire force’

    According to Israel’s plan, a small Israeli force would be stationed in the Jordan Valley as a “tripwire force” that would act as a deterrent. Israel would also demand Palestinian agreement that in the case of an emergency Israel could deploy in essential areas of the West Bank to thwart a threat of invasion from the East.

    Such a deployment would only take place under extreme circumstances, but including it in the agreement would ensure that the Palestinians would not object if the time came when it was needed.

    Under ordinary circumstances the West Bank would be completely demilitarized, with only internal Palestinian security forces on duty.

    The Barak government reached agreement with the Clinton administration on a number of security issues with regard to a future accord with the Palestinians. However, monitoring border crossings and a long-term IDF presence in the Jordan Valley was not among them. The Palestinians vehemently opposed the security steps Israel wanted, such as the emergency IDF deployment in the West Bank, which they saw as damaging to their independence and sovereignty.

    Israel now seeks to reopen the discussion in the hope that Bush will support its demands.

    According to government and security sources, “in most of the issues involving the agreement with the Palestinians, Israel is the one being asked to give tangible things. The only area in which we have real demands from the Palestinians is that of security arrangements. Therefore it is important that the talks have the proper outline so that Israel can insist on its security demands and the Palestinians will not dilute them.”

Israel’s 2008 plans: Engage Syria, Palestinian peace, upgrade U.S. ties

    Israel and the United States are expected to announce a significant upgrading of diplomatic, economic and military ties during Bush’s visit.

    Israel’s other foreign policy objectives for 2008 were outlined in a recent memo sent to Israeli embassies overseas by the Foreign Ministry’s director general, Aharon Abramovitz. The objectives listed, include progress with Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples, developing a diplomatic response to Iran’s nuclear drive, diplomatic efforts to stop the smuggling of arms to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and opening channels of communication to states in the Middle East with which Israel does not yet have ties. Most interestingly, the memo talks about the need to “evolve a strategy to detach Syria from the radical (Iranian-led) axis.”

To add to the impending signs of a deal don’t forget the “evacuation compensation” law currently proposed by Labour and Olmert’s announcement that his approval is needed for all new building in Jerusalem.

The GoI is certainly committed to this deal.

It would appear that the US and Israel are working closely on the big picture so reports of a breakdown in the relationship were premature or were intended to drive Israelis into the warm embrace of the US.

Moving right along.

Leaving aside the question of whether anything can stop this ship or whether the ship should be stopped, Olmert has said that Maaleh Adumin and Ariel will remain in Israel. Yet no one else has conceded that point. It remains to be seen.

As for the ship, it is on automatic pilot. It doesn’t matter if Hamas opposes it or if Abbas speaks for anyone or dies. The US will find a way to legitimate the deal and then stand behind it.

Subsequently, a couple million refugees will return to the new state. One wonders what they will do for housing, for work and for drinking water.

When you look at the Israeli wish list the new state will be more autonomous than sovereign. It will remain demilitarized, have Israel monitoring its borders, have granted Israel air rights, have granted Israel limited rights to enter with large military forces to confront imminent threats from the east and finally will replace one occupying force, Israel, with another, NATO.

January 3, 2008 | Comments »

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