Can Israel rely on foreign peacekeepers and security guarantees?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”

YouTube 6-minute-video on-line seminar on US-Israel and the Mideast

Video#34; Entire mini-seminar:

1. Israel is urged to concede the historically and militarily most critical mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, in return for a US, or a multinational, peacekeeping force, as well as US security guarantees or defense pact.

2. In order to be effective, defense pacts, and security guarantees – including peacekeeping monitoring or combat forces – must be reliable, durable, specific and politically/militarily sustainable. It must serve the interests of the foreign entity, which dispatches the force, lest it be ignored or summarily withdrawn.

3. However, the litany of US commitments, guarantees and defense pacts are characterized by four critical attributes – escape routes – designed to shield US interests in a way which undermines the effectiveness of the commitments: 1. non-specificity, vagueness and ambiguity, facilitating non-implementation; 2. Non-automaticity, facilitating delay, suspension and non-implementation; 3. Non-implementation if it is deemed harmful to US interests; 4. Subordination to the US Constitution, including the limits of presidential power.
4. For example, the NATO treaty – the tightest US defense pact – as ratified by the US Senate, commits the US to consider steps on behalf of an attacked NATO member, “as it deems necessary.” Moreover, in 1954, President Eisenhower signed a defense treaty with Taiwan, but in 1979, President Carter annulled the treaty unilaterally, with the support of Congress and the Supreme Court.

5. The May 25, 1950 Tripartite Declaration, by the US, Britain and France, included a commitment to maintain a military balance between Israel and the Arab states.  However, on October 18, 1955, Secretary of State Dulles refused Israel’s request to buy military systems – to offset Soviet Bloc arm shipments to Egypt – insisting that the facts were still obscure.  In 1957, President Eisenhower issued an executive agreement – to compensate for Israel’s full withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula – committing US troops should Egypt violate the ceasefire and Sinai’s demilitarization.  But, in 1967, President Johnson claimed that “[the commitment] ain’t worth a solitary dime,” while the UN peacekeepers fled upon the Egyptian invasion of the Sinai, the blockade of Israel’s port of Eilat, and the establishment of intra-Arab military force to annihilate Israel.  In 1975, President Ford sent a letter to Prime Minister Rabin, stating that the US “will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.” But, in 1979, President Carter contended that Ford’s letter hardly committed Ford, but certainly none of the succeeding presidents.

6. In an April 1975 AIPAC Conference speech, the late Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson dismissed security guarantees as harmful delusion: “Detente did not save Cambodia and it will not save Vietnam, despite the fact that we and the Soviets are co-guarantors of the Paris Accords.  And that is something to keep in mind when one hears that we and the Soviets should play the international guarantee game in the Middle East.”

7. According to Prof. Noah Pelcovits, Political Sicence, UCLA: “[In the context of security arrangements] there is only one chance in three that the protector will come to the aid of its ally in wartime, and then only at the discretion of the protector…. What counts is the protector’s perception of self-interest. Otherwise, the commitment is not honored….”

8. Prof. Michla Pomerance, International Relations, Hebrew University, stated that US defense commitments, including the NATO Treaty, “are uniformly characterized by vagueness, non-specificity… and the explicit denial of any automatic obligation to use force… [in] accordance with the desire of the US, as promisor, to keep its options open…. Evasion by means of interpretation would not be a difficult task….”

9. The stationing of foreign peacekeeping tropps on Israel’s border would cripple Israel’s defense capabilities, requiring Israel to seek prior approval in preempting or countering belligerence, which would also strain US-Israel ties. At the same time, appearing to have enabled Israel to act freely, would damage US-Arab ties.

10. The assumption that inherently tenuous, intangible, open-ended and reversible US security commitments constitute an effective compensation for critical Israeli land, tangible, irreversible concessions – such as a retreat from the strategically and historically critical mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – reflects detachment from the Washington constitutional labyrinth and recent precedents, engendering a false sense of security, thus compromising the existence of the Jewish state, transforming Israel from a robust national security producing asset to a frail national security consuming liability, undermining US interests and US-Israel relations.

11. The next video will expand on the inherent non-reliability of US and international security guarantees.

February 11, 2017 | 15 Comments »

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15 Comments / 15 Comments

  1. @ Buzz of the Orient:

    Lester Pearson himself like all Liberals was “great on paper”, but generally a pretty useless individual, whose most memorable asset was a high-pitched, lisping voice. It was Mitchell Sharp, whom I knew slightly, who made that govt. successful.

    One thing could be said in his favour and that is that he was an utter genius compared to the hopelessly useless article Justin Trudeau the present Liberal Prime Minister.

    As a side-note, his notorious highly obnoxious father Pierre Trudeau, had an unhealthy penchant for riding around on a motor bike wearing various parts of the apparel of a Nazi soldier. I recall seeing newspaper photos of him speeding around wearing a coal-scuttle helmet plus other assorted Nazi oddments. It was reported that he liked to do this through Montreal’s Jewish Neighbourhoods. A disgusting creature.

    As another Liberal leader he was liberal only to himself……

  2. Lester B Pearson’s creation of a peacekeeping force was great on paper, but useless in practice. Consider General Romeo D’Allair’s tearful experience in Africa as to just how meaningful a UN peacekeeping force was, and is. Canada may rely on the USA for its defence, but that is because it is a contiguous buffer. Israel is much farther away, notwithstanding its strategic importance, and of course the UN is not exactly sympathetic to Israel, nor is the EU these days.

  3. @ honeybee:

    Because we have weak, corrupt and cowardly leaders and a population divided and kept ignorant of our real capabilities and power….. They have bought largely into the myth that we can’t survive without American Backing.

  4. @ honeybee:

    In 1805, Seneca chief Red Jacket responded to a Christian missionary’s proposal to convert his people:

    “You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us.”

    He went on to say:

    “We are told your religion was given to your forefathers and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers and has been handed down to us, their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive, to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.”

    He told the missionary:

    “Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.”

  5. Essentially the 6day war can be laid at the foot of President Johnson who refused to live up to Eisenhower’s commitment to maintain freedom of navigation for Israel in the Red Sea… Never trust any power to protect our security or interest.

    I don’t Trust Trump or the people he put in charge of foreign policy and security to be good for Israel. Pence might be our best advocate.

  6. And suppose a Leftist comes to power in 4-8 years. Why has no one mentioned Obama’s rejection of the letter from Bush to Israel regarding retention of large settlements that had near unanimous approval of Congress? Yoram Ettinger should be ashamed for not condemning the proposal as out of hand.

    On a second issue, perhaps I just missed it, but the analysis above is right on the mark. Who actually wrote it?

  7. xxx

    According to Ettinger, “Israel is urged to”….. Who the hell brought up this hoary old chestnut again, who is doing the urging. The article doesn’t make this or indeed anything clear….not that it matters, because, if G-D Forbid, we considered this piece of resuscitated drek, we’d be back again to handing over the Golan Heights -this time- to Iran, because any “peacekeepers” as we WELL know, would scarper away as fast as possible in the slightest event of military activity. AND, would you believe it, into Israel for protection.

    We ALL remember those taut days when Johnson, although the free access to the open seas had been guaranteed by cast-iron agreements, was so nervous that he tried for 6 solid weeks to get a group of the guaranteeing countries together and break the blockade by sailing through the bottle-neck thus breaking Nasser’s hold. He couldn’t even get a stir from anyone…zilch…NOTHING. And although committed by TREATY, he didn’t DARE do it himself, which he easily could have, by just sending a single destroyer, or maybe two, up the Gulf. In fact if there were to be even a single US destroyer guarding an Israeli convoy, Nasser likely would not have dared oppose them. He was a paper tiger.

    So here we must consider that Ettinger, by bringing up the “fact” that unnamed powers are urging Israel to again commit suicide, may just have felt in need of a few dollars so he wrote an article for which “futile” would be a complimentary description.

    Is he trying to emulate Sherman, I wonder by writing a lot of irrelevant nonsense known by heart to every sentient being with even a slight interest in Israeli affairs…..

    I can say, much as you are noted as a staunch and unswerving Israeli former Ambassador and patriot…… go home and fugedd abud it it’s not going to even be considered.

    The same purpose could be achieved by Israel disbanding the IDF, destroying (or selling) all it’s military equipment etc, then all lying down on the streets, and wait for the slaughter. And the Rabonim, particularly the American crowd of self-seekers, will have a pious prayer inserted in their (Reform) prayer books for the departed state.

    Ugh….and double ugh…

  8. All true but irrelevant if you regect TSS. Israel should be the only power in the region, affirm sovereignty from the river to the sea and expel the Arabs as violently as they make necessary.