Israel must shift the battlefield from its security to its rights

by Ted Belman – November 16, 2003

It is very clear to students of the Middle East, that the Quartet has decided that the Saudi Peace Plan is the object of all processes put forward. This plan provides for ’49 lines with negotiated trades of some land and a shared Jerusalem. The Plan itself doesn’t require the Right of Return but the endorsement of it by the Arab League does. The West wasn’t ready to kill the Right of Return, so Bush resisted Israel’s demand (request) that it be removed.

Rather than to focus everyone’s attention on this end result, we are given (forced to accept) a Roadmap, which focuses on process, i.e. the steps toward “peace”. These include namely that the Palestinians dismantle their terror infrastructure and Israel cease settlement activity. When the US says they are committed to the Roadmap, they mean the Saudi Peace Plan.

Since the Palestinians do not want to implement the most basic demand on them, the Roadmap is being altered to get around the problem. Now, the only requirement is a Hudna. Even Israel seems to be going along with the changes. Anyone heard of Israel’s fourteen redlines lately? The fact remains, that the process or Roadmap is of no concern to anyone. What matters is that Israel be forced, by hook or by crook, by obfuscation or relentless pressure, to return to the ’49 lines. The rest is smoke and mirrors.

By the way, the end result includes the notion that Israel is responsible for making the Palestinian State ‘viable’. Don’t underestimate the importance or effect of this requirement. In normal negotiations the Palestinians would have to make concessions to get Israel to agree to allow the Palestinians to work in Israel or to share water or to integrate the two economies, let alone the creation of a Palestinian state. The Roadmap gives these things to the Palestinians with nothing being exacted in return.

Both Bush and Sharon keep repeating that they will not sacrifice Israel’s security. I am not impressed. Israel’s security is threatened by returning to ’49 lines and by the need to make the future state viable. To pretend otherwise is to be in denial. I am also disturbed that this balm is offered as a way to deflect Israel from its rights. The issue has become our security or our existence rather than our rights to the land or to Jerusalem. The contest has become their rights versus our security rather than their “rights” versus our rights.

The process (Roadmap) has all but been abandoned but the end result hasn’t. Therefore we see the Quartet’s support for the Geneva Understandings, which differ not at all from the Saudi Peace Plan. Do not be naive. The Geneva Understandings were worked out with not only a few Palestinians but also with the Quartet and many other Israelis who felt the need to reverse the results of the election in which they lost power. Also, the pilots who went public with their refusal or the Professors who publicly supported them, and the four former heads of Shin Bet who went public with their arguments for withdrawal or for confrontation with the settlers, or Ya’alon who criticized of Israel’s policies are all part of a co-ordinated policy or conspiracy to bring about the end result that has already been agreed upon. The Israelis are being conditioned to accept the end result so that they don’t choke on it.

Israel must make the centre piece of their policy their fourteen redlines which include retaining an undivided Jerusalem and no right of return. It should also state that no major settlement will be abandoned. These positions should be tenaciously held. There should be no compromise or hint of compromise.

The fence offers the only glimmer of hope. If Israel caves on the location of the fence, all is lost

Until Israel unequivocally abandons the Roadmap and therefore the end result mandated by the world, I have no confidence whatsoever that it hasn’t already conceded on all the major issues and is only going through the motions of resisting. It should not allow the process to be joined with or to obscure the end result. They are two separate matters. The Left argues, to Israel’s detriment, that the Palestinians must be given hope i.e. a good end result before the Palestinians can be expected to end the violence. This is nonsense. The offer of a State by Bush and the Roadmap did nothing to end the violence.

Only violence will end the violence.

September 8, 2007 | 1 Comment »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest