Iran, Saudi Arabia and US are making a new ME jointly

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis

The Hamas-Fatah government taking office Sunday, March 18, is more than a policy failure by prime minister Ehud Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni; it is another milestone on the road to the collapse of Israel’s Middle East positions at large, on a scale comparable to the setback to its deterrence from the mismanaged war against Hizballah last summer.

This fiasco is reflected in the horrified outcry across the board, from members of the Olmert government coalition and the opposition alike, as Israelis woke up Sunday, March 18, to face a hostile Palestinian government led by a terrorist organization, godfathered by Saudi Arabia, armed by Iran, and blessed by Western powers.

Exactly a week ago, on March 11, the Israeli prime minister said he was positively reviewing sections of the Saudi Arabian 2002 “peace plan.” He did not waver when Riyadh declared the hard-line text would not be modified when it is re-launched at the Arab summit in ten days’ time.

That afternoon, Olmert had his second interview with Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority and leader of Fatah. He stressed the importance of “staying in touch with positive Palestinian elements.” This was also Livni’s mantra during her recent travels to the US and European capitals.

They both fell into the Palestinian trap, effectively sanctioning the seal of moderation with which Abbas and Fatah stamped a Palestinian government dominated by the Hamas terrorists.

Even more dangerously, the two Israeli leaders failed to question the covert Yalta-type understanding reached by Riyadh and Tehran. They ought to have grasped that when the Saudis and Iranians stuck their deal to preserve the Siniora government in Lebanon, as DEBKAfile revealed in late February, they must also have come to terms on the Palestinian issue.

And so they did. It was a package: Tehran called off the campaign led by its patsy Hizballah against the anti-Syrian Lebanese government, gaining stronger representation – at Syria’s expense, while the rival Palestinian factions were told in Mecca to share power – at Israel’s expense.

Olmert and Livni forgot a permanent Middle East axiom: Israel’s neighbors can always set aside their differences for common action against the Jewish state. Therefore, Sunni princes and Shiite clerics easily agreed on a Palestinian formula that would imperil Israel’s most vital interests.

They figured that, just as Syrian president Bashar Assad is too isolated to challenge his dependence on Tehran, so too Israel is too dependent on Washington to complain about Saudi under-the-table transactions with Iran for the sake of a deal on Iraq.

In the past year, Olmert-Livni policies have been so closely synchronized with Washington’s, that many of Israel’s vital interests have gone by the board.

It was their vain hope that Arab governments in fear of Iran’s ambitions would come to terms with Israel and move the Middle East closer to peace. This misreading was shared by opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu. What happened instead was that the so-called moderate Arab camp stood aside when Tehran focused its attention on building up the menace to Israel on the backs of the now-kosher Palestinian radicals.

Iran not only gave them arms, ordnance, cash and training, but also strategic depth. Its Revolutionary Guards have spread their wings into Gaza through Sinai up to the Suez and Mediterranean, and built up a war menace to Israel from the south, as well as the north. The realistic prospect is therefore closer to war rather than peace, the culmination of a process which the prime minister, his foreign minister and their advisers consistently missed or misread.

Addressing the Washington pro-Israel lobby AIPAC’s annual conference last week, Olmert and Livni both came out in support of the Bush administration’s military strategy in Iraq. Since that strategy hinges largely on covert Saudi-Iranian diplomacy in Washington’s name, Israeli government spokesmen implicitly gave America a blank check to pay for an Iraq accommodation at Israel’s expense.

March 18, 2007 | 7 Comments »

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  1. from a Smooth Stone

    “Since Abbas has estranged himself from the Quarter’s demands and the commitment to the Road Map, Israel has nothing to discuss with him. Abbas has colluded with Hamas, and therefore Israel cannot engage in talks with such a Palestinian unity government.”

    That statement would be true if Israel had a backbone to stand firm and not be so easliy led by the ring in her nose. Israel tries to convince the world instead of acting. Israels serious error has been to let the Quartet determine the agenda for it’s future instead of leading strong and standing firm. Weakness always calls out to others to do what Israel should have done long ago.

    I don’t even think Israel has the will or the sense to defeat this latest and more deadly threat to her existence. Israel on her deathbed calls upon the Quartet’s Dr. Mengele for help and assisted suicide is what Israel shall recieve at their hands.

    Israel at present under Olmert will allow itself to be pushed wherever the Quartet deems it should be pushed.
    The Palestinians know this and are openly moving forward towards their end goal of Israel’s destruction without shame or any care.

    They have been open about their plan and the Quartet is aware of where the Palestinians are going.
    It is beyond stupid of Israel to allow this to continue, but without faith in Hashem Israel is rules by fear and continues to make extremely bad decisions.

    Israel ,by playing this peace farce Quartet final solution game has placed it’s head in the noose.
    What Israel’s enemies could not do in war against Israel ,President Bush has accomplished by peace.
    The trojan horse from a ‘friend’ has been accepted with open arms and there seems to be no awakening from this 2nd holocaust in the making.

  2. Don’t forget Israel’s Worst Nightmare

    Israel needs to take a page out of the Muslim method of negotiation: say what the world wants to hear, promise everything and then do as one pleases and deliver the opposite. Also, focus completely on your own needs and demands (and what they will relinquish) and never emphasize and focus on ones own weaknesses and what’s in your arsenal to satisfy the demands of the enemy as an enticement.

    The world has a short memory for agreements and promises. Israel, to its detriment, has always wanted peace at any price. The words written down are promises to be kept. Now Israel must want survival at any cost. If that cost is to break off from the teat of America, then so be it.

    It is not Israel’s responsibility to put lipstick on the pig (of a mess) that the US has made in Iraq – the war that wasted the hearts and minds of its soldiers while protecting the hearts and minds of the terrorists and their Saudi, Syrian and Iranian backers.

    The bad conscience of America is now being offloaded onto an Israel whose survival is at stake; whereas, the only thing that America (except for its brave troops) has at stake is a swelling deficit and an unpopular war (as if the success of wars has ever been measured by popularity).

    Now that Ham-atah has lined up its forces and backers, this is a perfect opportunity to reject terrorist governments and make it so difficult for the Palestinian hate mongers that anyone not fully vested in terrorism will NOT want to stay. Now that the hardliners have defined their objectives which include war, terror, repression and the end of Israel, there is no excuse for Israel to NOT give them a final ultimatum.

  3. Look at the bright side: now that Hamas and Fatah are one and the same in government, any missile, bomb, suicide bomber or attack of any kind could be (if there were the will to do so) directly linked to the offical political and military jihadist government of Hamas/Fatah and then met with an overwhelming military response that will finally send a clear message that terrorism and terrorists will not be tolerated. No more Mr. Nice Guy, no more the policy of listening to friends or enemies..

  4. This whole affair is being managed behind the scenes. The appropriate words for peace will be used. The photo will be taken in the Rose Garden. The US will begin to draw down troops with chin up because peace in our time has been achieved–thanks to the diplomats, of course. The Golan and J&S will be traded for US and UN guarantees of peace. For with peaceful words they shall destroy many.

    The US will be no more be out of the area and the Arab/Muslim press will talk of the humiliating defeat of the Americans at the hand of the Islamic warriors. Israel’s political whores and US lackeys will have left Israel with suicidal borders. Betrayed by her “friends” and those she trusted, both within and without. Insatiable will be her enemies. Aloof will be her friends. Despised and rejected of men. Russia with its new allies will sweep in to collect the spoils of America’s defeat. Finally, Israel will have nowhere else to turn. Glorious is her future, but painful and tragic her present. For this reason the rabbis say, “Let Moshiach come, but let me not see him.” (Sanhedrin 98b)

  5. This explains everything, why Hezbollah stopped challenging Siriori’s government, why there is no world wide opposition to the Mecca Accords, why Hamas is in charge of the PA, why Livni and Olmert are talking to Abbas and not rejecting the Saudi Plan with the right of return removed. It also explains why Israel agreed to the incredulous one way ceasefire which permits the stockpiling of arms and preparations for war. It was in anticipation of this deal.

    Israpundit saw it coming.

    Now what about the “horizon” that is the latest buzz word. I suspect that the end deal is being negotiated that would exclude the right of return and would settle upon the fence as the border (don’t forget that the US micro-managed the location of the fence) and the sharing of Jerusalem. That’s the easy part.

    Israel’s enemies will still want the destruction of Israel even if they agree to “normalization”.

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