Insisting on the Roadmap is our best defence and offence.

By Ted Belman

Ami Isseroff in his article Israel’s Peace Strategy recognizes Arab intentions and lack of peaceful action.

    [..] Make no mistake, these negotiations are fraught with peril for Israel, and they have, objectively, little chance of real success. Mahmoud Abbas can scarcely control 50 square meters of territory in the West Bank, and may well be overthrown by the Hamas at any moment, yet he is demanding a strict timetable for a Palestinian state. He announces that his “negotiations” will consist of making “no concessions” on his demands for right of return of refugees and obliteration of any memory of Jewish national rights in the old city of Jerusalem.

but nevertheless he argues Israel should not refuse to discuss core issues. Instead it should put forward its own core issues and red lines.

    By refusing to discuss core issues, the Israeli government has presented Abbas with a double victory. The Palestinians are perceived as wanting “peace” and the Israelis are perceived as “obstructionist.” Moreover, the perception is instilled in the consciousness of world opinion that all of Abbas’s demands are legitimate, that only if Israel meets these demands can there be peace, and that it is Israel’s failure to address these core issues by surrendering to Abbas that is preventing a settlement. Abbas, with the help of the Israeli government, is creating new “facts on the ground” in the peace process

Later in the article Ami writes “We can’t say “no” to a Palestinian state. It closes the window on a possible opportunity for peace” In other words he is unwilling to end the peace process. It is the only hope for peace. He would rather wait forever for a change of heart in the Arabs rather than to have Israel recognize the futility of it and chart its own course..

“How will these very same Zionists who oppose a Palestinian state, argue in the future that it is always the Palestinians who miss every opportunity for peace?”

It has been fourteen years since the Oslo process began. It brought us Arab incitement to hatred, Arab terrorism, suicide bombers, intifadahs and Kassams, Do we not have the right to close the door on the process and the possibility?

In this quote

    “Their argument is that the Arabs do not want peace, and would never recognize Jewish rights in Israel, and that a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state. But if the Arabs would never recognize Jewish rights in Israel, there could be no peace agreement and no Palestinian state of any kind.”

I think he is saying that since we on the right think the Arabs do not want peace we shouldn’t worry about negotiations because they will never lead to a Palestinian state. i.e. the Arabs won’t meet the minimum requirements for the state to be created. Thus for him the appearance of a peace process is what Israel should pursue.

I am not so confident. I don’t mind talking but I am against gestures and concessions. I am also against any agreement that doesn’t have consequences for default and a mechanism for reversal. I am against any policy that avoids enforcing commitments.

I am all for presenting our own map which gives us defensible borders and all of Jerusalem. Then we can argue til the cows come home. But the US would have something to say about that.

Then he writes

    “In response, Israel is silent, as it must be, unless it too makes a compromise, and says “we are ready to recognize the Palestinian right to self determination and to form a state in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza.” This declaration has been made informally. It is time to embody it in a proposed declaration dealing with “core issues” That declaration would give Israel the right to present its own “core issues:”

I have trouble with this. I thought that the Roadmap included such a declaration. If it didn’t why give it now. Why not insist on the Roadmap… til the cows come home. We don’t have to make such a declaration until the Arabs forgo the right of return or comply with stage 1 in the Roadmap. In the meantime, Israel should insist on retaining all of Jerusalem and having recognized and secure borders. After all Res 242 guaranteed us that. Why give up on it.

The Roadmap doesn’t obligate us to make gestures or change the sequence of events. It is our best offence and defence. But as you see, Ami wants to have it both ways. He wants us to go beyond the Roadmap but not offer what the Arabs demand. I profoundly disagree. A deals a deal. Let’s stick to it and insist they do to.

Core Issues
Ami wants Israel to define its core issues. OK, what are they according to him.

Liquidation of the refugee problem

[..] Termination of this situation is a key requirement for peace.

We can all agree on this but I am sure we differ on whether the refugees should be resettled before or after Israel withdraws.

Recognition of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and the right of Israel to exist as the state of the Jewish people. – Until today, this right has never been recognized by any Arab country including those who made peace with Israel, and it was not recognized by the Palestinians either. The right of Israel to exist was recognized, but this recognition was a cover for the plan to flood Israel with Arab “refugees.”

Notice he doesn’t reject the right of return. He probably will allow some return as the price for getting this recognition.

Recognition that the Jewish people and the State of Israel have historic rights in Jerusalem – The internationalization of Jerusalem must come off the international agenda. Jerusalem is holy to many religions, but in all history, except for the short-lived crusader state, Jerusalem was only the capital city of one nation – the Jewish nation. We cannot expect that the Palestinians will recognize any Jewish rights in East Jerusalem if the United States doesn’t recognize any Jewish rights in any part of Jerusalem.

Of what value is such a recognition if Israel divides Jerusalem and gives control or even sovereignty over the Temple Mount to the Arabs.

A declaration that wanton murder of civilians is illegitimate – The Palestinians agreed to an end to violence in the Oslo accords, but did not keep their word.

Of what value are these core issues. They have to be interpreted or applied. Ami wants to go into negotiations with a recognition by the Palestinians of these things. Big deal we still have to negotiate them. They are simply vague principles that hardly secure what you want.

The above conditions must be met if there is to be peace. They must be implemented by declarations in Arabic as well as in English for the benefit of foreigners, and more important, by sincere actions. These must include a total cessation of the systematic incitement and racism that is rife in Palestinian society and the Arab world. No more Nakba commemoration parades with posters reading “Haifa,” “Beisan,” “Birsaba,” “Yaffo.” No more maps that show all of Israel as Palestine. No more kiddie shows of children willing to blow themselves up to “liberate” Jerusalem. No more TV shows and newspaper articles about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Jews baking Matzot from the blood of Christian children. No more sermons about God destroying the Jewish sons of dogs and monkeys.

Oslo redux. Been there. Done that.

October 31, 2007 | 14 Comments »

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14 Comments / 14 Comments

  1. How remarkable that you’ve removed my “FYI” post about new daily torah lecture by the Orthodox Union (a mainstream Jewish organization).
    I am wondering what is it that you are afraid of or what is it that you hate so much or find “inappropriate”.
    Don’t bother replying because I am removing your pathetic website from my list of Favorites.

  2. Yamit, I just expanded my post while you were commenting.

    Although Ami lives in Israel, he sure has a galut mentality.

    When I first read Ami’s article I thought he had said something of value. But as I began to zero in on his suggestions, I saw it was of no value and made no contribution towards sanity or peace.. His positions and demands are as limp as a wet noodle.

  3. Ami, I am writing a reply for the second time as my first reply seems to have gotten lost in cyberspace again.
    You open by saying everything is process? Pls. explain this: I always believed that principles proceed movements not the reverse. I always believed that all nations act according to their real or perceived national interests first and foremost.

    Your disaster prediction if I get my way? How? TOTAL ISOLATION? your personal opinion only with no apparent basis in fact, so you said it, so what! You claim without again any basis in fact that we might get some support from Europe of our Capital Jerusalem? (Vague) and some form of Arab tacit recognition. (OF WHAT) and why only should we settle for Tacit? We can live and quite well without their Tacit recognition, anyway why should we have to pay for anybodies recognition? We can show we are team players? I don’t believe even you said such nonsense! Are we playing football here? or Monopoly where everything is make believe? Is that your World, the make believe kind? Don’t be afraid to give them what they ask for or demand because we will keep IDF there Until we have Peace? Then why give them anything in the first place? So they will reward us for being a team player and some tacit winked recognition? I see the Law of Diminishing returns at play in what you suggest. I see what we have to loose,You have not made a case for what we might gain .

    I never said to just clam up. I said and if I didn’t say it that we should be asserting in every forum available to us that the Land of Israel and its Capital Jerusalem belong to the Jewish people and only the Jewish people, and we do not want to share it with only usurpers and thieves who stole it from us or received it from those who stole it from us. That should be the message and any process resulting from that position should be in relocating any non Jewish indigenous populations out of my country, to their natural homeland Jordan and Syria and Saudi Arabia. That should be the Message. All the rest is process! I am willing to declare Jewish rights and to deny Arabs rights. They can always maintain civil rights as long as they behave themselves here but no political rights. Our Democracy if we choose to keep it should be for Jews only. Every Arab and Most Muslim countries have similar restrictions and nobody is yelling apartheid against them.Within 10 years if we are making predictions almost every country in Europe will have similar laws or restrictions or they will cease to exist as European countries with a European culture.

    Would a Ben Gurion, Yigal Alon, Levi Eshkol, Golda agree with you inane positions and statements? I don’t think so! Israel in the dark days of 48 was stronger or weaker than Israel of ’07? What happened to that Spirit, that determination, that sense of the weight of Jewish History on their shoulder? What happened to Jewish pride? Jewish sense of destiny? Jewish peoplehood? The Jewish Prophets, The Tanach?

    Is the beginning and the end for you only fear of what the Gentiles will say or do. Is this a logical Jewish/Israeli response to the Gentile World? CAPITULATION BASED ON FEAR AND A NON BELIEF OF OUR EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO AND IN THIS LAND? Either with Have exclusive rights or no rights. Our rights transcend those of temporal, temporary World Organs, and worthless pieces of paper.

    I for one refuse to place my right to existence in this land on the whims of a fickle Jew hating world. I expect no redress of wrongs or acceptance of the justice and natural rights we Jews have to the whole land of Israel. We can keep it with Gods help and our strength and will as a people even if we are left with only a small remnant to fight and defend her.

    Your leftists= predecessors Of Mapai not Mapam, would be turning over in their graves to listen to the crap we are hearing from the Neo Pre-Zionists like yourself. The Mapai of old would put BB and todays likud on par with Uri Aveneri. How low we have fallen. It seems our real enemies are much closer to home than most of our Arab enemies. With them at least I have no expectations, and no positive opinions as well as no hopes either.

  4. Ami, I hardly know where to begin to your analysis of your near classic galut description and solution for Israels continued existence. If I and most of the readers of this blog ,where to come from an alien planet with no knowledge of Israel, the world, history, religions,differences in and what constitutes national entities, I would say hey that sounds good and very reasonable!

    You speak firstly and in all things of two separate conditions: On the one hand you admit the the Jewish people have right(claims if you wish to at least parts of the historic home land and of course its capitol Jerusalem!

    Then you ruin your first contention by more or less claiming that we cannot last or endure without the goodwill and approval of the World (not defined) do you mean the UN? America? EU?Russia? China?Fiji? or do we need the approval to exist from every nation in the Word or Just those that can effect us either economically and military or both?

    Israel became a legal state due to the decision of a majority of the members of the UN in 1948 but in 2007 if such a vote were to be remade we would lose it. This is due to a set of circumstances that existed in 1948 and do not exist today. Should be concerned YES! should we work hard to develop bi lateral relations with all countries based on our interests Of course, should we don sack cloth and ashes if they don’t want relations with us NO!

    The UN decision was based on the Jewish peoples Historic rights and attachment to the Land of Israel. The world then and still does not recognize our rights and claims to Jerusalem, ( the Jerusalem that means something to the Jews), SO WHAT! DID THAT STOP US FROM UINITING AT LEAST GEOGRAPHICALLY AND MUNICIPALLY ALL OF JERUSALEM AND ITS SURROUNDS. Even the Old Mapai had some sense of History and its Imperative with regard to the Jewish Existence. Their antecedents have lost all sense not only of identity but History itself. Hadar does not exist in theirs and your lexicon.

    If the people of the 1-2-3 aliyahs had thought like you they would have never come. If The yishuv in 1947-48 had all thought like you they would never have declared state hood. How nice and safe it would have been if we had just stayed under British rule and protection.
    Those guys had fears sure but also guts, and in their own way although mostly socialist and communists, professed atheists they had a near biblical belief in the Jewish destiny and Jewish Prophets. The eligious Zionists saw gods hand in Using these non religious Jews for the building up of the land, they were viewed by Rav Kook as the Tools of God and the beginning of the period of Jewish redemption and the beginning of the Messianic era.
    In those critical ways Did the world come to our aid? Did America? Was our situation in 1948 better than it is today? were we Stronger in 1948 than we are today? The answer is Obvious. The one major failing of Ben Gurion then was in abiding by the cease fire and not capturing Jerusalem before hand. This was a great sin because we could have captured Jerusalem then and changed the course of History of our people then. But he like you had his weak moments and capitulated to the World and stopped fighting, a bit prematurely.

    I know what I will say now will disturb you most: I believe our Rights to all of this land stem not from the good will of the nations of the world but from Abraham, Isaak, and Jacob, Moses and God. Even without the UN we would have sooner or later gained hegemony over all the land and declared it. Historical imperative and Gods promise trump any temporary reversible decisions , by a body that besides a few die hards like you largely ignore except when they speak or move against the only Jewish state. OOM SHMOOM is still applicable today as the Day BenGurion uttered it.

    All this being said I do agree with you that on the level of diplomacy and PR Israels track record borders on the inept,Individual Arrogance,(Peres said our policies are our best PR). We can’t just blame ourselves for being bad at expressing ourselves to the World, Even with the Best PR it is doubtful it would change many minds and THE WORLDS VIEW OF US, especially when National and regional interests seem to conflict with our claims and rights. Saying this I do not share your position that to overcome their negatives on Israel that we just hand them what they want in the hopes of gaining some temp. national advantage. The History of Israel has shown it has never worked as the crocodile always needs to be fed.

    There are many ways to give the world the proverbial finger, some ways can even be subtle, but this is tactical. If our past is precedent every time Israel stood fast on our core interests the world caved not Israel. Yes we had sanctions, embargoes, large emigrations, high inflation,recessions you name it but we survived all that and still thrived most of the others did not do as well as we did. I have a greater belief and trust in Jews , Israelis, and our Maker than you apparently have and on this we can in all likely hood never agree but I fear the people like yourself more than I fear the Gentile World, if people like you get your way.

    A few points you made:

      Every thing is process. Bullshit
      Total Isolation. Bullshit
      America giving up on us? I wish with all my being it were so!
      European Support for Jerusalem? What are you smoking? does that include the Vatican?
      We can show we are a team player? I am lost for words over this one.
      Why worry we keep the IDF in WB till there is real peace. There is quiet only because IDF is in the WB
      Israel Clams Up? No sir we say it all belongs , every inch to us in as many different ways as you con think of and in every forum you can reach.

    We have rights to all or none at all!
    What you are saying after all this is that you believe that the world will decide if we exist or not so we better find a way to make them like and accept us so we can come out of it with something. Correct?

  5. Ami Isseroff wants the GOI to discuss core issues.

    This same GOI could not field a diplomatic team to save Taba.

    Is not Issroff really seeking a Massada mass suicide ?

    Israel’s world class diplomats, such as Yossi Ben-Aharon, were ignored over the years. The current Israeli Foreign Minister doesn’t even have an oil tanker named after her.

    The core issues were established long ago by Count Bernadotte and the loss of the Altalena.

    Now, the only issue is to field a team believing in Lechaim instead of Jewish death.

    All else is miscellaneous commentary.

    Kol tuv,

  6. Ami couldn’t resist replying.

    Everything is process. The challenge is to engineer the process so that you gain from it rather than losing. Israeli strategy as it is right now would have a mediocre outcome. It is basically to mumble under their breath and change their minds every day. First Tzippi Livni said outposts would not be removed until the Palestinians stopped terror, and now she said they have to be removed. Tomorrow she will say something else. That is not a policy.

    Your strategy would bring complete disaster for Israel – total isolation. Even the Americans will give up on us soon. They have to. What we can gain from this process is European support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and perhaps some form of tacit Arab recognition – move 1 square forward and collect $200. At least, we can show that we are team players, as long as it is clear that we aren’t moving the IDF out of any territory until it is clear that Palestinians can keep the peace there. It is totally self destructive for Israel to just clam up, to let Arabs claim Jerusalem and this that and they other, and not be able to assert with any confidence that we have any rights at all, just because we would have to admit that someone else has rights. The net result is that the world will decide that only the other side has rights. What is the gain?

    Life is process and at the end you die. For most nations it is the same. There is no happy end, despite Isaiah, but that one is good vision to aspire to.

    The longest peace in Europe never lasted a century. Between major wars, a century (Napoleon to WW I) is probably the longest time in recent history. The next European war is probably just over the horizon – Russia vs Germany and everyone else. Panzers in Ukraine again, but this time the Germans are the good guys. LOL. Give it 10 or 20 years and it will happen, because the landmass of Europe is what it always was.

    So even if we sign a peace treaty it is not the end of history. There will not be an end of history. Certainly not in the ME. Fukuyama is unwise, and it is surprising that his ideas gained such a following. Now he is trying to find excuses for why his predictions were wrong. They had to be wrong.

    The Jews and the Greeks (to a lesser extent) are the ONLY nations in history so far to beat the reaper. Nobody else is left from ancient times, and the Greeks are not as close to the originals as we are. Both peoples did it by building a culture that was better than that of their neighbors, and more protected from the bastards of history, not by building better bombs or spears. No matter how big the bomb someone builds, someone else can build a bigger one. And we are only a tiny people.

    The big empires generally did not fall apart for military reasons, but primarily because of internal collapse – Rome, Britain USSR. Germany and Japan were exceptions – because they were nuts. They never lasted long enough for internal collapse. We have somehow managed to outlast every set of bastards. Now there is a new set.

    Right now we are sitting in a bad place, on top of a volcano of a lot of angry Muslims in the Middle East who have oil, who will soon have nukes. The few miles of real-estate in the West Bank will not protect us from these guys if they ever get going. It is OK for Pipes to declaim about “Victory” but there is no way for 6 million Jews to beat all those Muslims militarily. So we have to outlast the fanatics. They will run out of oil and go back to the desert and tend their sheep or whatever, or they will grow up and make a civilization. The dangers for us are either becoming a nation of fascists and self-destructing as fascists always do, or reverting to the stereotype of the Diaspora Jew who cannot do anything practical or defend himself. I see both happening here. The first danger is always from within.

  7. we are on the same page here. I just take issue with Isseroff convoluting his own stated facts, so as to fit with his personal agenda or world view.

  8. Israel’s core issues are practically forgotten and their significance has greatly paled in the current round of discussions and media coverage leading up to the Annapolis peace conference.

    A great many years have gone by witnessing the Palestinians utterly and continuously failing to keep their oft repeated promises and agreements to arrest the terrorists in their midst, dismantle their terrorist structures, abandon terrorism and seek only diplomatic and non-hostile means to pursue peace with Israel, to recognize Israel’s right to exist, to completely abandon their goal to destroy Israel and take all the land for themselves and amend their charter accordingly, to make concerted efforts to end the incitement to Jew hatred and violence against Israel, being their principal promises.

    In all this time not only Western, but Israeli voices demanding Palestinians keep their promises as a necessary pre-condition towards further peace discussions between Israel and Palestinians increasingly softened to the point of no longer being audible.

    The result has been that Western nations and America, have called for and pressured Israel to engage in peace discussions with the Palestinians, demanding further Israeli concessions, without requiring anything from the Palestinians.

    That is the direct consequence of Israeli and Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy organizations allowing the world to forget both Israel’s core issues and the necessity and importance of those issues to Israel.

    To make matters worse, in that same time, Israel, Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy organizations have conceded an open field to the Palestinians to keep their maximal demands in the forefront of the world’s mind.

    For Israel to suddenly demand its core issues be dealt with before attending the Annapolis conference or even at the conference, Israel likely would be perceived as throwing up roadblocks to peace and accused accordingly.

    By failing to ensure that the world fully appreciated the nature, extent and importance of Israel’s core issues and needs in order to survive in a extremely hostile Middle East and to ensure the world fully appreciated the true nature of the Palestinians and other Arab nations whose intractable Jew hating psyches spawned their intractable goal for Israel’s destruction, Israel has put herself at a huge disadvantage.

    Israel, together with the world Jewish community and pro-Israel advocates must now climb mountains in order to make the world remember, appreciate, care about and fully respect the necessity of Israel’s core issues to her survival. Those same mountains must now be climbed to make the world equally aware that the primary, if not only real roadblock to peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors remains the very same genocidal Arab hatreds of Jews that Israel has thus far fought and survived since 1948.

    The final mountain that Israel, Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy groups must climb is that once the world is made to fully know and uderstand, then the world must be moved to make decisions and act only upon that knowledge and not the willful delusions they now base their thinking on.

  9. Ted is persistent and consistent at least with Isseroff, first you present his his thoughts and ideas, then you say you disagree with some , most or all of his statements and conclusions. Then you subtitle his piece”

    He recognizes Arab intentions and lack of peaceful actions!

    Do you mean to say that If Isseroff recognizes these fact that A- it must be so? or B-Even an Isseroff has seen the light?
    Ted I have to almost agree with all or most of the facts Isseroff lists in his article posted on: ZioNation, is this our equivalent to Islam Nation? (not kidding here) what is Progressive Zionism? I always thought the the original was progressive.
    My big problem with Isseroff is that he always gives the correct reasons why they can’t and we shouldn’t but alway ends with criticism of Israel and their leaders for doing for what he has already given the correct and proper arguments for not doing.

    What seems to be his overwhelming all encompassing concern is the Browny points we win or lose with respect to the rest of the world? Like if we do not play by the worlds rules designer edition, one of a kind for Israel then they might not like us any more?

    I have my own complaints re: our leaders, their policies and their total lack of history, perspective,and even Jewish identity but we should take potentially mortal risks and hope our enemies stay true to form and bail us out of an untenable position ;we had allowed ourselves to be suckered into in the first place? Its this irrational thinking that has gotten Israel to the place of being between a rock and a hard place to begin with. Stop trying to be clever and start trying to do the right thing for the right reasons and we might all be better off
    Isseroff cannot stand the thought that there can never and I mean never be peace as he dreams about between Jews and any Arab or Muslim. It is not in the cards and he would do his mental health a favor if he could also come the the same conclusion. All of Israel would be better off if they also came the this conclusion. Then our reactions and actions would be based on a reality that can be dealt with with a clear head and and a mobilization of wills to overcome any existential threats without the Phony moral baggage and bleeding hearts for those amoebas we are up against.

    The world will like us or hate us based on their interests and their fear of us or lack of fear of us! If we suffer they will like us more and if we disappear in a mushroom cloud they will cheer and say nice things about us when we are gone but not before that.

    How long did the world like us when we ran away fro Lebanon? From Gaza? From most of the West Bank? Keep up the Good work! KADIMA (forward) the world pocketed our gestures and praised us for about 10 min and then demanded more, it always more. The beast will never be satiated till we are no more. The Isseroffs of the world are willing to feed the beast hoping they will be the last to be eaten. This is always the way with cowards.

    Progresive Zionism? is that Like progressive Judaism,Progressive education,Progressive Islam? Sounds good where can I get one


  10. You are so right, Bill. I am shocked by the total lack of PR on the part of Israel. There should be a full PR offensive in Israel to discredit and lay waste to the lies emanating from the Palestinians and other Islamofascist entities as well as the Mohammed Al Baradeis of the world who use international agencies to protect the enemy, downplay their evil and whitewash their objectives. Al Baradei, a Nobel Prize winner, refuses to recognize the connection between Islam and terrorism.

    The GOI has not mobilized its resources to defend itself in the international fora, even though they should be going beyond a good defense to a significant offense. Each and every bomb that falls on Israel from Gaza should be broadcast, every act of terrorism made known and brought before those anti-Israel agencies such as the UN and the World Court. Use the agencies that have historically been used by the Islamofascists to showcase and make a case against terrorism.

    The term Islamofascist itself is having an impact on Muslims and they do not like it. That is a very good sign because it is bringing the reality of what the free world thinks of them to their doorstep. Now they must act and control the baboons in their societies. The ball needs to be placed in their court. Israel must wake up and understand that this is a multi-faceted war that it is losing because it is not participating in the game.

  11. Great analysis, but what it reduces down to is that the Palestinians have consistently been winning the public relations and information war of words and ideas with Israel.

    Israel, Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy groups have barely recognized this battlefield where the war of words and ideas is taking place. In the result they have failed terribly to mount an effective counteroffensive of words and ideas to capture the hearts and minds of the West and in particular those Western nations that they desperately need for support.

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