The peace process is anything but

By Ted Belman

Ted 4John Kerry is insane.  At least that is what Albert Einstein would say because he keeps restarting the peace process, expecting a different result.

For any negotiation to end in an agreement, the parties to the negotiations must want an agreement at a price they are willing to pay or must need an agreement regardless of the price.

The US, EU and the UN undermine their own efforts to achieve an agreement because they ensure that the Palestinians don’t need an agreement by covering the total cost of Palestinian “resistance” including violence and incitement and they turn a blind eye to Palestinian corruption.  Nor is there a need for the Palestinians to focus on economic development because the west will always cover the shortfall. Thus there is no need for the Palestinians to compromise and they are never held accountable.

Nor do the Palestinians want an agreement. The Fatah Charter calls for the liberation of Palestine by which they mean the eradication of Israel. The Hamas Charter not only calls for the same thing but also calls for the destruction of the Jews. The international community could care less.

The PA does not want a negotiated settlement because that would require compromise and the signing of an end of conflict agreement. This they will not do. Instead they want the world to give them the state of Palestine without the need for them to agree to peace.

John Kerry understands this and therefor seeks to get Israel to induce the PA to enter negotiations by giving them something in advance. Anything to keep the process going. The PA is happy to pocket the inducement though they have no intention of negotiating in good faith.

Last time around, PM Netanyahu was given a choice of what inducement to provide; release over 100 Palestinian  murders or institute a freeze of settlement construction in Jerusalem and east of the green line, (’67 lines). He choose the former. But this wasn’t good enough for the US who also forced him to effect a de facto freeze which still is in place today, over 6 months after the end of the process.

On the other hand, there is no question that Israel both needs and wants an agreement.  But the price demanded by the international community is too high. The broad strokes of the agreement have been laid down by them namely ’67 lines plus swaps, a division of Jerusalem and sooner or later a withdrawal from the Jordan Valley.  But such a deal is not good enough for the Palestinians who continue to demand the “right of return” and to reject recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinians will also not agree to an end-of-conflict agreement.

According to a recent poll, 75% of Israelis, not including Arab Israelis, reject a two-state solution that requires any of these things. Netanyahu is not about to defy them.

Accepting these terms would require Jews to abandon their biblical heritage and their legal rights to the land.  It would also necessitate evacuating 150,000 Israelis at a cost, estimated in excess, of $100 billion. And finally withdrawal would be an existential threat to Israel.  As we have seen time and time again, international forces are worthless. Only the IDF can and will defend Israel.

Although the US says that the conflict must be resolved by direct negotiations, it severely limits those negotiations by mandating the outcome.

Perhaps Kerry is not insane. Perhaps he is not expecting a different result but merely wants to maintain the status quo and he sees the process as the best way to do this. Maintaining the peace process enables the US to remain involved, justifies their demands of Israel for concessions and curries favor with Saudi Arabia and other Arabs states that require the US to do something.

Of course, Kerry or Obama would never say so.  Instead they make the ridiculous claim that the most important thing in the Middle East is to resolve the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, that it is costing the US blood and treasure and that it is fueling the rise of ISIS.

To enable the pretense to continue for the foreseeable future, they demand that Israel do nothing to strengthen her hold on Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria including building homes for Jews there or by any other activity.

This is a losing proposition. The Jewish will to reconstitute their ancient homeland in Judea and Samaria, as authorized by the Mandate for Palestine, will strengthen with each passing year.

By demanding a Palestinian state, the world is preventing the resolution of the conflict.

The time has long past for the US to cease this charade and to focus on resolving the conflict rather than creating another Arab state.  If the US really wanted to resolve the conflict, it would allow Israel to manage the conflict as she sees and to fashion any solution it perceives as doable.

The world is also preventing the resolution of the conflict by supporting UNRWA which is mandated to maintain the Arab refugees, including their descendants, in a stateless limbo rather than to resettle them as UNHCR does. Should the refugees be resettled elsewhere, it would go a long way to ending the conflict.

The world is squandering an opportunity now to solve the Gaza problem and thus contribute to resolving the conflict.  Martin Sherman, in his cogent article, Let Their People Go, argues for resettlement of Gazans rather than reconstruction of homes.

“Anybody with an iota of intellectual integrity, a minimal grasp of the facts on the ground, and a smidgen of moral concern for “the other,” must know that the only feasible solution for Gaza that can offer any realistic hope for the future, is not its RE-construction, but it’s DE-construction. [..]

“[T]he only durable solution is the dismantling of Gaza, humanitarian relocation of its non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.”

Finally the US will not let Israel destroy Hamas. Surely this prolongs the conflict.

In the last conflict, to make sure that Israeli action was constrained, the US prevented the resupply to Israel of all munitions including hell-fire missiles. She also got the FAA to put a ban on flights to Israel thereby shutting down Israel’s only international airport. The USD paid lip service only to Israel’s right of self-defense while at the same time accusing Israel of breaching international law while exercising it.

Throughout the attempt to get a cease fire agreement, the US kept favoring terms that would benefit Hamas. Israel and Eqypt rejected these attempts and achieved a ceasefire in which no promises to Hamas were given. But thereafter the US continued to pressure Israel to change its policy toward Hamas and Gaza. It appears they were successful because Israel in the last two weeks has done a 180 degree turn around. She now accepts the unification between Hamas and the PA and she is lifting many restrictions on the flow of dual use supplies.

By every measure, US policies with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict perpetuate it rather than resolve it.

October 27, 2014 | 25 Comments »

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25 Comments / 25 Comments

  1. @ yamit82:

    The Montana cowboy […]says in a drawl, “That’s ’cause we ain’t played Cowboys and Muslims yet, but I do believe it’s a-comin’”.

    Good one!
    🙂
    (And it’s about time! 😀 )

  2. @ the phoenix:

    You have a pretty good handle on the situation..

    The policy is containment meaning they want to keep the flame very low and not inflame it.

    The last intifada lasted almost five years and claimed over 1200 live and thousands wounded and maimed before we got control and that was by invading the WB.,

    I’m not saying it will be the same this time but who needs it. It could screw the economy destroy tourism industry which took a big hit over the summer conflict with Hamas and bring more presure from EDU and Obama. By using high level of force will only give fodder to the Europeans and Obama/Kerry and even mes up delivery of need stuff on order for the IDF.

    Emotionally I’m with you and maybe it would be best but BB must weigh all possibilities ….

    Am I suddenly defending BB no but that’s the stuff weighed in the balance in decision making…. Plus we need Egypt to be where they are and not the Egyptian and Jordanian streets agitating to support the poor Palis…..

  3. @ bernard ross:
    From the article:

    “Islamic extremist elements are trying to set alight the capital of Israel, and we will use all necessary force, with determination and responsibility, so that they are unsuccessful,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Oct. 26.

    Just read this statement once again…
    In other words.. These attacks WILL continue and they WILL BE ALLOWED to continue (albeit unsuccessfully…)
    This is sheer insanity!!!!
    The next line says:

    Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been arrested.

    Well whoopteedoo!!!
    Arrested?… ARRESTED??…. A.R.R.E.S.T.E.D???
    Why bother?
    So they just walk through the revolving door???
    The ONLY time that change for the better will occur, is when the headlines will describe that “nearly 1,000 Palestinians were SHOT”
    Otherwise, it’s just treading water and sadly, more Jews will become “a sacrifice for peace”….,
    Arrrgggggghhhh!!!!
    🙁

  4. @ bernard ross:

    Three strangers strike up a conversation in the airport lounge in Bozeman, Montana, awaiting their flights.
    One is an American Indian, passing thru from Lame Deer. Another is a cowboy on his way to Billings for a livestock show. And the third is a fundamentalist Arab student from the Middle East, newly arrived at Montana State University.

    Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures. Soon, the two Westerners learn that the Arab is a devout, radical Muslim and the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.

    The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a magazine table and tips his big sweat-stained hat forward over his face. The wind outside is blowing tumbleweeds around and the old windsock is flapping, but still no plane comes.

    Finally, the American Indian clears his throat and softly speaks. At one time here, my people were many, but sadly, now we are few.”

    The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans forward, Once my people were few,” he sneers, “and now we are many. Why do you suppose that is?”

    The Montana cowboy shifts his toothpick to one side of his mouth, and from the darkness beneath his Stetson says in a drawl, “That’s ’cause we ain’t played Cowboys and Muslims yet, but I do believe it’s a-comin'”.

  5. The West forgets that this is primarily a conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims…..As far as the West goes what’s the difference?

  6. yamit82 Said:

    Order restored in Tripoli as Lebanese Army seizes last militant bastion

    Security sources told The Daily Star that soldiers found the mosque empty of militants. They believe the gunmen had melted away, their faces clean-shaven and dressed in civilian clothes, before the Army advance began early Monday morning.

    Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Oct-27/275466-lebanese-army-pushes-toward-militant-stronghold-in-tripoli.ashx#ixzz3HNYu855P
    Follow us: @DailyStarLeb on Twitter | DailyStarLeb on Facebook

    they’ll be back..its about keeping them busy and engaged
    remember when assad was back on top?
    fat lady not singing

  7. yamit82 Said:

    even though the terrorist group does not have a strong presence there.

    thats because it is part of the original plan which includes lebanon in the sphere of sunni influence and because it is home of the iran proxy hezbullah
    the chechen mercenaries in IS also have no presence in Iraq before they arrived
    The first part is the weakening of the proxies
    the restoration of sunni hegemony or influence in Iraq, syria, lebanon
    a route to the med under sunni control

  8. bernard ross Said:

    @ yamit82:
    BTW, unrelated but…..
    What does Hezbollah mean by ‘painful concessions’ in Syria?
    Qassem calls for “painful concessions” in Syria…..
    According to Al-Monitor columnist Jean Aziz, “painful concessions refer to the [Syrian] regime’s acknowledgment of the opposition as a partner in governing and acknowledgement by the opposition and those supporting it that the current regime is their partner in Syria.”
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/10/hezbollah-kobani-intifada-syria-erdogan-jerusalem-airstrikes.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=554b621101-October_27_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-554b621101-100371289#ixzz3HMuYDXjv
    Inklings of a political solution in Syria? Hence the containment and status quo of IS? what about iraq, and iran, and Lebanon?

    Lebanese troops battle north Lebanon militants for third day

  9. bernard ross Said:

    Inklings of a political solution in Syria? Hence the containment and status quo of IS? what about iraq, and iran, and Lebanon?

    ISIS Sets Eyes on Lebanon for Its Caliphate

    The Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS, has launched an initiative to conquer land in Lebanon, even though the terrorist group does not have a strong presence there. The Lebanese army continues to fight after IS captured its first portion of Lebanese land, border town Arsal, on Sunday.

  10. @ yamit82:
    BTW, unrelated but…..

    What does Hezbollah mean by ‘painful concessions’ in Syria?
    Qassem calls for “painful concessions” in Syria…..

    According to Al-Monitor columnist Jean Aziz, “painful concessions refer to the [Syrian] regime’s acknowledgment of the opposition as a partner in governing and acknowledgement by the opposition and those supporting it that the current regime is their partner in Syria.”

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/10/hezbollah-kobani-intifada-syria-erdogan-jerusalem-airstrikes.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=554b621101-October_27_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-554b621101-100371289#ixzz3HMuYDXjv

    Inklings of a political solution in Syria? Hence the containment and status quo of IS? what about iraq, and iran, and Lebanon?

  11. yamit82 Said:

    Israel doesn’t NEED an agreement. The Palis don’t NEED an agreement nor want one either…

    If this is true then the process might just be a performance for the relevant constituencies. An ongoing show which acts as a cover for facts which occur on the ground but appear unrelated to each other OR to any agreements or understandings.

  12. Ted: Israel doesn’t NEED an agreement. The Palis don’t NEED an agreement nor want one either… They make too much money keeping the conflict active and hot when they choose to turn up the heat. Israel is reactive and almost never proactive.

    The conflict can never end not in our lifetimes not in our children’s lifetimes….

    No one has ever explained why only the Palestinian Arbs are deserving of an Independent sovereign State and not a myriad of other more deserving ethic peoples around the globe.. I proffer that the reason is they are pitted against the Jews. That’s the only rational and viable answer I can come up with.

    There is only a single option to end our conflict and that is to drive or transfer all of the Arabs from Israel Gaza and the West Bank out from those areas. To where I don’t care in the first stage but far away from us is best.

    You Must consider that we are not in a real territoriall dispute we are in a religious existential conflict between two competing belief systems and their specific narratives.

    Wars potentially can create the needed and required solution as they always have throughout history. Israel were she forced into such a war must have clear non compromising end game aims which she hasn’t demonstrated till now.

    All support for the PA and Hamas whether by individuals or nations is support for the murder of Jews nothing less and they should be challenged on that basis.
    You call Kerry the fool? I call him and the whole of the American admin. DEVILISH!!!! I believe they know what they are doing and why.

  13. Ted says:

    The time has long past for the US to cease this charade and to focus on resolving the conflict rather than creating another Arab state. If the US really wanted to resolve the conflict, it would allow Israel manage the conflict as she sees and to fashion any solution it perceives as doable.

    I said the same thing in 2002 upon my eturn to the States after serving in the IDf as a volunteer.

    Now I say again:

    I do not hold myself up as an expert in the conflict between the Arabs and Jews but I have been busy reading. I do believe as a result of my readings over many years my appraisal is correct when I say the essence of the conflict has not changed one bit between the late 1900’s and today in any real material sense, notwithstanding the change in worldly appearances of nations between then and now, or even the relative change in military forces that may appear to favor the Israelis, which should make a difference but doesn’t. The sword of Damocles still hangs over Israel, not the Arab states.

    Let me get your attention: It may sound absurd to turn it around this way but the problem is all Israel’s fault. But for Israel making a series of distressing geopolitical blunders we would have no problem. Each blunder can be graphed as a self-defeating downward trajectory with each successive blunder increasing the intensity to national emasculation:

    The first blunder: The failure to annex immediately the land won as a right of war in 1967. The second blunder: the Oslo agreement — it was not made as a result of force. The third blunder: the retreat from Gaza — it was not made as the result of force.

    History predicts there will be more blunders unless Israel is prepared to resolutely affirm , once and for all, precisely what is Israel and be prepared — resolute and eager — to confront any consequences. There comes a time and the time is now to cut the Gordian knot and be done with the trend to national suicide. I say to Israel: You have everything to gain and you are on the path to lose everything if you do nothing.

  14. (con’t) The term ‘peace process” was one put into place to pacify The Jews and provide a general cover for an agenda which was designed in general to cut Israel down to size and specifically to create a new reality as soon as possible which would put Israel on course for the trash heap by diminishing her ability to defend herself. Just as in honor killings when the father coaxes the daughter back home from exile where she is protected in order to kill her. The “peace process” mantra was cleverly conceived as an artificial sweetner to lull prncipally the Jews into a false sense of security such that such a process as this one, will of course result in the acceptance of Israel. We all know to well the result of the daughter giving into her father’s big lie that she can come home and will not be molested. Offers of “peace” to Israel are cut from the very same cloth.

  15. There is no “peace” process. Israel is not engaged in a process designed to bring it peace no matter what it does. Oslo is dead. The pa violated it’s terms by merging with hamas, a known terrorist organization, engaging in terrorism and making unilateral moves to circumvent negotiations. Ya’alon last week, made clear a pal. state is off the table and autonomy is the best Israel could conceivably permit, under the best of circumstances until specific changes are made which will probably never happen or if they do, will take 100 years to verify and confirm.
    The use of the term “peace process” should no longer be used. It is a process to degrade Israel, that is all it ever was and needs to called by it’s proper name.

  16. @ NormanF:
    I think you are right. With that insight, with that awareness, Israel should do whatever it needs to assert it’s legal rights and whatever we need to do towards annexation and creating facts on the ground. America is going to punish us by pushing a dangerous peace process on us?? We are going to create bad blood between us and risk losing their support?? America will apply heat?? The inertia created by the fear of “more” pressure is our only problem but it is something we have control over. It would be better to start asserting our rights and create a crisis than to sit back and do nothing over the fear of a crisis. Are we really concerned that Obama won’t have our back anymore???

  17. The US is not expecting an Israeli agreement. Its expecting Israel’s weak and timorous leaders to comply with US wishes and not make trouble. In a word, the peace process in its revived form is less about forcing Israel to make peace than its a weapon to constrain Israeli independence and keep Israel from making choices the US does not want to see.

    To a considerable extent, that has been quite effective in keeping Israel in line.