The Saudi Plan is carved in stone by the US – or is it?

By Ted Belman

A year ago, I wrote The Conspiracy to Shrink Israel in which I made the case by quoting from a number of sources, that the US was party to the conspiracy and its leader.

Now my leftist, Zionist, friend, Ami Isseroff has added to my evidence and drove the point home in his article, Understanding the obvious: U.S. policy toward Israel

Isseroff cites considerable evidence which you shouldn’t miss and then concludes,

The Israeli government always knew the score, even if it tried to forget it. Initially, Israel was in earnest about returning all or most of the land conquered in return for peace. Following the Khartoum resolutions however, and later, after the infamous UN Zionism is Racism resolution, it appeared safe to assume that Arab peace partners, other than Egypt, would never present themselves, and that Israel could take it for granted that the US would look the other way while Israel built settlements and created “facts on the ground,” ignoring the hypothetical day of reckoning that might come if and when the Arabs side ever opted for peace. From the point of view of the supporters of settlement, American support for Israel was a Faustian deal, and they would rather not think that one day the devil might come to get his due.

The “territorial integrity” and “land for peace” policy of the US has been largely ignored by many pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian analysts and statesmen, despite the fact it is a matter of public record. For Greater Israel enthusiasts, there was no point in emphasizing the huge gamble involved in pouring billions of dollars into the settlements. Likewise, when it is out of power, it is very convenient for the Israeli right to label any Israeli politician who is in power, and must offer concessions in line with U.S. policy, as a traitor or at least a wimp.

Isseroff makes an open or shut case. Or does he? So what if the “territorial integrity” and “land for peace” policy of the US is a matter of public record. So is the final solution having to be negotiated between the parties. So is the need for ending terror, electing new leaders and stopping incitement.

So what if this was on the public record since at least ’67. Res 242 providing for defensible borders has also been a matter of public record for the same length of time. Anything could change. Besides, no one though of it as a huge gamble notwithstanding the public record. Who could imagine that the US would demand the uprooting of the settlements after the US turned a blind eye to their construction. And don’t forget the settlement enterprises started under Labour. Furthermore, Isseroff stresses the cost of the settlements. Nowhere does he mention the cost of the Oslo Accords. What with the costs of new roads, the fence and security forces, the cost runs into the billions. At the worst, Israel will get to retain the settlements around Jerusalem.

The penny-ante pundits on the sidelines do not understand this game. When a Sharon or Netanyahu actually gets into power, the amateur kibbitzers expect that they are going to do something different. They will annex the West Bank perhaps, or rebuild the Temple. When this doesn’t happen, because it can’t happen, the pundits of the right cry “traitor” and “incompetent” and “corrupt” at their own previously adored leaders, and turn to more extreme politicians.

Yes, where the left lays back and accepts the “inevitable”, many of us strive to create a different outcome. We don’t like what the US has planned for us. That makes us the dreamer and the leftists the realists. But who is to say our dreams can’t become reality or that his reality doesn’t ignore reality.

On what basis does he conclude “it can’t happen”. Is it simply because it hasn’t happened? Put another way, Israel hasn’t been forced to exchange land for peace since the Madrid Conference in ’91. So who is to say it will be?

The process began with Menachem Begin, who was unalterably opposed to surrendering a single clod of earth, as he repeated many times, and was promptly roped in to giving up all of the Sinai peninsula. “From here,” as Sharon was later to remark upon assuming office, “it does not look the same as it did from there.”

The stalwart of the right, Benjamin Netanyahu, was singing a somewhat different tune by the time he got to the Wye River Memorandum. The Sharon bogeyman in office became the architect of disengagement. It will be observed that even Avigdor Lieberman in the cabinet, looks quite a bit different than he did when he was in the opposition. He does not object to negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas too strenuously. Nobody has remarked on the absurdity of the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu out of office, is now to the right of Avigdor Lieberman. It is all determined by the obvious need of the Israeli government to fall in line, more or less, with US policy.

While it is true that Begin, Netanyahu and Sharon all gave up land, that was then. This is now. Things change; the rise of Iran, the decline of the US, 9/11, the failure or the disengagements and so on.

For standard anti-Zionists of all kinds, it is very convenient to point to the large amounts of foreign aid given to Israel. Of course, that aid is given to ensure that Israel will remain compliant with US wishes, and prevent a repetition of the Six Day War scenario, which was a nightmare for the US State Department after all. Out of no place seemingly, an independent regional player had appeared, and was in a position to dictate the course of affairs. An imperialist power cannot allow that.

The best way to prevent a Six Day War scenario, if that really concerns the State Department is to leave Israel in possession of the land. I just don’t accept his assertions here.

For Arab, anti-U.S. rhetoricians, it is hardly convenient to point out that the US has a vested interested in peace in the Middle East, and much more profitable to claim that the US is pro-Israel, a claim that US statesmen and politicians must back up for reasons of domestic politics, as well as to keep the confidence of the Israeli government. Everyone in the US government probably remembers the unfortunate announcement of Robert McCloskey, prior to the Six Day War, that the US would remain neutral in thought word and deed, and nobody wants to repeat that fiasco. But the truth is, that stripped of niceties, the policy that President Bush enunciated in his recent Middle East speech is not much different from the policy that Kissinger explained to the Iraqi foreign minister: Land for peace. The land is real enough. The nature of the peace is open to negotiation. As Kissinger also remarked at the time: “I have told friends that peace isn’t a final end. Wars begin elsewhere between countries that are at peace.”

While Bush isn’t far from Kissinger now, who is to say it wouldn’t have been different had Israel appealed to the American public which Isseroff knowledges are a factor. Also. if you are going to be subject to war even if you are at peace, better to have defensible borders. Look at the instability the US has created by pursuing the two-state solution. That seems to be counter productive if you are looking to achieve stability.

That was a pretty broad hint. If the US can get peace, it will force Israeli withdrawal, and it will not examine this peace too closely to see if it is permanent.

This last sentence fully supports my article Its all about ending the “occupation” and not about achieving a peace agreement in which I concluded “Thus this plan is intended to end the occupation of J & S without a peace agreement.”.

The realities of the Middle East have changed in the past forty years, though U.S. policies and perceptions have not. This creates problems for the U.S. In this period, a stubborn lobby in support of settlements grew up in Israel. Their opposition to peace and concessions was seemingly validated to many Israelis by the breakdown of the Oslo process, and by the disastrous aftermath of disengagement.

At the same time, the cause of disaffection with the United States among Muslim countries, and Arab countries among them, is no longer only support for Israeli retention of territories. Rather, because of the rise of radical Islam, it is becoming more and more the case that the Israeli presence in the Middle East is branded as a Western colonial implant. Any peace that is sponsored by the United States, no matter what the settlement, is by definition a disaster for the local enemies of the United States. Therefore, trying to make peace between Israel and the Muslim/Arab world is no longer the panacea for America that it was in past decades. In addition, European countries, Russia and China stand ready to take up the slack where American influence wanes. Russia no longer has the odium of atheistic communism associated with it, which deterred conservative regimes in the past.

An additional complication is that Americans have become increasingly entangled in Iraq. In their desperation, some delude themselves into believing that making peace between Israel and the Palestinians will somehow help their cause in Iraq. This idea was apparently injected into the Iraq Study Group report by expert adviser Ray Close. For Middle Easterners, Americans are inscrutable occidentals. It is impossible to understand why Americans would think Al Qaeda, Shi’a or Sunni extremists would really be touched to the core of their humanitarian souls and stop blowing up mosques because the Palestinian problem was “settled.” Rather, these extremists are bending every effort to ensure that the only acceptable “settlement” of the problem would be eradication of Israel. Any genuine moves toward peace would cause them to redouble their explosive efforts, and any settlement that left a Jewish state intact would be portrayed as “betrayal” of the Palestinian people.

These complications auger for a change of US policy don’t you think. The US could easily decide that a strong Israel was a strategic asset.

Now let us assume that Israel ends the peace process and extends Israel law to Judea and Samaria. Th UNSC will have an emergency session and entertain sanctions. The US will then be embroiled in a major internal debate as to whether it should use its veto. Of course CUFI would fight against it. Since it was now Israel government policy, so would AIPAC and American Jewish Congress. So I doubt that the US would allow sanctions.

Similarly it would be difficult for the US to withhold parts and resupply when Israel was making a public issue out of it. Besides the US also needs Israel. On balance I don’t see the US doing anything damaging.

But lets say I am wrong, the worst thing that could happen is that Israel is forced back to the fence. Better than the Saudi Plan.

But more to the point, how realistic are the treats he annunciated.

July 28, 2007 | 21 Comments »

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