U.S. Pressure on Israel for a Palestinian State Foreseen

by Hillel Fendel, INN

As the US, Jordan, the PA and others prepare for a high-level Middle East summit in November, a squeeze on Israel to agree to a Palestinian state just kilometers from Tel Aviv is feared.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has met in recent days with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and with Jordan’s King Abdullah, reportedly discussing plans for the upcoming Middle East summit. The summit is the brainchild of U.S. President George Bush, and is scheduled to be held three months from now. Some Israelis fear that it will mark the climax of a heavy series of pressures upon Israel to agree formally to the formation of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

“With a quiet and densely-packed timetable,” writes IDF Col. (res.) Moti Yogev, “the US Administration is cooking up, together with Prime Minister Olmert and Abu Mazen, very fateful plans for the State of Israel. The US will apply very heavy pressure on Israel to agree to understandings that will form the basis of the declaration of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria within just two months.”

Yogev explains that the Bush Administration is working under the pressure of the 2008 elections. “By then,” Yogev posits, “Bush plans to hit the Iranian nuclear infrastructures. This is why he is in such a rush to give the Palestinians and the moderate Moslem states fat weapons deals and a Palestinian state – in order to silence them in anticipation of the planned attack on Iran.”

“Bush has partners,” Yogev continues, “Abu Mazen and Olmert, and the common denominator for all of them is their unpleasant political situation, which is prodding them to take steps they hope will improve their standing.”

Shteinitz Opposes Summit
MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) told Arutz-7 this morning that the summit is something that must be strongly opposed: “This summit could well lead to a Palestinian state, with clear Hamas and Iranian influence, right on the doorstep of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ben Gurion International Airport. Even if it just serves as a small support for this idea, the summit is something that we must not allow.”

Shteinitz served as head of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the previous Knesset.
Though plans are proceeding apace for the summit to be held, several major stumbling blocks remain – including the refusal of Saudi Arabia to announce its participation, and the questionable status of Abu Mazen. Conflicting reports abound as to whether Hamas and Fatah are on the road to peace between them or to a resumption of hostilities. If the latter, then Abu Mazen could find himself a target of assassination; a statement by Hamas elements accuses him of “launching a war against Hamas together with the Zionist occupation forces.”

In addition, a group of influential businessmen in the PA is considering starting a new party, which Abu Mazen said he “supports.”

A Dangerous Israeli Commitment
Yogev says we must be very far from complacent, however: “[Israeli Cabinet ministers] are again working, trying to give between 70 and 90% of Judea and Samaria to the PA for a state. True, some say the present government does not have the political strength to pull it off. But what is now on the agenda is just a signature on a ‘declaration of principles’ for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Even if the implementation is put off, it will still be an international Israeli commitment, and this is very grave. In addition, if it is marketed as a way of saving Israel from the Iranian nuclear threat, it will be very hard to convince the average Israeli of the dangers of abandoning most of Judea and Samaria – despite what has happened in Gaza.”

The only way to stop this, Yogev writes, is for the “nationalist, religious, Zionist camp to wake up, unite as one, and work together… We have the strength to declare firmly that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel, and that any thought of giving it to ‘moderate’ murderers is immoral and will not bring peace or security.”

August 13, 2007 | 13 Comments »

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13 Comments / 13 Comments

  1. Salomon, I concur that just as the Arabs/Palestinians have opted for bringing about the death of Israel in stages, Israel should opt for a strategy that not only brings J & S and possibly even Gaza, within her fold within stages, but at the same time erodes the delusion of an independent Palestinian state as a necessary condition for peace, creates cnditions whereby Palestinians and Arabs would accept or be forced to accept that new status quo and destroys the Muslim Middle East game plan which has the destruction of Israel as its end game.

  2. If there is a war – with either Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas involved – there will be a major reshuffling of the present situation.

    But the results of wars are often unpredictable. They may turn out either on the positive or negative side. We cannot predict the unpredictable. The only thing the military can do is prepare for it and I trust it is doing exactly that.

    Leaving aside wars, a major diplomatic battle is shaping up from now to November. That is not only predictable, but almost certain. That is what Israel should concentrate about. How to initiate a radical change in Middle East diplomacy, that would abandon the deadly “principles” which have served as the basis since 1993: end of “occupation”; withdrawal from Judea/Samaria; dividing Jerusalem; Palestinian state, etc.?

    Whether it originates from the Israeli opposition, from a broad group of academicians, from Jewish organizations outside Israel, or from any other credible group, a new set of “principles” should be put forward, based on international law and factual truths. Yoram Shifftan and Howard Grief have worked extensively on these areas. Even assuming these new principles are rejected by the main negotiating parties, it would still have a positive impact, in that the sham of another Palestinian state will become more apparent.

    Although the notion of annexation should not be discarded, I believe such an action would be better received if it is amply supported by the “principles” mentioned above.

  3. Does anyone believe the Jared Israel/FGW hypothesis: that the US and Iran are not really big enemies at all. I’m wondering if the US is pretending to be enemies w/Iran b/c it allows the US to save face after Iran attacks Israel. The US can then say ‘well, we thought about attacking Iran, but….’

  4. Martin (Post # 9)

    I read the post again that you reference. I like the term annex better as well. That is the term I should have used. The trouble is I went to Univeristy. At the University they teach us that annexing things is bad. I have had to unlearn much of the political things they taught us. If we are going to win the war we are in, I think we will need to think more imperial.

  5. I quote from Comment # 7, B. Poster

    “The proper approach would be to strengthen Israel and to expand its borders.”

    My sentiments, exactly, as I tried to say in Comment #4. However, In place of “expand its borders” I suggested something a bit more operational: Annex! The “A” word doesn’t bother me. If that is what is implied, albeit indirectly, in the minds and hearts of all commentators to this site; have no fear, say it!

    And if not, just what would the erudite contributors to this site recommend –operationally, please, not philosophically!

  6. The US will begin withdrawing from Iraq in the next two or three months. The US and its allies will be completely out of Iraq by this time next year. American foregin policy post Iraq will likely be radically different. The US will likely be less active on the global scene. This means that Russia and the UN will likely be taking the lead in any Middle East “peace process.” In other words, America will be less involved.

    Since America will have less influence, this will mean that less pressure can be exeerted on the US to pressure Israel, as the US simply will not have the influence. Free from the restraints that America has sometimes had a role in placing on Israel, the Israelis will now be able to act more aggressively in defending their country. This is the upside to less American influence for Israel. The down side for Israel is they will no longer be able to use American pressure as an excuse for failed policies that they played a large role in crafting.

    Israel should simply say no to pressure from the US or anyone else. At a minimum, it will make the job of their supporters in the US much easier. Israeli foreign policy is for Israelis to decide and not for anyone else. The decisions of our soverign ally should be respected whether we agree with them or not.

  7. Bill

    Thanks for the reply to my post in post # 6. I’m not always that articulate with my writing. I tried to make clear that the Iranian attack on the American homeland may well be done by Iranian proxies and not by the Iranian military. Even if the Iranian military is used, it may not be such a “bold” move, if Russia and China choose to back up the Iranians. In any event, tyrants like those in the Iranian government are full of arrogance. Arrogant people tend to over reach. When the Iranians over reach, if we are alert, we can capitalize on it. In order to do this, Western political leaders will need to stop fighting among themselves and start focusing on the real enemies. Also, it should be pointed out that the Americans did not over reach beyond their capabilities on Iraq and Afghanistan. They merely over reached beyond what they were willing to do. This is a big difference between over reaching beyond one’s capabilities. The Iranian leadership is so full of arrogance that they will eventually over reach beyond their capabilities. The question is will we be ready to capitalize on it or will we be to distracted.

    Now to briefly address the points you make in post number 5. I tend to agree with you and what is especially maddening is the policies calling for Israeli concessions are not even in the best interests of America or even its elites. It has to be understood that America is being pressured as well. Its going to be VERY difficult to go against Russia, the EU, the UN, and the entire Arab world. With that said America must say no to pressure as must Israel.

    You write: “what seems even more galling of late about these decisions is that the Olmert government does not just strain to rationalize these policies, but they proudly proclaim them as their own and as being in Israel’s best interests.” The Olmert government probably played a large role in crafting these policies and I think they really do think they are in Israel’s best interests. As I point out in my previous post, when Israeli leaders do this, they make it more difficult for their non-Israeli supporters.

    The especially galling thing about these appeaseemnt policies is they serve neither American national security interests, Israeli national security interests, the security interests of Western European nations, nor the long range business interests of Western elites. The current policies actually undermine all of these interests. The proper approach would be to strengthen Israel and to expand its borders.

    I think the fundamental problem here is the Western mind set. In the Western world, at least in America, people negotiate for every thing. You ask “what does the other guy want and what do I want?” In the case of the Americans, the Israelis, and probably most Westerners the thing most of them want is to live in peace and earn money. In the case of the the Arabs we assume they desire something. For example, land, money, self-respect, liberty, or any thing else a Westerner might desire. What our leaders cannot seem to grasp is they along with their allies in Russia and China want the complete destruction of Israel and the West.

  8. B. Poster,

    Iran would not be so bold as to declare war on the U.S. Rather, it will use all indirect means through terrorist proxies at her disposal in order to maintain at least some semblance of deniability of her involvment. Iran has been quite successful at attacking the U.S. through her proxies. I expect if Iran wants to attack the U.S. they will stick with what has worked for them thus far and avoided having America come down on Iran’s head.

    It used to be that when a nation declared war on another, it was the government in power that did so on behalf of her citizens, regardless whether her citizens wanted that war. The nation attacked would fight back against the entire declared enemy nation,

    The nation counterattacking in a defensive war did not distract themselves from their purpose of defeating the nation that declared war on them by seeking to draw distinctions between the bad enemy government and those citizens that supported the government in the declaration of war from those citizens that were against their government’s declaration of war.

    America needs to wise up to Iran that is wised up to America’s folly that has allowed Iran to carry on her attacks against America without facing the painful consequences that such enemy actions warrant.

  9. There is no doubt, especially since 1967 when America replaced France as Israel’s main military supplier and increased her economic support of Israel, that Israel has laboured under pressure from the U.S. That pressure has over the last 10 years been increasingly ratcheted up.

    Can Israel say no to U.S. demands? There is a good chance she cannot. As noted before, Netanyahu in his run to become Israel’s PM staunchly defended Israel’s interests and promised there would be no retreat from Hebron in favor of the Palestinians. Soon after, American pressure forced Netanyahu to reverse positions.

    Sharon, Israel’s strongman in his election bid ran against Labour’s view that Gaza should be abandoned to the Palestinians. On getting elected he reversed course, albeit in doing so he appears to have surprised even the Americans who did not anticipate Israel would let go of Gaza so quickly.

    Then in November 2005, we recall that Condoleeza Rice was positively gloating at using American influence including reference to economic pressures to persuade a very reluctant Sharon to sign onto the Rafah Border Crossing Agreement. All of Israel’s fears about that agreement began to manifest almost before the ink dried on that paper. America said nothing, but pushed for Israel to carry on.

    There is little doubt that Israel has tried to say no to American demands. It appears those efforts to resist American pressure for Israel to do America’s bidding have been to no avail. That appears to leave Israeli leaders trying to rationalize some face saving explanation to support the Israeli positions and initiatives taken and policies formulated and implemented that for a very great many observers are not at all in Israel’s interests and seem ominously suicidal and self destructive.

    What seems even more galling of late about these decisions is that the Olmert government doesn’t just strain to rationalize their policies, but they proudly proclaim them as their own and as being in Israel’s very best interests.

    To combat American pressure to have Israel conform her broad goals, thinking, policies and agreements so that American interests are satisfied at Israel’s expense, Israel needs help.

    In that regard, Israel should stop rationalizing her self destructive policies and make clear that most, if not all of Israel’s concessions to date to Arabs and Palestinians and those yet demanded of her by the world, are being demanded by and forced upon her by America, not for Israel’s benefit, but America and that is insanely to the point now that America is seeking to push Israel into a position that could spell the end of Israel because no one, but no one, but no one is about to admit that Arab/Palestinian Jew hatred will continue to fuel the Arab/Palestinian dream for Israel’s destruction.

    With this out in the open, maybe, just maybe major Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy organizations will get on the bandwagon, first to Washington to shame the Washington ruling power elite and to pull all the political strings that can be found and yank the American government off its current Middle Eastern policy pedestal.

  10. There come a time when a sense of pathos weighs heavily on a reflective mind when confronted with a need to make a decision on matters of life or death.

    The state of Israel is long since past the time when the people of Israel are now confronted with what must surely be a final “moment of truth.” They have made prior decisions, wars notwithstanding, that would ensure their survival as a nation state only to find the probability of their survival became seriously attenuated, as in the Oslo and Gaza blunders.

    Either the state of Israel can survive without the support of the United States or it cannot. If it can, it must, almost immediately and without hesitation and with the courage of their conviction announce the annexation of the West Bank. There will not be another Palestinian State established in the Middle East. A Palestinian State in Gaza already exists. Annexation is mandated for the survival of the State. There will not be a better time.

    If not forthrightly annexed, and an enlarged Palestinian State is established, Israel as a nation state will be eliminated within a decade and without a whimper from the international community, including the government of the United States.

    On the other hand, if it is truly the case that Israel is but a puppet of a Western Power, but for whose support Israel would not exist, as is the contention of many in major circles, then Israel has no choice but to acquiesce in the demands of the United States, and take it’s chances that such gutless behavior is unavoidable and is a consequence of the need to support the political interests of the United States, not Israel’s.

    Summary, the “moment of truth” has arrived. If Israel cannot go it alone with proud and confident assurance, if it cannot survive on its own merits after all this time, without annual financial and military support from the government of the United states, it never will. I’m ready to throw in the towel.

    Martin Kessler

  11. In my lenghty post, I failed to mention that the attack by Iran or its proxies on the American home land will happen regardless of whether American forces withdraw from Iraq. Due to the Iranian political situation, the Iranian leadership MUST have war. Policy makers and analyists need to be focused on how we are going to prevent the Iranian attack and, if we cannot prevent the attak, what will our response be?

    I would suggest the following: 1.)enhancing border security, 2.)closely monitoring the mosques, 3.)placing a moratorium on immigration from Iran and other Middle Eastern nations, and 4.)working to significantly increase the strength and capabilities of the American military. Suggestion number 4 is probably not doable right now but the first three suggestions can probably get the support of the American people and if implemented they should help us prevent the Iranian attack.

    Another possibility would be to support any elements who are opposed to the current regime within Iran. Maybe we could knock them out of power before they can attack us. Unfortunately there are some problems with that approach. The news media, the state department, and the CIA would likely work to undermine the efforts and generally the American voters don’t want conflict. Trying to topple the regime would be viewed as an offensive effort. Suggestions one through three above are defensive efforts. If implemented, while I don’t think they are quite enough, they would be helpful. Right now its about the best we can do.

  12. I have no doubt that the US may seek to pressure Israel to reach a deal that is not in their best interests. The US will be withdrawing from Iraq and it is in full appeasement mode.

    Israel should simply say “no” to pressure from the Americans or anyone else. When the soverign Israel government and its leaders agree to bad deals, it makes it harder for their supporters in America and elsewhere.

    Where the analysis is flawed is when it assumes that the US will be hitting Iranian nuclear targets. There will be no American attack on Iran. The proposed weapons sales to the likes of Saudi Arabia have to be understood within the context of complete American withdrawl from Iraq. It should be pointed out that these weapons sales are only proposed. They have not been approved of yet.

    While there will be no attack on Iran by the Americans, Iran or its proxies will attack the American homeland. Instead of asking when the US will attack Iran or if the US will attack Iran, the analyists should be asking themselves when the Iranian attack on America will happen.

    I suspect the attack by Iran and/or its terrorist proxies on the American homeland will happen sometime around the middle of 2008. By this time the Russia upgrade of Iran’s air force will likely be complete. Once this upgrade is completed, Iran’s conventional forces will be on par with America’s military forces.

    If the US were to use nuclear weapons on Iran, Russia would respond with its own nuclear weapons. Russia has the largest and the most advanced nuclear arsenal in the world. As such, nuclear weapons against Iran are out of the question.

    In addition to this, the American political situation will not allow for an attack on Iran. In summary, once the upgrade to Iran’s air force is completed, Iran’s conventional forces will be on par with America’s. The US is checked by Russia. This makes the use of any kind of nuclear weapons against Iran impossible. In addition to this, the American political situation will not allow for an attack on Iran.

    Finally, I should point out that America’s overseas image is in the proverbial toilet right now. American business leaders, President Bush, and much of Congress are DESPARATE to repair this image. All of these factors make any kind of preemptive attack Iran impossible.

    I ahve TREMENDOUS respect for Lt. Col. Yogev. Israel acts as the primary buffer between the US and its Islamic terrorist enemies. His service in the IDF is greatly appreciated. My prayers are with him and his family and on a daily basis.

    Having said this, his political analysis where he thinks the US is going to preemptively attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is flawed for the reasons mentioned above. I would suggest he stick to military tactics and stay away from geo political analysis.

    I think his train jumped its proverbial tracks because he does not understand the American politial system. In the American political system, the power of a President and his/her Vice President is strictly limited. So even if the President or his VP would like to attack Iran or anyone else, they cannot do so without the support of Congress and the military leaders.

    In the current political situation, those opposed to the President control Congress, the news media, and the government bureaucracy. Also, the President is deeply unpopular and American leaders who make up the “political center” who drive any election are desparate to repair America’s world wide image.

    To be blunt, this President is little more than a figure head right now. He will be ordering preemptive military strikes against no one even if he wanted to because he can’t. I should also point out that Admiral William Fallon has pointed out that their will be no attack on Iran on his watch. Even if he has been replaced, he would have a strong say in who replaces him. As such, any replacement is likely to reflect his views.

    Now compare the American situation with Iran. Americans, for better or worse, are generally not a very patriotic people. Iranians and the citizens of most nations seem to be very patriotic. As such, a war with America will rally the Iranian populace to the side of the leadership. Right now Iran’s leadership seems to be deeply unpopular. If they don’t have war, they risk being undermined. As such, the Iranian leadership MUST have war. This is why Iran and/or its proxies will be attacking the US not the other way.

    What happens after Iran’s attack on the US? This is where military planners and political analyists need to focus there entergies. It is pointless to think about a pre emptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities by the Americans that will not happen. Also, given the ievitability of the Iranian attack on America, policy makers and military planners should be thinking about what they can do to prevent it.

    Also, Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. A nuclear armed Iran would not be good for America, however the US can probably managed this. Israel due to its small size and close proximity to Iran cannot. If Israel should be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, it would be dangerous to depend on American support. Remember America is desparate to repair its world image. As such, it is in full appeasement mode right now.

    The Iranian attack will probably change the political dynamic within the US and shift it away from appeasement but by that time it may be to late. Iran will probably have the backing of Russia and China. This combined with the Russian upgrade to the Iranian air force will make Iran capable of defeating the United States in a conventional war. Even if the US is still somehow able to prevail, millions and perhaps tens of millions of Americans stand to die.

    Right now I pity my homeland. At least Israel has guarantees from God who authored the Torah and the Christian New Testament that they are guaranteed eternal survival. This does not mean they will not face hard times but they are guaranteed survival. There are no guarantees here for the US or for Western civilization. Clearly much prayer is in order for all of our peoples and all of our leaders.

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