What the Israeli Left believes

Ami Isseroff

[..] Israel however, cannot expect the Palestinians to change unless it offers some quid pro quo, a concrete goal that is realistic, desirable and yet attainable, as opposed to the dream of destroying Israel held out by the Palestinian unity government. And Israel can’t hope to dig itself in forever behind the position of no negotiations with the unity government, and to maintain the support of the US and European governments for this position, unless it offers something in return.

Contrast this with The End of the “Era of Peace” by Moshe Sharon

Therefore here is the reality as it truly is:

    The end of the era of make-believe “peace” has arrived. There never was any such thing. There is only the era of war – past, present and future – and that alone must be dealt with and preparations must be made only for its difficult developments.

There is No Peace in the “House of War”

The Muslims consider the State of Israel to be an advance position of the “house of war” established on Islamic territory conquered from Islam. This territory is nothing less than a sacred Islamic endowment, a Muslim waqf, that was expropriated from Muslim hands in a momentary tragedy and therefore must be returned to Islamic hands. Israel therefore must first disappear. All paths to that end are legitimate. Sometimes various sophisticated political tools have to be employed. It is possible and permissible, according to Islamic law, to reach a cessation of combat, a temporary postponement of the jihad, as Mohammed did with his enemies. (Recently the Hamas following exactly Muhammad precedence suggested 10 years armistice – hudnah – with Israel). Ceasing combat for a fixed period of time is sometimes necessary for the purpose of regaining strength, rearming, revitalization and in order to lull the enemy to sleep. Cessation of combat can even have the characteristics of a “peace agreement” as then the enemy is willing to sacrifice vital interests and, without paying attention, expose itself to the Muslim attack that will eventually come. What the Jews, for example, call “peace agreements” are nothing more than a tactic in the jihad – Holy War, which is the ideal situation, not peace.

The Arab League will most certainly express support for Palestinians at their upcoming summit, and hold out Israeli concessions as the price of cooperation regarding Iraq and Iran, as well as those nice low oil prices. The US, Russia and Western Europe will be tempted by these pressures, as well as lucrative trade opportunities. The Arab peace plan calls for recognition of Israel, but like the Palestinian unity platform, it insists on return of all territories conquered in 1967 and right of return for Palestinian refugees. It is therefore not a realistic basis for peace, but it is attractive as “the only game in town and as a concrete set of principles. While neither the Arab plan or the Palestinian plan are a basis for peace, the current situation cannot continue indefinitely, nor can the Palestinians be moved from their obdurate folly by vague talk about a political horizon or generalities about a better future.

Most of the non-Muslim nations of the world are probably agreed that a reasonable solution to the conflict will be along the lines of the Clinton bridging proposals or the Geneva accord or the Ayalon-Nusseibehpla n, which are alternate ways of stating approximately the same thing. They all posit a territorial exchange that will give the Palestinians a demilitarized state in about 100% of the pre-1967 territory, a capital in Jerusalem, and settlement of Palestinian refugees outside of Israel, in return for a formal and genuine peace agreement and an end to the conflict that has plagued both peoples for nearly a hundred years. A real and final end, not a “Hudna” like the Hudna of Hudibiyeh that will be terminated by a Muslim conquest. Palestinians must understand and accept that there will not be a second battle of Khaybar, in which the Jews are vanquished, not now and not in the future.

Israel accepted the Clinton bridging proposals in principle, but the precise offer was ever made publicly and was never official. Now is the time for Israel to launch a broad, detailed public peace offensive on those lines, and to seek the support of the Quartet, the EU and all fair-minded countries for the same program. The proposal should be sufficiently detailed so that everyone can understand what it entails. Maps and major proposals must be spelled out publicly, so that people like Jimmy Carter cannot falsify the truth. There will be no “Bantustans” in the offer and no possibility to dismiss it as Bantustans. Everyone will know exactly what they are being asked to support. Negotiations, when they are held, will be within a framework that is known in advance. The Palestinian side will understand that they cannot get a state without offering peace, and the Israeli side will understand that they can’t get peace without ending the occupation. If a large coalition unites behind the same plan it has a reasonable chance of success. If it fails, if the Palestinians do not agree, at least there will be an international peace camp that is united around a concrete program and holds out that program as a goal.

But what if it succeeds? The conclusion of such an agreement should be a victory and a cause for national celebration by both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The occupation will come to an end. The Palestinians will get their own state at long last, and the refugees will end their long exile. The Israelis will get the peace we have dreamed of since 1948 and before, the negotiated settlement that was the stated object of the Six Day War. The Middle East and the world will be able to turn their attention to other more urgent problems.

If you will, it is no legend.

March 20, 2007 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments


    The posting is mis-titled as “What the Israeli Left Believes”.

    Isseroff, makes observations and expresses views in accord with inside the box thinking as to the shape of an ultimate peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians which contemplates Israel withdrawing for occupied territories, both sides agreeing on peace terms and mutual recognition and the coming into being of an independent Palestinian state.

    To this extent Isseroff’s views are shared by many on the left, liberals, centrists and even those on the right, both within and outside Israel. Those who accept the conventional two state peace solution paradigm are in the majority. Disagreement amongst the leftists, liberals, centrists and the right are not on the goal of bringing the current two state solution paradigm to fruition, but only as to methods to achieve that goal.

    This conventionally accepted two state solution peace paradigm did not begin with Oslo. It had its beginnings on 29 November 1947 with the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which outlined a plan to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in the British Mandate of Palestine. That plan called for the partitioning of the territory of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

    The expression, the more things change, the more they stay the same might best describe the situation and circumstances existing in the Israel – Arab region in 1947 and those which exist now.

    In 1947, the UN sought to find a solution for the needs of both Jews and the Arabs and came up with the partition plan to create two states, one Jewish and one Arab. That plan was rejected by the Arabs. As different as the situation and circumstances are now in comparison, they are still fundamentally the same where the Palestinians are now being asked to accept essentially the two state solution peace paradigm. Though the Palestinians have said yes, it has always been a yes, but….. The but is what has made it impossible to move to bring the two state peace solution into being.

    In essence the efforts made by the West, with the last being the road map being pushed on Israel and Palestinians by the quartet is the same ongoing effort to finish the unfinished business in the region left by the U.N. in 1947 for future leaders to sort out, deal with and try to find a solution.

    There are voices now being raised that contend that if the past 60 years have taught the world anything, it is that the current two state peace solution paradigm is not realistic, and wasn’t from the outset because of the intractable hatreds of most Arabs and now Arab Palestinians of Israel, Israelis and Jews and their dreams burned into their consciences for a new Palestinian state rising from the rubble and ashes of Israel.

    With that, some are now contending that Israelis must come around to seeing that peace can only be had through strength in a one state solution that contemplates forcefully creating circumstances that will admit of only one solution to bring about peace and that is by permanently annexing Judea and Samaria and perhaps re-taking Gaza and inducing Palestinians by offers of enough cash to each and every Palestinian to get a very good start on a new life in neighboring Muslim states or in states elsewhere in the world.

    The stumbling block for now to such new peace paradigm is that the Arab world will never go along with that for fairly obvious reasons.

    That leaves things hanging between two different Israel – Palestinian peace paradigms, neither of which are possible as things now stand.

    If the current situation and circumstances to not allow for either paradigm to succeed, either a third paradigm that reflects realities must be dreamed up or Israel and the West must find ways to change the situation and circumstances.

    It won’t happen from the Arab/Palestinian side because they prefer things as they are , again for reasons that can be fairly easily discerned and understood.

    It increasingly appears that to make whatever Israel – Palestinian peace paradigm work, will almost certainly have to be made to work by force.

  2. The problem with withdrawal is that it presumes a closed system in which the agreement is the end of an epoch and the truncated Borough of Israel will live forever in peace. It suggests nothing about an “open system” in which there exists a day after the agreement. The most realistic assessment is that acceptance of an agreement further limiting Israel’s geographic position today can be the springboard for tomorrow’s change of heart, tomorrow’s change of regime, tomorrow’s change of circumstances, tomorrow’s change of weather. Today’s analysis of Egypt’s military build up by Dr. Barry Rubin found in http://www.imra.com is proof of destructive Arab long term goals. This is the blindness of the left. Based upon current view of the usefulness of Israel as a home for the Jews and its culture, the left would easily be able to justify leaving Israel for greener pastures in California or Borneo, abandoning those who were right of left with few options should things go sour. Rather, the left would be more realistic in wishing to hold on to every inch of “the territories” possible including the already ceded Gaza and Northern Shomron, since that would be a hedge against the need to use atomic weapons to preserve the state. That would be a true contribution to the peace process.

  3. [..] Israel however, cannot expect the Palestinians to change unless it offers some quid pro quo, a concrete goal that is realistic, desirable and yet attainable, as opposed to the dream of destroying Israel…

    This is based on a flawed premise. Hearts are not bought and sold by material things, if they were the USA would have enjoyed much more success than it has over the decades it has reigned as a world power. An odd thing happens when you try to buy peace or virtue, you often reap the opposite of what you intended.

    These people are willing to kill themselves to destroy Israel, people that are merely looking for a “quid pro quo” don’t do that. They would take offense at concessions as an attempt to buy their souls and hate you the more for the offer – and if they take anything it is only for the purpose of taking all.

    There is a profound abyss in the souls of these people that we are dealing with here, until that is healed there cannot be any peace.

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