Will Israel choose annexation over normalization???

T. Belman.  Two days ago at the Arab summit in Saudi Arabia, MBS, Sisi and Abdullah all called for, “the establishment of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”.  The only one with any clout is MBS. He has put all their demands on the table before serious negotiations commence. Are they all pre-requisites of will some be dropped before the final deal?

It doesn’t look good for Israel because the Palestine demand is also in line with the declared policy of the Obama/Biden government.

Will Israel favour annexation over Normalization??? I sure hope so.

Saudi crown prince stresses backing for Palestinian state amid intensified US effort to secure normalization; 

By JACOB MAGID, TOI 19 May 2023, 9:51 pm  

In this photo provided by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs the Arab summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, May 19, 2023. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed his commitment to Palestinian statehood at the Arab League summit on Friday, amid intensified US efforts to broker a normalization deal between the Gulf kingdom and Israel.

“We will not delay in providing assistance to the Palestinian people in recovering their lands, restoring their legitimate rights and establishing an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” bin Salman said in his address to the Jeddah conference, where considerable attention was focused on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s return to the forum after a 12-year suspension.

“The Palestinian issue was and remains the central issue for Arab countries, and it is at the top of the kingdom’s priorities,” added the de facto Saudi leader, who is known by his initials MBS.

The comments were largely standard for leadership in Riyadh, which has long insisted publicly that it remains committed to the Palestinian cause and will only normalize ties with Israel after a two-state solution has been reached. This has not stopped the Biden administration from working to strike a deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh, with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan calling it a “national security interest” earlier this month.

The next week, Sullivan flew to Riyadh, where he met with bin Salman and raised the issue. Sullivan was accompanied by senior White House aides Brett McGurk and Amos Hochstein who subsequently traveled to Jerusalem to brief Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the status of the endeavor.

Foreign Ministry director-general Ronen Levy also spoke with administration officials about a potential Saudi deal during his trip to Washington earlier this week.

While there is some renewed optimism in Jerusalem, Israel’s Arab neighbors have sent other signals, expressing severe discontent with Netanyahu’s new hardline government over its far-right members and antagonistic policies toward the Palestinians.

In this photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, leaders of Arab countries pose for a group picture ahead of the Arab summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, May 19, 2023. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)<

Netanyahu’s planned visit to the United Arab Emirates has been put on hold and the Negev Forum ministerial summit, which was planned for earlier this spring, has yet to be scheduled by Morocco. The US even recommended that Israel change the name of the Negev Forum so that it is less specifically identified with the Jewish state, amid increased discomfort with Jerusalem in recent months.

A senior Middle East diplomat told The Times of Israel last month that the Netanyahu government has made maintaining the Abraham Accords, let alone expanding them to include Saudi Arabia, “very difficult.”

Still, Saudi Arabia has been willing to name its price for normalizing with Israel in talks with Biden officials.

The senior diplomat said that Riyadh has asked the US to green-light its development of a civilian nuclear program in exchange for the kingdom normalizing relations with Israel.

The civilian nuclear program is among several demands Riyadh has presented in talks with the Biden administration over the past year, the diplomat said, while clarifying that such a deal remains “very far off.”

The senior diplomat said that although Washington is interested in brokering a normalization agreement, Riyadh is not rushing to sign on, recognizing Congressional opposition to Saudi demands for closer US defense cooperation.

Given the Biden administration’s fears that a Saudi nuclear program could further accelerate a regional nuclear arms race, Riyadh has suggested developing it in full cooperation with the US and agreeing to American monitoring and inspections, the diplomat said, while acknowledging that Washington has not yet been sold on the idea.

Further complicating the effort, Saudi Arabia is also conditioning a normalization deal with Israel on a significant expansion of defense ties with the US, including a system of guarantees to prevent future administrations from pulling out of weapons deals that have already been signed, the diplomat said.

Notably, the Middle East diplomat revealed that Saudi officials have not raised a specific demand related to the Palestinian issue in their talks with the US, as the United Arab Emirates did when it conditioned its decision to normalize ties in 2020 on Netanyahu shelving his plan to annex large parts of the West Bank.

The diplomat speculated that a Palestinian-related demand would likely be raised toward the end of the negotiations.

Just about every Arab leader was present at Friday’s summit in Jeddah, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also attended after receiving a surprise invitation.

Abbas used his speech to urge Arab countries to join Ramallah’s effort to drag Israel before the International Criminal Court over its conduct against the Palestinians.

“Israel violates signed agreements and UN resolutions and maintains its colonial Zionist project, which is based on the continuation of the occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid,” he charged, adding that Jerusalem has continued to carry out “unilateral measures” that further entrench the conflict in defiance of the international community.

Jordan’s King Abdullah struck a similar tone as bin Salman, saying that “the Palestinian issue remains the focus of our attention. We cannot give up on the pursuit of a just and comprehensive peace, which will not be achieved if the Palestinian people are not able to establish an independent state within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

He blasted Israeli settlement construction, demolition of Palestinian homes and expulsion of Palestinians from their lands, insisting that the alternative to a two-state solution — which Israel opposes — is an “ongoing state of conflict.”

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who often presents as a slightly more moderate foil to Abdullah on Israel, said in his speech that Cairo “followed with sorrow and pain Israel’s irresponsible escalation in the territories and what happened in Gaza.” He appeared to be referencing last week’s five-day conflict in Gaza, which ended after Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“We call on Israel to end the occupation and to enable the establishment of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Sissi said.

Arab League Secretary-General Aboul Gheit lambasted Israel in his speech as well. “The reckless actions of the Israeli government have led to a shocking escalation in the level of violence and killing in recent months. We salute the steadfastness of the Palestinians. The [Israeli] government’s provocative policies and actions are extreme, and a decisive response by the international community must be taken.”

Syria’s Assad also raised the issue, saying, “the Arab League summit presents a historic opportunity to address regional problems without Western and foreign interference,” namely the “crimes of the Zionist entity against the Palestinian people.”

May 21, 2023 | 13 Comments »

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  1. On reflection whatever we call them is secondary to my main point which I do not think has any support on this site which is:

    The closeness between Bandera and Haj Amin el Husseini. Their politics and their movements.

  2. Honeybee I usually don’t answer you but this one time ask you to read what I wrote. You are embarrassing yourself because Palestinians is beloved by the antisemitic BBC. I totally opposed it’s use. And Pals is a kind of dirivative. I am not concerned though about your barbs. But you follow Yamit who always attacked supporters of Israel because they were not Jewish. Like an exclusive club situation. It’s a form of abuse. Creates bad vibes. I won’t come back to this. Too lowering of the spirit.

  3. Felix “Peloni I really do not like the word Pals or Palestinians etc” i do not like the words pigs and monkies for Jews

  4. Yes Edgar ,I have reread it and I remember it was “pack of mongrel terrorist dogs” which I liked do much.

    Such is my love for animals I will end it at terrorist make it plural so

    “Pack of mongrel terrorists”

    But insisting to Russia let’s standardise


    Scion of Bandera = Scion of el Husseini

  5. Edgar

    I am very very much in favour of

    “This clearly shows the definite, irrevocable provenance, and that Israel owns the “territories” by RIGHT and not only by Law.”

    And such formulations in an active body force.

    Both you and Raphael are inspiring me in this grim time.

  6. Peloni I really do not like the word Pals or Palestinians etc

    I am very fond of the words Edgar used.

    I will think about this and make a proposal

    I identify and characterize them as those their blood brothers in Ukraine.

    What do the Russians call those Fascist scum Scion of Bandera? Perhaps that will help.

  7. IF there is a legal way to do it, I would strongly. advocate that “annexation” be an “also”, held in reserve whilst proceeding on the San Remo, Sevres, L0f N British Mandate, US Houses unanimous passage, leading to Art 80 of the UN Charter. This clearly shows the definite, irrevocable provenance, and that Israel owns the “territories” by RIGHT and not only by Law.
    It also will show that the Western Countries, including the US and the UN, have known and ignored their own Laws, exposing their charades and I hope, leaving them with-at least- RED FACEs.

    AND- the ugly stigma of Anti-Semitism…They deserve no less.

    As for MBS and etc. Let the present under the table contacts continur. They will ecentually realise that they need to join the Accords openly.
    ANd if they don’t…well, anything is better than handing over any of our National heartland to a pack of mongrel terrorist dogs, who don’t know the meaning of “treaties”.

  8. The simple reality is that if normalization with the Saudi’s is to be dependent upon Peace with the Pals, there will simply be no normalization with the Saudi’s. This simple fact is irrelevant of what the Saudi’s want, what pressures the US will bring, or what Bibi decides. The choice is beyond the control or manipulation of anyone or all of these parties. Instead, the choice lies with the Pals, and the Pals will ever persist in choosing war over peace, no matter the terms, no matter the promises, and no matter the prizes offered to them. The only peace they seek is the entire piece of land which now makes up the Israeli state. So if Saudi Arabia were so beholden to their dislikable and well disliked cousins currently led by Abu Mazen, there simply will be no peace at all, and everything that has been moved towards that end thus far and in the future will be for naught.

    I do not believe that Bin Salman is such a fool as to tie his prospects of dealing with Iran to the self-destructive natures of his Pal cousins of with which he is all too familiar. Time will tell if this is true or false, but if he were to suddenly make this a solid demand for his moving towards Israel, he will simply remain as isolated and alone as he stands today.

    This is why , facing the choice of normalization with Saudi Arabia versus extending sovereignty over the Jewish heartlands, Israel must choose carefully, dispassionately, and with full reflection of the opportunity costs of either path, and then vote to extend their sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. In time, more likely than not, the Saudi’s will recognize that the benefits of allying with Israel are too great and too necessary to their future to squander in defense of the Pals, for whom their continued efforts to support would only harm the Saudis without any benefit to the quarrelsome, dysfunctional Pals, themselves. There is but only one tenable path forward, and it lies ripe with rewards for both Israel and the Saudi’s, but it is not a path which requires further squandering of time or lives while tending to the impossible task of satisfying the recalcitrant Pals.

    Consequently, Bibi must choose to extend sovereignty and the Saudi normalization will follow. Should he lack the strategic will to choose the former, he will never again be in a position to gain the latter.

  9. JINSA article (Jan 5, 2023) is very important.

    THE OBVIOUS follow-up question we asked: Isn’t progress on the Palestinian issue a prerequisite for normalization? The answer we got was an unequivocal “no,” followed by a vivid description of a Palestinian leadership incapable of making peace with Israel for fear of being killed by its own people.

    The Saudis will continue to press for a solution, but the Palestinian track is now separate from the normalization track. The latter will no longer be held hostage to the former, provided the Saudis can get what they need from the United States.

    Upon our return to Washington, I confirmed that what JINSA heard on normalization was consistent with the message that the Saudis had directly communicated to the White House.