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Sunday, January 04, 2009

The 'obstacles' to a 'Palestinian' reichlet

In Sunday's London Telegraph, former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind writes that Hamas' rockets are preventing the creation of a 'Palestinian' state reichlet (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
But the Israeli government's objectives are not just to influence Hamas. They are equally anxious to influence Israeli public opinion. Israel is a genuine democracy. It is due to have a general election on February 10. If that election results in Tzipi Livni as prime minister with Ehud Barak, the Labour leader and former prime minister, as her deputy, the peace process has a serious prospect of getting somewhere. The attacks on Hamas are already helping Livni and Barak in the opinion polls. The international community might not approve, but if we wish to see a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future this is likely to be the best route.

An Israeli government re-elected just 21 days after President Obama takes office would create an unprecedented opportunity to relaunch the peace process. George W. Bush only seriously engaged in the issue in his last year in the presidency, when his authority was disintegrating. Obama is likely to have eight years of power ahead of him and will carry more weight with both Israelis and Arabs than any previous president for many years.

Having Hilary Clinton as his Secretary of State is an additional asset. She is a powerful figure in her own right, well thought of in Jerusalem, and respected by the Palestinians. If the new US administration is willing to engage and help guarantee any successful negotiations, the Middle East could at last turn a vital corner.

Finally, there is the Iranian dimension. Iran may not be a proper democracy but no one can predict whether Ahmadinejad will get a second term in June or be ousted by a moderate opponent. If he goes, much of his rhetoric on liquidating Israel will go with him. A peaceful resolution of Iran's nuclear aspirations would also be more likely, especially as Obama has promised a serious dialogue with Iran to try to meet its security concerns. If the United States, under Bush, has been able to do a deal with Gadaffi's Libya then a new relationship with Iran, brokered by Obama, is not inconceivable.

So the stakes are high. An Israeli-Palestinian peace will not ensure, as is sometimes asserted, that Iran will become peace-loving, that al-Qaeda will disband or that terrorism will be a thing of the past. But no one can doubt that Israel-Palestine, Iran and terrorism are linked both in the political psychology of the Middle East and in the strategy of many Western governments.
Rifkind is living in an alternative reality.

First, Hamas would never have won an election or gained control of the Gaza Strip if Fatah had shown any true willingness to fight terror, to make a real peace with Israel, to build a state and to cure its own corruption. We're still waiting for any of those things to happen. So far, there is no indication of any of them happening. Look at the picture above. Nothing has changed. Abu Mazen continues Arafat's policy of maintaining the unity of the 'Palestinian people' rather than fight terror.

Second, Israelis were convinced that the Gaza expulsion was a mistake long before Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June 2007. In fact, most Israelis were convinced it was a mistake before it ever happened, but Ariel Sharon managed to ram it through anyway by corrupting the political process (which is easy to do in a country where Knesset members owe their loyalty to the party and not to constituents). Those who were not convinced earlier, were convinced by Hamas' kidnapping of Gilad Shalit in June 2006, a full year before they took over the Strip.

Third, the current action might not have been necessary had the Olmert-Livni-Barak/Peretz government not tried to appease the 'Palestinians' and world opinion with the idea of a unilateral flight from Judea and Samaria. Israelis know that there is far more at stake and many more sensitive targets within range of Judea and Samaria than there are from Gaza. Draw a map with a 40-kilometer range of Judea and Samaria and all of our major cities and our international airport are within range. We would all have to move to Eilat. And then we'd be surrounded by the Jordanians, Egyptians and Saudis within about ten miles.

Fourth, the 'Palestinians' aren't exactly excited about living under Fatah rule either. Many of them who are outside the 'security fence' in the Jerusalem area have been moving into parts of Jerusalem that are within the 'security fence.' They're not fools. The world may want a 'Palestinian' state but no sane 'Palestinians' want to live in it.

Fifth, Israelis aren't fools. The polls on Friday show that we're not going to vote for Livni and Kadima anyway.

7 Comments:

At 8:56 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Also - there's no chance Iran will moderate its genocidal views towards Israel even if America offered Iran a package of incentives to desist from building a bomb. It misses the point which is the destruction of Israel is what animates Iranian policy and that of its proxy terror satellites - Hezbollah and Hamas. Unless the mullahs regime in Iran disappears, Iran will continue to threaten Israel and confound America's alliances in the Middle East. And Israelis would have to be meshuggeneh not to prepared for the real danger after the present Gaza operation is over.

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

A Palestinian reichlet would mean turning all of Israel into a national Sderot. And the Arabs would control the commanding heights overlooking coastal plain. It takes a lot of trust to presume the Palestinians would be good neighbors with the infidel Jews. The problem is they want 100% of Israel and no sane Israeli is willing to give that to them and commit national suicide. That would be practical effect of a Palestinian reichlet. And the Palestinians will never settle for less than than their ultimate dream.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger ledger said...

Carl, I agree with most of your assessment. Neither, Hamas or Fatah wants peace with Israel. They want to destroy Israel. Rifkind is living a fairy tale.

Further, Obama and his political hacks will sell you down the river for political and financial gain (such as ABSCAM).

Israel is doing relatively well by allowing Hamas and Fatah to destroy each other. I would suggest encouraging them to do more of the same. Then, the last opponent standing can be taken out.

Iran is a real problem to Israel. You will have to deal a crushing blow to their nuclear program for your own survival. Don’t depend on Obama to do it for you. He will not.

Keep cleaning out the snake’s nest. Don’t stop until it is done.

 
At 4:39 AM, Blogger Porterhouse said...

If you don't believe in a two state solution, what is your answer to 60 years of conflict - another 60 year of fighting a war neither side can win? If so, please don't count on American taxpayer money to fund it - we've about had it.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Porterhouse,

There is no answer. At least not for the foreseeable future.

Deal with it.

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger Porterhouse said...

Dealing with it doesn't mean subsidizing it. If you want to fight an endless war over disputed land, have at it. But don't expect American taxpayers to foot the bill.

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger Phoneyid said...

Many Jews are saying, 'kill all Amalek' 'and their babies'

 

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