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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bibi backtracks again?

JPost is reporting that the Netanyahu - Lieberman government is going to accept 'some form' of the suicidal Saudi plan in a bid to get the Obama administration to help Israel deal forcefully with Iran.
According to sources close to the policy review being undertaken by the new government, Israel will compromise on the Palestinian issue to obtain more direct and aggressive US assistance on the Iranian front. It is not known if such help includes logistical support for Israeli strikes in the case of a military confrontation with Teheran.


But the acceptance of "some parts" of the plan doesn't mean Israel has accepted it as a whole, the senior official added. "The main problem is the demand for [the return of] refugees. The plan calls for a 'just solution' according to [1948 UN General Assembly] Resolution 194," which calls for refugees "wishing to return to their homes and live at peace" to be "permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date."

According to the official, "Israel has a problem with the term 'just,' which among Arab diplomats can just as easily be a reference to Israel's removal as it can be a call for compromise. Should Israel accept into the country thousands or hundreds of thousands of Lebanese and Jordanians? It's a black hole with no end. It is a red line we will never step over."

According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy, "The Israeli position is known. When we talk about the return of refugees to their homes, the intention is not their personal home, which is impossible in either direction, but to their national home" - a possible future state. "Then there is something to talk about."

A similar principle applied to the Jewish right of return to Israel, Levy noted. The Jews have a right of return to the State of Israel, not to the homes from which Jews were expelled in other countries.
There's a lot more wrong with the 'Saudi plan' than the 'right of return' for the 'refugees.' Among other things, the Saudi plan would also require Israel to retreat to the 1949 armistice line, or what Abba Eban famously called the 'Auschwitz borders' for the indefensibility.

To add insult to injury, what this also means is that Iran is being handed an accomplishment through their development of nuclear weapons without actually having developed them yet. What will happen when and if Iran actually does develop a nuclear weapon? To what other blackmail will Israel be subjected?

While I can see the argument that says that this won't matter anyway - the Arabs have never placed the Saudi plan up for negotiation and will not accept the notion that Israel accepts some parts of it and not others - I fear that this is a slippery slope that will find Israel negotiating against itself in a continuing crescendo of unilateral concessions.

The storm clouds on the horizon are getting thicker.


At 1:02 PM, Blogger Ashan said...

This is seriously bad. The Obama crowd has no intention whatsoever of helping Israel out in any way, shape or form on Iran. In fact, they see us as a liability, and they have no conscience when it comes down to their pursuing a worst-case scenario for Israel. The US seeks to fast-track a supply corridor through Iran to US troops in Afghanistan. This will effectively cut off Israel's ability to destroy Iranian nuke sites. The dangerous Saudi plan should be rejected in toto.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed. Bibi talks tough but later backs down under pressure. This is a bad sign for Israel's dealings with America and the Palestinians. If this report is true, its an example of the self-inflicted mess Israel will get itself into and it needs to be added no one is forcing Israel to agree to such terms and they should not be linked to solving the Iran problem. We can only hope the Jerusalem Post report is not true at all.


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