Powered by WebAds

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The 'only' solution?

The drumbeat coming out of Washington - and from President Obama's 'Middle East envoy' George Mitchell is getting louder and more unpleasant.
"This conflict has gone on for far too long, and the people of this region should no longer have to wait for the just peace that guarantees security for all," Mitchell said.

"The US is committed to the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state, where the aspirations of the Palestinian people to control their own destiny are realized," he said.

"We want the Arab peace initiative to be a part of the effort to reach this goal. A comprehensive peace in this region is in the national interest of the United States. It is in the interest of the Palestinian people, it is in the interest of the people of Israel and of the entire region. A two-state solution is the only solution," he said.
Over at YNet, Roni Sofer reports on the pressure that Mitchell placed on Binyamin Netanyahu this week (Hat Tip: NormanF in comments).
Talks with American and Israeli sources involved in Mitchell's meetings with the Israeli political echelon reveal that the US does not believe in economic peace and that the formula suggested by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the Shas party is unacceptable to the Americans.

Mitchell made it clear at the end of his meeting with Lieberman that the economic issue is only part of the dialogue with the Palestinians in the West Bank. The White House's message to the prime minister is clear: We're ready for international and Israeli economic support of the Palestinians, but not as an alternative to the peace process.


"Contrary to the impression created in Israel by the new government," said an American source between one meeting to another, "President Obama is determined to advance the peace process with the Palestinians in the near future.

"There is a reason for envoy Mitchell's third visit to Jerusalem, there is a reason for his intention to rent offices here, and there is a reason for President Abbas and the Jordanian king being invited to the White House.

"The White House's policy is to make progress according to what has already been achieved: The Road Map and the Annapolis conference declarations, as said by President Obama in his speech at the Turkish parliament."


Netanyahu, Lieberman and Barak, a senior state official clarified, truly believe that the US can still be diverted from the Annapolis outline and returned to the Road Map outline. In other words, demands must be made to the Palestinians according to former US President George W. Bush's vision, dissolving the heavy concessions offered by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the Palestinian president.

At the end of the busy diplomatic day, however, it was clear to the prime minister, foreign minister and defense minister, that the road to achieving this is hard and may be impossible.

As stated by a source in Mitchell's entourage, "We have yet to be convinced that there is a real alternative to the official US policy, which states that the solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies in the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state."
Don't say I didn't warn you this would happen if Obama became President.

The truth is that there is no 'solution.' There will only be a solution when the 'Palestinians' give up on the idea of destroying the Jewish state - and that's unlikely to happen anytime soon. If anything, the Obama administration is just encouraging 'Palestinian' intransigence.

But from an Israeli standpoint, we must give Netanyahu the backing to say no. This country is a democracy and Netanyahu and his right-wing government were elected to stand up to the pressure from Ahamdinejad and Chavez's new puppet in Washington. And there are an awful lot of ministers in Israel's cabinet who aren't ready to cave in to Obama.
Ministers from Shas and within Netanyahu's own Likud Party asserted - almost simultaneously with Mitchell's statements - that they were categorically opposed to a Palestinian state.

"The preferable course of diplomatic action at this time is two economies for two peoples and not two states for two peoples," Interior Minister Eli Yishai told Army Radio. "The American emissary also knows that forcing the region into virtual diplomatic discourse will only breed the opposite results."

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, a longtime Likud MK, also entered the fray, telling Israel Radio that agreements reached between former prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Annapolis Peace Conference in November 2007 were obsolete.

His remarks were a near word-for-word repetition of a statement made at the beginning of the month by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, which made diplomatic waves with both the US and European Union.

"The Annapolis outline has failed and is no longer binding," Katz said, emphasizing that Netanyahu would "formulate a diplomatic approach that takes into account all of the different elements, first and foremost Israel's security."
Kadima MK Tzachi HaNegbi believes that Netanyahu will talk about everything - to avoid contrasting too strongly with the Americans, but will give nothing.
"The Americans are also not so optimistic about the abilities of the PA," Hanegbi said. "That said, I don't think they will ever give up on the demand of ongoing, genuine dialogue with the Palestinians, nor will they forgo the negotiations on the so-called 'core issues'.

"So I think [Netanyahu] will create a dialogue, but he won't necessarily commit, especially on issues such as Jerusalem, settlements or the nature of the Palestinian Authority," he continued. "But that's the test for the prime minister. He'll have to show the Americans some progress."
But HaNegbi also repeats what many of us already know: Netanyahu himself is not such a 'hardliner.'
Hanegbi added that having served as justice minister in Netanyahu's previous government, he knew the premier to be less of hard-liner when it came to actually formulating agreements.

"Look at Hebron in 1997," Hanegbi said, refering to Netanyahu's agreement to withdraw from most of the West Bank city. "That was the first time Israel pulled out of a city under a right-wing government, and the first time it was done at all since Rabin was in office."
What would happen if Netanyahu reached a deal under pressure from Obama, put it to a referendum and the country voted "no"? Someone had better tell The One that we don't think much of him here.

I don't see Netanyahu reaching a 'final status solution' with the 'Palestinians.'


At 6:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The State Department has sided - no surprise - with the PA Arabs and rejected Israel's condition for any two state talks. Israel should reject the State Department's rejection and insist as a basic principle of Israeli policy that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state prior to any statehood talks. Israel's right to exist is no more subject to future negotiation that the existence of any other country and the State Department is insulting Israel by saying that Israel's legitimate existence is somehow a favor the Palestinians owe to Israel later rather than a issue now of underlying principle from which talks and any agreements concluded under them are made.

The US will seek to pressure Israel to drop this basic principle and proceed to negotiate with a party that does not view Israel as a legitimate state with any rights and interests that she has a duty to protect. Israel should say "NO" to such pressure. In the end, the US cannot force Israel to commit national suicide for the Palestinians even if the US now considers that in its own national interest.

If the Palestinians don't want two states for two peoples that is their affair. Israel should make it clear that without recognition that the country is a Jewish State, statehood talks will never take place.


Post a Comment

<< Home