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Monday, May 04, 2009

Et tu Danny?

Several media reports in Israel this morning are pointing to this report at Bloomberg.com which claims that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has 'accepted a two-state solution.'
Israel agrees that a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians will entail a two-state solution, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said.

“The government of Israel, because of our democratic tradition and because of the continuity principle, is going to abide by all previous commitments the former government took, including the acceptance of the road map to peace which will lead to a two-state solution,” Ayalon said, referring to the internationally backed 2002 peace plan.

Ayalon spoke in his Jerusalem office before a series of meetings Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government will hold abroad with foreign leaders. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman heads to Europe tomorrow and President Shimon Peres is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on May 5. Netanyahu will visit Washington later this month.
The media is acting as if this is a new development, but in fact it is not. Avigdor Lieberman himself accepted the 'road map' in the same speech in which he disavowed the 'Annapolis process' that so infuriated the 'Palestinians' and their patron on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Israel Radio's 4:00 pm news reports that at his installation today as foreign minister, Lieberman announced that while Israel is bound by the 'road map,' which was adopted by the cabinet, it is not bound by the 'Annapolis process,' which was not adopted by the cabinet or any other body.
So Ayalon's statement is not exactly groundbreaking. This is back to Bloomberg:
Ayalon’s statement, the most explicit acceptance of the two-state idea from Netanyahu’s new government, was meant to ensure Israel wouldn’t be blamed for dragging its feet on peace negotiations, said Shmuel Sandler, a political scientist at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv.

“They realized that it is not worthwhile not to accept this and pay dearly for it internationally,” Sandler said in a phone interview. “Why should they be punished for something that is very theoretical?”


“We do want to see peace and do understand that long-term peace and stability will entail a two-state solution,” the 53- year-old Ayalon, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., said.
Well that was always Yisrael Beiteinu's position - as I noted a long time ago, they favor the 'two-state solution.' But note Sandler's reference to the 'two-state solution' being very theoretical. That's the key here and that's why Ayalon's statement breaks no new ground and in fact may push a 'Palestinian state' further into the distance rather than bringing it closer. That's true for two reasons.

First, the entire rationale behind Annapolis was that the 'Palestinians' cannot and likely never will be able to fulfill the road map's conditions - certainly not in the next two generations. They cannot and will not fight terror because they have conditioned their 'people' to the notion that terrorists are heroes and martyrs and not criminals and murderers. Therefore, Annapolis turned the road map on its head by going straight to 'final status issues' (borders, 'refugees,' Jerusalem) without the 'Palestinians' having fulfilled any of their road map obligations. The Netanyahu government is attempting to turn the road map back to its original conception and to force the 'Palestinians' to fulfill their obligations under it. Holding the 'Palestinians' to the road map all-but-ensures that there will be no 'Palestinian state' in the foreseeable future. I'm all in favor of that. But that's why President Obama reacted with such fury to Lieberman's original statement and specifically referred to Annapolis in Turkey.

But there's a second key to Ayalon's statement and that of Lieberman before him - which is likely to move the 'Palestinian state' even further away. By tying the road map to the Cabinet's acceptance of the road map in 2003, the government is making Israel's acceptance of the road map subject to the fourteen reservations on which the Sharon government conditioned its acceptance of the road map. Even the Bush administration never addressed those reservations. Some of those reservations are quite significant:
1. Both at the commencement of, and during the process, and as a condition to its continuance, calm will be maintained. The Palestinians will dismantle the existing security organizations and implement security reforms during the course of which new organizations will be formed and act to combat terror, violence and incitement (incitement must cease immediately and the Palestinian Authority must educate for peace).

These organizations will engage in genuine prevention of terror and violence through arrests, interrogations, prevention and the enforcement of the legal groundwork for investigations, prosecution and punishment. In the first phase of the plan and as a condition for progress to the second phase, the Palestinians will complete the dismantling of terrorist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front, Al-Aqsa Brigades and other apparatuses) and their infrastructure; collection of all illegal weapons and their transfer to a third party for the sake of being removed from the area and destroyed; cessation of weapons smuggling and weapons production inside the Palestinian Authority; activation of the full prevention apparatus and cessation of incitement.

There will be no progress to the second phase without the fulfillment of all above-mentioned conditions relating to the war against terror. The security plans to be implemented are the Tenet and Zinni plans.

2. Full performance will be a condition for progress between phases and for progress within phases. The first condition for progress will be the complete cessation of terror, violence and incitement. Progress between phases will come only following the full implementation of the preceding phase. Attention will be paid not to time lines, but to performance benchmarks (time lines will serve only as reference points).


5. The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.

6. In connection to both the introductory statements and the final settlement, declared references must be made to Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.

7. End of the process will lead to the end of all claims and not only the end of the conflict.

8. The future settlement will be reached through agreement and direct negotiations between the two parties, in accordance with the vision outlined by President Bush in his 24 June [2002. CiJ] address.

9. There will be no involvement with issues pertaining to the final settlement. Among issues not to be discussed: settlement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (excluding a settlement freeze and illegal outposts); the status of the Palestinian Authority and its institutions in Jerusalem; and all other matters whose substance relates to the final settlement.

10. The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based upon the road map will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.
Those of you who have never seen the reservations should read the whole thing.

If my analysis is correct, Ayalon's statement is nowhere near as significant as its being made out to be. The Netanyahu-Lieberman government is raised so many (reasonable) hoops through which the 'Palestinians' must jump in order to get their state reichlet that the chances of it happening in the next five years (assuming that these conditions remain in effect) approach zero.

And that's the right idea.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

It's good we have some rational thinkers in the government now, when we need them. I think this about nuance - 2-states very tightly pre-conditioned. This knocks the "Saudi plan" out of the ballpark.

The major obstacle is that Barry Hussein has long-standing connections to Hamas. Hamasnikim in Gaza eagerly manned phone banks and raised illegal contributions for his election. He is very fond of them and wants to fund "reconstruction" of the Hamas infrastructure in Gaza to the tune of $900 million (+ another $200 million tucked into an economic rescue bill) even before the shooting of rockets on Israeli civilians and the smuggling of weapons stops. In more than one way, US taxpayers are being suckered into paying for these genocidal terrorists. Now Barry wants to also import Hamas terrorists to the US. I sometimes get the queasy feeling that Barry will try to find a way to impose sanctions or worse against Israel.

Barry and his henchmen will continue to rape America until the people finally wake up and not just with tea parties.
Interesting times.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


That Federal Register note about making funds available for Gazans to immigrate to the US has been around for a few months already - I discussed it a while ago.

I believe the key here is that we are reaching the point where the sword of Damocles that Hussein is holding over our collective heads - our inability to attack Iran's nuclear weapons facilities without American approval - is quickly being removed by the IDF's ability to carry out a strike under any circumstances. That's the key to the story yesterday about the IDF flying to Gibraltar and back: We don't need to flyover Iraq and therefore we don't need American approval to go after Iran's nukes.

Once the American government no longer has Iran to hang over our heads, dealing with the US on the 'Palestinian' issue becomes more of a negotiation where our government can (I'm not saying "will," but can) stand up for our interests as opposed to accepting State Department dictats.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its not new... the world assumes the Palestinians want a state alongside Israel. What they really want is to destroy Israel and that means putting off a political settlement until they can somehow either overwhelm Israel or until the Jewish State collapses from within. The Palestinian strategy has not changed for the past six decades.... whereas Israel has retreated from every one of its "red lines" and they have every reason to believe that remaining intransigent will ultimately give them what they want. Israel's internal divisions and world pressure from without will help them to bring about Israel's demise without their having to concede anything to it.

In that they have been completely honest while Israel has deluded itself by thinking if it compromises on its land and on its rights, peace will finally happen. One can only hope Israel has awoken from it. A Palestinian state will after all, lead not to peace but to the next war in the future.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I too am for a two state solution.

Israel for the jews, from river to sea. Jordan for 'Palestinians'.

'Palestinians' can get either Jordanian or Egyptian citizenship. They can be encouraged to move there, but if they choose to stay, they can as long as they are peaceful.

But they don't get to vote, their children are not citizens of Israel.

This gets rid of the PLO and other useless entities in one fell swoop. Solves many problems. For everyone.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Batya said...

I'm not as confident as you are. It's more like the:
man to woman: "Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?"
woman to man: "A million? OK"
man to woman: "Would you sleep with me for $2"
woman to man: "What? Don't be rediculous! What do you think I am?"
man to woman: "What you are has already been confirmed. Now we're haggling over the price."


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