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Monday, July 20, 2009

An Israeli consensus?

Barry Rubin sets out what he terms a 'new Israeli consensus.' These are its elements.
# Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Without this step, the aftermath of any "peace" agreement would be additional decades of Arab effort to destroy Israel in all but - temporarily - name.

# Absolute clarity that a peace agreement ends the conflict and all claims on Israel. Otherwise, the Palestinian leadership and much of the Arab world would regard any "peace" agreement as a license for a new stage of battle, using Palestine as a base for renewed attacks and demands.

# Strong security arrangements and serious international guarantees for them. Have no doubt, these will be tested by cross-border attacks from Palestine.

# An unmilitarized Palestinian state (a better description than "demilitarized"), with the large security forces they already have, enough for internal security and legitimate defense but not aggression.

# Palestinian refugees resettled in Palestine. The demand for a "right of return" is just a rationale for wiping Israel off the map through internal subversion and civil war.
While most Israelis would likely agree with these points, I would add a couple of others that seem to reflect a broad consensus of Israeli society. First, that Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of Israel with Jews free to live anywhere in Jerusalem that they choose. Second, that Israel will not return to the 1949 armistice lines and that it will continue to hold whatever territory is necessary to guarantee its own security.

The events of the last 24 hours - even the opposition Kadima party has rallied around Prime Minister Netanyahu's standing up to President Obama - show that these two additional conditions also reflect a broad national consensus.


At 4:33 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Meretz is not a part of the new national consensus - and is the only Israeli Jewish party that comes closest to the viewpoint embraced by the Obama Administration and the rest of the world. Yet it and its non-governmental ally Peace Now represent the views of a tiny minority of Israeli Jews as its Knesset representation and street activism indicate - the days when Israeli Jews believed a Meretz-style peace was ever possible have vanished, as shown by Arab terrorism and intransigent rejection of Israel's existence. Those are additional reasons today's Israeli consensus appears to be a pretty broad and solid one.

The world is going to have to learn that even the application of heavy pressure upon Israel is is not going to change Israeli minds.

What could go wrong indeed

At 7:35 PM, Blogger mrzee said...

International guarantees for Israel are never serious.

From the 1949 Armistice which "guaranteed" access to Jerusalem's holy sites to "certifying" Israel had left every inch of Lebanon using what the UN now claims was a faulty GPS unit, international guarantees just don't exist.

Lets see the international community honour their commitments and keep promises to Israel for 30 or 40 years, then we can talk of "serious guarantees"

UNIFIL seems like a good place to start.


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