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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Traitors or fools?

A group of Israelis has placed an ad in several newspapers (not the JPost) in which they call for Israel to recognize a 'Palestinian state' now and call on the members of the United Nations to do the same. J Street may be connected to the ad - I got it off their web site.

I have uploaded the ad to ScribD and I am embedding it below (Hat Tip: Challah Hu Akhbar via Twitter).

J Street IsraelAd_Eng

It goes without saying that the list of people on there are a potpourri of Israel's remaining Jewish Left. And it goes without saying that they are wrong. The concessions they advocate would simply raise the 'Palestinian' demands, as we have all seen in the past.

Unfortunately they are joined by our defenseless Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is playing Chicken Little, warning that our US military aid is at risk(!) if no 'peace deal' is reached.
Q: By most accounts, Netanyahu will not unveil a new peace initiative during his U.S. trip, as you and others have urged. Is that a mistake?

A: I don't know whether that's a fact. I still hope he will say something clear about our intentions.

Q: So he might surprise everyone?

A: If you listen to his speech in the Knesset [on Monday], there were certain elements that were quite clear movement toward the positions that many of us here think are essential for any sincere Israeli proposal: namely, that we'll make clear those elements that have to do with borders and the need to make major, painful concessions regarding what he called part of our fatherland.

Q: You called for something "daring." Was that daring enough?

A: I don't know how to judge it. It's clear to me that Israel at this junction should act and not be paralyzed by the uncertainties, low visibility, volcanic eruptions and historical earthquake around us. It makes sense that many people say, "Let's not be too enthusiastic about doing something at any price." On the other hand, I personally feel that we should be ready to move. We need to put [something] on the table, whether behind closed doors to the president or in public. We need to be ready to move toward a daring proposal that will include the readiness to deliver an answer to all the core issues.


Q: Some argue that making concessions now will make Israel look weak and "reward" the Palestinian Authority for leaving the negotiating table and, most recently, reconciling with Hamas, which the U.S. and Israel view as a terrorist group.

A: I don't think so. Israel is the strongest country for 1,000 miles around Jerusalem, and we should be self-confident enough not to lose sight of what has to be done. What we need is a sense of direction and a readiness to take decisions. We have to do it.

I can't tell you for sure it will work. It probably won't. But we have a responsibility and a commitment to move. We should make it genuine, that if an agreement cannot be achieved at this juncture, the responsibility is on the other side's shoulders. Probably along the way we will find that while we are trying to find a breakthrough for a fully-fledged agreement, only an interim one can be achieved. So let's find it. We should prepare for all three possibilities: a breakthrough agreement, stalemate or an interim agreement. All three are better than the alternative, which might lead to growing isolation of Israel.

Q: In your assessment, are Palestinians ready to reach an agreement?

A: It's more complicated for them than in the past. But I think [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] seems to me to be at least sincere. I can't read his gut. [Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad is sincere. They are doing a good job in this bottom-up building of embryonic state institutions. There is more freedom, more normalcy, more security and a much lower level of terror than in any previous years.
So he too lets Abu Bluff off the hook. It's all in our court - again - to show that we've done all we can. But didn't we do that 11 years ago and 10 years ago and three years ago? How did that work out?
Q: Critics call you a fig leaf for Netanyahu. Has your participation in the government made a difference to the peace process?

A: I'm confident that without me, you would have never seen the Bar-Ilan [University] speech [of June 2009, in which Netanyahu became the first Likud Party prime minister to endorse a two-state solution). You never would have seen a freeze on building settlements for 10 months. You would probably have found Israel less restrained and disciplined in some sensitive moments regarding the use of force. A right-wing government could accelerate the process of isolating Israel. That's my role. People on the left tend to say, Barak is just a fig leaf. People on the right say Barak drags Netanyahu by the nose. The reality is different. There is a certain point where I probably push him beyond what he was planning to do otherwise. There are certain points where I make gestures and I can suppress a criticism in public. The difference between us and many of our critics is they look up and see other layers of authority over them. When we look up, we see the sky. We feel the responsibility to make the decision.
Whether that's true or not, Netanyahu ought to fire him for it. What a pompous ass.

And for dessert:
Q: You've argued in the past that if Israel signs a peace deal, it should receive a substantial increase in U.S. military aid to offset the new security risks you might face. If Israel doesn't reach a peace deal, should it expect less additional aid?

A: It's clear to everyone, including America, that in this turbulent region, the only stable place is Israel. You can easily justify to anyone about the need to keep supporting Israel. We get very generous support. We need it. But of course, if we don't move forward, our justification to demand more support will be somewhat weakened.
With so many 'friends' in our court, who needs enemies?

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At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shut up and dance, Barak Jew boy, dance!

At 12:40 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ehud Barak thinks that a peace deal is possible - on what evidence?

Apparently the developments of the last few months have not registered with him. Its scary.

What could go wrong indeed

At 4:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this real? Is he really saying if you can get a PEACE deal with the Palis that you will need MORE money for defense? I am sorry, but that makes no sense what so ever.


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