By Ted Belman
US Secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, just came to town and warned that Israel is becoming “increasingly isolated” and must restart negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and work to restore relations with Egypt and Turkey. Why? According to Fox News, he said the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East makes it critical for the Israelis to find ways to communicate with other nations in the region in order to have stability.
- “Gates argued to the president directly that Netanyahu is not only ungrateful, but also endangering his country by refusing to grapple with Israel’s growing isolation and with the demographic challenges it faces if it keeps control of the West Bank.”
This pressure being put on the Netanyahu government reflects the actual Obama policy towards Israel rather than his UN speech which was much fairer to Israel than he had been in the past. Obama wants Israel to give in to his demands for |negotiations based on ’67 lines with swaps and to appease all her neighbours.
Obama obviously wants to appear as Israel’s friend with his reelection foremost in his mind and therefor gets others to do his dirty work. Another example of this is getting Biden to take the hit for not releasing Pollard. In addition Hillary Clinton filed a brief in the Court in the birth certificate case, which alleges that any American action that “symbolically or concretely” signals it recognizes Jerusalem being in Israel would “critically compromise the ability of the United States to work with Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region to further the peace process.” Sounds like an over-statement to me.
No one really believes that if Israel were to appease its neighbors, she will find peace. Quite the contrary, Appeasement by Israel begets more demands. Even now the PA is referencing the borders suggested by the Partition Plan as their goal while at the same time acknowledging that even the 49 armistice lines would leave Israel defenseless.
More than anything, Israel’s isolation is due to the peace process. It is the peace process that empowers the Arabs to make demands and enables the US and the EU to make demands. As such the peace process will be the death of Israel. By focusing all this attention on the peace process and blaming Israel for its failure, the Arab street becomes fixated on hatred for Israel and paradoxically on the US for not delivering Israel.
After Israel’s miraculous victory in the Six Day War in ’67, there was no need for any process, not even for Res 242. This resolution had its genesis in three things.
- 1) President Johnson did not want to force Israel to withdraw without an agreement, as Eisenhower had done after the Sinai Campaign in ’56.
2) Israel was worried about the demographic threat inherent in having all the Arabs in the acquired territories within her borders and preferred to withdraw to secure and recognized borders.
3) The Arab demand that the US government force Israel to withdraw.
Even so, the Arabs rejected this resolution because it didn’t require Israel to withdraw from “all” territories.
In 1975 Secretary of State Kissinger confided to an Arab diplomat
- Israel does us more harm than good in the Arab world
We can’t negotiate about the existence of Israel but we can reduce its size to historical proportions.
If the issue is the existence of Israe1, we can’t cooperate. But if the issue is more normal borders, we can cooperate.
Aide: Your Excellency, do you think a settlement would come through the Palestinians in the area? ‘How do you read it? Is it in your power to create such a thing?
Kissinger: Not in 1976. I have to be perfectly frank with you. I think the Palestinian identity has to be recognized in some form. But we need the thoughtful cooperation of the Arabs.
This is still the American policy. It’s not about achieving peace. It is about shrinking Israel to “historical proportions”. The Palestinian people are only a tool created to bring this about. Does that mean the armistice lines or the Partition lines?
By participating in the peace process, Israel is allowing this to take place. Every step along the way and every concession Israel has made have left her weaker and with less rights. When Israel entered into the Oslo Accords, she foolishly thought she was in control. And she would have been but for the interference of the international community. In the result Israel is not in control and is reacting to the control and initiatives of others. The process keeps changing to her detriment without her consent.
So far Israel has elected to continue the process, probably believing that by doing so she is forcing the PA to play its hand. Her victory of getting the Quartet to demand “negotiations without preconditions” will be short lived because the first thing to be negotiated is the conditions or framework for negotiations. To show they mean business, the Quartet introduced timelines which are as meaningless as the timelines set out in the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap. They will simply be ignored.
Had the US not attempted to shrink Israel, there would have peace now. Had the US not supported the policy of keeping the original refugees and their descendants in despicable camps, there would be no refugee problem now. If Israel had been allowed to keep the Sinai and Judea and Samaria (West Bank), Israel would not be isolated but would be dominant. Had the US not insisted that Israel abandon the Philadelphi Corridor when she was leaving Gaza, Hamas wouldn’t be in power there, armed to the teeth. Had the US not built up the Egyptian army and put the Moslem Brotherhood in charge of it, Israel would have nothing to fear from Egypt. She no doubt would have used the Sinai or part of it to create a Palestinian state large enough to accommodate the Palestinians.
The sooner Israel abandons the peace process the better.