Sunday, September 5, 2010

Of peace and Peace Talks

Well Bibi and Abbas are at it again. Last week they both flew to Washington to promote the illusion that there is some type of peace, or at least a peace process happening.

I don’t think that anyone actually believes that this process will lead to peace, or even an agreement; it seems pretty clear that the main reason for the latest round of negotiations is to help the Obama (well the Democrats) in the mid-term election in November.

In case this point wasn’t obvious by itself, did anyone else notice that even though Bibi and Abbas have offices about 25 minutes drive from each other (remember that Ramallah is a suburb of Jerusalem), they had to fly to Washington to meet each other.

No doubt there will be pressure on Bibi to extend the building freeze, which is to be expected, and is not even an unreasonable demand from the point-of-view of Abbas. However it is crucial that if Bibi is contemplating giving something tangible, like an extension of the freeze, it must be for something tangible in return.

Here are a few suggestions of things that Bibi could insist on before extending the freeze:

  • For the PA to live up to its commitment to allow full access to Kever Yosef in Shchem. This would be a great opportunity for the PA to prove that they are serious about Peace and that their US trained and armed “Police Force” are able to secure a single building so that Jews have free and unlimited access to the sight.
  • That the PA live up to its commitment to remove all incitement from schools. They could start by withdrawing all textbooks that deny Israel’s existence or deny the Holocaust.
    If they cannot control their own schools (which are financed by the International community), hard to see how they could create and control a viable state.
  • That the PA conduct a full investigation into the terrorist shootings last week and that the perpetrators are caught and brought to trial. An important question is whether the guns or gunmen were supplied or trained by the US/Israel.
    If it turns out that we are arming or training terrorists, it should be obvious that there be no future guns or training provided to the PA security forces until they are able to guarantee that these resources will not be misused again in the future.

If Abbas is unable to deliver on any of the above, Bibi should restate that Israel is prepared to make peace if and when their is a Palestinian leadership willing to prove that it is serious about peace, but in the mean time, given that there is no partner or possibility of peace, Israel will look at other unilateral options, such as full annexation of Judea and Samaria, as proposed my MK Tzipi Hotovely.

Oh – and take a look at Dershowitz’ Blog pointing out how unwarranted criticism of Israel, such as the Goldstone report, makes it almost impossible for Israel to take “risks for peace”, because it is clear that if the “risks” blow up in our face in the form of attacks against us, there will be no way do defend ourselves without Goldstone or his ilk raking us over the coals.


Garnel Ironheart said...

As I noted on my blog, this conference is a travel opportunity and nothing more.
Abbas could have agreed to face to face talks at any time but waited until the final days of the building freeze to announce that unless it's extended he'll walk away. And unless Israel accepts the so-called right of return of 5 million bogus refugees he'll walk. And unless Israel cedes every part of Yerushalayim he wants he'll walk. And unless the brisket at the opening dinner is mehadrin glatt (so his NK friends can partake) he'll walk. Exactly how are these negotiations?
But Abbas isn't looking for success. The current situation in which he runs a thriving kleptocracy while the Tzahal watches to ensure Hamas doesn't take over is the best he can hope for. He gets to be a minor league tinpot dictator, the Israelis do all the main security to ensure he doesn't get overthrown and he gets to stuff his bank account in Switzerland unhindered. Independence would change all that, why would he want it?

Michael Sedley said...

Thanks for the comment.

It makes good sense, but I'm not sure why Israel should be supporting a tinpot corrupt dictator.
If (when) the talks fail, can't we just say "Thank You For Playing", then close down the PA and send Abbas back to Tunisa, Lebanon, Jordan, or any other destination of his choice.

Although maybe a continuation of the status quo, with the appearance of peace talks with the clear understanding that they will lead nowhere is also in Israel's interest. This way we don't have to worry about absorbing 1.2 - 2.5 Palestinian Arabs.

BTW - Love your Blog, I'll add a link.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Thank you!

Israel should not be supporting a tinpot corrupt dictator but given their options:
1) expel Fatah and forcibly re-occupy the entire Yesha
2) capitulate to Fatah's demands
3) keep grumbling along until Moshiach arrives
what are their choices? (1) is not feasible. (2) is national suicide. This fiction of ongoing negotiations even as life improves for the Arabs while keeping them separate from the Jewish state is best thing currently available.