Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The “peace process” has it ass-backwards

By Ted Belman

Saul Singer advises How to pressure for peace.

I go further suggesting that the peace process has it ass-backwards.

Rather than arm and train the terrorists (Fatah) it should force their disarmament.

Rather than finance them to the tune of $7.4 billion thereby enabling them to continue the “resistance”, they should be left to fend for themselves.

Rather than force Israel to freeze settlement activity thereby removing time as an issue it should allow Israel to build to its heart’s content thereby forcing the Palestinians to compromise quickly rather than to allow an erosion of their position in a final settlement.

Rather than force Israel to make goodwill gestures which merely encourages intransigence, it should force the Palestinians to make goodwill gestures. Whatever the resistance Israelis have to the “peace process”, it will be reduced with such real gestures.

This is so obvious that one must conclude that the peace process is designed to continue the conflict rather than end it.

I should point out that no one is demanding peace at the end of the process. You will recall that one of the things Arafat balked at at Camp David, was signing an “end of conflict agreement”. Today no one is even mentioning such a thing and the Arab League is only offering “normalization” whatever that means..

Israel knows this. That is why it is demanding, so far, recognition as a Jewish state. If there was going to be a real peace agreement and a real peace, there would be no need to demand this recognition. Israel, as a sovereign state, could be what it wanted to be. Unfortunately, such recognition if it is given, will be a poor substitute for real peace.

The Arabs are refusing such recognition because their ultimate goal is to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. This they cannot accept. They also would not accept Israel with a Jewish majority even if it were a state like any other. They want Palestine to include Israel and the Jews there to become dhimmis. The peace process is just one step along the way.

The peace process, from Israel’s point of view, is simply a negotiated withdrawal from the West Bank as opposed to the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

To my mind, whether Israel just withdraws or negotiates terms of withdrawal or signs a peace agreement, as with Egypt, it makes little difference as the Arabs don’t and won’t abide by the agreements.

Thus, in my opinion, Israel’s goal is to end the “occupation”. She values the international legitimacy she will receive, perhaps with internationally recognized borders maybe, more than security. She is currently working on defense systems that will ostensibly protect her from the rockets which are sure to follow.

This trade off is what Israelis should be debating. Instead the Government of Israel and the US pretend it is otherwise.

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