By David Isaac and Shmuel Katz z”l
As discussed in our last blog entry, Israel must escape the clutches of the Quartet, which will attempt to squeeze Israel in an International Mideast Conference proposed for the fall. The Obama administration has put forth this conference as a means to push through a Mideast deal should direct talks between the Arabs and Israelis fail. The not-so-hidden message: Make a deal, or we’ll make one for you.
The nature of that deal is clear. Israel will be bullied into accepting the “two-state solution” – meaning a retreat to the ’49 Armistice lines (with some slight modifications), the expulsion of all Jews from Judea and Samaria and the division of Israel’s ancient capital.
Essentially the deal will be the final outcome described by the “road map,” the plan concocted by the Quartet – the U.S., UN, European Union and Russia – which calls for “a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Only it’s a road map with a difference – this time the Quartet will skip the first two “phases” which demanded something of the Arabs and jump to the third, and final, phase, which gives the Arabs a state.
Obama and the Quartet, in a remake of Bush and the Quartet at Annapolis only with a different president in the starring role, are jettisoning the conditions the Palestinian Arabs were required to meet under the original plan, with only Israel required to fulfill the demands placed upon it.
The original road map was presented to the two sides on May 1, 2003 with a “final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005.” No less.
Given its stupendous failure, the road map should be a dead letter. But like the Oslo process, which in spite of its nightmarish results continues on under other names – “Hebron Protocol,” “Wye River Memorandum,” “Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David,” “disengagement” – the road map trundles on as well, if under a different name.
A dead letter in name, but not yet in deed – the road map is worth a brief look. It was divided into three phases.
In the plan’s words, “the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence.”
Has this condition been met?
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site details the 1,000s of Israelis who have been killed and wounded by Arab terrorist attack since 2003. Those who would make excuses for the Arabs claim that they can’t be expected to succeed at stopping all terror attacks. It’s a false argument. Not only does the so-called moderate Palestinian Authority (never mind Hamas), continue to incite its population and brainwash its children, but its own Fatah forces proudly takes credit for terror attacks. To add insult to injury, they credit American training with their success.
According to the New York Sun (August 21, 2007):
“I do not think that the operations of the Palestinian resistance would have been so successful and would have killed more than one thousand Israelis since 2000 and defeated the Israelis in Gaza without these [American] trainings,” a senior officer of President Abbas’s Force 17 Presidential Guard unit, Abu Yousuf, said.”
Phase I also stated that: “Palestinians undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures.” They did have free, fair and open elections in Gaza. The result? Hamas.
The second phase focuses on “creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty.” The plan, however, goes on to note that, “this goal can be achieved when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror, willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty.” Phase II is therefore moot. The Palestinian leadership has not fulfilled their end of the bargain as described above and specified in Phase I. In any other contract, this would put an end to it.
This calls for a “second international conference” which will “endorse agreement reached on an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and formally to launch a process with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet, leading to a final, permanent status resolution in 2005, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements…”
Thus, by floating the idea of an International Mideast Conference, the Obama administration shows a complete disregard for Palestinian Arab failures and goes directly to the final phase; implementing the road map while conveniently ignoring the requirements the plan itself set forth as necessary for continuing it.
What would Shmuel say to all this?
The Arab side’s failure to live up to its end of the bargain gives Israel abundant reason to exit a negotiating framework that it should not have entered in the first place, as the road map ignores Jewish rights – i.e., calling for a ‘settlement freeze’ in Phase I – accepts the Palestinian Arab narrative and is based on the false premise that the Arabs want peace. The road map’s phased plan only helps accomplish the PLO’s “phased plan” for Israel’s destruction.
We quote his article, “Flawed to the Core” (May 5, 2003) in full:
It is wrong, it is demeaning, it is pure folly for the Israeli government to discuss the so-called road map with its perpetrators. Its fancy name does not lend charm to the obnoxious fact that it is a diktat – such as is handed by a triumphant victor to his enemy defeated in war.
Israel has not been defeated in war and yet the road map contains the terms for its surrender. Condoleezza Rice, the US National Security chief, described it as ‘not subject to negotiation.’
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the most active public promoter of this essentially anti-Israel document, said loftily that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ‘evidently does not understand that there is no room for discussion.’
Already, while the war in Iraq was in progress, Blair was proclaiming passionately that implementing the road map was just as important as winning the war in Iraq. No less.
For Mr. Blair this may well be true. His support for the US going to war, and Britain’s participation on the battlefield were opposed from the outset by an evidently large majority of his fellow countrymen. He consequently may have been risking a vote of no confidence in parliament.
A move on his part, therefore, which would hamper, hurt or cripple Israel would counteract that charge, and, in the climate of anti-Semitism prevailing in Britain today, surely win much commendation.
Moreover, nobody can deny the permanence of at least a soupcon of vengefulness toward Israel in the British establishment – ever since our tiny state was born, in defiance of the repressive Attlee-Bevin government in 1948.
No wonder the Palestinian Authority, undoubtedly briefed by the Saudis – who contributed to the contents of the ‘map’ – jumped for joy at its coming, and at the prospect of a silenced Israel being ordered to submit unconditionally to a program which contains what are essentially the Arab demands.
The euphoria was enhanced by the Palestinians’ realization that all their crimes, the murder of hundreds of Jews, and the thousands maimed for life, was to be repaid by landing them a great historic victory over Israel.
The PA, in celebrating, at once issued a threat of violence to Israel if it did not accept the complete road map. Rice’s remarks in particular (speaking on behalf of the Quartet) bore an eerie sense of deja vu: It emerges that Israel has been given precisely the same treatment as Czechoslovakia at Munich on September 29, 1938.
While the deliberations were going on among the four statesmen who made the Munich Pact, which was to decide Czechoslovakia’s future, the Czech diplomats, headed by Hubert Masarik, waited in an anteroom.
Finally, they were called in and told that the four statesmen had decided on Czechoslovakia’s future. They were also told (as later reported by Masarik) that no response or declaration was required from them; and, in fact, that the four statesmen ‘regarded the agreement as accepted.’
As for the contents of the road map, far from heralding a new vision it will be found that its core is exactly the same as that of its predecessors – among them the Rogers Plan, the Kissinger strategies, the Carter campaign, the Reagan notes, James Baker’s Madrid agenda, the Clinton timetable, and the Mitchell Plan.
Indeed, from a waggish source has come the Yiddish comment on the road map: the same yenta, only with a different veil.
ALL THESE plans are flawed to the core. They are founded in a gigantic hoax, perhaps the hoax of the 20th century.
The Arabs do not want or intend to make peace with Israel. They could have had peace and a state – instantly – in 1947. That is what the UN offered them. They refused it.
At any time between 1947 and 1967, when the areas in question – Judea, Samaria and Gaza – were actually in Arab hands, cooperation among the Arab states could have brought about a state, and peace, had they wanted it.
In 1967, after Israel’s stunning victory, Israel made the no less stunning offer to hand back the captured territories in return for peace. This too was refused.
After the Arabs had waged two major wars against Israel and blazoned to the world the message that their war aim was the ‘annihilation’ of the Jewish state – what possible reason was left for the nations of the world to assume that, of all things, the Arabs were longing for peace with living Israel?
Since then, and never more fiercely than today, what is the Arab-Muslim message, coming out of every Arab radio station, every Arab television channel, booming out of every Muslim mosque, and, most significantly, every Arab school textbook?
The claim of the Arabs that the whole Land, ‘from the river to the sea’ belongs to them, and that Israel took it from them and introduced its settlers has led to the demonization of the settlers.
The Jews who have settled in Judea, Samaria and in the Gaza district are utterly and immaculately legal. They are legal in the strictest interpretation of international law, and they are legitimate by the strictest test of historical right – not to mention their civic residential rights.
Any attempt from outside to move them would be a threefold crime, first of all against the Jewish people. The end of the road map chapter should thus be: President George W. Bush breaks off the unholy liaison with his ugly bedfellows, persuades Blair to cool down the passion of British anti- Semitism, and orders Colin Powell to think afresh.
The road map itself can be left by the roadside.
I wonder if Shmuel would agree with this: Netanyahu should use the conference to present a review of the various agreements accompanied by video evidence of Palestinian failure to live by them. Netanyahu could go on to say that, “as everyone can see,” the experiment in peace begun by Yitzhak Rabin has been a complete failure. He could then announce that, in view of this failure, Israel could no longer participate in peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Further, he could recommend that if the Arabs still feel a Palestinian state was needed, it would have to be established on land controlled by one or more Arab states, not land controlled by Israel.
On the second part of what you say, Shmuel would agree. He would have been delighted to hear Netanyahu point out Palestinian Arab failures and say, therefore, “Israel could no longer participate in peace negotiations” because there is no credible partner and the Arabs don’t want peace.
As Shmuel says in the blog above, “ALL THESE plans are flawed to the core. They are founded in a gigantic hoax, perhaps the hoax of the 20th century. The Arabs do not want or intend to make peace with Israel.”
The problem is Israeli governments can’t bring themselves to speak that simple truth. The question that we differ on then is the first part of what you say, “Netanyahu should use the conference to present a review of the various agreements accompanied by video evidence of Palestinian failure to live by them.”
Maybe a revolutionary change in Israeli policy deserves a world stage. My guess is that Shmuel, were he an advisor to Netanyahu today, would say something like, “Avoid the conference altogether as it’s a stacked deck. The entire thing is a fraud designed to put pressure on Israel, a replay of Annapolis. To go is to give it a credibility it, and the Quartet, don’t deserve.”
And there’s no reason Netanyahu can’t say everything that needs to be said by simply making a speech at Bar Ilan, as he did after Obama’s Cairo speech. Although, unlike the poor Bar Ilan speech, this would be truly revolutionary in changing Israel’s direction away from the brink.
But your point is open to discussion. If, say, Shmuel and Netanyahu were debating on this matter and Netanyahu insisted on making this speech at the International Conference, I think Shmuel would be quite ready to give in on that point — as long as they both agreed on the contents of the speech. The where wouldn’t matter to Shmuel so much as the what. That is my guess.
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It is good that you bring Shmuel Katz’s quotes and writing to bear on modern day repeats of past mistakes. When it comes to Israel the same mistakes are repeated over and over again. Actually when the U.S. is repeating the mistakes made by Chamberlain regarding not only the Arab world but almost every country that is hostile to the United States. World War II was a much greater disaster than it might have been because of appeasement. We all know that Chamberlain proudly announced “Peace in Our Time” after betraying Czechoslovakia but few know the degree with which the appeasement mentality blinded the English to the oncoming threat the way it currently blinds America. For a web site on this see http://www.mypracticalphilosophy.com/shelp/appeasementhitler.htm