Skip to comments.Time For A Change In U.S. Mideast Strategy
Posted on 02/10/2010 5:07:33 AM PST by SJackson
Why has there been no progress in the Mideast peace process? The time has come to recognize that there has always been an unspoken issue that might be described as the elephant in the room: that Arab countries have never recognized Israels right to exist as a Jewish state. Israel has always made it clear that any peace agreement must include a clear recognition and acceptance of Israels right to exist as a sovereign state in the region. Prime Minister Netanyahu has even presented that issue as a precondition. He has also made it clear that his government joins previous Israeli governments in accepting a Palestinian state, which would include arrangements to protect Israels security concerns. The Obama administration is widely perceived as favoring the
Palestinian side in seeking unilateral concessions from Israel. In taking this position, the administration is not deviating from the policy orientations established by the U.S. State Department since 1948.
Since the 1967 Arab declaration in Khartoum of No Recognition, No Negotiation and No Peace, neither the United Nations, the international community nor even the U.S. has ever demanded unequivocal acceptance by the Arabs to recognize and live in peace with Israel. While the U.S. has advocated that the Arabs accept and make peace with Israel, it has never insisted that recognition and acceptance of Israels right to exist be advanced as an independent demand, as it has done, for example, with demands on Israel to freeze settlements in advance of conclusion of an end of conflict.
A peace process that rests on Israels unilateral concessions is doomed to fail unless and until the world also demands that the Arab world recognizes that the Arab-Israel conflict can be resolved only if and when Israels legitimacy and sovereignty is openly recognized and accepted.
The Arab world must come to recognize that the Jewish claim for a state and for land and recognition did not begin in the 20th century and is not simply compensation for the suffering of the Holocaust. The Jewish claim for land and recognition derives from biblical days, and while it has ebbed and flowed, it has never flickered out or died. It has persevered through the creation and universal reverence of the Bible. The revival of Zionism more than 100 years ago is a part of that history and its legitimacy lies in the continuous belief and aspirations of the Jewish people.
There are many reasons why a correction of strategy has a good chance to produce peaceful settlement for the true benefit of Israel and the Arab world. Peace is not a zero-sum game where there can be only one winner and loser. The failure to convince the Arab world to accept Israel in friendship and peace, and to put an end to the conflict and the state of war means the conflict will continue until resolved in battle. The centerpiece of the new strategy would now include in the mix of basic premises of the peace process that the Palestinians and the Arab world accept an end of the conflict and recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state where all its citizens may enjoy equal rights under law. This formulation will not diminish the present right of every Jew to acquire Israeli citizenship.
Israel has shown a willingness for major concessions under circumstances of a full peace. It has also shown a resolute unwillingness for such concessions in the absence of real peace. Experience has become Israels guiding principle and its experience with concessions has not been good. The consequences of maintenance of the status quo may be briefly considered:
Continuation of historical trends in economic and social development. Despite the absence of peace Israel has produced miracles in economic growth that continues at robust rates. Progress in education, human rights, social services and quality of life compare favorably with the leading international exemplars of progress. In contrast, the trends for the Palestinians and most Arab states suggest greater regression, decline and turmoil, with no basis to expect change. That gap must be expected to grow. Failure of Palestinian progress in self-government and the responsibility of sovereignty. The failure of the Palestine Authority to develop a democratic process to achieve governmental stability raises doubts of whether it can fulfill the obligations of every government to establish order and tranquility for its citizens and stable and peaceful relations with its neighbors.
Growing threat of terrorism. It is a sad fact that the consequences of Islamic terror fall most heavily on other Muslims. Failure to take steps necessary to counteract continued terrorism will delay the prospect of progress for the Palestinians, and indeed for the Arab world.
What are the reasons for hope that the current prospects for peace are better than in recent years?
The peace treaties signed by Egypt and Jordan demonstrate that leading elements of the Arab world can show the courage to accept Israel as a sovereign neighbor. Most Arab countries are cooperating partners with international intelligence services in the struggle against Islamic terror and that cooperation is reported to be strengthening in many areas. The prospect that Iran may become a nuclear power has roiled the Sunni Arab world to the point that many Arab countries would be relieved if Iran could be prevented from fulfillment of its nuclear aspirations.
It is an open secret that some Arab countries maintain contacts with Israel that involve commercial, social, intellectual, medical, educational or strategic interests.
The most important reason for change in strategy is that history and the march of time make it the right thing to do. For too long, Israels right to be recognized and accepted by the Arab world has been ignored by the international community and should no longer be ignored. The UN should be ashamed that each year it countenances General Assembly resolutions advocating the expulsion of a member state and similar outrages by states whose societies deny their own citizens fundamental human rights.
The U.S. should lead the UN and the international community to correct the long-term injustice and lack of respect for the legitimacy of the state of Israel and the historical contributions of the Jewish people. n Kenneth Bialkin, a corporate attorney, is former chair of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations and numerous other national and local Jewish groups.
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There’s also another “elephant” - Israel’s repeated refusal to recognize the Palestinians’ right to a state. Thus, we get various verbal gymnastics, trying to pretend that they are “just another Arab group” or “part of Jordan”, etc. etc.
“Recognition for me, but not for thee” is not a good way to create dialogue.
Agreed, but an unpopular view around here. Wait for the rent-a-mob...
Yup, it’s right there in the Israeli Constitution and holy book (Torah): Wipe Palestine off the map and kill all the Palestinians, esp. the muslims. Even the rocks and trees will help.
Oh, wait, it’s not? But that exact thing is in the Palestinian Constitution and “holy book” (Koran) with respect to Israel and the Jews?
Well, that’s irrelevant. It’s the same thing on both sides! Moral relativism works! /hurl
Right, only one group matters and the other is sub-human.
Attitudes like that - present on BOTH sides of the ME debate - go a long way to answering the first sentence of the article.
You just don’t get it. Both sides are human. The Israelis are more than willing to treat the Palestinians as human. They even have muslim citizens, so claims of anti-muslim bigotry against them are simply false. The Palestinians are NOT willing to treat the Isrealis, esp the Jews, as human.
False moral relativism such as yours is one of the reasons why the Israelis keep being asked to give up land and even existence for nothing in return. Until both sides are held to the same standard, which means accepting the poltical and religious realities on the ground (see above), progress is impossible. Both Israelis and Palestinians pay the price for that.
But keep blaming the Jews if it makes you feel good. /hurl
The Obama administration is widely perceived as favoring the Palestinian side in seeking unilateral concessions from Israel. In taking this position, the administration is not deviating from the policy orientations established by the U.S. State Department since 1948.
Too bad those borders weren't from the 1920 League of Nations declaration. Imagine if all of Jordan was blossoming like Israel, no Gaza, and room enough to move. danged Brits caved in to the nazi's:
Hasn’t there been an upsurge a Jew-bashing lately? Is Stormfront down for maintenance?
Yet again, a writer thinks he has accomplished something by demanding that wishes be horses, and that everyone get all the puppy dogs and ice cream they desire.
Why this pervasive unreality?
They aren't going to like you. Give it up. Never going to happen.
Israel exists by the strength of its own right arm, and does not need anything from anyone else.
If the entire Arab world "recognized" Israel's "right to exist", then attack the next day, would the former have helped? No. If they don't, but remain in their barracks out of simple fear, does that suffice to keep Israel safe. Yes.
Stop begging for permission to live from notorious murderers. It gets pretty gross after the first few million times.
Apparently you’re the one who doesn’t get it.
So let’s spell it out one more time - any deal/agreement between two parties must respect both parties’ interest. Yet while Israel demands that Arabs recognize its right to exist, Israel refuses to even consider the creation of a Palestinian state.
Got that? BOTH sides distrust/despise the other. Spin it whatever way you want, but that’s the bottom line.
So I blame both sides. And here’s a guaranteed prediction - there will be no peace deal until EACH recognizes the right of the other to have a homeland.
Arab countries have never recognized Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Israel has always made it clear that any peace agreement must include a clear recognition and acceptance of Israelâs right to exist as a sovereign state in the region. Prime Minister Netanyahu has even presented that issue as a precondition. He has also made it clear that his government joins previous Israeli governments in accepting a Palestinian state, which would include arrangements to protect Israel's security concerns... Since the 1967 Arab declaration in Khartoum of "No Recognition, No Negotiation and No Peace," neither the United Nations, the international community nor even the U.S. has ever demanded unequivocal acceptance by the Arabs to recognize and live in peace with Israel.Thanks SJackson.
Re: Israel more than considering the creation of a Palestinian state:
http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/israel-pm-endorses-demilitarised-palestinian-state-20090615-c8he.html ("Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed for the first time the creation of a Palestinian state, provided it was demilitarised, after weeks of pressure from Washington.") Look at that bolded word: ENDORSED, and you spout "refuses to even consider."
So who stopped creation of a Palestinian state? That would be Arafat: http://www.factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000069.html ("In October of 2000, with the help of President Clinton, Palestinian Chairman Arafat and Israel's prime minister Ehud Barak tried to reach a final agreement in Camp David. In exchange for peace, Israel offered Arafat an independent Palestinian State, 95% of the West Bank and Gaza and half of Jerusalem as described in the history page. Arafat refused and the Palestinians started their homicide/suicide bombings and their current attempt to destroy Israel.")
There is a LOT more on this topic. Israel hasn't only "considered" a Palestinian state, they've offered one on a silver platter.
You are so screamingly misnformed -- willingly so? -- that it is scary. As an earlier poster said, is Stormfront down?
You should mention where the freest Arabs in the middle-east live.
I know the answer, but those mere facts are wasted on the moral-equivalence crowd...
Yeah, I can hear the crickets too.