Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Glimpse Into Netanyahu's Counter Peace Proposal



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been at loggerheads with President Obama over the way to get peace talks back on the table in the Middle East. Specifically, the president wants Israel to freeze settlements on disputed land on the West Bank. Netanyahu has also been opposed since taking office to the two-state solution promulgated by the United States.

He is scheduled to give a major speech outlining his counter proposal on Sunday. Israel's Haaretz newspaper is reporting today that the plan will embrace a two-state solution and will roughly follow the so-called road map outlined by the United States. But it will include certain demands of the Palestinians.

First, the Palestinians must recognize the state of Israel and accept its right to exist. One would think that this would not be a controversial demand. After all, the destination of the road map calls for the creation of a Palestinian state that Israel would recognize. But in the parlance of Middle East peace talks, this may be a more difficult challenge than might meet the eye. One of the entities controlling a portion of the territories - Hamas - still is officially bent on the destruction of the state of Israel.

Second, Netanyahu, Haaretz reports, will insist that the Palestinians demilitarize. From the Israeli point of view, this makes perfect sense. But not from the Palestinian viewpoint. They view the Israelis as the aggressors. And given the history of conflict between the two, will almost assuredly reject this suggestion. After all, it will be argued, if Israel has the right to defend itself, so too should a future Palestinian state.

Haaretz reports that the speech will not address the issue of the West Bank settlements. But the paper says Netanyahu is looking for ways to halt construction - if only temporarily - and will run the proposal past the White House before giving the speech.

Haaretz says none of this is cast in stone. The speech, the paper reports, is still being refined so some of what it is reporting today could be changed before Sunday.

Politically, this is a very smart move by Netanyahu. He can't be seen by his constituents to be capitulating to Obama's dictates. On the other hand, he can't risk digging his heels in and appear to totally object to a path toward peace. Israel depends on support of the United States for its very survival. He can only go so far in declaring his independence from the USA.

But the outline that's being reported may not go far enough to take the heat off the Jewish state. Most notably, Netanyahu's reportedly expected demand that the Palestinians demilitarize is a non-starter. He knows it. The Palestinians know it. The White House knows it. And the world knows it. It may play well in Israel. But not to the rest of the world.

One could argue that demilitarizing a Palestinian state only puts Israel at greater risk. The organizations, like Hamas, who have been firing rockets into Israel and sending bombers across the border won't disarm if a Palestinian nation is established. And a Palestinian government would be be responsible for stopping terrorist activities. It can't very well do that if it's disarmed.

Still, it's heartening to know that Netanyahu is willing to at least embrace the concept of a two-state solution. But, as Obama's predecessors know and have probably told him, the damnation of implementation is always in the details. If Israel insists the Palestinians disarm, and Hamas remains bent on Israel's destruction, this probably will be all for naught.




12 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the end, it will take the rejection of Hamas by the Palestinian people themselves. >>> Bebe_Zilla

Tzvikah said...

there is only a need for a "peace process" to appease the U.S. the great giver of the carrot ($) and the stick. both Fatah and Hamas are satisfied with the status quo. Any actually peace will mean they will lose power which they maintain only through preaching the "resistance".

RonAnthony said...

hey Gary,
Here we go again another way to by time. It is totally irresponsible for Netanyahu to even consider asking the Palestinians to disarm, when they are not the real threat. The problem is Hamas.I don't see this going anywhere. Obama will reject this proposal.

Anonymous said...

GARY,

AS ALWAYS EVERY MEANS TRIED UNDER EACH AND EVERY PRESIDENT IN THE PAST, THERE WAS ENCOURAGING PROPOSALS, BUT THE ACTIONS SPOKE LOUDER THAN WORDS. AND NOW IT DOESNOT APPEAR THAT OUR LEADERSHIP WITH OBAMA IS IN ANY MIND TO WORK WITH ISRAEL AS OUR ALLY. JAMIE_38

Tibetan-Angel said...

Ok! with this ongoing mahem in Israel & Palestine, the rest of the world is involved as the onging escalation of both sides of conflict do affect us all. I feel if the way both sides have been going on for years hasn't worked, then it won't work in the future either. After watching numerous news reports, and documentaries showing both sides of the conflict, I see that it has been totally wrong to bulldoze the palestinians homes, and orchards to build jewish settlements.(would we remain passive if it happened to our home or farmland) Of course it is wrong for the palestinians to continue to throw stones, and launch rockets into Israel from Gaza, and the past suicide attacks inflame this situation more. A two state solution is the only way out, as it is impossible to wipe out another race of people, Hitler tried, so Israeli's should know better not to do the same to the Palestinians, and yes I am aware of the Palestinian propaganda machine against the Israeli's from palestinians upon young children by Hamas, and other palestinians, to teach them hatred from an early age and put these young children into hamas uniforms, and teach them warfare, this is also a very large issue. Though it is impossible for Israel to continue to have just a jewish state, that is not a very justifiable cause, as not every citizen in Israel is jewish, so it is incomprehensible for a state to expect its other citizens to sing a national anthem which is for the jewish only, and not allow others to practice conversion of other religions, because it immediatley causes disharmony through the inequanimity of the rest of the non jewish community. How can this be seen as rational or fair?. Israel needs to find a more amicable way of making Israel a state of equal rights.

Anonymous said...

Netanyahoo will vocally agree to the two state solution, because he knows that the Arabs will never accept it anyway. Obviously the STATE of Palestine never existed in history so Arabs. i.e. Hamas and the PLO can not agree to its reconstitution. They do not want land, all they want is a middle east devoid of Jews.

TheAssignedMod said...

The road map to peace demanded that the Palestinians disarm their terrorist groups. Hamas is recognized as a terrorist entity.

Demanding the Arab world to recognize the existance of Israel is simple enough. This can be accomplished in the United Nations with an up or down vote. If Nation States refuse to acknowledge the existance of Israel they lose their membership.

In my opinion, a larger war is going to happen between the Arab States and the Israeli people regardless of agreements. The West's focus should be that such a war is to be contained to the region itself only.

We should not allow outside influencers to assist the Arab world in conquering the Israeli people. (Russia, France, Germany) We should demand a level playing field where tiny little Israel has the right to make the Arab world truly suffer for their angst and unwillingness to seek a just and lasting peace.

Anonymous said...

A 2 state solution is surely a moot point. Fatah and Hamas have to agree to some sort of power sharing before they become a single entity, and that I see as the biggest sticking point. It doesn't really matter if Obama accepts this or doesn't - in fact they should keep their noses out since this is not their decision to make. The same goes for the other Arab League nations who seem to be, if anything, using the Palestinian Authority as a stick to beat Israel with.
Sunday's speech from Netanyahu will be interesting, and we will see how things shape up after that.

Anonymous said...

Very worthwhile glimpse, Gary. Your summation is sadly but likely, true. Long standing differences remain unresolved and will be nothing short of a miracle to change, finding balance that will appease both sides.

Consumer Kim said...

I agree with your take on this matter, Gary. While I would like the Palestinians to demilitarize, it is not likely to happen. And I don't really believe Hamas will ever demilitarize when it really exists to get rid of Israel. I think the new Palestinian state needs to accept Israel's right to exist before it can have any US support. It is so complicated.

Anonymous said...

In my view, Netanyahu is doing what is right for Israel. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that allowing Hamas and other terrorists to continue their daily threats and attacks on innocent people is not feasible. It seems the world has decided that Israel is the "one to blame" for all the ills in the middle east when in fact history shows us otherwise. When Muslims and dictators decide that the life of children are more important than ridding the world of the nation of Israel and it's people, then and only then will true and lasting peace happen. One can not say that giving land makes peace is a possibility that also because that has been tried and failed. It only gave the terrorists a closer place of which to take their target practice from. Education is the only way this dilemma will ever begin to be cleared up. As long as the Arab nations continue to only wish to educate males, and to instill a sense of "death becomes you" in them this "peace process" is simply a means of outsiders trying to dictate their wishes on a sovereign nation. The proposals thus far are not fair to Israel and surely are not workable long term.

Hinda said...

First of all, I as an American who supports Israel has always been critical of how the US ties Israel's hands in protecting herself from the home-grown terrorists that were blessed by Yassir Araputz (my version) and Shiekh Yasin. Why the appeasement to those who celebrated the attacks made on the US and abroad? I will never understand that.

If only John Bolton could ever run for president, then I believe the US and Israel will always be great allies to one another -- Mr. Bolton would never appease the terrorists, and we will finally have a leader in the white house who has a backbone.

Here's his take on why Israel should protect herself against the Islamic foes such as I-Ran.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124467678369503997.html

Please read. It's interesting and factual.