If you read the recent Bipartisan Statement on U.S. Middle East Peacemaking, you can be very impressed by the credentials of the ten participants. You can also be stunned at how such a lofty group can be so ignorant of the history of the last century. After reading their statement three times, it was easy to come to the conclusion that they were passing around a bong while writing this statement of irrationality.
You must be impressed with their guile. They call it “A Last Chance for a Two-State Israel-Palestine Agreement.” Certainly with names like Scowcroft, Brzezinski, Volcker, Wolfensohn and Thomas Pickering involved, you can see how they came to this heady claim. The fact that there did not seem to be one member in the group pitching for the safety and security of our ally, Israel, becomes quite evident when you read the 17 stunning pages that make up this ego stroke.
How about coming up with one concession by the Palestinians, Syrians or other Arab parties to this proposal? There is proposal after proposal for the Israelis to give. Now, the Jews would like to believe they are a giving people, but they learned from history that you cannot concede all points. It could be easy to say that this proposal does not even come close to a negotiation. What it should be called is a plan for the unilateral dismemberment of Israel.
Not even once does this document state the Israeli’s principle point of negotiation – recognition by the negotiating parties to Israel’s right to exist. We are not even speaking of their right to exist as a Jewish State. The plan does not even mention that the Arab parties need to recognize Israel as neither a beginning point of agreement nor an ending point. One would like to ask these people of immense knowledge and experience what they were thinking when they did not include this in their plan. Why would any country have serious negotiations with another that does not believe in its right to exist?
The plan drafters included a point that Jerusalem should be split into parts and become the capital of a Palestinian State and Israel. Does anyone really consider this a plausible solution? Since 1967 when Israel took over all of Jerusalem, it has become a mecca for people of all major faiths to experience. If the city were to split, it is quite apparent that Jews and Christians will not be welcome or feel safe in parts of the city. Why would the world want to have this happen once again to such an important historical place? When has a city been split into two parts and successfully served as the capital of two distinct countries? This proposal is not only unworkable, it is just plain silly.
Since the proposal calls principally for the return to the pre-1967 borders, that means the return of the Golan Heights to Syria. During the negotiations of the peace treaty consummating the First World War, the French wished to establish a natural buffer to protect them from another German invasion. They did not and we saw what happened in 1940. The Golan, basically a desolate place, is now inhabited by over 8,000 Jews and creates a natural buffer from an attack by an unstable Syria.
To protect Israel the authors suggest a U.S. led multinational force under a U.N. mandate. That must give Israeli mothers tons of comfort for the safety of their children. Other than the fact that the U.S. is involved, we can easily see the blue helmets of the U.N. running for cover ala Rwanda or many others places. Since they propose a non-militarized Palestinian State, the Israelis should rest easy. The question is do the American troops have to be in the middle of this for the next 300-400 years? What happens if the Americans do not want to be there anymore? Should the Israelis then rely on a force from Egypt, Jordan or France?
This babble would fall into the trash if it were not for the current administration. If it were released two years ago, President Bush would have swatted it away understanding the great harm this proposal would cause. It would be hard to fathom any five Republicans supporting this proposal other than the ones involved. But notice this proposal was released in January, in time for Obama and his team to soak it up and that is apparently what they have done.
From their commentary and actions, the Obama Administration has chosen to side with the Palestinians and not the Israelis. Think about it, the Palestinians break a truce, lob hundreds or rockets into residential areas of our ally, then our ally defends itself, and the Obama Administration offers the Palestinians $900 million to repair the damage -- without any concessions. In the past, America has waited for the transgressor against our allies to capitulate before we show our humanity.
Vice-President Biden went in front 6,500 strong supporters of Israel and insisted that Israel must accept a two-state solution, start to dismantle homes, and end all building in post-1967 acquired areas. That is just the beginning of their attempt to make Israel cow-tow to the combination of this “Bipartisan Proposal” and the one previously floated by Saudi Arabia. While Obama and his team talk about the eternal bind between our countries, they want to force Israel into a vapid peace that will eviscerate it.
If the Obama Administration wants to achieve peace for an ally, it should ask first what the other parties are willing to concede. It should not force Israel into giving up land that risks its security or the freedom of the entire world to visit historical areas. The Administration should encourage our Arab friends to take responsibility for the people on the West Bank and Gaza like they should have 60 years ago. After that, they should then ask Israel for even more concessions than they have made in the past.
Unfortunately, the tenor of what the Administration has communicated so far will play into the hands of the enemies of Israel. They have played a waiting game until there was an American Administration that turns its back on Israel and they know that will be the beginning of the end. The enemies of Israel know they need only one American Administration not siding with Israel. The question to Mr. Obama is will his be the one?