Israel's Security: An Idea Whose Time Will Never Come
And it's long and involved because it's about this convoluted paper written by Walter Russell Mead, the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy at the Council of Foreign Relations. The paper is called Change They Can Believe In: To Make Israel Safe, Give Palestinians Their Due.
Foreign Policy's Shorter: If it hopes to bring peace to the Middle East, the Obama administration must put Palestinian politics and goals first.
My Shorter: Let's buy off the Palestinians and internationalize the problem without requiring Israel to make a real sacrifice.
Are you ready for another bailout? That's what this CFR paper is all about: the US, the international community, and (Israel), paying the Palestinians off. And like all the other bailouts we've had crammed down our throats so far, this one, too, is a waste of US taxpayer money that will never work.And so forth.The incoming U.S. administration of Barack Obama faces a daunting task. It needs to develop a Middle East peace strategy that makes a clear break with the past, that is politically sustainable at home and abroad, that offers real hope for a final resolution, and that in the meantime can bring benefits to the two peoples, the wider region, and the United States itself. But Washington will have only limited options. American public opinion strongly and consistently favors a pro-Israel orientation for U.S. foreign policy, and Israel's friends in the United States can mobilize broad support on short notice. Decades of intensive diplomacy and scholarship have already delineated the possible solutions to the dispute. The outlines of a settlement -- regarding borders, security, refugees, and water rights -- are reasonably well understood by all parties, and Obama cannot do much to change them.[snip]
Obama. Of course. HE will acknowledge the horrible wrongs the Palestinians have suffered (by Israel), and HE will compensate them for those wrongs (done by Israel), and HE will ensure a dignified future for "every Palestinian family." Brush your hands together now. This big mess will all be swept up shortly. But first, let us be clear about this injustice thing...Do you have that? Do you get it? It's not Israel's fault!! They HAD to kill those Palestinians!! It was SELF-DEFENSE when they ethnically cleansed all those villages!!! YOU WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING, they insist!!! And what does Mr. Mead say, "They are right." It is just as simple as that. He just takes every self-serving excuse for Israel's crimes and accepts them. That is why he gets paid the big bucks at CFR. And that's how the US foreign policy establishment works. Whatever Israel wants, Israel gets. A little acknowledgment from Israel, and everybody else pays up.
What the Palestinians want from peace is, first of all, an acknowledgment of the injustices they have suffered. Israeli and Palestinian scholars have documented many incidents during Israel's War of Independence in which massacres or threats of violence caused Palestinians to flee. Most Palestinians who left their homes and villages to protect themselves and their families were never allowed to return, and much of their property was confiscated by the new Israeli government. It is not a crime for civilians to flee combat, and international law recognizes the right of such people to return to their homes. Enforcing that right has been a centerpiece of U.S. policy in Bosnia, so why, the Palestinians ask, should they be treated any differently? This is a legitimate grievance, and the United States must lead the international community in reckoning with it fully and frankly. Any diplomatic effort hoping to build a secure peace with the Palestinians' support must address this issue.
That said, it would be as unfair to place all responsibility for the Palestinian refugee problem on Israel as it is to overlook the injustices the Palestinians suffered. The Israelis argue that the War of Independence was a fight for survival: here were survivors from Hitler's death camps suddenly facing not only the Palestinians but also the armies of five Arab states. Self-defense, the Israelis argue, justified their actions during and after the war. And although most Israelis acknowledge that wrongs were committed, almost all charge that, faced with similar choices, their critics would have done the same or worse. They are right. The responsibility for the nakba cannot simply be laid at Israel's door.
Lo and behold. I remembered it upon seeing this today:
I see an international presence. I see a special fund. I see US guarantees. I see Israel maintaining control. I see political limitations on the Palestinians.
By Haitham Sabbah
A draft of the Obama peace plan, which is expected to be released at the UN Assembly meeting in New York, or at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, has surfaced.
The International Middle East Media Center's website leaked the alleged draft of Obama's peace plan given to them by Palestinian Legislator Hasan Khreisha. Khreisha added that the draft has been widely distributed among Palestinian and Arab leaders and the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, recently discussed the plan during his visit to the White House.
According to Khreisha, the draft includes ten main points detailed as follows:
1. International presence in the Jordan Valley, Palestinian Plains area, and other areas in the West Bank.
2. Annexing some parts of East Jerusalem to remain under Israeli control, while Muslim holy site would be under Arab control.
3. All Palestinian factions would be dissolved and transformed into political parties.
4. Large settlement blocs in the West Bank would remain under Israeli control, while negotiations would be conducted within three months of the plan agreement?, to discuss the future of smaller settlements.
5. Several areas in the West Bank would be disarmed, and Israeli would maintain aerial control.
6. Intensifying the Palestinian-Israeli security coordination.
7. The Palestinian Authority would not be allowed to have military alliances with regional countries.
8. The United States would guarantee the establishment of a Palestinian State in the summer of 2011.
9. Allowing an agreed upon number of refugees to return, and to be settled in the Plains area and other areas in the West Bank, particularly in the cities of Ramallah and Nablus. A special fund for supporting the refugees would also be established.
10. Israel starts releasing the Palestinian political detainees immediately after the peace deal is signed. Three years would be allocated for the release of the detainees.
And what does Israel sacrifice? Diddly-squat.