Monday, November 02, 2009

Time for President Obama and Secretary Clinton to Hit the “Reset” Button on Israel and the Territories


Expectations were low for this past weekend’s visit by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to Israel and the territories. Diplomats understand that no negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will occur until after January 24, 2010, the date set for Palestinian “elections.” The Secretary’s visit was a non-event, with one exception.

Secretary Clinton’s statements did affirm the Obama administration’s foreign policy mantra: Talk to your enemies.

If the United States is willing to negotiate with Iran and North Korea without preconditions, the United States expects the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel regardless of ongoing Israeli settlement activity.

Secretary Clinton’s message sent Palestinian “leadership” into a tizzy.

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, thought he had a better friend in President Obama. In the past, Israel’s settlement activity had never caused Mr. Abbas to refuse to negotiate with Israel, but President Obama’s strong stance on Israeli settlements had a predictable effect on Mr. Abbas. He decided to halt any negotiation with Israel until Israel ceased all settlement activity.

What did Mr. Abbas do in response to Secretary Clinton’s statements now urging him to negotiate with Israel? He immediately sought public backing to refuse to negotiate from the League of Arab States. Amr Mussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, obliged. He called Mr. Abbas’ refusal to negotiate with Israel, sensible. He said Mr. Abbas’ position had Arab backing.

Well, off course Mr. Abbas’ position has Arab backing. Arabs and Muslims, whether or not they call themselves Palestinian, have been taught to hate Israel and Jews.

Peace cannot be made between Palestinian Arabs and Israel alone. It must be made on a regional basis between all Arabs/Muslims and Israel. Otherwise, there will be no peace.

Permanent peace will come when Arabs/Muslims in the region accept Israel as Jewish state (and that means finding the answer inside of the Quran). Permanent peace will come when Israel is independently viable (and for the many reasons identified in my book, in all likelihood, that means Israel must be larger than it is today).

There is plenty of room for everyone to peacefully thrive in the Middle-East. The current tragedy can be abated. This human problem is solvable. But the problem cannot peacefully and permanently solved by forcing the creation of a twenty-second Arab state within the borders of Israel and the territories.

When January 24, 2010 comes and goes, President Obama will have been in office for more than a year. It is my hope that President Obama and Secretary Clinton will have learned from year one of their administration that the current two-state solution is not workable. They need a new course of action if they are to bring real peace. It is time to hit the “reset” button on this one, too.

--David Naggar


Lara said...

Yes, I don't think the idea of a larger Israel will ever be part of the American agenda, especially at this time. USA policy has been to shrink Israel since 67, to appease the Arabs. I read USA won't stop until Israel is about the size of Lebanon. I think your blog and your new book is highly important and I have a link to it on my blog if you want to see it. Great work, great blog! @DolpheenaIDF of twitter

dol said...

I feel Israel made a grave mistake when they returned Sinai to Egypt. In my view, Sinai had a lot of advantages, aside from being a natural buffer. Oil wells, for one thing. For example, the fiasco in Gaza and the smuggling tunnels would not be happening. Egypt is a double dealer in my view, or their wouldn't be any tunnels. Additionally, had Israel kept the Sinai they could use some of that land for the PA state, and still maintain its oilwells, making it self sufficient. this view is terribly unpopular, especially among Israelis. LOL. DolpheenaIDF