Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Former US negotiator: 'Forget about Israeli-Palestinian agreement'

In a column in Monday's Jerusalem Post, former US Middle East 'peace' negotiator Aaron David Miller says that we can all forget about an Israeli-'Palestinian' agreement.
Varying kinds of accommodations cease fires, informal cooperation and temporary arrangements may still be possible. But an agreement now or perhaps for the foreseeable future that revolves conclusively the four core issues (borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security) isn't.
Miller cites three 'realities' that make an Israeli-'Palestinian' agreement impossible:
It's not that there are metaphysical or magical reasons why these core issues can't be resolved; it's that the political will is lacking among leaders to reach an agreement and that the current situation on the ground between Israelis and Palestinians makes it impossible for them to do to. That everyone knows what the ultimate solution will look like (an intriguing notion that is supposed to make people feel better) is irrelevant if the circumstances for an agreement don't exist.

THIS BRINGS me to my second point. The dysfunction and confusion in Palestine make a conflict-ending agreement almost impossible. The divisions between Hamas (itself divided) and Fatah (even more divided) are now geographic, political and hard to bridge. Until the Palestinian national movement finds a way to impose a monopoly over the forces of violence in Palestinian society, it cannot move to statehood.


Third, there is serious dysfunction at the political level in Israel as well. Israel has its own leadership crisis. The state is in transition from a generation of founding leaders with moral authority, historic legitimacy and competency to a younger generation of middle age pols who have not quite measured up to their predecessors or to the challenges their nation faces. The leadership deficit is a global phenomenon, but not all states are sitting in a dangerous neighborhood on top of a political volcano. Is there an Israeli leader today who has the authority and skill to make and sell the tough choices required for Israeli-Palestinian peace?
Miller's first two arguments show why the Oslo accords - which he championed during the Clinton administration - were doomed to failure from the outset. One of the guiding principles behind Oslo was to postpone the hard issues to the end of the game. The goal was to chip away at Israel's positions until there was nothing left and Israel would have no choice but to concede on what Miller calls the 'identity issues.' When Ehud Barak very dangerously called the bluff by attempting to resolve the 'identity issues' at Camp David in 2000, the entire house of cards fell apart.

And while Miller presents the second point as being a new obstacle, it's really not new. Yasser Arafat may have been a popular leader, but the reason that he was popular was precisely because he did nothing to attempt to take control of the guns. The terror groups continued to roam the streets, Hamas gained in power and popularity while Arafat was in power and Fatah was a corrupt organization in which militias (like the Tanzim) acted on their own.

Miller's third 'reality' is misplaced. It's not that Israel has no leaders capable of leading (although the current government clearly is incapable of leading) it's that Israel's people have awoken to reality since 2000 and are not going to rush to give away all their strategic assets to a people bent on their destruction.

Miller's prescription is to go "all out" for an Israeli-Syrian agreement. But that is destined to fail for all the same reasons. Syria has no real interest in peace, will do nothing to rein in Hezbullah, and has an unpopular dictator as its leader who cannot change the way his people actually think. And the Israeli people are much smarter than they were 10-15 years ago.

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.


Citizen Warrior said...

All this talk of "peace in the Middle East" is ridiculous. It's not going to happen. EVER! Get over it. Muslims will not ever give up trying to "drive the Jews into the sea," and the Israelis will not ever give up trying to survive. The world needs to embrace this reality and aim for something actually attainable: An Israeli population that is relatively safe from Jihadis.

I'm not a Jew, by the way. I don't have any special attachment to the Jewish religion or Israel, except that it's a democracy, and by far the best democracy in the Middle East. As Glen Reinsford wrote in his article Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict, "Perhaps the greatest of all ironies in the present-day Middle East, as David Horowitz has pointed out, is that Arab Israelis enjoy more social, legal and political freedom than do Arabs in any one of the fifty-three Muslim countries." Ironic because so many Arabs are hell-bent on destroying Israel.

But Israel needs to embrace this reality too and quit bending over backwards to "make peace." They keep being lured into making deals with the ruling Jihadis of the day in order to finally have "peace." They should be able to look at their own history in the Middle East, or look at easily-obtained Islamic teachings and see that "peace agreements" with Jihadis are worse than a waste of time (for example, Qur'an 9:1-17).

One particular Islamic principle the Israelis might discover within fifteen minutes of perusing Islamic texts is that no peace agreements between Muslims and non-Muslims can last longer than ten years, and the only Islamic purpose for a peace agreement is to get the enemy to stop attacking Muslims while the Muslims regroup and strengthen their position, allowing them to take up the fight again at a time of their choice from a position of strength. As Robert Spencer says in the DVD, Islam: What the West Needs to Know:

"It's unfortunate, but there's no negotiating with the Jihadists. There is no striking a deal with them. Islamic law is very clear on that...Islamic law does not allow for treaties. It does not allow for negotiated settlements between Muslim states and non-Muslim states.

"All it allows for is a temporary period of up to ten years of 'hudna' or what is commonly translated as 'truce' to allow the Islamic forces to gather their strength. But that's not the same as peace as we know it. That's not the same as the absence of a state of war. That's only a temporary lull in a war that the Jihadists consider has gone on for 14 centuries, and are willing to fight for 14 more."

Another very basic Islamic principle nobody in Israel or the U.N. seems to be aware of is the principle of taqiyya. That is, the allowance and even encouragement by Islamic teachings for Muslims to deceive non-Muslims in order to further the political goal of Islam, which is dominance over all other governments and religions.

These are very basic Islamic teachings anyone can discover with very little effort. They are not obscure, hard-to-decipher teachings.

But here is Israel, having been duped and tricked and lied to again and again by people who are quite open about their dedication to Islamic teachings, making more "peace agreements" with Jihadis! It's absolutely crazy. They should give "giving up on peace" a chance.

It's not that peace isn't a worthy goal, of course. But the idea of peace as in "living together in harmony" is something to throw out the window when it comes to Israel and the Muslim world. It's kind of like having breast cancer and saying, "Okay, cancer, I'll give you one breast, and then we can live in peace together."

No, you can't. If you don't stop it, the cancer will metastasize. That's its nature. That's what it does.

And the Muslim world will continue to undermine, fight, and try to destroy Israel. That's its nature. That's what it does. Which means if Israel wants to survive, it had better quit trying to appease Muslims and accommodate Islam's demands and concede to the Muslims' wishes and start drawing the line, and saying "no further."

And not just Israel. The U.N. has pressured Israel to appease and accommodate and concede. Why? Because there are lots of Muslim countries in the U.N. who have used taqiyya successfully.

What the world has been doing about the Israeli-Palistian conflict has not worked. Let's try something different. We could change what we mean by "peace." Peace might mean "the good guys have the upper hand." It might mean the good guys have enough power to hold Islam's relentless encroachment at bay so the rest of us can live in harmony with each other.

The above is an excerpt from this article: Let's Give "Giving Up On Peace" a Chance

Epaminondas said...

"But an agreement now or perhaps for the foreseeable future that revolves conclusively the four core issues (borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security) isn't."


Hold a vote in the west bank and gaza which demonstrates the palestinian people:
1) Recognize Israel's right to exist in secure borders
2) Give up permanently any idea of the existance of an islamic waqf

After that talks MIGHT have some basis to proceed, IF and only IF the same peoples are prepared to do to HAMAS what the people of Anbar did to Al Qaeda

There is as yet NOTHING to discuss

Pastorius said...

HOw do you get Muslims, who were born and raised with the idea of an Islamic waqf (it's their paradigm, not their opinion) to give up the idea???

Epaminondas said...

Hmmmmm, well Israel could try the Ann Coulter Doctrine....

Last Para

Pastorius said...

Actually, that would be a wise idea.

Funny as it sounds.