Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Israel's Peace Plan Marks a New Era in the Country's History

From GLORIA, July 20, 2009, by Barry Rubin*:

...Israel has entered a new era of thinking and policy in which old categories of left or right, hawk or dove are irrelevant under a national unity government bringing together the two main ruling parties.

.... It goes like this: Israel wants peace but doesn’t hesitate to express not only what it wants and needs but also what’s required to create a stable and better situation...

--Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Without this step, the aftermath of any “peace” agreement would be additional decades of Arab effort to destroy Israel ...

--Absolute clarity that a peace agreement ends the conflict and all claims on Israel...

--Strong security arrangements and serious international guarantees for them...

--An unmilitarized Palestinian state...enough for internal security and legitimate defense but not aggression.

--Palestinian refugees resettled in [the new entity]. The demand for a “Right of Return” is just a rationale for wiping Israel off the map through internal subversion and civil war.

...Part of the new thinking is to understand that precise borders and east Jerusalem’s status, while important, are secondary to these basic issues. If those principles are resolved, all else can follow.

...The best outcome would be if this program was met by Palestinian cooperation. If they are suffering so under alleged occupation, if so desperate for their own state, there’s nothing in this offer they can’t accept.

If, however, they prefer rejectionism, exposing their claims as false, that, too, is acceptable. The truth would be known: the Palestinians and much of the Arab world can’t make peace with Israel because they don’t want peace with Israel. And that is because they don’t want Israel to exist. Period...

... More risks, concessions, and the establishment of an unstable and hostile Palestinian state--the most likely outcome at present--would make things worse.

Equally wrong is the notion that time is against Israel, a strong and vibrant society surrounded by weak, disorganized neighbors...

... A new national consensus has emerged which will be strong, and durable. If the world pays attention to it, there might actually be some real hope for peace.

But as long as Western governments and media are only interested in two things--what the Palestinians demand and new concessions from Israel--the situation will remain frozen for many years to come.
*Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.
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