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  • December 23, 2007

    The Way Forward

    By Ted Belman

    In my article Why I hate the “peace process”, I set out in point form what is wrong with the peace process.

    Bottom line is that it is a vehicle that the world community rides to force Israel to capitulate to Arab demands. Many people including Jews support the process and even support US pressure on Israel to make more concessions. Without making a further argument in support of my rejection and against their designs, I would like to identify certain facts which inform the reality upon which I base my ideas of the way forward.

    1. Before the Oslo Accords, the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria had good relations with Israel. Israel provided schools for them and even universities. As a result, such Arabs, now called “Palestinians” had a better education than their Arab brethren in adjacent countries. Their standard of living was higher also and they weren’t dependent on the world for charity. Jews and Arabs mixed freely for the benefit of all.


    2. Oslo changed all this. The US led the way in forcing Israel into a peace process by convening the Madrid Conference in 1991. No doubt it did so at the request of Saudi Arabia. Why, I don’t understand, because the US had just invaded Iraq to protect Saudi Arabia. It owed it nothing. As a result of the process that it started and kept pushing, Arafat and his PLO terrorists who had been exiled to Tunisia were invited into Israel to form the Palestinian Authority. This influx of terrorists enabled the terrorists to take over from the local Palestinians.

    3. The authority given to the PA by the Oslo Accords, lead to an incessant diet of incitement to hate and violence. As a result, the peace process brought war not peace. This war has resulted in about 1700 Israeli deaths which is more than double per capita than the US suffered in the Vietnam War. Furthermore the US kept compounding the problem by its decision to

      - arm and train the Palestinians
      - restrain Israel in its self defense
      - require that Israel not control the border between Gaza and Egypt thereby enabling the transfer of arms, munitions and terrorists from Sinai to Gaza
      - insist on Hamas being allowed to contest the elections
      - convene the Annapolis Conference which humiliated Israel

    4. Hamas continues to arm and train for war and to fire daily rockets at Israel. Israel must deal with the problem sooner or later resulting in what’s been estimated at over 100 IDF fatalities. The longer it waits, the more the casualties. A Hudna, even if offered on terms acceptable, will only postpone the problem and enable it to become an even bigger problem.

    5. The parties have been unable to agree on a settlement of the core issues despite 14 years of the peace process. Now both Evelyn Gordon and Yossi Alpher report that the gaps separating the parties are wider than ever. In my opinion they are unbridgeable no matter how much pressure may be applied.

    So what’s to be done?

    Israel must accept that the peace process is a deadend street, literally.

    Judea and Samaria

    Israel must abrogate Oslo and the PA. It must then return to the pre-Oslo days. This would involve expelling the terrorists, stopping the incitement, changing the school curriculum to one designed for peace not war, disarming the Palestinians and arranging for local leaders to maintain order. The Palestinians will then be rewarded for cooperation and progress by the lifting of roadblocks and by humanitarian relief as required.

    Israel must pass a Constitution that declares Israel to be a Jewish state and ensures human and civil rights for all. The Palestinians should be entitled to citizenship after the elapse of 15 years (to enable their detoxification) providing they speak Hebrew, pledge allegiance and sign a loyalty oath. They should also be given financial incentives to emigrate if they so wish. National service, military or otherwise, should be a prerequisite to certain state benefits.

    Israel must extend Israeli law to the Jordan, just as it did in Jerusalem and the Golan.

    Israel should investigate whether Jordan is prepared to extend citizenship to the Palestinians as set out in the Elon Plan, but it should not depend on it.

    Gaza

    Israel should immediately retake the Philidelphi Corridor to prevent smuggling. It should retake the norther five miles of Gaza to prevent rocket attacks on Ashkelon and vicinity. Similarly it should occupy whatever is needed to stop rocket attacks on Sderot. As for Gaza City, I leave that to the military to decide both when and how. It should be a military decision and not a political one.

    At some future time say in five years after Israel’s policies have proven themselves in Judea and Samaria, Israel should do the same in Gaza.

    The “right of return” should in no way be recognized.

    This is the only way to peace. It is the only way forward

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 1:37 pm | 34 Comments »

    34 Comments to The Way Forward

    1. South says:

      Shalom Ted,

      Re: “Israel must pass a Constitution”;
      and
      Re: “many people including Jews support the process”;

      It is here we must accept that we are as divided as Presbyterians and Roman Catholics in the Emerald Isle.

      Too many Jews do not want a Constitution.

      The peace process (It hurts to write that phrase.) is also corrupted by Jews in Israel and the diaspora. This relates to the dysfunctional government in Israel.

      In re border control, Gaza-Egypt, I still do not understand why Israel modified the Peace Treaty allowing the Egyptians to rearm the Sinai Peninsula.

      Kol tuv,

    2. Laura says:

      2. Oslo changed all this. The US led the way in forcing Israel into a peace process by convening the Madrid Conference in 1991. No doubt it did so at the request of Saudi Arabia. Why, I don’t understand, because the US had just invaded Iraq to protect Saudi Arabia. It owed it nothing. As a result of the process that it started and kept pushing, Arafat and his PLO terrorists, who had been exiled to Tunisia, were invited into Israel to form the Palestinian Authority. This influx of terrorists enabled them totake over from the local Palestinians.

      Perhaps its mental telepathy, but I was thinking about this very same issue this morning. I was wondering why the U.S. felt it needed to reward the arabs through the sacrifice of Israel, for their cooperation in the gulf war when we did it to save them. Why did we begin the “peace” process and bring back arafat and his henchmen from Tunisia when the situation between Israel and the palestinians was relatively calm at that point in time? The only conclusion I can come up with is that the west wants to perpetuate the conflict. But what benefits does the west derive from this state of affairs? Is the west actually working towards the goal of ending the state of Israel?

    3. Gary says:

      One reason why I like Israpundit is because it provides practical and sensible answers or partial solutions to very large problems and questions. In this piece, Ted has offered some very sensible suggestions to many of the problems that the left has avoided, ignored or, worse, has offered a patchwork quilt of impossible nonsensical and dangerous plans that would accompany two states within one small area or one state dominated by Islamic supremacists/terrorists which would destroy Israel.

      Laura, your question about why the West continues to stir the pot to make the situation intolerable is a very important one and it deserves some time to figure out how to prevent this kind of interference which has made Israel suffer over the past 30 years.

      Does it all boil down to what Kissinger had in mind when he prevented Israel from receiving spare parts for quite some time (causing significant Israeli casualties) during the Yom Kippur war because he wanted Israel to get a bloody nose so that the Arabs would not be routed as they were in 1967?

      This behavior remains a mystery to me and has prevented real solutions to real problems.

    4. yamit82 says:

      Ted I generally like your thinking except for what to do with Arab population. We can’t keep them at least most of them and It will cost us Billions again as we would have to reconstitute the Civilian authority (affairs), to administer them and provide services etc. Jobs etc. Will donor nations still contribute ? I think not and we the poor overly taxed already slobs will have to pay the bill. We also don’t want another 400000 extraneous Arabs running around Israel uncontrolled, Been there and done that before Bad bad!!!Your plans or thoughts must be based on an Arab Free WB and Gaza. The Arab Population in the territories is not the same as pre 1992 Oslo. Much Younger and do not fear or respect us. They are more indoctrinated.They are more religious, Less educated and probably more hateful towards us. Any plan or concept that leaves them whole and within us is doomed to same failures as before. Pay them any thing you want pay the for twice or thrice their values I don’t care but they have to go!!!!

    5. South says:

      Shalom Yamit 82,

      I do not understand. Why do Arabs “cost us Billions” and why is Israel obliged to “provide services, etc Jobs, etc” ?

      PR China forbids North Korean refugees from exploiting China’s charities. So, too, Singapore. Ditto all the rest of the nations.

      Israel still supplies electricity to Gaza because the political echelon of Yevsektzia and socialists never heard of the “scorched earth policy”

      The Arabs aren’t the problem. Note that Central Park West is segregated from Orchard Beach, notwithstanding the United Nations conventions.

      If the Israeli Arabs are given more health insurance, more pension benefits and public schools, maybe they wil emigrate to Jibouti and Sudan.

      I could be wrong but just want to help out in clarifying the problem.

      Kol tuv,

    6. Ted Belman says:

      Yehoshua wrote

      Israel must stop taking aid money from the US. This money has several bad
      effects. One is that it gives people like Pat Buchanan the license to say
      that the Jews are taking the citizens’ tax money. Another is that the
      strings attached to the money hamper Israel’s defense policy and give jobs
      to American rather than Israeli workers and scientists. But the deepest and
      most subtle reason for stopping taking American aid money is that we have to
      start thinking like a major league country rather than a Third World
      protectorate of Uncle Sam. We keep giving up resources and asking for them
      to be replaced by American guarantees. After the Six-Day War Israel was able
      to become self-sufficient in energy. Instead successive Israeli governments
      followed the siren-song of territory for peace. Instead we end up with no
      territory, no peace and no will to defend ourselves. Let the people who are
      afraid to be on their own go to the real America and live there.

    7. Ted Belman says:

      Marilyn writes

      Mostly I agree except that Palestinians weren’t complacent before Oslo. But definitely Israel needs written Constitution re Jewish state with rights for all. But Judea and Samaria must GO – this is the cancer on Israel since 1967. Trust me on this – they have to get rid of the West Bank as soon as they can, must get the best deal they can but get rid of it, sorry religious guys, ain’t happening that you keep Greater Israel. I’m remembering back to 1968 when I studied there via Brandeis – another vignette was when we had people from all the different parties come and speak to us – the religious party guy came and some kid asked him (using provocative language), when he was “going to give back the West Bank” – so the guy said, let me tell you a story, I have a little grandson, and if I ever give up these lands, one day he will climb up on my knee and say, Grandpa, HOW COULD YOU GIVE AWAY MY INHERITANCE? Needless to say we boo’d him for that answer – but it showed us that certain elements of Israel thought they’d be allowed to keep the land – AS IF ruling over 1 million disgusting arabs is GOOD for the Jews! NOT! Sorry, also remember the poet Achad Ha’am (Asher Ginsberg) – he wrote home about Palestine in the early 20th century, “The bride is beautiful but she already has a bridegroom.” Well, not exactly when it came to setting areas of the land that were empty, but that certainly applies to the West Bank. Israel is just located in a bad neighborhood and wishing isn’t going to change the neighborhood. The fence is a great idea. Keep the animals out. You see I have no love for the arabs, but at the same time it’s not good to be an occupying power, and you can’t integrate a land with a hostile population AND you can’t expel them! So the only solution is to withdraw with the best deal you can get. There’s nothing wrong with posturing that you’d like to keep it as long as you’re using that as a bargaining chip and when it comes to giving it up you act like it hurts whereas inside you are saying THANK YOU GOD that I’m OUT OF THERE AT LAST.

      Hey, my pedigree is that my Dad (b.1906) was a HaShomer HaTsair Zionist from Rudnick, Poland, and while he might have been a little idealistic about human nature, he had no love for the arabs and wouldn’t trust them further than he could throw them – but after the initial euphoria in 1967-68 about Greater Israel, he also knew that it was not a good long-term solution. He also had said, final borders would have to involve straightening the crooked line which meant Israel would keep some of the West Bank and the arabs would get some of what was Israel – someday. They seem to be talking that way now. Who knows what the future will bring. But if there is no good solution, then at least doing the right thing for the soul of your country is preferable to occupying other people. Just talk to the young soldiers, they want out too (oh, other than the right wing religious fanatics, but as I noted the other day, those are the people who resulted in Israel’s destruction several times over in ancient times, so let’s beware that they don’t do it again).

      Rant over for today,

    8. Ted Belman says:

      If Marilyn agrees as she says, I’d hate to see what disagreement is.

    9. Gary says:

      I would ask Marilyn the following questions:

      1) If the land is given to the Pals and they make it all into a no-Jew zone, would she still be in favor and would she approve of sending the Muslim residents of Israel on a one-way ticket to their newly created country of Palestine?

      2) If the Israelis give the land to Pals and they continue their Intifada to get the remainder, does Israel have a right to wage war against them to recapture the land? Or does Israel continue to acquiesce to ever greater demands, eventually to give them all of the land?

      3) If Israel becomes a patchwork of separate Jewish and Muslim enclaves, do you not think that such a scenario would lead to more violence, not less?

      4) Does Israel get land in the Arab countries to compensate for the 800,000 Jews thrown out of the Arab world? What form does that compensation take…forfeiture of the right to return by Arabs?

      5) Who would guarantee peace between the Pals who have never recognized Israel and never given up their war and Israel?

    10. Charles Martel says:

      Israel has always been a pawn serving American interests in the ME. During the Cold War, Israel was instrumental in blocking Russian hegemony. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US embraced the New World Order paradigm which implied US hegemony, cheap oil, and a soaring stock market to finance the retirement of 75 million baby boomers. That dictated US appeasement to the Arabs and a Palestinian state with or without an Israel.

      The NWO paradigm was enunciated by Bush 41, implemented and managed by James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, and others leading to Oslo and the current calamity for Israel. It was actually Clinton who enjoyed the economic fruit of the groundwork laid by the Bush administration and of course, he attempted to ice the deal at Camp David.

      9/11 was a “godsend” for the Palestinians because it scared the hell out of Bush 43 and the European elite, convincing them that the only way to placate their oil overlords (and Muslim constituencies in the case of Europe) was to immediately pick up where Clinton left off and compel a Palestinian state.

      Fast forward to today and we see one last heave-ho orchestrated by Bush to finish the job begun by his father 17 years ago.

      Israel’s only short-term hope is to ditch the Olmert government and run out the clock on the Bush administration. Longer-term, Ted’s got the right framework above but it will require vision and steel from the next GOI.

    11. yamit82 says:

      south, the reason is simple 1 the World would requie it and if we dont it would really be a rally around the flag hysteria . The Internal leftist media would seek to topple any govt. that didn’t do it and we have the precedent of before Oslo from 67 till 92/93. Maintaing basic infrstructure and basic services is plenty expensive.

    12. South says:

      Is there a Brandeis satellite campus at Sderot ? It is not located in the West Bank.

      The plans call for dismantling ALL of Israel less a probable enclave at TLV east to the airport.

      Kol tuv,

    13. yamit82 says:

      Marilyn, , glad to have your participation here. We need new blood that have the courage to think differently from most of the right wing pundits who post here. Keep it up !
      I would like to make at least one correction to your perception that you made/ We are all agreed what the Arabs are thats good for starters! we just disagree over the solutions! Now if you were to remove so called nationalist or right wing elements from IDF and other security services You would automatically loose 45% if not more the the Most elite and Best we have, Who would you suggest replacing them with the drop out , cop outs, who have either left Israel or are enjoying the Highs of Goa, India?

      Would you then suggest; we induct Left wing drop outs to replace them? We would have have a mass exodus then and lose 30% of the population, that is not to say it might not be a good idea. It would bring the housing prices down at least.

      another point What occupation? Have you never heard of autonomy? Or asking them to leave politely, with wads of cash stuck in their Burkahs and a visa to any exotic place of their choice like Canada or Australia, or even LA ( they deserve ea. other)?

      Many Israelis , Jews and Christians believe you can’t occupy something that is already yours! Think about it . What did you learn at Brandeis? I know , I used to date a girl from there in another life.

      I am sure you love and respect your father, but Ha Shomer Ha TZair is no longer considered a good pedigree not even by our enlightened Left or especially by our left as they would be considered right wing radicals by them today! How things do change!

      HAVE A NICE DAY!

    14. yamit82 says:

      Yehoshua :Were it so!!

    15. Ted Belman says:

      International Christian Zionist Center in Israel writes

      Ted, How right are you on the mark! May it inspire others to think straight like you!

    16. Charles Martel says:

      Marilyn is a case study in Horney’s anxiety reduction school of personality development. In her overriding desire to reduce anxiety (by surrendering the territories), Marilyn fails to answer the fundamental question I pose to everyone who says things like

      You see I have no love for the arabs, but at the same time it’s not good to be an occupying power, and you can’t integrate a land with a hostile population AND you can’t expel them! So the only solution is to withdraw with the best deal you can get.

      The question is:

      What about the day after?

      If Marilyn, Beilin, Isseroff, and others suffer from anxiety now over the occupation, how will they react when Israel no longer controls the high ground, the water supply, the air space over Ben Gurion airport, and the Jordanian border…

      and the Arabs she despises but fails to comprehend are still not satisfied?

      When the Arabs use those newly acquired resources to continue and escalate their war against the Jews, what will Marilyn and others of her ilk do then to reduce anxiety?

      The answer — which she has clearly not come to terms with — is:

      They will go.

      Perhaps yamit can give us the figures on how many true Zionist patriots that would leave in Israel and their chances of defeating the European-funded, Russian-armed, and American trained Islamic state of Palestine.

    17. Ed D says:

      Yamit, Your logic is almost identical to mine; therefore, I will let you speak for me. Israel, give up nothing and take what you are due. Drop Bush like a hot potato and stand on your own feet. Somehow, find a way to dispose of Olmert and his criminals even if takes a criminal act to do so. People power, surprising what they can accomplish. Wimps, pay attention to what this man says.

    18. yamit82 says:

      for Laura: YES THERE REALLY IS A SANTA CLAUS

    19. yamit82 says:

      ED; we old soldiers have to stick together, You have forgotten more than most will ever know

    20. Ted Belman says:

      Steve writes

      You are absolutely right – does anyone in Israel read this? If not, how do we get them to?

      Have you tried to get your articles published in the JPost? You and Caroline Glick would be a good
      duo in print.

    21. ronhume says:

      Ted although I agree with many of the points you make, they are a pipe dream, wishful thinking and can never work. It is good to follow world events and we all like to express our thoughts and contentions but NO manmade constitution however good will change the mindset of the world or the Arabs/Muslims. Every “peace plan” set up by the nations is doomed to failure. Only when ADONAI Tzvaot puts into place His plans as described in the Tanakh and the Brit Hadasha will there ever be peace. There is a day coming when ADONAI Elohim Tzvaot will bring everlasting peace, the prophets speak of this day and this is where Israel will find the answers. Here are but a few verses taken mainly from Isaiah [Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) translation by David h Stern].
      “Consult the book of Adonai and read it: not one of these will be missing,” Isaiah 34:16 CJB
      Not one prediction of ADONAI Tzvaot has failed. Multiple thousands of details predicted have been fulfilled to the letter, which precludes all possibility of guesswork on the part of the prophets. This assures us that the innumerable details contained in the Tanakh and Brit Hadasha which are as yet unfulfilled will also come to pass to the letter. “NOT ONE WILL BE MISSING”
      “This is the program planned for all the earth, this is the hand stretched out over all nations. ADONAI-Tzva’ot has made His decision. Who is there that can stop Him? He has stretched out His hand. Who can turn it back? Isaiah 14:26-27 CJB
      “ADONAI-Tzva’ot planned it, to break the pride of all the arrogant, to humiliate all those who are honoured everywhere on earth”. Isaiah 23:9 CJB
      “ADONAI, you are my God. I exalt you, I praise your name. For you have accomplished marvels, (fulfilled) ancient plans faithfully and truly”. Isaiah 25:1CJB
      “ADONAI brings to nothing the plans of nations, He foils the plans of the peoples. But the counsel of ADONAIstands forever, His heart’s plans are for all generations. How blessed is the nation whose God is ADONAI, the people He chose as His heritage” Psalm 33:10-12 CJB A wonderful Psalm read the rest.

      Ted you are so right in stating that the “peace process” “is a vehicle that the world community rides to force Israel to capitulate to Arab demands”, this applies to all of the “peace efforts” made by the world to date.
      “Woe to the rebellious children,” says ADONAI. “They make plans, but the plans are not mine; they develop alliances, but not from my Spirit, in order to pile sin upon sin. They go down to Egypt (the world) but don’t consult me, seeking refuge in Pharaoh’s protection (the likes of Bush & co), seeking shelter in Egypt’s (the world’s) shadow. But Pharaoh’s protection will bring you shame, shelter in Egypt’s shadow will lead to disgrace”. Isaiah 30:1-3 CJB

      Sadly man looks to the nations hoping for peace but the Bible says “When people are saying, ‘Everything is so peaceful and secure”, then destruction will suddenly come upon them, the way labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there is no way they will escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3 CJB
      If our ideas and plans are not based on God’s plans and purposes they will come to nought. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways,” says ADONAI”. Isaiah 55:8 CJB
      “For this is what the high and lofty One says— He who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
      I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me— the breath of man that I have created. I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the LORD. “And I will heal them.”
      But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” Isaiah 57:15-21 CJB
      “If my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:15 CJB
      “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’ ” Isaiah 7:9
      To quote you Ted “This is the only way to peace. It is the only way forward”

    22. JABridge says:

      Israpundit,
      The below quote is what all of us like-minded citizens of the United States must force upon our elected representatives to recognize.

      The authority given to the PA by the Oslo Accords, lead to an incessant diet of incitement to hate and violence. As a result, the peace process brought war not peace. This war has resulted in about 1700 Israeli deaths which is more than double per capita than the US suffered in the Vietnam War.

      THERE CAN BE NO UNILATERAL PEACE PROCESS. Please write your Senators at www.senate.gov ; write your Congressman/woman at www.house.gov; email the President of the United States at comments@whitehouse.gov. Those with time, call the offices of these people and complain.
      Because this peace process is a sham so long as Hamas continues its CONSTANT ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL.

      Israel must abrogate Oslo and the PA. It must then return to the pre-Oslo days. This would involve expelling the terrorists, stopping the incitement, changing the school curriculum to one designed for peace not war, disarming the Palestinians and arranging for local leaders to maintain order.

      Ted is right, the Palestinians, who have been fed the heroin of hate by the Saudis, are not ready to negotiate peace. They think they have the upper hand, now that President Bush has involved my country in a shameful gambit to appease his Saudi friends and bind Israel to a one-sided peace process that cannot bear fruit.

      Please, I implore you all to call with me, and task the representatives of the people of the United States to stand with Israel against the forces of antisemitism, misogyny and xenophobia and force the Palestinians to SUE FOR PEACE.Please post here when you have written, as an inspiration to like-minded lurkers, who may also then join with us in voice and spirit. Until Islam becomes repenetent and contrite; until the Palestinians become sick of killing and dying in the name of Islam; until WE of the United States and the U.N. tell them that their money flow STOPS until they cease all hositilities and recognize Israel's right to exist in its current borders, and that we are all willing go to war with Israel to quell their hatred, there will be no peace.

      We are at the brink of this happening. Israel must change government, and edge her sword.

    23. Bill Narvey says:

      The way forward cannot go forward, regardless of what one advocates is the way forward, all things being equal.

      There are two antithetical positions that pose insurmountable hurdles to finding a solution to peace between Palestinians/Arabs and Israel.

      The first is that on the Palestinian/Arab side, they have an intractable view that Israel must sooner or later be eliminated from the Middle East and if Jews are to continue to live there, must live as dhimmis under Islamic rule. For Israel to make the kinds of concessions demanded of her by the Palestinians/Arabs would mean an act of national suicide.

      The second is that those who support a Road Map two state solution believe that if peace is forced on Israel and the Palestinians, even by their igoring the first insurmountable hurdle that by Israel making concessions that will weaken her, the very existence of peace will eventually dissolve the insurmountable aspect of this first hurdle and thus an uneasy peace will become stable and enduring.

      Those that support Israel annexing Gaza and the West Bank and inducing Palestinians to leave believe that the insurmountable hurdle will forever be insurmountable. Therefore Israel must not make any concessions that will cause Israel to be inherently weakned and that Israel will only find peace through strength.

      As of now the latter camp is trying to swim not only against the current of popular and majority opinion, but practically up a waterfall and that is virtually a second insurmountable hurdle.

      Every Western democratic nation and that includes Israel, support the road map two state solution and a majority of the world’s democratic citizens support their leadership on that issue.

      Whichever camp those who want peace to come to Israel and the Palestinians and Arabs find themselves, neither side will be instrumental in bringing about a meaningul, strong and lasting peace, all things remaining equal as they are.

      There is the expression, ‘something has got to give’.

      In this case, what has to give is for Islam, as believed and practiced by a majority of Middle East Muslims, to undergo an enlightenment and reformation such that the intractability of Palestinian/Arab Jew hatred and dreams for Israel’s elimination to re-establish those lands as Muslim domain.

      Barring such enlightenment and reformation, all things will remain much the same and neither camp will be able to remove the wrench in the gears of progress towards peace.

    24. Ted Belman says:

      Bill, surely you can’t put your hopes on this.

      In this case, what has to give is for Islam, as believed and practiced by a majority of Middle East Muslims, to undergo an enlightenment and reformation such that the intractability of Palestinian/Arab Jew hatred and dreams for Israel’s elimination to re-establish those lands as Muslim domain.

      But apparently you do. You also discount any chance of my way forward.

      Those that support Israel annexing Gaza and the West Bank and inducing Palestinians to leave believe that the insurmountable hurdle will forever be insurmountable.

      [They] are trying to swim not only against the current of popular and majority opinion, but practically up a waterfall and that is virtually a second insurmountable hurdle.

      I don’t share this view. I believe a paradigm shift in world opinion vis a vis the conflict is coming. What needs to happen is for Israel to lead the way away from the two state solution and manage their own affairs, even without a paradigm shift.

      Let us assume that Israel does not formally end the peace process and Oslo but instead refuses to freeze settlements. What will the world do? I am not worried about the loss of US economic support. I don’t believe anyone will invade. So the UN can pass a Chapter VII resolution which Israel will be required to follow. First we assume the US will not veto such a resolution. This is no small assumption. But if they allow it, then Israel will ignore it. Then the UN can authorize either force or sanctions. No chance of force but sanctions maybe. Even so countries will still sell to Israel and they will still buy. I also don’t see NATO under US command invading or Russia invading. Or Iran starting a nuclear war.

      While all this is playing out over years, Israel will continue to put facts on the ground.

    25. yamit82 says:

      Bill as always you give all of the reasons why not! meaning why not peace process with a chance for peace all the while spelling out why it can’t happen. You are a liberal who knows the facts but can’t bring himself to admit that the built in cultural bias in favor of your concept of reasonableness is a misnomer in this part of the world; where that concept not only is not recognized it is considered an absolute weakness.

      Here in Israel we have an expression that I think is suitable to you, A WOMAN CAN NOT BE HALF PREGNANT!!

    26. Bill Narvey says:

      Ted and Yamit, you both have missed the central premise of my comment and that is things will remain as they are for so long as all things remain equal.

      I am not for laying back with the status quo and hoping for change. I have always called for efforts on various levels to change the status quo. In making those comments known over the last several years, I know that I too am swimming against the current.

      Ted, you say:

      I believe a paradigm shift in world opinion vis a vis the conflict is coming.

      I share that hope and of course have advocated for making that paradigm shift happen, but do not believe that paradigm shift is yet on the verge of happening. One thing that spurs me on to keep advocating as I have about changes needed by Israel in both leadership and a moving away from the influence of the left wing in Israel, is the recent protest mounted in the streets in front of Olmert’s office just before the Annapolis conference calling on Olmert not to divide Jerusalem. That is the first major protest I can recall and that might be signalling a shift from left wing to centrist or even right wing attitudes and perceptions.

      You next say:

      What needs to happen is for Israel to lead the way away from the two state solution and manage their own affairs, even without a paradigm shift.

      I have always concurred with this, noting how difficult it is for any diaspora Jewish or pro-Israel organization including AIPAC to call on America and the West to establish reality based policies vis a vis Israel and the Palestinians/Arabs when Israel, led by Olmert and his predecessors have maintained a land for peace two state peace solution, when the Arabs have consistently proven the issue is not about land for peace but Israel’s existence and the radical Islamic creed that once Islamic land is lost to Islam, Islamists must regain that land no matter how long and no matter what it takes.

      Like you, I have repeatedly called for Israel to say no to America and see what happens rather then believe with fear in the certainty of what would happen. I have never been so certain as that.

      I do disagree with you Ted on the prospects of a loss of US economic support and the consequences to Israel. That is a worry, but as I have stated before, I think if Israel were to abandon a freeze on settlements, the American reaction would naturally be anger, but I think there would be a very good chance that they would be confused as to what to do about that anger beyond expressing it with a lot of teeth gnashing. America is so used to having Israel bend and say yes, I suspect they are not ready to deal with Israel saying no.

      In any event, saying no in the right way, on the right issue and at the right time I think enhances Israel’s chances of pushing the yardsticks back. As I have noted before, if America did get her act together and it was clear she was about to pull the rug out from under Israel, I think there would be time for Israel to recant and she would be no worse off then had she said yes from the start.

      As for my mention of an enlightenment and reformation of Islam, barring a horrific mind boggling mass murder event by radical Islam that gives Westerners a much greater sense of a clear and present danger not just to their way of life, but to their lives per se, Westerners will adapt to bleeding out slowly over the very long time and probably generations for Islam to become enlighted and reformed in the way the current crop of Muslim activists seeking to reform Islam are hoping for.

      As for Yamit, I frankly do not know where you are getting that I have been a nattering nabob of negativism. I have been advocating activism on numerous levels to overcome the inertia of the current peace paradigm so that a a new peace paradigm can be had.

    27. yamit82 says:

      Bill I will try it another way. First I will again ask the specific question as to what you personally feel is an acceptable end result in any formatted peace process for Israel? the second part is; based on your concept of acceptable end result in new type of Peace process do you believe we have a partner for it on the other side, either now or potentially for it in the future?

      What I am saying is don’t talk in general abstractions be specific so we can have a point counter point discussion on the concrete,thirdly what ever you ans. to 1 and 2 assuming you have formulated some acceptable conceptual end game result do you believe in the end even it if could work out according to your plan that the Arabs will abide by said agreement?

    28. Bill Narvey says:

      Yamit, I do not understand your reference to my speaking in abstractions and seeking the certainty of concrete and stone. I have been as specific as I can be.

      You asked however what would be acceptable to me as an end game for Israel and the world Jewish community. Essentially what you are asking is what is my wish. I can be specific about my wish, but for reasons that should be obvious to you, I cannot be specific about what ultimate outcome will be acceptable to me.

      I imagine that the solution that would be acceptable to me is some arrangement between the current two state road map peace solution which I believe is fatally flawed for a number of reasons and my wish that Israel would ultimately have sovereignty over Gaza and the West Bank with the majority of the Palestinians there being induced to willingly leave and the Arab/Muslim and even other world nations willingly accepting them as citizens.

      The current two state solution peace paradigm for me is unacceptable and my wish is probably unattainable. Because the odds now seem so much against achieving our dreams, does not mean that we shouldn’t advocate for them.

      The point I am leading to is that it is not enough to just put our dreams out there and thing we can get to there from here.

      Israel and the world Jewish community must first set their sights on a goal, be it my wish or something less. Once fixing the goal in their minds, then the next and far greater task is to devise strategies and tactics to reach that goal or to get as close to that goal as possible.

      Many on Israpundit, including myself at times, have been focussing on stating the end game they wish for and damning the Palestinians and Arabs for their intractable Jew hatred, damning America and the West for their submissiveness to the power of oil, damning them for their denial of realities and hypocrisies when it comes to Western values and morality in their dealings with Israel, damning the Olmert government as if they were the first Israeli administration to be so weak against America and world opinion, calling for new and stronger Israeli leadership and offering up countless numbers of suggestions as to what should be done about all of this.

      I have been critical in this regard, because far too much attention is being paid to making a list of what is wrong with the two state Road Map solution and premising comments on the end game goal, and far too little attention is being paid to setting out a comprehensive and feasible game plan of strategies and tactics to get from here to the end game.

      We often find ourselves for example saying that the current two state Road Map solution is based on the West’s persistent ignoring of the reality of intractable Palestinian/Arab Jew hatred and their open secret that their end game is the elimination of Israel.

      What is ignored by many in this regard is the fact that the West’s denial of realities, while despicable, is a reality itself that will have to be overcome as part of a game plan strategy to get to the end game from here.

      We assume it should be easy to open the world’s eyes to realities because those realities are so obvious. It has proven anything but easy to accomplish that. The question is therefore what must happen and what can be done that has not yet happened or been been done to achieve that?

      I have before in a number of posts addressed issues and strategies in this regard. I don’t save and organize my writings.

      Your questions of me Yamit tells me that maybe I should be doing that so I could refer you to my previous comments and opinions in that regard. I recall that a number of my comments were very specific as to game plan strategies. I am sure I have forgotten much of what I previously wrote, but did think at the time, my strategy suggestions which sought to take into account various factors, facts, circumstances and attitudes were practical and feasible.

      I seem to recall quite a bit of positive feedback in that regard, but the discussion I had hoped to inspire to get deeper into the questions of how do we get to there from here, really did not materialize.

      To conclude Yamit, we are agreed that the status quo for quite a number of reasons is unacceptable. We might even be agreed on what I said was my wish for Israel.

      I expect that something less then the fulfillment of my wish would still be acceptable to me if it meant a very strong Israel to ensure real peace achieved is kept and which peace solution put Israel into a position to go forward in peace, prosperity and from strength to greater strength.

      What that acceptable position is, I cannot now say. It would depend on many factors including whether I saw things then as I see them now.

      I just know that Israel and world Jewry cannot reach a peaceful solution by setting goals only and spend time damning the rest of the world for not dealing with realities. Israel and the world Jewish community must also devise the means to achieve those goals. Even if less then hoped for is achieved, so long as it is better then what has been achieved thus far, the effort will have been worth it.

      I have always found common sense wisdom in the words of Robert Browing, that “a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

      I hope this answers your questions of me.

    29. Ted Belman says:

      #26 Bill

      You appear to have closed the gap..What you wrote here and what I took issue with are totally different messages.

    30. Bill Narvey says:

      Ted,

      I have not tried to close any gap because I saw no gap to close. What I wrote before and which you took issue with was not to my mind inconsistent with what I wrote in my post 26 and 28 and many past writings.

      If there was a gap between us, I therefore think that all my my further explanations have accomplished is to draw you to me as opposed to moving me towards you.

      These issues, even the core issues, have many facets. Periodically I try to examine these facets and to approach that examination from differing angles. What I have said in this and another discussion thread in which Alex Eisenberg got involved, to my mind was not inconsistent with the general theme of my views that I have been expressing for some time.

      Further, it appears a number people have been upset with my pointing out that they are wrongly thinking that by stating and explaining their goals, that they have also offered a plan to achieve those goals.

      There is as you know, a huge difference between objectives and means to objectives. Those people who have suddenly raised concerns with my observations in that regard, have failed to distinguish between means and objectives and somehow are upset and resentful of my pointing that out.

      Rather then getting perturbed and resentful at me for challenging them, their energy would have been better spent directing their minds to laying out their proposed means to their objectives.

    31. yamit82 says:

      What that acceptable position is, I cannot now say. It would depend on many factors including whether I saw things then as I see them now.

      Bill every thing else you say then is obscure abstractions and because you can’t ans. this, you can’t ans the other questions so we are debating more or less negatives i.e,what we disagree with. Ted has offered for good or bad his positive view and plan outline, so you discuss what Ted thinks. Ted has approached this problem as a Lawyer semi detached, on basis of known facts and behaviors and has reached conclusions. You debate his conclusions without having spelled out specific options in detail re reply.

      You choose to a large extent form over content, so that we may debate Ted and Others content you to a large extent choose form as your augmentative cover.. This is how I see it I will qualify and add, nothing I say here is 100% correct it seems to me that it is largely so!

    32. Bill Narvey says:

      Yamit, it is tough to engage in informed discussion and debate when you respond to me by dismissing all that I have said by generally characterizing my views as obscure abstractions.

      I don’t mind you disagreeing with me and our discussing those disagreements between us.

      It is impossible however for me to know what you are disagreeing with and why, when you avoid specificity and instead resort to vaguely and generally characterizing what I have stated as obscure abstractions.

      If you want to discuss our disagreements, I ask that you be specific and I will respond further.

      If you are content to state you disagree with me by just making general characterizations as you have, that only means there is nothing for me to respond to.

      Do you want to try again?

    33. yamit82 says:

      Bill , I always asked what you suggest as an alternative to what you don’t like or agree with and never get a direct specific ans. from you. I asked why under any circumstances to you believe engaging with by you own admission entities you freely admit are less than forth coming and willing to bend from their own red lines ( I believe all of the Land of Israel in this instance). I have asked in one form or another why you feel engagement in dialog , negotiation or other forms of communication is preferable to wiping them off the face of the earth (figuratively). I asked that were we to come to any agreement whether you believed the Arabs would keep it and not violate it? and finally I asked if you believe the Arabs?

      OK one last attempt just ans. DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE WORD, OR PROMISES OF THE ARABS? If you ans. Yes than give them more or less what they want and if the ans is no kill them before they have a chance to kill us! If the ans. is no then negotiations are useless and can only weaken us and delay the inevitable and in our context a war delayed is a war that will be more difficult to fight in the future and at a much higher cost to us especially in lives lost.

    34. Bill Narvey says:

      Yamit, you have given me the following specific question which I will answer:

      DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE WORD, OR PROMISES OF THE ARABS?

      Answer: YES and NO!

      Yes when it comes to the Arabs and Palestinians making clear that they want to eliminate Israel, to retake all of the land of Israel for themselves and those Jews not killed or forced out in the process will live as dhimmis.

      No, when it comes to Arab and Palestinian promises and agreements made with Israel and the West within the context of peace discussions between Palestinians, Arabs and Israel.

      I have said this time and again in countless comments I have penned.

      You then make a comment that you believes flows from such negative response, which comment I presume you wish my comment on:

      If the ans. is no then negotiations are useless and can only weaken us and delay the inevitable and in our context a war delayed is a war that will be more difficult to fight in the future and at a much higher cost to us especially in lives lost.

      Again, I have repeatedly stated that the negotiations as they have proceeded over the last 60 years, premised as they are on false assumptions and willful blindness have not brought the parties closer to peace.

      Israel has however been weakened by concessions made, though those concessions have not yet brought Israel to the brink of disaster.

      The fear expressed here and on other blogs is that unless Olmert is unseated or at least restrained in his apparent willingness to make the kinds of further concessions he speaks of, that he will bring Israel to the brink of disaster.

      It is however too myopic to single out world opinion and American pressure to account for Israeli concessions thus far made over the decades. Like successive Western leaders, successive Israeli administrations from the time of Ben Gurion, have seen this conflict between Israel and Arabs as one over territory. The current two state Road Map solution is just the latest evolved variation on the two state solution contemplated by the UN with their Partition Resolution in 1947.

      The Arabs to their credit have made no secret that this conflict with Israel is not about territory, but about Israel’s very existence. To their discredit, the West and Israel refuse to believe their own eyes and ears in that regard and persist in the belief that the Palestinian/Arab mind works like the Western mind.

      It likely is not just a function of Western arrogance or folly in closing their eyes and ears to what the Arabs and Palestinians openly think, want and dream about. It is also a function of how the power of Arab oil contributes to closing Western eyes and ears and bending Western minds to ignore or be willfully blind to what the Arabs and Palestinians are really about.

      As for the point that negotiations that are useless because they go nowhere and worse still risk harming Israel, should be abandoned, I do agree generally, but there are exceptions.

      The exceptions are:

      First, so long as the Palestinians and Israelis focus attention on going through the motions of peace and speaking peace, that means less attention is focussed on open hostilities. Israel spends a fortune on security and fortune’s more on active military defence against the Palestinians, which for the past 2 years has been primarily targetting Hamas.

      On that score, I do not know however why Israel has not responded by an all out invasion of Gaza to root out Hamas and stop their daily rocketing of Northern Israel and Sederot.

      Secondly, if Israel could shift the focus of peace negotiations from where that focus now is, to one that puts all emphasis on form over substance, then time spent negotiating is time not spent fighting. Lives are saved and time is played for so that new circumstances and facts might emerge that would improve Israel’s hand at the negotiating table.

      Olmert was roundly criticized as being deliberately provocative in an effort to scuttle the Annapolis Peace conference when he demanded days before the conference that Israel demanded that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

      Is Olmert guilty of what he is accused of? If so, those fearful that Olmert is about to give Israel away, should take heart that Olmert really is not about to do that, no matter what sounds he has been making.

      You note however that peace talks are still ongoing and hostilities are at a minimum. Pres. Bush is going to Israel to meet with Israelis and Palestinians to encourage them to carry forward with the momentum of Annapolis. Again, Olmert did not give much if anything away at Annapolis and if there appeared to be a momentum for peace on both the Israeli and Palestinian side, the evidence strongly suggests that there is appearance only and no substance to it.

      Given the foregoing if Israel can find ways to ensure that negotiations continue for appearance sake only until such time as they are dealt a better negotiation hand and nothing of substance will be conceded by Israel in that time, then the reduction or cessation of hostilities which saves Israeli lives and which lessens the drain on the Israeli economy is a good thing.

      To that extent ongoing negotiations that run around the mulberry bush can be useful and a good thing.

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