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Netanyahu surrendered

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On June 16, 2009 @ 10:56 am In peace process | 20 Comments

Where venerable Yitzhak Shamir, the former commander of LEHI terrorist group, caved in to American pressure, Netanyahu stood no chance – especially since he had already surrendered during his prior term as prime minister.

Netanyahu raised two demands for accepting a Palestinian state. One is that it either be demilitarized or Israel receive international security guarantees. After the Versailles Treaty, Rhineland was demilitarized, and so was Sinai under the 1957 ceasefire agreement; the world did nothing when Nazis and Egyptians marched troops into their own land. When UNIFIL cannot stop missile smuggling by Hezbollah, it is impossible that the world can live up to Netanyahu’s requirement of ensuring that missiles won’t be smuggled into the West Bank. Palestinians are unlikely to accept demilitarization of their state, but even if they do, nothing precludes them from changing their constitution a year later.

Jews had international security guarantees. Not even in ghettos and death camps, but in 1957 from Eisenhower who promised to keep the Tiran Straits open. When Egypt closed them in 1967, Israel was left alone to fight. International guarantees were excellent in 1972 when Russians and Americans brokered Israeli-Egyptian ceasefire.

Netanyahu’s second demand is Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. What does that mean? Jewish according to Meretz which accepts an Arab right to vote the Jewish state out of existence? Even if Abbas recognizes Israel as a Jewish state just like Palestine is an Arab one, that won’t preclude Palestinians in Israel to claim their democratic rights.

To his credit, Netanyahu did not endorse a two-state solution, but rather a self-governing Palestinian entity. To his shame, he failed to realize that such an entity will eventually become a state.

Netanyahu took a firm stance on the non-issue of settlement growth. Except for the three towns and several large villages across the Green Line, natural growth in the settlements is negligible. The issue became so hot that Obama and Abbas would find it hard to retreat from their demands, and the peace negotiations can be stalled.

Netanyahu approach, intended to buy Israel time until Obama cools off on the Palestinian issue, is destructive. If Israel accepts a Palestinian state in principle, all the rest is details. America will shower Israel with fake security guarantees, and Abbas can mutter that he accepts Israel as a Jewish or any other state its citizens decide to call it.

Instead, Netanyahu must have been honest and straightforward:
This is a conflict between West and Muslims rather than Israel and Palestinian Arabs.
Arab countries want Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than peace.
The Saudi peace initiative does not include Iran, which is worth all Arabs combined.
Palestinians want international prominence of the conflict rather than a tiny non-viable state.
Fatah hates to have a state because in the absence of IDF Hamas would take over it.
Jewish problem with the Palestinian state is not security; a terrorist group cannot destroy the fourt-strongest army in the world.
Rather, Israel cannot accept a Palestinian state because Judea is ours, is the Promised Land.
Israel will not accept moralizing from Europeans and Americans who butchered tens of millions in the past decades and still hold colonial possessions.
Israel will not scale back its retaliation against the terrorists armed with rockets.
We value the relationship with American administration, but won’t let it dictate policies of the Jewish state.

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