After yesterday’s outrageous decision, to be implemented tonight, to release 26 terrorist murderers in order to bolster Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas and to give him confidence to sit in the same room as the Israelis and talk about peace, it is worth considering what kind of peace we would be getting, but more importantly, is this utopian condition even attainable?
As I have posted previously, the peace that is being offered by the Palestinians is no peace at all. It is simply an instrument of surrender, to be signed by Israel and given over to the Palestinians. This point of the Palestinians’ duplicity, and their saying one thing in English to placate a willing world, and another thing entirely in Arabic to inflame the masses, is discussed in this Algemeiner item, “Peace talks will fail because the Palestinians don’t want peace”.
Honest Reporting brings us two useful links in which this theme is expanded further.
A “disgruntled Palestinian official” broke the US-imposed silence on the progress of peace talks, leaking PA negotiating demands to Israel’s Channel 2 TV station. Besides insisting that Palestinian refugees be given an option to return to Israel, there’s this:
. . . any land swap with Israel as part of a peace deal not exceed 1.9 percent of the West Bank . . .
The Times of Israel article continues:
According to the report, the Palestinians are also insisting that they gain control over water, and control at their sides of the Dead Sea and border crossings; that a Palestinian state be able to sign agreements with other states without Israeli intervention; that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners it holds; and that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants be granted the right to choose to live in Israel or the Palestinian territories as part of a final agreement.
Even the extreme-leftist Gershon Baskin assessed that Israel needed more than 1.9% of the land in order to retain the settlements in its borders:
In previous rounds of negotiations, the Palestinians agreed in principle to swap some West Bank land for Israeli territory, in order to allow Israel to annex some settled areas adjacent to its border. Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin has estimated that annexation of 4% of the West Bank would be necessary to incorporate 80% of the settler population in a final agreement.
Honest Reporting refers us to Jonathan Tobin at Commentary Magazine , saying
That’s a heckuva monkey wrench. Jonathan Tobin explains why:
Tobin takes the Palestinian demands one by one:
Not only did the Palestinians arrive at the peace table not prepared to compromise on their ability to militarize their putative state or join in offensive alliances against the smaller and more vulnerable Israel that would result from a peace treaty authorizing the birth of “Palestine.” They are also insisting that the millions of descendants of the Arab refugees of the 1948 War of Independence be allowed to “return” to Israel and effectively end the existence of the Jewish state. If that’s peace, what’s their idea of war?
Leaving aside the refugee question for a moment, the land-swap question is no minor technical dispute. Peace process advocates have estimated that 80 percent of the Jewish communities in the West Bank including the overwhelming majority of the settler population could be incorporated into pre-June 1967 Israel with a swap of 4 percent of West Bank land. But according to this report, the Palestinians won’t budge past 2 percent.
Tobin comes to the correct conclusion about this whole charade:
But so long as the Palestinians are still talking about the right of return, it’s painfully obvious there is nothing to talk about.
If only he was the one leading the negotiations, and not Tzippi Livni, or even Binyamin Netanyahu.
A short and cynical article in Ynet sums up the conclusion of most Israelis: Nothing will come of this terrorist release:
Another group of dangerous terrorists is about to be released prematurely; terrorists who were supposed to remain behind bars for life in accordance with the court’s ruling, are going home. They will be able to start a family – a privilege some of their victims did not have – and prove once again that there is nothing behind Israel’s statements regarding its “unrelenting war on terror”.
There is no other country in the world that releases its enemies at such a dizzying pace. So, what are the prisoners being released for this time? Only for the dubious privilege of talking to the Palestinians. Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi party was not being demagogic when it described the release of prisoners this week as an exorbitant price Israel is paying for Tzipi Livni’s negotiation hobbies.
Apart from Livni herself, no one here really believes peace will come from her negotiations with Saeb Erekat. Netanyahu and Abbas resumed the peace talks mainly to get John Kerry off their backs and secure an alibi in case a third intifada erupts.
The release of terrorists may be the fuel that will ignite this intifada. Even if the released prisoners themselves will not return to their bad ways and instead begin an academic chapter in their lives, their release from prison as a group will create a sense of victory on the Palestinian side and generate a new round of violence.
Judging by the words of a Palestinian Authority official, the Palestinians don’t exactly need encouragement to start an intifada, since according to him the majority of attacks in the murderous Second Intifada were carried about by Palestinian Authority security forces themselves – the very people installed by the Oslo Accords to keep the peace with Israel!
The Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to Libya said the majority of attacks carried out during the Second Intifada were done so by members of the Palestinian Security Forces, The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on Monday.
MEMRI published a recording of Mutawakkil Tahah on Al-Jazeera saying, “When the 2000-2001 Intifada broke out, it turned out that 70% of the martyrs, and of the people who carried out attacks against the occupation, were members of the Palestinian security forces,” adding, “even when [Israel] establishes [our] security forces, these security forces remain patriotic and continue to fight the occupation.”
The person most directly responsible for the unbalanced and unjust terms of negotiation (or rather, surrender) between Israel and the Palestinians, including these prisoner releases, is Justice Minister Tzippi Livni. Caroline Glick takes blistering aim at her ego, her delusions of grandeur and her utter stupidity in today’s JPost. (h/t Mum):
In her speech at The Jerusalem Post’s Diplomatic Conference in Herzliya last Thursday, Livni insisted that the only “legitimate” basis for opposing a Palestinian state is ideological. Livni stridently rejected the notion that one can oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state – in the two-state solution framework – for security reasons.
As she sees it, everyone cares equally about security. And since she cares about security just as much as her political opponents do, the question of whose policy will better protect the country is illegitimate.
She’s nice. She cares. So she’s just as competent as the next guy.
There’s just one problem with Livni’s claim.
She has a track record.
ISRAEL ENACTED two major strategic initiatives that have her signature on them: the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, and UN Security Council Resolution 1701 from 2006 that set the terms for the end of the Second Lebanon War.
Both were massive failures. Both caused Israel’s national security to deteriorate. And in both cases, Livni’s political opponents warned that her strategies were wrong-headed, dangerous and unhinged from strategic realities.
And Livni, who since her 2003 ideological transformation from nationalist to radical leftist has presented herself as the guardian of Israeli democracy, oversaw the entire process.
We know what happened after Israel withdrew from Gaza. Just as all of Livni’s opponents warned, Israel was shelled by more rockets, mortars and missiles than ever before. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are now in range of Gaza’s terror armies.
Hamas took over Gaza, and transformed it into a hub for the global jihad, linking the jihad against Israel to the jihad against Egypt and the rest of the world.
As the [2006 Lebanon] war the next year showed, Israel’s decision to cut and run from Gaza, and its willingness to forcibly expel ten thousand of its most productive citizens from their homes, was a profound expression of weakness. Just as the withdrawal opponents warned, it invited the aggression that Hezbollah visited on us.
As foreign minister during the war, Livni was responsible for organizing Israel’s diplomatic defense and managing relations with the US and Europe.
She chose a strategy of preemptive capitulation. Against the will of prime minister Ehud Olmert, Livni began negotiating the cease-fire in the early days of the war, vacuously insisting that there was no military solution to a terrorist organization’s war of aggression.
The result of her dubious efforts was 1701, which from Israel’s perspective is arguably the most problematic Security Council resolution ever passed. Not only did 1701 treat Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that fought an illegal war against Israel, as a legitimate party simply by ignoring it. It made Hezbollah the victor in the war by ensuring it would retake control of Lebanon’s border with Israel without any serious opposition.
THESE TWO strategic initiatives are Livni’s national security track record. As their failures show, whatever her intentions may be, she is totally incompetent to understand, secure or advance Israel’s national security.
But she does seem to recognize that she cannot defend her actions on their merits. Just as the only card she plays in her favor is egomaniacal self-aggrandizement, so the only card she plays against her opponents is aggressive demonization.
In a bid to block the cabinet decision, on Saturday night the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party released a statement saying that Israel mustn’t endanger the public just so that Livni can sit at a table with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
The statement attracted a lot of media attention because it was on the mark.
Then there are the lessons the Palestinians have learned over 20 years of negotiations. They know that Israel deals with terrorism with kid gloves when negotiations are taking place. Out of fear of angering their Palestinian “partners” Israel’s leaders have consistently failed to take effective action against terrorist attacks that occur while the PLO is supposedly talking peace with us.
So just by sitting down with Erekat, Livni is constraining the freedom of action of the IDF to protect the country.
The recent spate of terrorist attacks, and the IDF’s timid response to them, made this clear, yet again.
The Jewish Home party’s statement neatly encapsulated all of these incontrovertible charges. Since she has no substantive defense against them, she responded with rank demonization and criminalization.
Speaking to Army Radio, Livni’s surrogate, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, said, “The Jewish Home party has become a messianic and extremist home. The incitement and hatemongering is egregious…. Angry statements like this… can lead to murder.”
Livni promised the audience at the conference last Thursday that she will never quit politics again. Let’s hope her word on that score is as solid as her national security credentials.
It would be funny if it weren’t so deadly serious. Livni’s appointment by Bibi as Israel’s “chief negotiator” is mystifying in its incomprehensibility. Bibi more than anyone must know Livni’s record and her pathetic intentions. If only he would come out from behind his spokesmen and speechwriters and address the nation openly, explaining his decisions both to appoint Livni and then to abide by her dangerously absurd agreements with the Palestinians, with no quid pro quo emanating from the other side.