Monday, June 15, 2009

Two little words (but there were actually three)

I told President Obama when I was in Washington that if we could agree on the substance, then the terminology would not pose a problem.

And here is the substance that I now state clearly:

If we receive this guarantee regarding demilitarization and Israel’s security needs, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people, then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state.

- Bibi Netanyahu

In defining his vision of Peace, Bibi introduced no new substance, just new terminology. He restated his vision of “autonomy-plus” but this time called it a “demilitarized Palestinian state”.

The question is, how important were his choice of words, and how should we respond to them?

Has Bibi placed us on the precipice of another slippery slope like Madrid, where no one remembers the incredible things Shamir said, but only that he went there?

Certainly Obama is satisfied that the taboo words were stated.

Was the entire speech merely a delivery system for these 2 little words (3 actually, but already we see the world and Obama are ignoring the word 'demilitarized')?

Will the US and the world now ignore the other 2966 words of the speech and exclusively focus on these two, without its basic prerequisites and fundamentals?

It would appear that the rest of the speech has been lost in the void.

It would appear that the world doesn’t even care to add the word “demilitarized” in front of it, and already consider it superfluous.

It then behooves us and the Israeli government to take certain concrete steps ourselves to anchor ourselves and not let the slide begin.

Bibi and the government must now be made to work to get all the EU countries, US Senators and Congressmen - and even Obama - to always add the word “demilitarized” in front of “Palestinian State”.

And Israel must openly and forcefully never accept hearing it from them without the prefix attached.

If unfortunately 'Palestinian State' is going to be added to the political lexicon, then the proper usage must be “demilitarized Palestinian state”, and nothing less.

And our Israeli representatives must be Chutzpadik, as only Israelis can be, even to the point of interrupting a foreign official in the middle of a joint statement if that key word is mislaid.

Nothing less will help block that slippery slide.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


NormanF said...

It really is autonomy-plus not independence - in new packaging. The Palestinians are not get more than the French Canadiens, the Spanish Basques and the Russian Chechens. They would get the formal trappings of statehood but not the sovereignty attached to a state. I'm not surprised they rejected Netanyahu's vision. They want a solution no Israeli government can ever grant them.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

They want a solution no Israeli government can ever grant them.

You really underestimate Kadima and Tzippy Livni.

Bruce Krulwich said...

First of all, demilitarization isn't a new concept. Japan after WW2 was plenty independent, independent enough to take over the world economically, but they were demilitarized because of WW2.

Second, if you look at world response, you'll see that the world is responding ONLY to Bibi's conditions, like demilitarization and Jerusalem, and not to the fact that he offerred them something they could say "yes" to tomorrow.

Lurker said...

There’s only one fundamental problem:

There ain’t no such thing as a “Palestinian demilitarized state”. It won’t matter even if Israel can get everyone to use the word “demilitarized”; it’s just a word and nothing more.

The Oslo accords stipulated limits on the size and nature of the Palestinian “Police” (which in Arabic is called the “Palestine Liberation Army” by the PA, btw). When the PA exceeded those limits, what happened? Squat, obviously.

The Treaty of Versailles severely limited Germany’s right to arm itself. So what did the world do as Hitler built up the mightiest military in Europe? Nothing at all.

And surely, you don’t imagine that when the PA violates the “demilitarized” provision (as it obviously will, and big time), Israel will launch strikes against them, and the “World Will Understand”? The world didn’t even “understand” when we retaliated for 10,000 missiles launched into our civilian population centers, and they sure as hell aren’t going to tolerate Israeli “aggression” and “war crimes” committed on account of some technical treaty violation.

Any Palestinian state will be armed to the teeth (by Iran), and will engage in violent attacks upon Israel. A piece of paper about the state being “demilitarized” will be forgotten and worthless. Anyone who imagines otherwise knows nothing about everything that has happened until now, or is simply a blooming idiot.

Bibi’s speech is an unmitigated disaster, and a tragedy for the Jewish people.

JoeSettler said...

Lurker has a seriously valid and unquestionable point.

In fact, he's probably right.

Now what?

David said...

Topple Bibi now - before its too late - that is what.

Oh - and whats next? topple the next guy and the next and the one after that until they get the point.

That's it - that's the plan. Keep it simple.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

David: And your suggestion for a "next guy" is?

Why do you think there is a majority to support a true right wing alternative?

David said...

The identity of the next guy is irrelevant - its all about game theory. If one side knows that the other side has no choice he will take advantage of that. The only chance we have is to topple him now.

As a side point - I am sick and tired of hearing about Bibi being "right" wing. What has he done to deserve this title? I mean really (no demagoguery please) how is he different than Mofaz for instance (OK - other than the fact that he has a brain and Mofaz doesn't) vis-a-vis his right wing views? Or better yet - Barak. At this point, their ideologies are IDENTICAL - yet you fear toppling Bibi lest you get Barak.

How convenient it is for Bibi to have his "bad cop" Barak do his bidding in Yesha. Bibi talks a big game ("natural growth") yet as one who is waiting for a building permit in Yesha since before this new gov took office I can tell you there is no difference BASHETACH (and I am not even referring to the outpost stuff).

In fact, many municipalities in Yesha have threatened to not even open the upcoming school year as under Bibi it would seem it is against the law to have children in Yesha...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

David: Who said anything about Bibi being "right" ?

He's obviously far from being the great white hope (nothing racist intended)...but did you really expect anything better from him yesterday?

Neshama said...

Lurker, doesn't your premise stand on the four legs of IF IT REALLY HAPPENS? Which I doubt totally that it will agree to be demilitarized. What they will do is agre to discuss, and then tear apart whatever is decided, at each of a multitude of grandiose meetings until the lang is so watered-down to allow them arms for 'defense'.

However, by the time that happens, the US will have 2 or three more presidents, Iran/Korea fires off something at someone, or Moshiach will have arrived.

David said...

Countries with No military force

David said...

Note: David of the last comment is not the same David of the previous comments

YMedad said...

Heard latest joke on this topic?

Anonymous said...

Whenever I take people to see E1 here in Maale Adumim, I talk about the possibility of a peaceful negotiated Palestinian state, repeating that phrase a number of times. I talk about it as the option of Israel building 5000 housing units on E1. I contrast it with us NOT building there, the PA yes building (nature abhors a vacuum), and how that would turn the JM-Maale Adumim into a shooting range (like the Netzarim and Kfar Darom roads). EVERYONE realizes that "peaceful, negotiated" and "Palestinain State" are a stupendous oxymoron. But yes, we have to use that phrase over and over imho.


Anonymous said...


It's not a sale until the cash register rings. SO, please stop worrying. Bibi had to toss the ball away. He did this in a spectacular manner. First, he delayed his speech. Obama went first. In Cairo on June 4th. The press was ready to "resonate" its success. But it flopped.

Now, iran has kick started a revolution; one that hides the hatred millions of iranians feel to their souped-up religious agenda. WHich rings FALSE with more people than you can count.

Wake up.

Obama lost. And, any rematch doesn't have stars on Obama's bench. Hillary is a dog. And, Jimmy Carter, so far, is America's worst president.

Obama is not liked in Europe! Heck, instead of calling him on the phone, both Sarkozy and Merkel took to the airwaves.

You don't have foreign policy if you aren't respected. (If this analogy didn't work out, then America would have elected Rodney Dangerfield.)

To work, you've got to be respected.

Livni failed the test.

Bibi behaved with the appropriate star appeal.

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