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NETANYAHU MUST CHOOSE ISRAEL'S NATIONAL INTEREST

 Israel in diplomatic doghouse...

 Is Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu getting the message? His interview with the Bloomberg News may indicate that Netanyahu realizes that he has lost the 'blame game' in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's failed peace mission. Not only Kerry and diplomat Martin Indyk pointed the finger at Bibi, but also President Barack Obama. Even Bibi's own negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, has blasted Housing Minister Uri Ariel for torpedoing the talks by announcing plans for new settlement building. At the time, the PM could have stepped in but chose not to do so in order not to rile the Right-wingers in his coalition. Israel finds itself in the diplomatic doghouse, although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did nothing to advance Kerry's peace mission and has even teamed up with terrorist Hamas. 

Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin
Netanyahu is being handcuffed not only by his Jewish Home coalition partner, but also by Far Right members of his own Likud party from initiating any diplomatic moves.

 What's gone wrong? As long as Netanyahu lets the Far Right undermine and sabotage Livni's effort to advance a peace accord with the Palestinians, Israel will always bear the brunt of the blame. Not only Livni and her party, but also former Likudnik Dan Meridor, have been urging Netanyahu to halt any further settlement plans outside of the areas which presumably will remain part of Israel in any future peace accord. General (res.) Amos Yadlin, the director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, as well as a number of other highly esteemed Israeli experts such as Prof. Yehezkel Dror, have has also urged the Prime Minister to initiate new ideas including unilateral steps that will prevent Israel from eventually becoming a bi-national state. In other words, Netanyahu is being handcuffed not only by his Jewish Home coalition partner, but also by Far Right members of his own Likud party from initiating any diplomatic moves. As such, Netanyahu is like a boxer in the ring, who, instead of doing some bobbing and weaving, remains stationary and has been taking it on the chin not only from the U.S. but also by the Palestinians. (During the recent Independence Day celebrations, Netanyahu declared that a true leader must foresee future threats and act to defuse them.)

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
"It's true that the idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground, from the center-left to the center- right. Many Israelis are asking themselves if there are certain unilateral steps that could theoretically make sense."

 Now is the time for Israel to take initiative in the diplomatic arena. This in fact is what Livni did by meeting recently in London with Abbas. But instead of being commended, Netanyahu sources told reporters that Livni had represented herself and not him. Moreover, the Maariv newspaper reported Netanyahu had even considered firing her. But the Israeli leader appears to have changed tack by indicating that he is considering various options: "It's true that the idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground, from the center-left to the center- right. Many Israelis are asking themselves if there are certain unilateral steps that could theoretically make sense." But interviewer Jeffrey Goldberg noted that Netanyahu was quick to add that Israelis - himself included - don't want a repeat of the Gaza experience. (The late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carried out a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip only to result in the Palestinians launching over 11,000 mortars and rockets at Israeli towns and civilians until this very day.) This is how Netanyahu defined his overall approach: "We don't want a bi-national state, and we don't want a Palestinian-Iranian state next door. We want a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state." 

 Netanyahu handcuffed by far Right...

 The problem is that the vast majority of Netanyahu's ruling Likud-Lieberman party and all of Bennett's Jewish Home party are totally opposed to any Palestinian state on the West Bank, although the PM professes to be in favor. If Netanyahu makes any real move in this direction, his own party could topple him. Therefore, Bibi Netanyahu is handcuffed. That is only one side of his double bind. The other two parties in his coalition that are lead by Livni and Yair Lapid support negotiations on a Palestinian state. Now that the Kerry mission has come to a standstill, these two parties will find it more and more difficult to justify their remaining in Netanyahu's coalition.

Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked
"Palestinians now comprise some 70% of the population in neighboring Jordan and are destined to topple King Abdullah's monarchy one day... Jordan would become Palestine and all the Palestinians on the West Bank could go there."

 Moreover, although Abbas steadfastly refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and joins forces with terrorist Hamas, Israel is still blamed for the failure of the Kerry mission. And all, according to the U.S., because of Uri Ariel's sabotaging of the peace process with announcements about new settlement projects. It's not as if Netanyahu doesn't realize this, in fact by saying that President Obama was right on the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, the PM has tried to smooth some of America's ruffled feathers. But don’t the far Right MK’s understand the PM must be given some leeway to conduct the diplomatic war being waged with Abbas? Apparently not - Naftali Bennett has now suggested annexing parts of the West Bank. But what of the long-term threat to Israel becoming a bi-national state if there is no separation with the Palestinians in Judea & Samaria? Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked, a young firebrand in the Jewish Home Party has postulated that the Palestinians now comprise some 70% of the population in neighboring Jordan and are destined to topple King Abdullah's monarchy one day. Then Shaked posits, Jordan would become Palestine and all the Palestinians on the West Bank could go there.

 Palestinian Nakba...

Nakba Day protests turn violent with molotov cocktails and fighting
'We were supposed to win!' May 15th is the date that the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded Israel back in 1948 with the aim of annihilating the newborn state.

 'We were supposed to win!' May 15th is the date that the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded Israel back in 1948 with the aim of annihilating the newborn state. As usual there were several incidents of Palestinian rioting that included the throwing of Molotov cocktails and rocks. In one case, two Palestinian young men were killed by Israeli gunfire according to Palestinian sources that include a videotape. The IDF has launched an investigation into the incident to try and ascertain just what happened. Anyone who has been the target of Molotov cocktails, flaming bottles of fuel that explode into a lethal ball of fire on impact knows this is not child's play but literally deadly serious. It is still not clear just what transpired but does anyone have any doubt about what happened when Arab rioters in Afghanistan or Iraq threw Molotov cocktails at U.S., British or Canadian soldiers

 Palestinian Nakba – ‘We didn't think we'd lose!’

Palestinian refugees in 1948
Just before the Arab armies attacked, the Arab representative (Azzam Pasha) declared that if the Jews dared to declare a Jewish state, in keeping with the UN resolution, they themselves would be guilty of triggering the bloodiest massacre in history, because the Arabs would show them no mercy.

 As for the Nakba catastrophe of the Palestinians, they brought it upon themselves. The UN Partition Plan of 1947 allocated the disputed territory for a Jewish and an Arab state. Jewish leader David Ben Gurion replied 'fair enough', but the Palestinians joined the Arab armies in their onslaught against the vastly outnumbered and outgunned Jewish population. To the world's amazement, when it was over the Jews (now Israelis) had routed the combined Arab armies and the Palestinian irregulars who believed they would literally drive the 'Jews into the sea'. As a result some 700,000 Palestinians left on their own, some thinking they would return as victors or were driven from their homes in the bloody war that ensued. Just before the Arab armies launched their attack, the Arab representative had the temerity to declare that if the Jews dared to declare a Jewish state, in keeping with the UN resolution, they themselves would be guilty of triggering the bloodiest massacre in history, because the Arabs would show them no mercy. This was the threat issued by Azzam Pasha, the General-Secretary of the Arab League when he warned the Jews of a 'dangerous massacre which history will record similarly to the Mongol massacres and the wars of the Crusades'. Looking at what is transpiring in Syria, is there any doubt what the Palestinians had in mind?

Moshe Arens

 Writing in Haaretz, former Israeli defense minister Moshe Arens drew this historical comparison: "The Germans and the Japanese paid a heavy price for the war started by their leaders, yet they understand that the guilt, not only for the crimes they perpetrated against others, but also for the tragedy they brought upon themselves, is theirs to bear. May 8th, the date that marks Victory in Europe Day, is not marked in Germany as the Day of the Catastrophe. Similarly, the August 15th Victory over Japan is not marked there as a catastrophe. The Palestinians would do well to learn from them. But far more important is the recognition of the German and Japanese peoples of their responsibilities for the suffering of others and themselves. This recognition is what paved the way to peaceful relations with their former enemies. Peace would not have been achieved without such recognition. This is also true for the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. The annual Nakba demonstrations illustrate clearly that the way to this recognition is still far off."

 

 

 David Essing

 

 

 

 

 Rivki Matan Editor 

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