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« From SA Jews, With Love | Main | Sparks Smears Israel at International Investment Conference »

August 30, 2006

Comments

Steve

Mike, great post.

Lots of points for discussion. But before I get to that I disagree with your statement

Israel could afford to lose the PR and military war in Lebanon but it cannot afford to lose the peace.

We can't ever afford to lose a military war. Whilst the Arabs can afford to launch many wars and lose them, for us as you know, losing just one military war would mean complete destruction.

To me our failure to destroy Hizballah was a non victory. But was it a military defeat?

But that's merely a side issue and a point of semantics.

The main issues you raised are:

- the death of unilateral withdrawals
- trusting an internationally mandated force

I think that there needs to be a revised type of unilateral withdrawal.

- We still have no negotiation partners so we can't negotiate our withdrawal.
- The same demographic issues that existed before the withdrawal continue to be a threat

So the new disengagement would be
- unilateral decisions regarding the scope, lines and dates of withdrawal.
- civilian and not full military withdrawal
- continued presence of the IDF in parts of the territories for an interim period to be replaced at a later stage by this International mandated force.

I used to say that withdrawal will decrease the friction between Palestinians and Israelis allowing for a long cooldown period before any talks could begin.

Now it seems we need a long cooldown period before any plans for withdrawal can begin.


But, am i missing the point completely? Is the entire notion of leaving territory - in whatever form we can come up with - a signal of resignation?

As things stand I don't know where I hold on this issue.

mike

Steve, I don’t think Hezbollah in its current form presents an existential threat to Israel. This last war in Lebanon was one of choice not necessity. Israel in theory could survive with hundreds of rockets fired at its northern cities daily. This is very different to say the Yom Kippur war where not responding would have meant the entire country was over run by Arab soldiers. I think by not eradicating Hezbollah and its rockets Israel lost. But it can live (not comfortably) with that situation. Hence it could afford to lose the war.

I don’t believe a civilian withdrawal solves the problem. Having the army in the territories presents the same threat to the Jewish character of the state (moral and demographic). We need strong and democratic neighbours who will adhere to international law. Abbas and Siniora may be democrats, but they are not strong enough to implement their visions. An international force must be used to bolster them. NATO’s current role in Afghanistan is what I envision for an international force the Territories and southern Lebanon.

Negotiation, recognition, trade and all other bilateral agreements are the last stage of the process. They come after there is a democratic Palestine and Lebanon.

Harry

Hi Guys, first off, great work you are doing! You still dont get it though! The only peace that has ever been achieved was done through strength. The only reason that Egypt and Jordan made peace was that they were sick and tired of being in the front line of every war, and being hammered to pieces.

If you think there will every be viable democracies in the ME, you are certainly smoking some good stuff!

I think that the Olmert government will be history in the very near future. The Israeli electorate now know more than ever that strength is the only option, and I think you will see them move Right in a big way. They will eventually come to terms with the fact that Transfer is the only option.

Anti-UN

Reading Yossi Alpher and the bloggers have touched on what he has said regarding Hamas' discussion about collapsing the PA.

"Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh suggested a few weeks ago that parliament members begin considering dismantling the Palestinian Authority.

Under renewed Israeli rule, it is argued by advocates of this course, the entire world would understand the true nature of Israeli occupation, which has merely been camouflaged in the past decade or so by the Oslo process. Palestinian resistance to Israel would be more effective both at the international level and locally, where, presumably, another intifada would erupt. Eventually, Israel might be forced to come up with a more generous peace offer. More likely, it would be forced into a situation that would generate a bi-national state as a precursor to a demographically Palestinian state stretching from the river to the sea. Meanwhile, it would be much easier to brand Israel and Israelis with the apartheid label."

Scares me.

Brian

You know I am against transfer. But after reading all about how Hamas and the others want a single state siolution i think that transfer should be put back on the table.

If the Palestinians are tendingtowards their radical winner takes all approach then why cant we tend towards our radical winner takes all approach.

and then we say that we will put it off the table when they put their winner takes all approach off the table.

But if they going to be radical then so should we. Oit with Olmert in with Lieberman!!

Let the Arabs learn that we can also play the "we want it all" game and let the world see just how destructive this will be.

mike

I oppose transfer. I find it morally reprehensible to expel people from their homes. But as both Harry and Brian point out it may soon be on the table. When I said that an international force in Lebanon was the last chance, I meant to finding a moral solution to the conflict. If this fails, the advocates of transfer may get their wave.

Steve

I agree with Mike but think that Brian has made an excellent point. The general public has helped marginalise those that favour transfer yet the same hasnt been done to those who seek a single state solution. It reeks from the same odour.

Why can Allister Sparks call for a single state solution and be lauded for it yet people who call for transfer are condemned?

I am against transfer but and think that the single state solution should be treated with the same abhorrence.

And if this is not the case then those lauding the single state solution are actually paving the roads that will be used for transfer. These people should realise the racism that they inadvertently (or maybe not so inadvertently) end up supporting.

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