The first lesson learned one more time from the latest United States-Israeli dust-up is that politicians in office, especially high office such as a Cabinet Minister, need to guard their comments and do so even more so if such statements might go public. This truism holds for anything said in closed conversations, whenever one is wearing a microphone (even or especially if they believe it to be turned off), in any public place where people may overhear or in virtually any place other than home sleeping in bed, and even that might be reckless. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon broke these protocols when he was heard by Daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot senior reporter Shimon Shiffer. Mr. Shiffer reported that he heard Defense Minister Yaalon state, that “the American security plan that was presented to us is not worth the paper it was written on. It contains neither security nor peace. Only our continued presence in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan River will guarantee that Ben Gurion Airport and Netanya do not become targets for missiles from every direction.” The report continued on Yaalon stating, “Secretary of State John Kerry – who came here very determined, and operates based upon an unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling – cannot teach me anything about the Palestinians.”
Yaalon was quoted pointing out that Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas “lives on our sword. Once we leave Judea and Samaria, he is finished. In fact, throughout the recent months, there is no negotiation between us and the Palestinians – but rather, between us and the Americans. The only thing that can ‘save’ us is that John Kerry will get a Nobel peace prize and leave us alone.” Yaalon concluded, “I live and breathe the conflict with the Palestinians, I know what they think, what they want and what they really mean,” he went on. “The American security plan that was presented to us is not worth the paper it was written on.” The conversation Yaalon had reportedly with what was described as senior figures in the political sphere, a place Yaalon should have known would likely leak his comments, also included references to his opinions that Abbas will not give up on the Palestinian “right of return” until “the last refugee from 1948 is satisfied, and every single refugee will be able to choose between returning or staying in his current place of residence.” Yaalon continued by dismissing the security plan that was drawn up by US General John Allen experts claiming. “What are you talking about? You presented us with a plan that is based on smart technologies, satellites, sensors, war rooms with television screens – without our forces being present on the ground. And I ask you – how will your technology help us when a Salafist terror cell, or one from the Islamic Jihad, tries to carry out a terror attack against Israel targets? Who will take care of them? What satellites will take care of the rocket industry that is developing in Shechem, and [the rockets that] will be launched at Tel Aviv and the central region? In Gaza, the terror organizations already hold thousands of rockets that cover central Israel. These terror organizations have transferred knowledge and technologies for manufacturing rockets to the (West) Bank.” Yaalon concluded with, “If that does not change,” he said, “then there is no meaning to the satellites and the sensors that the Americans are offering. The five-year-old boy with the explosive belt will continue to try and hurt us when he grows up. We have given enough and received nothing…Let us say to our American friends: enough is enough.”
Needless to say, the response from the people in the Administration of United States President Obama voiced extreme displeasure with Minister Yaalon’s statements. State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki gave a response to the press stating, “The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs. To question his motives and distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the defense minister of a close ally.”
This drew further statements from Israeli Defense Minister Yaalon who added, “Some things cannot be solved in one (day). Note that we still we have not solved all the problems of medicine and mathematics; it is not like we don’t have special challenges also facing us.” He also expressed the hope for Israelis, “not to panic and give in to these (comments) and other intimidation, because this is the only way to protect the security of Israel.”
As for the wisdom in airing out these difficulties as the Israeli Defense Minister observes as part and parcel of the current efforts by United States Secretary of State John Kerry and his entire peace forces who have made camp in Jerusalem since the beginning of the year may be questionably, but the sentiments and facts are real and deserve serious thought and not simply be brushed aside and ignored. The problems stated go to the heart of the problems with the so-called peace process from its inception with the Oslo Accords. There have been many quotes reporting in what current Chairman of the PLO and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas as well as his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, have stated most often in Arabic and translated by MEMRI, (Middle East Media Research Institute) or PMW (Palestinian Media Watch) that their entire reason for entering into negotiations is to replace Israel with a Palestinian State which must be cleansed of all Jewish presence no matter how long such an effort takes. Furthermore, they have claimed that they plan on this destruction to be carried out in stages and that the peace process is but the first stage where they plan to achieve statehood as a beachhead and in the process retain the right to violently resist the occupation which can only end with the replacement and eradication of Israel by an Islamic Arab state. Abbas and numerous Palestinian officials have bluntly stated that they will remain in the current phase of negotiations until they have attained the release of as many of the terrorist held in Israeli prisons are released to continue the terror campaign against the Israelis and they do not plan on remaining at the table one moment longer than necessary. With such stated as the Palestinian goals for the current negotiations, I would love to hear how Secretary of State Kerry plans to arrange a peace with both parties signing even an interim framework agreement short of having a shotgun peace process with a gun to Abbas’s head. The answer, as we have stated before, is that Secretary Kerry and President Obama have no honest intent to force Abbas into any agreement and are simply trolling for how many concessions they can wring out of Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu and get his signature even without any Palestinian signature simply to have leverage to force Israel into their vision of a peace.
The problem which Defense Minister Yaalon alluded to is not at all new and has been the basis of the entire world’s efforts to form some semblance of a peace agreement between Israel and her Arab and Muslim neighbors. These problems go all the way back to the day Israel was founded and then immediately set upon by over a half a dozen Arab armies and militias with the intent of a genocidal ending of Israel and her Jewish population from the very outset. Initially the Arab and Muslim forces made some gains but the battle momentum was reversed and the nascent Israeli Defense Force, which was made up of groups from the underground resistance against the British colonization of the entire area under a mandate from the League of Nations and honored by the United Nations after World War II, and the Israelis were actually gaining ground and pushing their enemies into a retreat. It was almost immediately after the Israelis had achieved the upper hand that the United Nations and almost universally the nations of the entire globe demanded that the fighting stop and the armistice lines be drawn-up along the front lines at a set time after which all hostilities were to end. In the negotiations over this stoppage the Muslim Arab rulers demanded that this armistice line never be considered as a real border as they already were refusing to recognize Israel’s existence, especially as a Jewish State. This is the truth about how the Green Line came into being and explains the complete fallacy that the borders before the Six Day War in 1967 were a recognized official international border for the State of Israel.
The other side of the problem with the entire peace process as it has played out has been that as demands have been extracted from the Israeli side, the Palestinian side has yet to meet even the initial requirements from the Oslo Accords and thus have simply refused any and all demands made of their side. This has resulted in the same demands being made of the Palestinians at every incarnation of the peace process while new and more restrictive demands are constantly added to the litany of already completed and met demands from earlier peace attempts. It is by this whittling down that Israel has been squeezed to the point where we are now debating the division of Jerusalem and the surrender of all lands beyond the Green Line and even some form of Palestinian Arab “Right of Return” into Israel. When the first negotiations were held after the Six Day War none of these positions were even considered to be a logical result of those efforts. Even in 1993 when the Oslo Accords were signed there were no such demands as are being discussed today. The propaganda war against Israel carried out mostly by Muslims, Arabs, anti-Semites and far leftist groups the world over has brought to fruition results probably beyond their wildest dreams at the outset of their efforts. Every United States President who has set out to fashion that ever elusive Middle East peace has done so on the back of additional further Israeli retreats. With each incarnation eroding the Israeli position, why would the Palestinians not desire that every attempt fail so a new round could begin with the next administration in the United States which would simply add to the demands set at Israel’s door. The Palestinians are planning to murder the nation of Israel through countless small cuts waiting for Israel to bleed to death one concession after another. This has been so successful that even the wording of the earliest United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions has been altered to now imply or reputedly state almost the opposite that the originating writers had intended, and many have attested to this strange fact. As Israeli Defense Minister described, the only peace the Palestinians will ever accept is the peace of the grave for the Jewish nature of Israel with it being supplanted by a new state of Palestine. The sole and best way the United States could display their reputed unshakable friendship and concern for Israeli security would be to wash their hands from all efforts to fashion a lasting peace between two states living side-by-side with security and peace for both and simply return home and let the two sides, the real two side of Israel and the Arab world, work out a solution once the Arab world reaches the understanding that Israel will continue to remain the Jewish State or Israel eventually falls under Muslim and Arab hostilities. Should the world continue to blame every ill in the universe, including the eventual death of our Sun, on the lack of an Israeli peace agreement with her neighbors, including the Palestinians, then the world will have the excuse it desires to not bother to ameliorate all the other problems in the world and take the easier route of demanding additional Israeli concessions while throwing more trillion upon trillions of dollars, euros and treasure at the Palestinians financing their terror campaigns. There is but one way this conflict will ever really end; that is with the surrender of one side and a recognized victory by the other side. If the United Nations and the world insist that every time the Israelis attain the upper hand that all fighting must immediately cease, then that sole result will be the eradication of Israel as nothing will stop the Muslim and Arab forces should they ever gain the upper hand. Consider that, all who claim to be friends of Israel; consider that.
Beyond the Cusp