Beyond the Cusp

June 6, 2013

How Israeli Leaders Should Solve the Peace Negotiation

With the appointment by President Obama of Samantha Power to replace Susan Rice as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations; the Israeli leadership has been put on notice that they no longer have a friend in the leadership of the United States. There is no reason for anybody who supports Israel to be comfortable with this appointment. Ms. Samantha Power has been quoted responding on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that it may necessitate using armed military forces, “a mammoth protection force” and an “external intervention”, to impose a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. This was to be implemented even if it would result in “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import…or investing…billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new State of Palestine.” Where Samantha Power has not actually called directly for the use of troops to force Israel to remit their control and forcefully remove all Jewish influences from the West Bank in order to fully complete founding of a Palestinian state, this has been the heavily implied and many have taken the collective body of her commentary on this subject and concluded she would be supportive of such a policy and be pleased with such an outcome. This appointment of Samantha Power as United Nations Ambassador is a perfect complement to having John Kerry as Secretary of State and tasking him to mold a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by any means necessary. It has been made perfectly clear that President Obama and his entire Administration favors the formation of a Palestinian State utilizing all of the West Bank as the basis for the State’s borders with Eastern Jerusalem, including the entirety of the Old City and Temple Mount, to serve as the Capital City for said State. The recent moves, appointments, press releases and comments by President Obama and members of the foreign policy departments of his Administration with the new changes made for his second term should give the Israeli leadership sufficient warning that they will need to take actions to resolve the impasse with the Palestinians using whatever political force and capital necessary.

 

There will be those who will support Samantha Power explaining that she is not anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist or anti-Israel but simply stands up for the Palestinians’ rights to their own State and respect for their human rights. Ms. Power is a well-respected human rights activist and a leader in that movement. As such she takes the ‘human rights record’ of Israel as a habitual offender as factual. This goes a long way to explaining why after the United States had withdrawn most of its diplomatic participation from the noxious United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, better known as Durban I, Ms. Power remained to participate in the discussions. This was the conference which transformed from a conference to discuss and address problems relating to racism, xenophobia, and hatred but almost immediately broke down and wallowed in the fetid swamps of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel anti-Semitic blood libels and hatreds while ignoring every other human rights ills anywhere else in the world. The conference was chaired by Samantha Power’s friend Mary Robinson who had no difficulty allowing the laser focus on the purported human rights violations by Israel on the Palestinians, Arabs, and all non-Jews worldwide. With her background and track record displaying such a deep seated disdain and contempt for the State of Israel, how is it going to be possible for the United States to continue to support the Israelis in the United Nations Security Council when a United States veto is politically desired, or even convince Israeli leadership that the United States still presents a credible supporter? The new reality taking shape in President Obama’s second term administration should give Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition pause and question exactly what steps Israel needs to initiate to avoid being overrun by an adjusted, pro-Palestinian United States Middle East policy.

 

There will most certainly be some who profess to be pro-Israel and pro-Zionist who will claim that Ms. Power’s promotion gives Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu the perfect opportunity to finally prove that Israel truly wishes for peace. They will point out that should Netanyahu make some unilateral compromises that then President Obama along with Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power would work with him to bring Palestinian President Abbas to the negotiation’s table and the Two State Solution would finally be achieved. One group which is suspected to take such a position would be J Street. Backing them in the media one might expect that Tom Friedman of the New York Times and Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic would pen flowing and glowing editorials exclaiming that a Palestinian-Israeli peace is at hand if Prime Minister Netanyahu would just grab the opportunity that would bring Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power to Israel’s side and force Palestinian President Abbas to finally negotiate honestly yielding a resultant Two State Solution with peace and security guaranteed for both peoples. Unfortunately, such optimism ignores the one truth which nobody seems willing to identify; the truth that President Abbas cannot make peace. The Palestinian population, especially those under thirty years of age, has been raised on a visceral hatred for Israelis and Jews. They have been finely tuned to accept only a one Palestinian State solution in which the Jews are either second class Dhimmis or killed. Should Abbas ever sign a peace treaty with Israel which does not include a complete Israeli surrender his life would be forfeit in less time than Egyptian President Sadat lived after making peace before being assassinated by one of his military guard. Further, as long as the world continues to demand that Israel and Israel alone must continuously make unilateral sacrifices and surrender territory and other negotiation points, why would Abbas ever make any move towards negotiating a real peace as all he needs to do is agree to appear once every few years before the media cameras with the Israeli Prime Minister, whomever it may be, and then refuse to return to negotiate and wait for the world to force Israel to surrender everything piecemeal one unilateral concession at a time.

 

There is another path that would actually be productive and make Abbas and the Palestinians anxious and truly eager to negotiate and make a real and possibly lasting peace. This path demands that Israel make unilateral moves but not giving anything, especially land, to the Palestinians to bribe them to come and negotiate but to take concessions they might desire from the Palestinians, especially territory. Perhaps the first step Prime Minister Netanyahu might take to signal with a minor move would be to replace the Muslim Waqf from their supervisory role over the Temple Mount and limit their jurisdiction to the actual Islamic buildings while placing the Israeli Antiquities Authority to supervise the everyday activities and visitation to the Temple Mount. The Israeli Antiquities Authority could be tasked to form a Temple Mount Security Force in conjunction with the Shin Bet and new rules would need to be enacted allowing freedom to pray and freedom to wear religious symbols and universal access for all peoples of all religions to the Temple Mount with allowances made for major religious holy days. This would end the odious limitations currently enforced which limit prayers or other actions deemed to be of a suspected religious nature forbidden to all except Muslims. This condemnable religious stranglehold by Islam and the Waqf has been tolerated and accepted as equal religious rights under the current arrangement. Cancelling this oppressive and hateful arrangement would bring a fresh and liberating transformation to a place that is of primary religious importance to three of the world’s major religions and should never have been allowed to be restricted such that only one sole religion had rights to these holy grounds.

 

Should this reassignment of responsibility over policing the Temple Mount and granting equality to all to visit, pray and enjoy these hallowed grounds and religious shrines not get President Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian leadership’s undivided attention, then Israel should take a second step towards further limiting what Israel would be willing to consider to be negotiable. Annexing permanently a half dozen of the major and closest to the Green Line Jewish residential communities and the industrial, commercial, educational areas etc. would hopefully awaken the Palestinian leadership to realize that the rules have changed and they can negotiate in good faith or find Israel eventually annexing Area C and whatever locations in Area B or even Area A that are desired. Eventually Israel could inform the Palestinian leadership that Israel has annexed all the areas Israel wishes to retain as part of Israel and they have two choices, either form a demilitarized state on what remains or if they still refuse to negotiate then Israel will consider the remaining areas to be under Israeli security control while allowing it to be a semi-autonomous area within which the Palestinians living there have limited self-rule but they will not be granted Israeli citizenship. Meanwhile, whenever Israel annexed lands they would grant the Palestinians residing within a temporary status placing them on a path towards full Israeli citizenship. They would receive new identification cards which would be different from Israeli or Palestinian identification cards currently in use. They would be eligible for full citizenship in five years provided they did not support, participate, harbor, commit or allow the occurrence of any terror related activities. It has become obvious that as long as Israel is forced to give concessions there will be no peace so perhaps it is time to attempt a new approach where Israel no longer surrenders in small unilateral steps but rather takes a positive step establishing a new pro-Israel fact on the ground one annexation at a time. When you are running out of carrots and it has become obvious that carrots are not working, then it is time to try a few sticks and save whatever remaining carrots you have for when the other side truly and honestly desires to negotiate a permanent peace with security and tranquility for both peoples living side-by-side or together in the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 14, 2012

United Nations to Question President Obama’s Conduct of Drone Strikes

Do you have any idea who Ben Emmerson of Great Britain, and Christof Heyns of South Africa happen to be and what they have to do with President Obama, the United States Military, American foreign policies, and forcing the termination of one more tactic used in the “War on Terror”? You will. Ben Emmerson is the United Nations special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights and Christof Heyns is the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Together, these two will head an investigation under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council into the use by the United States of drones against targets of particular interest as determined by the powers that be in the White House and President Obama’s Administration and the admissibility of the civilian deaths caused by such attacks. What makes this even more troubling is that the White House has instructed the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to announce that the White House has not ruled out cooperating with this investigation. Ambassador Rice was quoted saying, “Well, we have questions about the appropriateness of that approach but we will look at it on its merits, and as we do with all the work of the rapporteurs, we’ll judge their work on the substance of their products.” My bet is that this will be a crushing disappointment for President Obama when the United Nations criticizes his actions and demands that he cease using drones to target anyone, even terrorists, because there is the chance and have been in the past deaths of innocent people. We all know from past decisions made by the United Nations Human Rights Council and General Assembly against Israel that terrorists and those who hide them as well as those among whom they live are protected by the many agencies and bodies of the United Nations while the citizens of the nations who are targeted and the people murdered by these same terrorists are legitimate targets not due any protections by the United Nations and its many agencies.

The big question that this situation raises is what is wrong with President Obama that he is willingly placing the United States and the use of military assets to protect innocent people from terrorist attacks through the elimination of their leaders and those who make up the ranks of the known terrorist groups? Is President Obama that ignorant of the ways of the United Nations that he actually expects that they will find his actions of using militarized drones as acceptable? It is highly doubtful that President Obama or any of his advisors have any misgivings about the determination that this special report on civilian deaths caused by the drone strikes in Pakistan and other countries. They are fully aware that the findings will demand that the United States refrain from any further use of drones to assassinate or target terrorists or terror infrastructures if there is any possibility of innocent civilian casualties. Since they have to know the result even well before the investigation has initiated and therefore there must be some ulterior motive for allowing this ruse to go ahead. We all know that the report could be written and turned in by week’s end without even leaving New York and thus save everybody a lot of money, unless the report has already been written and the investigation is simply a Club United Nations trip around the Middle East and North Africa paid in full by, you guessed it, the United States, or at least half of the bill paid by the United States. So, what is their ulterior motive?

I am almost embarrassed to have to pretend that anybody needs to be told what President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, James R. Clapper Jr., General Martin Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department and the rest of the usual suspects are hoping to gain from this United Nations fiasco. They are fully expecting to be condemned for their use of drones to kill terrorists and have the United Nations demand that we cease and desist from implementing the tactic of using drones to target terrorists or any other form of strike which holds even the most remote possibility of causing collateral deaths or severe damage. The United States will be accused and found guilty of having a cavalier attitude and lack of concern for innocent citizens and will possibly advise that the United States be ordered to pay compensations to those who have suffered losses due to our illegal use of remote control drones in a careless manner lacking in concern for innocents. In the end, President Obama will be able to make a speech and apologize to all the countries and their citizens who have suffered at the hands of the brutal use of drones by the United States. The decision will further allow President Obama to give millions, or billions, or trillions of dollars to Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, and who knows who else as compensation for our arbitrary killing of their innocent citizens. The final thing is that President Obama will also be able to rule out any further use of drones and possibly make the ROE (rules of Engagement) for our military which will place their lives in greater danger and make protecting themselves and those around them even more difficult. President Obama does not need to utilize drone strikes any longer as he has been reelected and will no longer have to face the voters. This too is an area where he has more leeway.

Beyond the Cusp

September 6, 2011

What Viable Options Exist in Palestinian Bid for Statehood at UN?

The obvious desire of the Palestinian Authority’s petitioning the United Nations would be to receive full recognition as a member state with all the privileges that carries with it. Thus far, most observers are confident that the United States will use their veto thus preventing this result. For a moment, let us presume that President Obama has decided to instruct American Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to abstain and fulfill his promise made to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to assist him in any way necessary to aid him in attaining statehood. The theory is that President Obama was solely referring to pushing negotiations forward as the means for attaining two states through a treaty, but can we be completely sure of this? Well, hopefully we can but what if? If such an eventuality does occur and none of the other of the five veto wielding members, Russia, China, Great Britain, or France also either voted in favor or abstains, then what exactly does such membership provide to the Palestinians as a nation?

Should the world decide to then enforce the claims for territory made by the Palestinian Authority in their petitions to the United Nations and war with Israel is avoided and arrangements are made to peacefully and safely relocate the more than three quarters of a million Jews from Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem, and the majority of suburban areas around Jerusalem into what would remain of Israel and the possible attempted influx of Arabs from the West Bank who desired to remain under Israeli jurisdiction were prevented from making a mass exodus into Israel, then what? Well, we would have yet another Arab State where the national religion would be Islam, the vast majority of its citizens would be Muslims, Arabic would be the national language, and we could expect their democratic government to be as functional as Iran, Jordan, Egypt, or any other democratic Arab State you care to pick. The Palestinian State would be allowed to serve its turn in the Security Council and take their turn as President of both the Security Council and the General Assembly when chosen. The Palestinian State would be given positions on any of several United Nations different commissions and committees even to include the Human Rights Council. The new Palestinian State would presumably be allowed to enter into treaties and invite other nations who so desired to station troops within its borders.

But, every source I have seen claims this to be an impossibility, so, what are the other possibilities? Well, the Palestinian Authority could also seek an upgrade from its current observer status to one as a non-member state; a move that only requires a two-thirds approval of the General Assembly without the need for an approval by the Security Council. This would still grant the Palestinian Authority what they desire most, recognition as an actual state, a recognized country of a sort. It would then depend on how many countries would actually be willing to take up full relations with Palestine and exchange ambassadors and set up an embassy in either Jerusalem or Ramallah. Should countries actually place embassies within Jerusalem with the Palestinians and then refuse to do similarly with Israel, it would place a question of whether or not Jerusalem was also the Israeli capital or was Tel Aviv, a basic change which would have potentially momentous ramifications.

Should the United Nations recognize Palestine with the 1949 Armistice Lines as their rightful border, the United Nations credibility would take a severe dive. It was originally the United Nations intention in 1949 to make the Armistice Line an unofficial or temporary border but the Arab states demanded that it be simply an Armistice line and not be recognized as a border or even a boundary in any manner or style. The United Nations conceded to this demand and it was written into the Armistice Agreement that the demarcation line simply marked the front lines as of the end of hostilities and was never to be used or implied to be an actual border in any negotiations or future decisions. Thus, should the United Nations, as it appears it very well will, declare Palestine as a non-member country and allowed observer status, what then will be the recognized borders? Israel will be able to point to the United Nations Armistice Agreement of 1949 to make recognizing those armistice lines as the border as illegal under the United Nations own words and the Arab League’s insistence. So, then what, have more negotiations with Israel in order to determine what are the borders for a Palestinian state? Where does that place us that is one bit different than where we currently are situated?

My bet is we are going to once again be reminded that when it comes to Israel and the rights and promises made that just might somehow turn out to be in favor of the Jewish State, promises mean nothing and there are no guarantees or set rules. Once the United Nations has determined that there is a state sharing the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea with Israel, exactly who is going to decide on the true border and how will it be enforced. Will this be the point in the World’s history where every nation turns their swords towards Israel and threaten to make war with every nation against Israel? I believe I have read a book about that war, and the ending was not very pleasant for anybody.

Beyond the Cusp

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