Beyond the Cusp

February 7, 2014

Livni Insists Israel Must Sacrifice for Peace or Cease as Jewish State

Tzipi Livni, Israeli Justice Minister, claims as part of a recent statement that “there is a price that whoever really wants peace must pay.” What is behind Ms. Livni’s claims are those who hold to a particular demographic statistical prediction which claims that should Israel retain all of Judea, Samaria and the rest of the disputed territories then within the ensuing decade or two the numbers of Muslim Arabs will outnumber the numbers of Jews and result in the end of Israel as the Jewish State. We could call this the demographic explosion of the Jewishness of Israel. There are many who disagree with Ms. Livni’s position and have also quoted demographic statistics that claim exactly the opposite and these demographers lean heavily on the comparative increasing reproductive rates of Israeli Jews compared to declining rates among the Muslim population. But is there something that both sides have not stressed sufficiently which actually makes the entire argument mute? Well, we believe so and will present it here.

 

Currently the numbers of Jews as citizens of Israel are a little more than six-million and are growing at a respectable rate and a rate well above replacement level and the rates of the rest of the nation’s native populations in the Western world. When dealing with the rates of growth of the Jewish population of Israel are not going to be as dependent on reproductive rates as it will be affected by Diaspora Jews making Aliyah. The next group of nations from which the next wave of Diaspora Jews returning to Israel will come from Europe with France sending the majority of these Jewish immigrants home into Israel. The current Jewish population in the countries in the European Union number slightly over one-million with almost half of these residing currently in France. As has been mentioned heavily in recent news coverage the French Jews along with the Jews in Sweden are both emigrating at a significant rate, almost as if panic was ever-present threatening their feeling of security due to the striking rise in anti-Semitism. The rest of Europe will not belong behind with the rise of anti-Semitism being very evident across Europe. As far as the numbers of Jews who will leave Europe and head to Israel will be significant, there will be a secondary significant number who will instead move to the United States. Add these European Jews to the United States Jewish population and that would push the number to a little over six-million souls. Why this is significant is that there is the beginning of similar rising of anti-Semitism in the United States which is similar to the start of the trends in Europe, just trailing Europe by less than a decade. When it finally becomes evident and beyond the point of credible disbelief that the society has turned in the United States, the Jews there will have only one place on the Earth which will appear welcoming, Israel. This will result in the cast majority of the Jews who leave on their own volition landing in Israel. Such an influx will result in almost doubling the number of Jews in Israel. This will make a definitive difference in the population figures not only in the near term but also into the future.

 

But there is another problem with Minister Livni’s insistence that Israel must sacrifice and surrender lands in order to form a Palestinian state. Her main point is that Israel must do whatever it takes in order to satisfy the Palestinian Authority leadership such that they will sign onto a treaty that ends their claims and brings peace and supposedly security while also removing the demographic threat. The miscalculation is that in order to meet the conditions which Mahmoud Abbas, the person Minister Livni claims is our partner for peace, Israel would need to agree to the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees. Abbas does not allow for Israel receiving a token number to represent the Right of Return, he insists on a total and complete Right of Return for five million Arab refugees. This would inundate Israel with Muslims which would bury the Jewish majority under the influx. What makes surrendering to the demands of Mahmoud Abbas and company is that they have promised that even a complete Israeli surrender the Palestinians will continue their resistance to the occupation of all of Palestine until the occupiers have been completely driven from their lands. The surrender would not buy peace, would not buy security but would buy giving the Palestinians the highlands overlooking the heart of Israel from which to launch rockets on Tel Aviv and the vast majority of Israeli infrastructure, transportation assets, businesses, manufacturing, power generation and population. And even if Minister Livni were to manage to get Mahmoud Abbas to accept a token acceptance only one million refugees returning into Israel, there are still problems any peace would result in producing.

 

So, if Livni, Netanyahu, Abbas and Erekat all signed the next treaty on the White House East Lawn with a gloating Secretary Kerry and President Obama beaming and strutting proudly before the cameras taking credit for solving the insolvable, would that really matter? Even if such a peace excluded any Right of Return into Israel for the Palestinian refugees and their descendants and relegated their return to the newly formed nation of Palestine consisting of Judea, Samaria and Gaza with the Old City and Temple Mount of Jerusalem becoming an international city under the auspices of the United Nations, that would still be the beginning of the end. Within months of such a singing, the Palestinians would bring the refugees into the new West Bank nation of Palestine in order to assure their state posed a proper and populated threat to the continued existence of Israel. After the entire populations of Palestinians were safely residing in Palestine, then the third intifada would begin in earnest. Rockets would rain down on central Israel with destructive results. These rockets would not be aimed generally at an unpopulated area as were the rockets fired by Hamas out of Gaza. These rockets would be fired at the most densely populated areas which also contain the majority of all commerce and power distribution for all of Israel. With the entire population of refugees incorporated into the West Bank, Israel would no longer have any option to retake the West Bank to end the assault as doing so would result in the Palestinian Arabs simply changing to a new tactic where they would simply protest that they must be granted Israeli citizenship instead of demanding their own state. That would produce the same results as allowing for the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees. Once the Palestinians have found a means by which the entirety of the refugees have been allowed to return to the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, whether it is into Israel within the Green Line or simply into the newly established Palestinian state, then the demographic threat stands heavy over the continuation of Israel as the Jewish state. It is obvious the refugees cannot be permitted within Israeli borders but even if they return to a Palestinian state they become a standing threat making retaking the Palestinian areas into a death sentence therefore allowing for the continuous hammering of central Israel from the Judean Heights including the use of antiaircraft munitions to make Ben Gurion Airport unusable for the future. Does anybody truly believe that the world of nations would ever care about the Palestinians constantly pounding Israel day in and day out as doing so would be to admit to their errors of judgment in forcing Israel into such an untenable situation. But then there are those nations among the family of nations who would gloat that this had befallen Israel and be proud of their accomplishment in possibly destroying the Jewish state by other means. The choices appear dire but the best last hope to have Israel continue to be the Jewish state is to take the one state solution and grant the Palestinians citizenship starting after there have been six months or one year without a terrorist attack with a stipulation that anybody caught committing a terrorist crime will lose their citizenship and be deported. Take that step and pray, prayer will be required and necessary regardless of the path chosen, but the one state solution may be the least worst path all things considered.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 26, 2013

United States Middle East Policy a Disaster Zone

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When looking at the Middle East and the efforts of the United States, and we use the word efforts in the weakest of definitions possible, one sees a string of disasters where the Palestinian/Israeli Peace Process must be considered to be the shining glory when compared to the rest of the situations. One almost shakes there head muttering, “Where to start, where to start?” The United States is finding even removing their equipment and forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan to be a difficult and unnecessarily expensive task to complete. Looking at the sanctions which are presumably deterring Iran from moving forward with their nuclear program and forcing them to deal honestly with the United Nations IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) one sees them making life difficult for many of the least affluent citizens and devastating the middle class merchants but having little if any influence on the government who is proceeding without any difficulties with their nuclear programs for enriching Uranium to just over twenty percent, developing their plutonium production, advancing their ballistic missile programs, and even importing banned substances, materials and even equipment with such minimal difficulties that they are actually erecting yet another nuclear facility if intelligence recently received in Europe is to be believed. Meanwhile, the newly elected President of Iran, Hassan Rowhani, was their former nuclear negotiator who was very adept at being obstructive and is not likely to change the Iranian goal of becoming nuclear weapons capable. He also will not be as ham-fisted as Ahmadinejad and should be a far superior deceiver who is quite adept at misdirection and false representation in negotiations and when speaking to the press. He will prove to be much as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu described him, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

 

While talking about Iran, we may as well address Iraq and how much of the efforts expended by the United States have been completely reversed since their departure. The most obvious turn of events was the aligning by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with Iran. This alliance has led to the Iranian airlifts of war materials and personnel to Syria which was something the United States would have actively opposed if they had any remaining influence. Additionally, al-Qaeda has returned and recently breached two Iraqi prisons managing to bring about the escape of over five-hundred of their leading members who were incarcerated. This infusion of top level, experienced manpower will greatly enhance the capabilities of the al-Qaeda terror groups in Iraq, Syria and possibly even in Afghanistan and in the Sinai Peninsula. The level of violence had been increasing even before the raids on the two prisons and now the effect will be a force multiplier on many fronts. There will be a lasting effect of the al-Qaeda raid that will be felt for years possibly decades and will greatly enhance the capability of al-Qaeda worldwide. This will also make the situation in Iraq become even more violent and destabilized. Iraq has gone in a short period from an American success into a potential for a failed state should the violence continue to build. The one bright result has been the semi-autonomous Kurdish areas in the north of the country. We will cover more on this Kurdish area later.

 

Next we move to Afghanistan where Afghan President Hamid Karzai has turned to the Taliban to deal with them after he felt betrayed upon finding out that United States President Obama had approached the Taliban over two years ago in an effort to cut a deal to allow the United States to leave Afghanistan without facing increased violence. President Obama’s approach of the Taliban became an utter failure once he had announced that after the surge in American forces that then the United States was going to draw down their troop strength and prepare to leave by a set date. From that point on the Taliban decided to simply wait out the Americans. Now Afghan President Hamid Karzai has decided to see exactly how far he can push the Americans by levying fines, taxes, fees or whatever one wishes to call them on the removal of equipment from his country. Reports claim that the Afghan government wants to charge the U.S. Military $1,000 in customs fees for every cargo container that leaves the country. This began over a year ago and was just one more manner in which the United States’ supposed allies have been attempting to fleece the goose before it departs taking its future golden eggs with. Unfortunately, this is an example of some of the more favorable events of relations between Presidents Karzai and Obama. It appears almost inevitable that the Taliban will return and take control over most of Afghanistan and we might even see the return of al-Qaeda training grounds in the not too distant future. Certainly Afghanistan will not be a shining example of American success.

 

Then there is the military coup that shall not be named a coup in Egypt where the military in response to massive millions of demonstrators in the streets removed the duly elected Muslim Brotherhood backed President Morsi and imposed their hand-picked replacement in the Presidency promising to hold election as soon as possible. Egyptian Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi placed as interim President the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Adli Mansour. Feeling pressure to announce a date for new elections, interim President Adli Mansour stated that a parliamentary vote would be held in about six months which would be followed soon after by a presidential election. Meanwhile the levels of violence continue to climb with the Muslim Brotherhood calling for massive “peaceful” demonstrations and Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also calling for demonstrations to produce a show of support by the people for the military’s actions in removing President Morsi. The ensuing confrontation of these two groups could explode today after Friday services have ended. Another problem which has resulted from the lack of government control has been complete lawlessness in the Sinai Peninsula. There is currently a multi-divisional Egyptian force deployed after receiving Israeli permission into the Sinai Peninsula in an effort to impose order and end the buildup of terrorist groups who had developed a large presence taking advantage of the lack of continuous governance in Egypt. There does not appear to be any quick fix in store as Egypt is highly likely to spin into more violence possibly even reaching levels of a Civil War similar as to the disaster raging in Syria.

 

That brings us to Syria where an all-out and excessively destructive Civil War has raged for over two years. Much of the national infrastructure is in a shambles and there are millions upon millions of refugees currently in camps in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. There have even been a couple of dozen injured victims from the fighting that have crossed the Golan Heights and received care in Israel before being sent either back into Syria or into Jordan. President Obama has claimed he supports the removal of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad as long as it did not require him to exert much effort. He originally promised to supply humanitarian supplies but refused to send weapons or other military aid to the Rebels. His main stance pertained to the use of chemical weapons which President Obama threatened would cause serious consequences should Bashir al-Assad be proven to have deployed such weapons of mass destruction. Then there came initial proof provided by the Israelis, French and British that al-Assad had indeed deployed chemical weapons against the Rebels and some civilians in Aleppo. The severe consequences implemented by President Obama was to fiercely restate that use of chemical weapons would cross his “Red Line” and result in serious consequences. This dance continued through the next few weeks until President Obama could no longer pretend that the evidence was inconclusive and he then promised to supply some of the Rebels with light weapons and ammunition. Somewhat behind the scenes was Saudi Arabia who has been supplying the Syrian Rebels with light and medium weapons for the past two years with the blessings of the United States. This was the way that the United States could funnel whatever supplies they deemed necessary as long as no game changing weapons systems were transferred by the Saudi Arabian government. The one plus in Syria is that the Kurdish population has carved out an autonomous area in the northeastern parts of Syria. With any luck and the well-earned and owed assistance of the United Nations and the rest of the world, the Kurdish areas in Syria and neighboring Iraq will be allowed to be independent as a reformed Kurdistan.

 

The Civil War in Syria has gone through a transformation here in the past four to six weeks and is no longer simply about deposing Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. The struggle has now become the next step in the world jihad being waged by the Sunni Muslims which include the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda against the Iranian Shiite front which is fighting to retain the Shiite Crescent which stretches from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea and includes Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The Lebanon branch of the Iranian Shiites is Hezballah which has taken some serious casualties over the last few weeks of the latest offensive thrust from the Iranian backed forces who are merely using al-Assad as their excuse but are actually now fighting to retain their supply line from Iran to Hezballah who represent the Iranian front against Israel. There are two other fronts to the Civil War between the Sunnis and the Shiites in Syria which have not received much coverage. The more active front has been the Shiites in Turkey who have been rioting in an attempt to weaken and eventually overthrow Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and replace him with a Shiite ruler who would follow the dictates out of Iran. The other front has been quieted as there was a recent joint training exercise in Jordan which included United States troops which some have remained along with their equipment in order to strengthen Jordanian King Abdullah II. The threat in Syria will likely intensify in the coming weeks as some of the recently freed al-Qaeda leadership and highly experienced fighters in Iraq make their way into Syria. The al-Qaeda offensive in Syria will eventually, should they succeed in Syria, spread across into Lebanon and possibly even into Egypt should the situation there disintegrate much further and devolve into another Civil War similar as in Syria except in Egypt it would be Sunni Islamists against the Egyptian military. Presumably the United States would support the Egyptian military should such fighting break out, but as the United States just decided to put the delivery of four F-16 jet fighters until the unrest in Egypt becomes more settled that becomes questionable.

 

There are also the lower level conflicts which remain simmering in Libya and Tunisia. Libya has broken down into tribal and clan level skirmishes as well as the country becoming a training ground for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Libya has also become a place to organize fighting units and training them before injecting them into Mali, Nigeria and other areas in neighboring African countries where there is fighting between Islamic rebels and the governments. With Libya having become something of a failed state this was bound to happen and will only get more serious unless somebody either takes over as the new strongman much like Moammar Gadhafi and literally imposes their will on the more populous tribes forcing them to support them. In Tunisia the people had elected by a slim majority a Muslim Brotherhood majority government. They had expected to see some economic growth and development or at the very least some relief from the burdensome rules of the previous government. No such relief has been felt and the natives are getting restless.

 

Lastly there is the ever present Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process which has been misrepresented as having been restarted by Secretary of State Kerry. With Secretary Kerry making six trips since taking office to the Middle East in an attempt to force the two sides back to the negotiation’s table, he has made progress but not necessarily as much as advertised. Yes, the two sides are supposedly sending representatives to Washington DC to meet. No, they are not coming to hash out the final status issues. The coming negotiations are simply negotiations about whether or not to meet to actually negotiate and what will be required from each side to facilitate such negotiations. Mahmoud Abbas has not given up on imposing his preconditions; he has simply sidestepped everything and is now making his preconditional demands through a mediator, namely Secretary Kerry. Thus far it appears that Secretary Kerry is having no reservations about presenting Abbas’s preconditions to the Israelis and has already pried a concession from Prime Minister Netanyahu, a release of an unspecified number but rumored to be approximately one-hundred of some of the longest serving terrorist prisoners. Many of these prisoners are serving multiple life sentences as they have the blood of numerous Israeli victims through their planning, bomb-making, and actual actions on their hands. Many Israelis believe that this was an outrageous concession and will hold this against the Prime Minister for as long as they live. If these talks do not produce tangible results which are believed by many Israelis to be favorable, a highly unlikely scenario, then it is doubtful that Prime Minister Netanyahu will have any future in Israeli politics. There are those in Israel who suspect that President Obama is doing a great amount of arm-twisting and even leveling threats of withdrawal of United States support in both arms and in use of the American veto in the Security Council to squeeze Netanyahu in order to be able to present President Abbas with an irresistible offer. Our prediction is that unless the offer includes all of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Right of Return for all five to six million Palestinian Refugees into Israel accepted immediately as full citizens and either their homes and lands restored or equivalent properties given them, then Mahmoud Abbas will refuse and walk away and start another round of violence. All in all the Middle East is in the worst shape than it has seen since the end of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 27, 2013

How Does One Tell the President He is Dead Wrong?

Israeli President Peres was in Aqaba, Jordan giving a speech to the WEF (World Economic Forum) over the weekend. When the Israeli president along with the Israeli media entered the hall the Jordanian contingency walked out and refused until the Israelis had been removed claiming they were unwelcome in their home. This was in line with the semi-official boycott of all Israelis and Israeli-related events by professional groups in Jordan. With intervention by WEF officials who provided sufficient flattery and praise, the Jordanian contingent returned probably with a feeling of great accomplishment. Whatever makes one happy, I guess.

 

There had been a fair amount of consternation in Israel over the rumors and reports revolving around what President Peres had told interviewers about his intended speech (Transcript of planned speech can be seen at the end of article). His stated content relayed by the President in his various interviews inferred he would proclaim Israeli readiness to take serious measures for peace. President Peres explained in one interview that his planned statement to Abbas would be, “You are my partner and I am your partner. Let’s promote peace. I know that you know that there aren’t many differences between us. I know that you know that the differences that exist can be bridged.” Peres also reported that he plans to tell the attendees referring to the Saudi Plan with the agreed alterations reported to have been approved by the Arab League. “Israel wants peace. There is an overwhelming majority here that favors a diplomatic solution of ‘two states for two peoples’ on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed and equitable changes to the border.”

 

These statements would be laid out before 800 representatives from 60 countries at the WEF confab, of which 430 will come from Middle Eastern countries. Among those attending, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah, and United States Secretary of State John Kerry are worthy of special note as every syllable spoken by President Peres will be taken very seriously by each of them and may come back to injure Israel though that is definitely not the President’s intentions. What is unfortunate is that every day that President Peres awakens, for him it is September 14, 1993, and the Oslo Accords signing ceremony happened just yesterday and hopes of peace being imminent abound throughout the land. President Peres honestly cannot help but believe in the imminence of peace as his entire career, his entire life, revolves around reaching a peace with the Palestinians and is unable to divorce himself from the monster he, along with Ehud Barak, created, the Oslo Accords. This eternal driving impetus has forced President Peres to take the job of President of Israel beyond its normal ceremonial role and utilized the position to political ends of finally reaching the elusive peace that has eluded him for all these years. All of this must be weighed and the balance found with the rest of the body of lifetime achievements all for his love of Eretz Yisroel for she has been the one driving love of his life. It is that love that has so captured his mind in that singular focus of effort towards peace at any cost and that is what has become a dangerous force that has backfired so completely. The wrong turn the peace process took is not the fault of President Peres, Ehud Barak, Yitzhak Rabin, or any of the Israeli Prime Ministers who have gone to monumental lengths trying to make peace, but the fault resides with the deceits and deceptions of Yasser Arafat and his second in command, Mahmoud Abbas, who utilized the Oslo Accords and the entire peace process as a weapon in a war to eradicate Israel by whatever means necessary. That President Peres became enslaved into making a peace no matter the costs is not something to be denounced and does not place him as a target for blame but rather he is to be accepted for the goodness in his heart. Keeping this in mind, Israeli leadership will also need to rescue Israel from being harmed by those who actually intend to damage Israel by using President Peres’s words spoken out of an honest and overwhelming desire to find at long last a peace for his first love, Israel.

 

There will be many who will warn of the great harm presumably caused by President Peres and his words spoken in Jordan. There will be those who will convict him of politicizing the Presidency. Some may even denunciate President Peres as being an enemy out to destroy Israel placing her people in great peril. May those who may choose this path please consider all of what President Peres has accomplished for Israel, consider that Simon Peres has held virtually every critical position in the Israeli government and always with honor and honesty, and remember that President Peres began his life helping to form, build and establish Israel and has dedicated his life and every ounce of his efforts all for and in the service of Israel. Let he who has a record near as distinguished be the first to speak, but that would leave almost everybody silent, wouldn’t it. For those who care, read his actual speech below and you decide whether or not President Peres deserves praise or condemnation.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Transcript of Israeli President Peres’s speech at the

 World Economic Forum in Aqaba, Jordan.

 

Thank you, Your Majesty, for graciously hosting us under your roof.

Your Majesty, thank you for inspiring the Middle East with responsibility and hope.

Ladies and Gentleman,

History is made of biographies of men and women who failed to forecast the future. We were born in the age of agriculture, and reborn in the age of science.

This new age changed our agenda and our lives. Depending on land divided people. Borders were marked and armies were built to defend them. The yields of the land hung on the travail of farmers, and the grace of heaven that blessed us with rain or punished us with drought.

The yields were limited.

Science is borderless, and its achievements are limitless. Armies cannot control science. Police cannot arrest innovation. Globality and isolation do not go together. Modern agriculture is cultivated with computers, rather than with ploughs. Sciences enables us to make three drops of water from one drop.

Israel’s shortage of soil and rain has created an agriculture based on hi-tech. Israel is sharing its experience with many other countries and is willing to share it with its neighbors as well. Israel is moved by developments, not just by events.

Looking at the developments in the Middle East today, it is blessed with a young generation, one of the youngest in the world. 99 million of its inhabitants are already online. The young generation uses modern tools to enter the new age.

Friends, the Arab Spring voiced by so many youngsters may become an opportunity for jobs and progress. The age of science calls for economic cooperation, educational exchanges, and scientific collaboration. It provides equal opportunities for young and old, and equal rights for women.

Despite the many hurdles on the way to peace, we must never lose sight of the positive developments in our region. Egypt and Israel made peace. Jordan and Israel made peace. These agreements stand the test of time.

We extend our hand in peace to all countries in the Middle East.

There is no country, no religion, which we consider as enemies. The only enemies are the enemies of peace. The Iranian people are not our enemies. It is the Iranian regime’s policy which is a threat to us all.

Our region, and the whole world, cannot accept this brutal regime’s hegemonic ambitions. And the international community cannot tolerate brutal threatening weapons as a norm for the rest of the world.

Friends, we and our Palestinian neighbors must return to negotiations as soon as possible and bring peace. President Abbas, you are our partner and we are yours. You share our hopes and efforts for peace, and we share yours. We can and should make the breakthrough. We should not permit the hurdles to overcome us. History will judge us not by the process of negotiations, but by its outcome. The today obstacles will pale in the light of peace.

The “Arab Peace Initiative” is a meaningful change and a strategic opportunity. It replaces the strategies of war with the wisdom of peace.

We must depart from the skepticism that claims that war is inevitable.

War is not inevitable. Peace is inevitable.

We appreciate the presence of the American Secretary of State John Kerry at this gathering. Secretary Kerry brings with him an impressive momentum and desire to contribute to the completion of the peace process. It will be matched with an imaginative economic plan. President Obama, while visiting our region, offered a new opening for the peace prospect. Dear John, I know that all sides can count on your determination.

The peace process already has a beginning. We have agreed on a common ground to complete it. A two state solution. A Jewish state — Israel — and an Arab state — Palestine. Living side by side in peace, dignity and freedom.

Friends, we Israelis and Palestinians are aware that peace is first and foremost for us and depends upon us. I know from experience how difficult these decisions are to make, on both sides. But this is the time.

Our leaders must say yes to a future of peace.

Our leaders must overcome the difficulties and the dangers, and lead their peoples to a better tomorrow. What holds back the renewal of the peace negotiations are some gaps in the bridge between the beginning and the conclusion. Knowing very well the nature of the missing link, I am convinced that this gap can be bridged.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there is still an open wound on the map and this is the terrible bloodshed in Syria. Secretary Kerry is currently trying to bring an end to this tragedy. Israel is not intervening in the Syrian crisis. We support the Secretary’s efforts to bring an end to the violence. We are silent, but not indifferent. There is a need to lower the flames.

Ladies and Gentleman, the potential in our region is remarkable. The attempts to release this potential are worthy and needed. We welcome the efforts of “Breaking the Impasse” initiative.

The fact that hundreds of business leaders from both sides are joining hands to promote the two-state solution and to emphasize the urgency in reaching that solution is an important development. These people can attest to how valuable peace is for economic prospective. Peace should be made between people, not just between governments.

Friends, I am here to express the hope and desire of the Israeli people to bring an end to the conflict and a beginning to a peaceful new age. I hope that this forum will voice a timely call against skepticism. I pray that it will allow for tomorrow’s horizon to shine bright. A horizon that will illuminate the fruits of freedom, science and progress.

Let us cast away the divides and suspicions of the past as a future of harmony awaits. We are still writing the biography of the unknown future.

My friends, it must be a future of peace.

Thank you.

 

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