Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 14 August 2015

Two-State Solution? The West Must Practise More Straight Talking, Less Doublespeak, argues David Singer

"Palestine: More Straight Talking – Less Doublespeak" is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

The well-publicised “secret meeting” recently held in Jordan between Israel’s newest negotiations Minister Silvan Shalom and perennial PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat is but the latest in a 20 years old meaningless talkfest that has seen little tangible signs of ending the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict – despite two offers made by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 and rejected by the Palestinian Authority.

Talks have been conducted on Israel’s side within a framework comprising the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap (with 14 documented Israeli reservations.)

Mahmoud Abbas’s approach to those Israeli reservations should have sounded alarm bells from the start:
"They don't interest me …
We do not accept each side picking and choosing only those specific elements that are convenient for them in the road map.
The map was prepared last December and we accepted it, despite our own comments and reservations. We wanted to give this initiative a chance, but it's impossible to continue inventing comments and reservations after it was submitted."
One of Israel’s reservations stated:
“In connection to both the introductory statements and the final settlement, declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel."
Abbas’s consistent refusal to accept these terms from the outset has seen the negotiations reduced to a farce.

Those proponents of the two-state solution who continue to allow Abbas to maintain this rejectionist stance are actively contributing to its demise.

The Roadmap further states unequivocally: 
“A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel's readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established….”
Those do-gooders, particularly in the European Union and the United States, still supporting the “two-state solution” seem to have lost sight of this clearly agreed democratic destination.

Democracy in any projected Palestinian State has been shoved under the carpet and out of sight – without a whimper from the world’s democracies.

Any signs of democracy are noticeably absent in both the West Bank and Gaza – where elections for the President have not been held since 2005, parliamentary elections were last held in 2006 and no single government exercises authority in both areas.

Tongue-tied Western democracies make no objection to this farcical state of affairs – guaranteeing continuing negotiations remain a diplomatic joke.

Another Israeli reservation consigned to the garbage bin by Abbas was allowed to pass without comment or objection by the Western democracies:
“The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel."
The Palestinian Authority no longer exists – having been disbanded on 3 January 2013.

By Decree number 1 for 2013 Abbas unilaterally tore up the Oslo Accords:
"Official documents, seals, signs and letterheads of the Palestinian National Authority official and national institutions shall be amended by replacing the name 'Palestinian National Authority' whenever it appears by the name 'State of Palestine' and by adopting the emblem of the State of Palestine."
Negotiating parameters established between identified parties pursuant to Security Council Resolution 242, the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap have been replaced by a set of fictitious propositions lacking negotiating partners.

Western democracies supporting this disingenuous state of affairs should hang their heads in shame. Unless they engage in more straight talking and less doublespeak – any negotiated two-state solution will remain pure fantasy.

2 comments:

  1. I was under the impression in a parliamentary democracy, a government has to have legislation and international agreements approved by parliament. The Oslo accords were voted on by the Knesset, the Roadmap never was.

    Why does anyone consider them binding on any government subsequent to Sharon's? In what kind of democracy are governments held responsible for the unimplemented policies of their predecessors?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous
      Actually the Knesset did debate Sharon's action in accepting the Roadmap with reservations and voted 57 to 42 in favour of his handling of the situation on 16 June 2003. Subsequent Governments followed his decision without being legally required to do so.

      Contrast this to the letter dated April 14, 2004, from President Bush to Sharon on defensible borders and settlement blocs, whose terms were subsequently ratified by large bipartisan majorities in both the US Senate (95-3) and the House of Representatives (407-9) on June 23-24, 2004. This Presidential Congress- endorsed commitment is binding on subsequent Presidents - although Obama still refuses to publicly acknowledge he is bound by those commitments.

      Delete