Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Deal of the Century: Impact Analysis

The Impact of the Deal of the Century - Prof. Eyal Zisser

This June the U.S. will supposedly unveil details of its "deal of the century" to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many of the relevant parties have openly declared they will refuse to accept it. The Palestinians are looking on forlornly as their dream of having all their demands of Israel delivered on a silver platter by the international community rises in smoke. While it might seek to meet the Palestinians' desires, the deal of the century is light years from the concessions that previous administrations, from Clinton to Obama, were willing to grant.

Arab countries will follow in the wake of the Palestinian rejection. Arab rulers would be happy to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an end, but from there to a willingness to lie on the fence for Israel and Trump, the distance is great. But it would be a mistake to think the deal of the century will be completely inconsequential.

First, the details of the plan will become the starting point for any future discussions about the conflict, instead of or in conjunction with the Clinton outline or former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer to Abbas. The plan will also be evoked and used to significantly improve Israel's bargaining position opposite future American administrations and the international community.

Second, the proposal could essentially remove several central issues from the agenda, chief among them the issue of Palestinian refugees. The American plan calls for refusing these refugees the right of return and settling them in their current countries.

Finally, the plan could give the Israeli government an opportunity to apply Israeli law over the large settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria that are supported by a wall-to-wall consensus in Israel
The writer is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University.
(Israel Hayom)

The West Bank: Israel's Eastern Line of Defense
- Maj.-Gen. Gershon Hacohen

This study explores the strategic-military implications of the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-June 1967 lines. Its central thesis is that the creation of such a state, on the heels of the IDF's total withdrawal from the West Bank, will not only deprive Israel of defensible borders but will almost certainly lead to the advent of a terrorist entity like the one created in Gaza.

Since 1996, 90% of the Palestinians in the territories have not lived under Israeli occupation but rather under the Palestinian Authority's rule (in Gaza, since 2007, under Hamas rule). In other words, the current dispute between Israel and the Palestinians is not about ending the "occupation."

The demilitarization of a future Palestinian state is a pipedream, as evidenced by the resounding failure to demilitarize Gaza despite the PLO's commitment to this step in a number of signed agreements.
The writer served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts.
(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

New Map of Israel Features Golan!

U.S. Publishes Map Showing Golan as Part of Israel

The U.S. has published a map showing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, three weeks after President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau. U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted a picture of the map. 
(Times of Israel)

Thursday, April 04, 2019

The Incalcitrant Palestinian Movement

Definition: 1. Stubbornly resistant to or defiant of guidance. 2. Difficult to manage or deal with.  Synonym: obstinate.

Cultural Barriers to Israeli-Palestinian Peace - Lawrence J. Haas

Cultural obstacles prevent progress toward peace. When activists in Gaza protested rising prices, high unemployment, and new taxes imposed by Hamas in March, Hamas cracked down harshly. The Palestinian Authority rules the West Bank in similar dictatorial fashion, brooking no opposition. Palestinian leaders will need to respect the rights of their own people before we can hope that, at some point, they'll respect the rights of Israelis to live in peace.

As Hamas and Fatah fight one another, the weapon at their disposal to assure their popularity among Palestinians is their continuing efforts to kill Jews. Palestinian factions that compete over who's more committed to killing Israelis won't be making peace with Israel any time soon.

The Palestinian Authority continues to pay prisoners and the families of "martyrs" who tried to kill Israelis. A Palestinian leadership that turns killers into martyrs won't be making peace with the country of those they want to kill. 
The writer is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.
(The Hill)

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Foreign Policy For Sale?

Is US foreign policy for sale?  If so, who is buying?  And what are the consequences?
This intriguing 20 minute documentary is well worth the time.