Wednesday April 16, 2014
Israel Hayom
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IDF's Jordan Valley chief sees no possibility of army's withdrawal from area
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Prof. Ron Breiman

Security isn't everything

The patchy news we have received from the negotiations is unsettling. While officials continue to erroneously link peace with the Palestinian state -- a contradiction in terms -- progress has apparently been made over security arrangements, thanks to Israel and its territory. When negotiations are predicated on Israel's occupation of its own land, hoping for a breakthrough is quite hard; any deal won't really look like a success.

Officials seem to believe that security will be solved through technical means: cameras, warning stations, international observers, U.S. guarantees. In other words, a folk remedy which has proved to be nothing but a fraud, with Israel giving up its assets for a pot of lentils.

The Americans, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, have been projecting incessant and unjustified optimism, based largely on holes in the Middle Eastern reality. They rushed to present "security arrangements" in an attempt to open the Israeli side, which appears to lack representation at the negotiating table.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, Israeli delegation head and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and U.S. envoy to the talks Martin Indyk are all rowing toward the same destination, reaching toward the same trap, but only Erekat's eyes are wide open. Speaking at the Saban Forum, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reminded us that, even in Israel, some people understand that peace will not come from a process based on false premises.

Security arrangements are not a recipe for promoting peace. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alone understands that peace cannot grow out of a diplomatic process designed to extend the diplomatic horizons for the enemy, not for the Jews. Israel can't keep retelling the two-state "solution" lie. Israel should not be proud of starting negotiations without preconditions. The enemy understands this. The Palestinians laid out strict conditions that, under the American auspices, have transformed into directives. The enemy is considered flexible, while Netanyahu's munificent flexibility is intransigence. Israel needs to learn from its adversaries how to set preconditions.

The first necessary condition that should be laid out, especially by the righteous among the Palestinians, is that if a Palestinian state is formed, God forbid, it must absorb Arab refugees. Those who argue for a Palestinian state out of demographic concerns should object to resettling Arab refugees anywhere west of the Jordan River, on either side of the "Green Line," because that resettlement would lead to an Arab majority in Israel. My conclusion is that those who argue demographic considerations are simply lying. You can't warn us about an Arab majority west of Jordan on the one hand, while working toward its creation on the other.

Another necessary condition, which should be presented by those concerned about human rights, is that no one can banish people from their homes. This includes Jews. A "peace" based on the idea that there is a region anywhere in the world, especially in the heart of the Land of Israel, that prohibits Jews from living in it is not Jewish, is not democratic, is not moral, is not Zionist, and is not peace.

Those who want real peace -- which is different from the current, mendacious peace proposal -- should keep the historical roots of Jews in mind, not just Jewish human rights. Ignoring these roots essentially turns the land under our feet to dust, not just in Judea and Samaria, but along the coastal plain as well. If Jews do not have the right to live in Hebron, then they certainly do not have the right to the real estate in Tel Aviv or its environs, which is why security arrangements cannot top the agenda.

Dr. Ron Breiman is the former chairman of Professors for a Strong Israel.

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