Thursday April 24, 2014
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24.04.2014
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Kerry to visit Israel, PA in yet another peace push
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Prof. Ron Breiman

A dangerous diplomatic path

The peace talks Israel has been holding with the Palestinian Authority -- the Oslo metamorphosis of the Palestinian Liberation Organization -- are developing in predictable and dangerous ways. For example, terrorists from the PLO and Gaza-ruling Hamas have become increasingly bold, escalating both the frequency and intensity of their attacks. Some analysts have dismissed the severity of such incidents, apathetically and apologetically nicknaming them "atmospheric attacks," but it is impossible to ignore the connection between the so-called peace process and the swelling profluence of attacks. Against the backdrop of peace negotiations, the situation is explosive. Israel's overindulgence and weakness is blowing up in the face of an increasing number of soldiers and civilians, bringing us closer to the outbreak of an Oslo war (which is called intifada in Arabic, an unfortunate term that hides the primary cause).

On top of that, as payment for entering into closed-door negotiations, Israel agreed to release murderers serving heavy sentences (and we're talking about the rule of law?!) from the lenient Israeli prison system. These murderers are celebrated by their leadership and don't fear being sent back to prison to finish their academic education. The revolving prison doors encourage terrorism, and although Israel chose the lesser of two evils -- releasing murderers instead of the racist settlement freeze -- the supposedly even-handed mediator has actually upped the pressure on Israel to fall into that trap again. The prime minister has rightly ignored such pressure, but we should be seeing actual development in the West Bank, not just tenders for construction.

The hypocritical world -- Israel included -- has turned a blind eye to the development in Rawabi, a new Palestinian city near Ramallah that has totally established facts on the ground, something which the international community has urged Israel to avoid doing. Where's that famous reciprocity now? If we're supposed to stop building, Rawabi should come first. Another degrading aspect of the U.S.'s local policy is the demand that Israel not include terrorists who killed U.S. citizens on its list of prisoners for release, effectively differentiating between this nationality's blood and that nationality's blood, as if Jewish blood wasn't as red.

Adding to the blatant complexity of the situation are reports of U.S. eavesdropping on Israeli officials and the U.S.'s obdurate refusal to release Jonathan Pollard, who, of course, is no murderer. Feckless officials once offered "Yitzhar for Bushehr," and such individuals won't hesitate to offer "Jerusalem for Pollard," because whoever has reduced Israel to a bargaining chip won't have qualms making such dubious offers to the Americans. This trend must be nipped in the bud.

It's worth saying a few words to British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who wrote last week in this paper about the "huge rewards" of peace, namely that Europe was offering vast financial incentives to Israel in exchange for suicidally offering land to its enemies. Would the same William Hague be willing to give up Scotland -- a true occupation that has endured for hundreds of years -- for money or benefits? Does he not understand that so-called peace in Northern Ireland will come crashing down long before a Palestinian state, God forbid, is established in the land of Israel, because the Irish will never give up on the quarter of their island that is occupied? Has he forgotten about his colonialist country's denial of the Balfour Declaration or the decisions of the San Remo Conference, or Britain's shameful policy outlawing the immigration of Holocaust survivors to the land of Israel? Has he failed to internalize the end of the Mandate period and with it the British occupation of Israel?

The problem is, as long as Israel fails to offer an alternative to the two-state "solution," how can we possibly complain that foreigners do not understand the reality in our region?

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

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