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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Iraq Study Group Report - Recommendations on Israel Peace (& link to entire text)

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2006/12/iraq-study-group-report-recommendations.html

Iraq Study Group Report - Recommendations on Israel Peace Process
 
The mountain gave birth to a mouse
 
Below are the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group report regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In many respects this is a positive document. We cannot but applaud any effort to achieve peace between Israel and its neighbors.
 
The following is a wonderful statement of US commitment:
 
• No American administration --Democratic or Republican -- will ever abandon Israel.
 
Considering that James Baker had a hand in preparing the report, it is a remarkable statement. However, it has no tangible worth. It cannot be the basis for any Israeli commitment to make any concessions. Will any American administration sign a defense pact with Israel? Will any American administration commit itself to nuclear retaliation against any nation that attacks Israel with nuclear weapons? For 58 years, US administrations have declared their love of Israel, but this love does not translate into a defense pact. It doesn't even go as far as establishing an embassy in our capital city.
 
In the first forty pages of this report, the study group ably and meticulously summarized why the US is unable to defend defend democracy in Iraq - its intelligence is incompetent, its planning is poor, and it doesn't have the national will or the ability to commit sufficient resources to win. Therefore, the report recommends a US withdrawal from Iraq. The US failed in Iraq because they don't understand the complexities of the Middle East, don't have enough trained personnel, don't have a coherent strategic vision and don't have the national will to deal with a conflict in the far off Middle East.  Having declared themselves incompetent and unable to defend Iraq, the report now implicitly undertakes to settle the affairs of Israel and its neighbors, based on an implicit and informal, and actually worhless, if grandiose sounding guarantee:
 No American administration --Democratic or Republican -- will ever abandon Israel.

What does this mean? Will the US send half a million soldiers to fight our next war in Israel? Will they risk nuclear attack when Iran has ICBMs? Or, when push comes to shove, will James Baker III say "F... the Jews, they didn't vote for us?" Anyone who thinks the Iraq war is unpopular in the US should understand that they ain't seen nuthin yet. No war will be more unpopular and politically unfeasible than a US war to defend Israel. The US would not even commit any soldiers to the worthless UNIFIL force in Lebanon.

The recommendations are not "good for Israel" or "bad for Israel." They are simply detached from all reality, beginning with the implied U.S. commitment to never abandon Israel, a commitment written on sand and continuing with the heart of the recommendations:

This effort should include --as soon as possible --the unconditional calling and holding of meetings, under the auspices of the United States or the Quartet (i.e., the United States, Russia, European Union, and the United Nations), between Israel and Lebanon and Syria on the one hand, and Israel and Palestinians (who acknowledge Israel's right to exist) on the other....

Lebanon refuses to meet with Israel. A small detail that the learned committee failed to assimilate. The Arab Palestinians who acknowledge Israel's right to exist (but not necessarily as a Jewish state) are not in power. They can't offer anything because they don't have anything. They cannot even keep the shaky truce in Gaza. And the recommendation continues, of course:  

 The purpose of these meetings would be to negotiate peace as was done at the Madrid Conference in 1991, and on two separate tracks -- one Syrian/Lebanese, and the other Palestinian.

This is clearly the work of James Baker III. If Baker had a parrot, it would say "International Peace Conference." This recommendation is indeed realistic. The groups will negotiate peace exactly as was done at the Madrid conference in 1991. That is, they won't do anything at all. Nothing at all came of the Madrid conference. Israel negotiated peace separately with Jordan, and the Oslo Accords, for what they are worth, were negotiated through a route that bypassed the Madrid conference. Nothing came of the Madrid conference and nothing would come of these negotiations.

The "elements" of the negotiated peace envisioned by this report are truly amazing:

 

RECOMMENDATION 15: Concerning Syria, some elements of that negotiated peace should be:

• Syria's full adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 2006, which provides the framework for Lebanon to regain sovereign control over its territory.

• Syria's full cooperation with all investigations into political assassinations in Lebanon, especially those of Rafik Hariri and Pierre Gemayel.

• A verifiable cessation of Syrian aid to Hezbollah and the use of Syrian territory for transshipment of Iranian weapons and aid to Hezbollah. (This step would do much to solve Israel's problem with Hezbollah.)

• Syria's use of its influence with Hamas and Hezbollah for the release of the captured Israeli Defense Force soldiers.

• A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the democratically elected government of Lebanon.

• A verifiable cessation of arms shipments from or transiting through Syria for Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups.

• A Syrian commitment to help obtain from Hamas an acknowledgment of Israel's right to exist.

• Greater Syrian efforts to seal its border with Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 16: In exchange for these actions and in the context of a full and secure peace agreement, the Israelis should return the Golan Heights, with a U.S. security guarantee for Israel that could include an international force on the border, including U.S. troops if requested by both parties.

 

So, according to Mr. Baker and his friends, Israel would give up the Golan heights in return for a promise from Syria to stop shipping arms to Hamas and Hezbollah and similar fictions. No recognition of Israel, no commitment to stop harboring Khaled Meshal and other terrorists - just cessation of arms shipments. Syria would be committed to "help obtain from Hamas an acknowledgment of Israel's right to exist." And if they don't succeed?  Syria would not even have to stop publishing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf.   Israel would give up the Golan heights in return for Syrian efforts to seal its border with Iraq in Mr. Baker's plan, because Mr Baker and his friends wrote in their report that no American government will ever abandon Israel. And if both countries agree, the US will send some of those wonderful troops that succeeded so well in Iraq to guard our border! Of course, if the Syrians don't agree, the US won't send troops, and if the troops come, they will be good for business in the bawdy houses of Nahariya and Haifa and for nothing else, just like the UN troops. Mr Baker and his friends deal in large issues and can't be bothered with details. They forgot that the Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations failed last time because of a tiny details - 10 meters that separate the border offered by Israel from the Sea of Galilee. For Mr Baker and his friends, down in Texas, the Sea of Galilee is a tiny detail. It could be swallowed up and forgotten in a tiny corner of Texas after all. For us, it is very important.

The elements of peace with the Palestinians show the same level of realism and attention to detail. There is no mention of the road map there - a noticeable omission. That is realism of sorts, since the roadmap is really dead. The rest is fantasy. There is no explanation of how the Hamas will be convinced to recognize Israel, or how, if they are not persuaded, it will be possible to negotiate and maintain a peace settlement that is opposed in principle by an armed group that represents the majority of Palestinians and that shows no intention of disarming. There is no mention of the refugees. There is no requirement to disband the various armed militias, no mention of Jerusalem. It is as though the people who wrote this report are not even aware that this issues exist. Somehow, all will be solved by blowing trumpets and announcing international conferences. All is forgotten in the grand rush of meaningless sophomoric declaratory statements.

Read it and laugh - or weep.

Ami Isseroff


From the Iraq Study Group Report:  Pages 54-58

4. The Wider Regional Context

The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israel's right to exist), and particularly Syria --which is the principal transit point for shipments of weapons to Hezbollah, and which supports radical Palestinian groups.

The United States does its ally Israel no favors in avoiding direct involvement to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. For several reasons, we should act boldly:

• There is no military solution to this conflict.

• The vast majority of the Israeli body politic is tired of being a nation perpetually at war.

• No American administration --Democratic or Republican -- will ever abandon Israel.

• Political engagement and dialogue are essential in the Arab- Israeli dispute because it is an axiom that when the political process breaks down there will be violence on the ground.

• The only basis on which peace can be achieved is that set forth in UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and in the principle of "land for peace."

• The only lasting and secure peace will be a negotiated peace such as Israel has achieved with Egypt and Jordan.

This effort would strongly support moderate Arab governments in the region, especially the democratically elected government of Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas.

RECOMMENDATION 13: There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon and Syria, and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

RECOMMENDATION 14: This effort should include --as soon as possible --the unconditional calling and holding of meetings, under the auspices of the United States or the Quartet (i.e., the United States, Russia, European Union, and the United Nations), between Israel and Lebanon and Syria on the one hand, and Israel and Palestinians (who acknowledge Israel's right to exist) on the other. The purpose of these meetings would be to negotiate peace as was done at the Madrid Conference in 1991, and on two separate tracks -- one Syrian/Lebanese, and the other Palestinian.

RECOMMENDATION 15: Concerning Syria, some elements of that negotiated peace should be:

• Syria's full adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 2006, which provides the framework for Lebanon to regain sovereign control over its territory.

• Syria's full cooperation with all investigations into political assassinations in Lebanon, especially those of Rafik Hariri and Pierre Gemayel.

• A verifiable cessation of Syrian aid to Hezbollah and the use of Syrian territory for transshipment of Iranian weapons and aid to Hezbollah. (This step would do much to solve Israel's problem with Hezbollah.)

• Syria's use of its influence with Hamas and Hezbollah for the release of the captured Israeli Defense Force soldiers.

• A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the democratically elected government of Lebanon.

• A verifiable cessation of arms shipments from or transiting through Syria for Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups.

• A Syrian commitment to help obtain from Hamas an acknowledgment of Israel's right to exist.

• Greater Syrian efforts to seal its border with Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 16: In exchange for these actions and in the context of a full and secure peace agreement, the Israelis should return the Golan Heights, with a U.S. security guarantee for Israel that could include an international force on the border, including U.S. troops if requested by both parties.

RECOMMENDATION 17: Concerning the Palestinian issue, elements of that negotiated peace should include:

• Adherence to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and to the principle of land for peace, which are the only bases for achieving peace.

• Strong support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to take the lead in preparing the way for negotiations with Israel.

• A major effort to move from the current hostilities by consolidating the cease-fire reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis in November 2006.

• Support for a Palestinian national unity government.

• Sustainable negotiations leading to a final peace settlement along the lines of President Bush's two-state solution, which would address the key final status issues of borders, settlements, Jerusalem, the right of return, and the end of conflict.

 
 

The complete text of main body of the Iraq Study Group Teport is published in html form here:
 
Many of our readers will find this html format more convenient for copying snippets of text than the pdf document of the original publication.
 
 

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