..Obama should start by endorsing the Arab Peace Initiativethe best offer the Arabs have ever made to Israel.
Forget what some Israeli officials and Jewish organizational types say about the Arab League plan. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I say that because every provision in it requires the agreement of both Arabs and Israelis. So what if its language on borders presupposes full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-67 lines? So what if it contemplates the return of more refugees than Israel can handle? Or that it envisions the full return of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians?
None of that matters because the language of the Arab Initiative represents the maximum Arab position, an opening position. The Saudis (and the other Arabs) are not saying take it or leave it. They are saying, lets negotiate.."
Of course, 242 and 338 have not resolved the conflict. This is in large part because, until recently, the Arab world was not ready to accept Israels right to peace and security while Israel refused to accept Palestinian rights. Even after 1993, when the Palestinians and Israelis exchanged mutual recognition, the Arab world as a whole remained steadfast in its refusal to accept the presence of a Jewish state in its midst
. But now Israel accepts the Palestinian right to statehood in the West Bank and Gaza. And the Arab Peace Initiative offers Israel not just acceptance, but also full recognition and normalization of relations with the entire Arab world
. The initiative states that following successful negotiations, every single Arab state will: (I) consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region, and (II) establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.
So why is Israel dragging its feet rather than accepting the plan and starting to negotiate? The reason is, almost surely, the settlers. Its always the settlers!
No peace plan is going to permit a few hundred thousand Israeli settlers to remain in the West Banksettlers, who have no intention of leaving…
Whats wrong with Israel? Has the occupation so degraded attitudes toward the military that settlers feel that they can spit on them, throw rocks at them, or worse, and get away with it? Talk about democracy run amok.
That is not Americas problem. Our problem is to resolve a conflict that harms American interests throughout the Muslim world, and has done so since 1967. Perhaps the American interest hurt most of all is Israels long-term prospects for survival.
Time is running out. The Arab Peace Initiative presents an unprecedented opportunity. Obama should run with it.
MJ Rosenberg is the Director of Israel Policy Forum’s Washington Policy Center
Opmerking Dit zou te mooi zijn om waar te kunnen zijn. Zolang de religieuze extremisten in Israel het Arabische vredes-initiatief boycotten en de zionistische (Pro-Groot)Israellobby in Amerika het afwijzende Israelisch beleid volgt, is het onwaarschijnlijk dat Obama het initiatief (van 2003(?) oppakt, vrees ik. Inderdaad: Whats wrong with Israel?