Home > Diplomacy, Jerusalem, Settlement Freeze > Weissglas in Yediot: Get real, the choice is between settlements (incl. E Jerusalem) and pariah status

Weissglas in Yediot: Get real, the choice is between settlements (incl. E Jerusalem) and pariah status

On the same morning that Maariv’s Ben Caspit relays Israeli diplomatic officials’ cries of ‘gewald’ after the US and UK ditched them on Jerusalem, Attorney Dov Weissglas tells them that it’s time to get real. Weissglas, Sharon’s confidant and liaison to the US administration, is hardly a bleeding heart leftist. One of his major claims to international fame was an Haaretz interview, in which he explained that disengagement was intended to put the Palestinians in “formaldehyde.” Largely quiet during the Olmert government, since Netanyahu’s ascent he has been working hard to position himself as a hard-nosed realist.

A step of sobriety

Op-ed, Dov Weissglas, Yediot, December 7 2009

What is missing in the decision on the construction freeze?  It lacks real ability to affect what is happening.  It will not lead to a real stop of construction in Judea and Samaria, except for a brief time span, and will not bring about a change in the diplomatic environment.  The Palestinians do not view it as a reason to renew negotiations, and the international community, so it would appear, was not overly impressed by the Israeli initiative.  The Quartet refused to congratulate it, the US and the other major countries of the world do not intend to declare that in the wake of this initiative the Palestinians are called upon to return to the negotiating table.

The initial, almost automatic suspicion, that the plan encountered around the world, was successfully confirmed by some of the ministers belonging to the forum of seven: They supported it in the discussions, and after it was passed, explained that it was actually meaningless and that within ten months of “delay,” construction would be renewed with full vigor.  In this context, there is great sense in the contention of the settlers that the freeze is unnecessarily oppressive: They are being harmed, but [the freeze] is bringing no benefit.

What does the freeze plan have?  The government’s forced decision—regardless of its practical value—is evidence of the fact that it is starting to accept the steadily worsening diplomatic reality, which is making the continued Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria (including East Jerusalem) impossible.  The dispute surrounding the settlements and their expansion has long since ceased to be a matter between Israel and the Palestinians, it has become the cause of a confrontation between Israel and the world.

Most of the European states traditionally support the Palestinian demand for a full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and are opposed to any Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria, and consequently, to any form of construction and development in the settlements.  In the past, Palestinian chaos and terror largely prevented attentiveness to the Palestinian demands, including [the demand for] a stop of construction, and real European pressure on Israel was averted.  Now, after terror has ceased in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority has improved its conduct and the chances of diplomatic negotiations appear to have improved, the Europeans have adopted a tougher stance on Israel, which continues to build in the settlements, thereby, in their opinion, deliberately sabotaging the two-state solution.

The continuation of Israeli construction throughout the Judea and Samaria territories erodes Israel’s main diplomatic asset—its special relationship with the United States.  President Bush’s letter to Prime Minister Sharon in April 2004 determined that in the final status arrangement, the US would support the Israeli demand for control of the large settlement blocs, and this summed up most of the American consent on the matter of Israel’s future borders.  The continuation of construction in areas that the US also believes will be part of the Palestinian state greatly angers every US administration.  Especially since the current administration is highly attentive to the European wishes, both as part of its worldview and as a practical need necessitated, among other things, by its busy agenda, laden with the problems of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the difficulties of the global economy and other matters that are of no less importance than the Israeli construction aspirations.

From the start of its path, the Netanyahu government announced that on the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it intends to act differently from its predecessors and to work towards strengthening the settlements in Judea and Samaria.  Its supporters, particularly among the settlers, hoped that now, after the “sins” of the Sharon and Olmert governments, a government had arisen that would be to their liking.  The government’s bad luck—or perchance its good luck—is that the issue of the continuation of construction was placed on its desk shortly after it was formed.  Apparently (and this is a good thing), what one does not see from over there, in the opposition and the election campaign, one sees (and immediately) at the cabinet table.

What Sharon understood, and Olmert after him, is now becoming apparent to the current government: Good or bad, just or unjust, that is the reality.  No one in the world agrees to Israel’s presence in a majority of the Judea and Samaria territories and the continued construction thereIsraeli persistence will bring upon it diplomatic isolation, and this is something that Israel cannot afford.  The freeze plan is an attempt to avoid this.  It is not important in and of itself, but as a first sign of a process of understanding and sobriety, it is highly meaningful.

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  1. DE Teodoru
    March 10, 2010 at 01:32

    Perhaps underneath all the strategizing and ChickenLittleish “the sky is falling!” there is a realization that the Palestinians want the Israelis to teach them how to make a state that’s a twin of the Jewish state which will make them seem less like the sum of the Middle East in the eyes of all the Arabs that have killed more Palestinians than the Israelis ever did. How else can one interpret the fact the Shin Bet had 32,000 Palestinian informants in Gaza alone before Sharon acted like Hitler in Poland and got away with it? If Israelis ever overcome– pharmacologically or psychotherapeutically– their Holocaust Complex (rather weird given that during the Holocaust they couldn’t give a damn about European Jews seeking shelter in Europe rather than becoming Nazi-like “New Jews” ferocious killers of hysterical Arabs) they would notice that their national shysterisms aside, Israel is a Paradise on Earth to most Palestinians and almost all want their children to inherit an Arab version of Israel or at least be part of Israel. When they bring up the “nuclear solution of ONE STATE, TWO PEOPLES, it’s not just a diplomatic gambit but a genuine secret wish. This may have had something to do with Netanyahu’s secret solution: TWO STATES, ONE ECONOMY, a solution that is unfolding in parts of the West Bank. In truth, both sides sound extremist because that’s the only thing that sells tickets in the form of aid to the spectacle of endless bloodletting. HAMAS was not voted in because it represents a solution, but so that the Palestinians can feel like “mensch.” In fact, they are the most secular Muslims in the world and this HAMAS branch of the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t fool any of them. Besides, no Palestinian is really with the Shia Persians against fellow Sunni Arab. The real problem is Israel’s. Its accounting books show that, after a first class education in Israel’s world renown universities, young Sabras go to the West for great careers; so the emigrant outflow outstrips the immigrant inflow. Zionists fear that Zionism is becoming a dead idea, given its birth and growth were both in times when everybody, it seemed, hated Jews as much as Jews hated them. Now Jews are so accepted that the ADL devotes itself to, in the words of its leader, Abe Foxman, is “FIGHTING ASSIMILATION.” The only gimmick Zionism could come up with the attract Diaspora Jews is almost free luxury housing on the West Bank at US taxpayer’s expense. Alas, per the US StateDept, these settlements are still 70% empty. This is where the Holocaust psychosis comes in. In the words of Sharon in 2002, if any and all Jews don’t move permanently to Israel they will all “forever lose their Jewish souls.” But the bad publicity about terrorism inhibited any Great Aliyah. And so we see Israel advertising itself as perpetual victim of mass Arab massacres while it fries Palestinians in Gaza using white phosphorous bombs and justifying it on grounds that: we have to kill them before they kill us. Yet, on the other hand, it is advertising on American TV that “Israel is cool” and it’s a great place to raise kids. That Zionist schizophrenia is a genetic Ashkenazi disease; but Netanyahu, mentally a Sabra looks to the future and he sees how Arabs will eventually seek Israeli lead in modernization after they see a demonstration model in the TWO STATES, ONE ECONOMY model with the Palestinians. Fact is, smaller Israel can become a bigger Israel—the big “light onto the [Arab] nations” that the Zionist Founding Fathers spoke of but recent leaders are too scared of losing the massive influx of US aid. Consequently, paralyzed by fear, it has become a 62 y/o fetus of a state on an engorged American placenta: yet it is well aware that Israelis are promoting an American Krystalnacht by demanding that US Jews become their Fifth column and hasbara machine at home. But Diaspora Jews are what they are: DIASPORA JEWS and deem Israel a nice place to visit but not to live. Many therefore break with their Jewish communities in order to be “normal Americans,” free from all the constant pressure to blindly identify with Israel’s Holocaust psychosis. What’s needed is for the Sabras to tell the Ashkenazis that the old Holocaust Psychosis doesn’t work anymore. The future requires courage to become a positive force in the Middle East than some pretended finger of NATO colonizing the sand dunes. Let Israel return to its Semitic family by the Mizrahi’s kids taking over instead of the Ashkenazi Holocaust psychotics with their multiple passports. The future is bright because Arab admiration is greater than the hate and many even realize that a lot of Arabs are only Jews who converted. Eventually the Ashkenazi’s lebensraum obsession will be left behind as Israel become what only Sabras and their current like-minded Prime Minister dare to dream of it becoming: a leader in Middle East modernization.

  1. December 7, 2009 at 11:44
  2. December 7, 2009 at 15:09
  3. January 11, 2010 at 14:06

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