Qatari PM Al Thani
Photo: AFP

Arab initiative - so what?

Op-ed: All Mideast peace plans begin with triumphant speeches on US lawns and end with pools of blood deep inside Israel

The Arab League retrieved the dusty peace initiative from the attic, prompting poor man's celebrations in Israel. Even Labor Chairwoman Yachimovich, who since her election appeared to have kicked her addiction to imaginary peace processes, jumped on the bandwagon and praised the Qatari PM's statement that Israel and the Palestinians could trade land rather than conform exactly to their 1967 borders.


Fellow Labor Knesset Member Merav Michaeli expressed regret over the fact that Israel did not adopt the initiative 11 years ago and begged that "we don't miss it again."


It is hard to understand Michaeli's position in light of the fact that the initiative calls for a full Israeli withdrawal not only from the West Bank, but from the Golan Heights as well. What exactly did we miss by not withdrawing from the Golan? An al-Qaeda position on the outskirts of Tiberias? Chemical weapon stockpiles on the ruins of Katzrin? Every sane Israeli should thank God and the Sharon government for not getting us into such a mess and regret that we were not wise enough to also 'miss' the Oslo Accords, which did not bring even a drop of peace – only anguish and terror.


קרי במסיבת עיתונאים עם ראש הממשלה א-תאני (צילום: AP)

Qatari PM Al Thani (L) and Kerry during press conference (Photo: AP)


After a short period of relative calm, the terror attack at the Tapuach Junction served as a tragic reminder of the dangerous repercussions of peace initiatives in the Middle East. They all begin with triumphant speeches on American lawns and end with pools of blood deep in our territory. Israel gives up parts of the homeland and gets funerals in return.


It was obvious from the television footage that the Qatari leader was deeply tormented while reading his speech, in which he presented a "sweetened" Arab peace initiative. Diplomatic English is not exactly his strong suit. He was barely able to read the speech the Americans wrote for him. John Kerry asked that the speech include a statement regarding the Arab League's agreement to "minor" land swaps as part of any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, and the Qatari PM complied. The "gesture" illustrates the Arab League's desperate need to divert international attention from the Arab Spring. The League wants to create the impression that a few other things are happening in the Middle East besides Arab civil wars.


But there is nothing else going on in the Middle East. The Arab League failed to establish peace between the Arabs, so what are its chances of establishing peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Its peace initiative is aimed at weakening Israel just before Syria is blown to smithereens and drags the neighboring Muslim states – and perhaps the Palestinian Authority as well - to the bonfire.


According to the Arab peace plan, we will withdraw to the 1967 borders in exchange for regional peace – only to wake up the next morning and find out that the region does not exist anymore.



פרסום ראשון: 05.04.13, 11:04
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