After reports reached Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority is trying to persuade about a dozen European Union member states to upgrade the PA's diplomatic status, the Foreign Ministry on Monday ordered every Israeli envoy abroad to begin "urgent" diplomatic activity. The aim is to thwart Palestinian efforts at drafting a United Nations resolution that would recognize a unilateral declaration of statehood and put international pressure on Israel to halt settlement construction.
Acting Foreign Ministry Director General Rafael Barak sent a classified cable to Israeli charges d'affairs, in which he called for an immediate public relations campaign at the bureaus of the premiers, foreign ministers and parliament in each country.
The PA is in the midst of three diplomatic activities aimed at the international community, Barak wrote in the cable: advancing a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlement construction, securing international recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and improving the diplomatic stance of Palestinian representatives in Europe, East Asia and Latin America.
Israeli officials expect Ecuador to shortly announce it is joining Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia in recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called his counterparts in Mexico and Chile in the past few days and asked them not to make a similar move. He also asked senior officials in the Obama Administration to support Israel's stance in Central and South America.
In Europe, the fear is not of unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state but rather the less drastic step of upgrading the PA's diplomatic status. Spain and France have already taken this step, and the Israeli assessment is that Britain, Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Denmark, Malta, Luxembourg, Austria and perhaps other states are considering a similar move.
"The Palestinian measure stems from disappointment with U.S. policy and the lack of progress in the peace talks," Barak wrote in the cable, which was obtained by Haaretz. "The issue came to the forefront in Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton's address to the Saban forum in which she did not refer to the 1967 borders, in the U.S. House of Representative's resolution against recognizing unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, in the American announcement that negotiations had failed, and also in [U.S. envoy George] Mitchell's visit to the region, which disappointed the Palestinians," Barak wrote.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right.
|Photo by: Tomer Appelbaum and Reuters|
Also Monday, representatives of the PA and the UN's Arab bloc met in New York to draft a Security Council resolution denouncing construction activity in the settlements. In order to minimize the likelihood of the U.S. exercising its veto, it was decided to postpone the resolution until January, when the U.S. cedes the rotating presidency to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The U.S. has informed a number of Arab states and PA representatives that it opposes such a resolution. According to information obtained by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, senior American officials have approached Arab diplomats both in Washington, D.C. and UN headquarters in New York with the message that the measure is "unwise and unhelpful" and the administration therefore wants the Arabs to abandon it.
Israel's ambassadors abroad received on Monday a "legal position paper" in addition to the cable that they were instructed to pass on to their interlocutors, expressing that only direct negotiations could
the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and not unilateral action that subvert past accords.
end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and not unilateral action that subvert past accords.
In theory, simply talking could yield peace if Israel abandons the idea of Greater Israel i.e. more settlements. It's choosing settlements and more settlements, and the US is too politically unable for whatever reason to prevent Israel from violating international law when it comes to building settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians have no choice but to appeal to other countries since the US is choosing to say it has no power to do what is right.
Israel abandons the idea of Greater Israel in the Oslo Agreement time.
You are looking at israel as it is one entity and confuse some extreem minority statment to represent the whole. This is the same as saying that all of Palestine in Hamas and Hamas want all of Palestine and end Israel existance.
We have radical actions from both sides, but what you see is "negotiation" tactics and not representation of what the people want.
Neri, I think you are seeing a different world and reading different newspapers. Israel still believes in a Greater Israel. It just changes in terms of what that Greater Israel will look like. When I say Greater Israel, I mean beyond the 1948 borders to take as much as possible of the 1967 lands. That's clearly behind the ideology of a Greater Israel. Israel just abandoned with Oslo the idea that it might be able to keep all of the West Bank. That's all. You can say there are radical actions on both sides. Yes, but your state is an occupying power. It's not the same. It's like putting a rapist and the victim on the same playing field and pointing to the scratches on the face of the rapist. The negotiations are a farce. True or false, does an occupation exist? Yes? Who is the occupier? Israel. Does it keep taking land from the 1967 lands while talking about peace? Yes? Was Netanyahu elected? Yes. So was Barak who did worse than him. I am sure Serbia knew it could not have all of the lands where people speak Serbo-Croation. However, they tried to get whatever they could. It's the same with Israel. Anyway, Israel wanted Arafat to be some Bantustan chief. It's not the way to peace.
my dear friend,
I am sure we see different world, reading differemnt newspapers and even interperts events differently.
but I also know that we all live in one reality, we share the time, space and our human character. No one has ability of 100% mistake, not you .... nor me. so we better listen to each other.
The term of "Grater Israel" existed within the Zionist movement discourse before the 1948 creation of the state. i now understand that you not looking of that, you are looking for the 1967 lines (which are 1949 borders marked as a green line and called 1967 borders). you claim that Israel try to go away from that natural solution.
BTW, Your use of the rapist metaphor is problematic in our discussion. So please lets put that aside, we both want to change reality but telling me that I support rape is not valid, you know me better. This language use issue need a separate discussion of how we try to force terms on the discourse so we will win the rhetoric.
Here what I think we agree:
- The control of Israel over the Arab population out of the borders of 1948 (and I'll add that we have a problem with Arab who are Israeli citizens too) is problematic and needs to end.
- 1967 borders are a good "natural" line for separation, my guess that you would agree with me that the Palestinian people even deserve more then that and they should get in person and as collective more in other economic means. If we wish real solution, taking into account the many other forces beside the two of us, we will use this 1967 line to describe a desired border agreement with the Palestinian people base on its "natural" attraction as a line existed till 1967 where Arabs who live on that territory are not Israelis.
- The negotiations are a farce. I write a lot about this as I think we need to move out of negotiation zero sum game. the reason that each side is blamed is because of that Negotiation" tactics where each side try to gay more and give less, so Israel try to present that it will hold more territory to gain more from the negotiation and the Palestinians make claims and avoid meeting with Israelis for that reason too.
Here some points that we probably disagree
- does an occupation exist? Yes? Who is the occupier? Israel
Israel controls the area from 1967, as the Jordan and Egypt who controlled the area before 1967 withdrew from that and that there is yet no Palestinian government which can assure non violence toward Israeli citizens and for protecting Israeli citizens who built settlements in that area, Israel is keeping the control for resources, movement, economic and security. I do not support the settlement project of Israelis, but I recognize that Israel as a state need to protect people who are its citizens even if I do not agree with what they do. I use the term occupation since its very near to what we see, but would you say that Hamas is occupy Gaza? or you will say that the Gazans represented in democratic way by Hams. BTW, the current Fatah government also is not elected and not justify.
for moving forward we need to claim that Palestine and Israel is one socio-system. while it is out of balance it needs re-design for political structure, territory and power. a design of the human abitat of Israel-Palestine as a two state solution need to be brought into the minds of people as Negotiation is just a non-violent way to make war, where we may see Israel, who has better resources winning again the bigger part of the cake and this sis not a sustainable solution.
Neri, the reason I used the words of the rapist because in a sense Palestine is violated. I brought that up because you said there are faults on both sides. That's true, but one side is the occupier and the other one is the occupied. The occupied also still should not engage in throwing rockets at Israeli towns or kill unarmed women. It just sounded you were saying that Israel and the Palestinians are equally the cause of the situation of occupier and occupied. It is just not the case. My goal was not to offend you. However, Palestinians feel they are losing so much every day. They find it hard to take.
Israel knows that the world only recognizes the 1948 lands under its control, not the 1967 lands. However, it wants land greater than the 1948 lands regardless of international law. In that sense, Israel wants an Israel greater than that of 1948, and it entails ethnic aggrandizement. It's still an Israel going way beyond the partition recommendation of 1947 and the armistice line of 1948. It does not want to stop as a state without making us citizens of Israel. I appreciate that you address the problem with Israel crossing the 1967 lines and placing more Jewish inhabitants there while displacing the Arabs who are there in violation of international law.
I agree that Israel and the West Bank will have to eventually be one system. However, we need two states with lots of cooperation. I can see that Israel and the Palestinians are part of a larger cultural soci-eco system. That's understandable, and in a looser sense the same is with Israel and Syria and Lebanon. The lines of separation are not sustainable for a healthy society. We need democracy, cultural acceptance for all sides, not forcing ourselves on each other.
This debate has been going on for 70-80 years.
I vividly remember the debates and shouting and insults that erupted just prior to the 1967 June-6-day war. Arabs and Israelis traded insults and accusations. Each side had savored its sense of violation and righteousness. Now 43 years later, the Zionist onslaught continues with no credible counter-push because the Palestinians have lost every war, every action -- badly.
In 1948, the Arab world swept in for what everybody thought would be a bloodbath of Jews. It did not happen. I believe that the two-state solution is impossible because the Palestinian Authorities have almost no credibility in neighboring Arab states. Meanwhile ten thousand Sephardic and Ethiopian Jews move monthly into the West Bank.
I think the last chance was the three-way negotiation just before President Clinton's exit in late 2000. That was the last time an agreement could be reached. At that time, Israel offered Palestine some lands in exchange for portions of Jerusalem that Israel could not give up. 99.9% of Israelis will not give up, for example, the Wailing Wall.
Israelis will not give up the land around Jacob's tomb. The PLA will not even admit that there is any legitimacy to Israel’s claim that there was a Solomic temple! The Cuban-Americans in Miami could only dream of having a cart-blanche as does the Israeli Government. The Lobbyists on J Street have only to cry "Soft on Islamic Terrorists" and a politician's career is in jeopardy.
Remember, in 1947, the Arab league threatened slaughter and confidently thought that victory was in the palm of their hands. Just think how much water has gone under the bridge sine '47!
I heard an Israeli Government official say, just remember what happened after the Oslo accords -- there was blanket amnesty for many imprisoned Palestinians including the Egyptian Mohammad Atta -- and look what happened!
One-sided Israel is bad attitudes will accomplish Nothing -- Nothing. Israel is in a bunker mentality and the 10-meter wall is being built in more places and thousands of Arabs are being evicted. Time is running out. Pretty soon there will be very little of the so-called West Bank.
When the Second Intifada began, Israel scored major PR points as the coffins of Belgian students were being shipped back to Brussels. American Opinion polls have hardened against the PLA as Americans have, themselves, become more conservative and more Christian-Fundamentalist. In Paris I heard many, many anti-Semitic comments aimed against Arabs.
The time for peace-groups is to regroup away from being blamed-based. The time for those who want to make a difference is for believers to go to the West Bank and to place their bodies in harm's way to stop the bulldozers. The PLA is so corrupt that they are ignored. People getting attention are Jews going to the West Bank with a few Westerns to lay their lives on the line. Anything less than this is just hot air.
So what do you say?
This debate has been going on for 70-80 years.
I vividly remember the debates and shouting and insults that erupted just
prior to the 1967 June-6-day war. Arabs and Israelis traded insults and
accusations. Each side had savored its sense of violation and
righteousness. Now 43 years later, the Zionist onslaught continues with
no credible counter-push because the Palestinians have lost every war,
every action -- badly.
John, the debates have been going on for decades because the situation for Palestinians has gotten worse and there can't be rest for Israel in the region as long as that remain that case, so long as the Palestinian Question is not answered in a satisfactorily manner. Yes, the Palestinians have lost badly. They are unarmed for the most part just as the Poles were against the Germans. The Palestinians are acquiring more lethal weapons in some cases, but I don't think of that as a solution to their problems. They would still be outgunned and would lose too many people in a conflict.
In 1948, the Arab world swept in for what everybody thought would be a
bloodbath of Jews. It did not happen. I believe that the two-state
solution is impossible because the Palestinian Authorities have almost
no credibility in neighboring Arab states. Meanwhile ten thousand
Sephardic and Ethiopian Jews move monthly into the West Bank.
The Arab world did not have a change against Israel in 1948. Some of the countries were occupied by colonial powers or were controlled by them. Jordan's king was interested in Greater Syria and had a tacit agreement with Israel. Jordan had the army at that time that could have inflicted the most damage to Israel, but the king didn't want to do that. Israel still could have won even if Jordan used its full might and abilities at that time. I don't doubt that. Also, Israel believe it or not outnumbered the Arabs militarily. The Arabs didn't have the manpower or guns when it came to their military forces or the training, so they were routed.
I think the last chance was the three-way negotiation just before
President Clinton's exit in late 2000. That was the last time an
agreement could be reached. At that time, Israel offered Palestine some
lands in exchange for portions of Jerusalem that Israel could not give
up. 99.9% of Israelis will not give up, for example, the Wailing Wall.
There is no last chance, I believe. Palestinians were not asking for the Wailing Wall. The Palestinians are not so inflexible. There is no map exactly of what Barak "offered". Gush Shalom, the Israeli peace bloc, says what Barak proposed was not a viable Palestinian state. According to Gush Shalom, huge settlements would have cut off large parts of the said Palestinian states. Israel would control the borders. The Palestinians would just get a symbolic sliver of East Jerusalem. The Palestinians weren't arguing about the Wailing Wall or the rights of religious Jews. Arafat didn't want to be a Bantustan chief, a chief of a large Native American style reserve. Plus, Barak's offer came at the end of his leadership. There was not much time. He was chasing Syria for too long. Arafat should have given a clear counteroffer rather than just a simple rejection. It's also a complicated affair.
Barak was supposed to make a withdrawal during Oslo. He did not, so Arafat was suspicious. It is possible they could have made some deal if Arafat and Barak communicated better.
As far as Jacob's tomb, it's in the West Bank. It's not in Israel proper.
I don't think Israel should have sovereignty over any place where a Jewish saint was buried. Should Israel control a part of Damiat, Egypt because a Jewish saint was buried there? Jacob is also revered by the Muslims and Christians. Jews can make sure they have access through an agreement. If Israel can't give up this and can't give up this, then why should Palestinians give up Haifa or Tel Aviv by accepting 242 and 338. Israel asks for too much. As far as the temple of Solomon/Suleyman, it's not the main issue for Palestinians. For them, it's the protection of the Aqsa Mosque and rights to East Jerusalem. They are not against Jews practicing their religion.
Remember, in 1947, the Arab league threatened slaughter and confidently thought
that victory was in the palm of their hands. Just think how much water
has gone under the bridge sine '47!
Yes, the Arab League threatened different things. I am not sure what they all were, but their kin, the Palestinians, were in danger, and that happens when people are killing your kin. In the end, the Palestinians got slaughtered, not Jews, really. There were massacres of some Jews for certain like the ones in Hebron and Safad.Let's not forget Deir Yassin, the mass exodus of 700,000 people who were not allowed to return to their homes.
Israel gave amnesty to people during Oslo and some of them continued with attacks with an occupation that has never ended and got worse and others joined non-violent civilian attacks. Many Palestinian activists are non-violent. They get arrested, too. During the Intifada, Palestinians had maybe the highest incarceration rate in the world. You could say all of Palestinian was a prison in a way and the inmates rioted. Not all prisoners were Mohammed Atta and how many IDF soldiers have served prison terms for crimes against Arabs? Very few and not for a long time. Even a Druze soldier emptied his machine gun into a school girl and he got away with it. She was unarmed, and just had her book bag.
Maybe, time is running out for Palestinians to have their West Bank homeland, but it can also mean time is running out for Israel to ever have anything except conflict with Arabs and more opposition in the outside world. We do have a global community. Israel can be strangled economically over time. It can bully the Palestinians and ethnic cleanse them up to a point. They can't erase them from history. If Israel wants to continue on the road of ethnic cleansing, then it has learned very little from WWII except the wrong lessons.
America is pro-Israeli. That has always been the case. However, polls have shown that a large chunk of the population is upset with Israel when compared to decades ago. The Palestinians had negligible support in the US in the 1970s. However, in 2011 they have appreciable support but not enough to really to help them in the US. The US is risking its own prestige and security for Israel.
That's why Brazil took advantage of things and recognized Palestine. Brazil wants to seem more credible, get a security council seat, and the US undermines the UN.
There is a power race, and America is betting in the wrong way on the future.
As far as the Christian fundamentalists, they are losing power in America. When they made a show of force in the 1990s and under Bush it is more of their last hurrah. In the past 20 years, the percentage of Americans who have no religion or are atheists or agnostic has doubled. The vast majority are Christian, but Catholics have also increased as a percentage in the Bible Belt. Also, many young Evangelical Christians have accepted gay people whereas their parents would not have had. Also, American Jews are now heavily split on Israel. Israel can't take support
as much for granted as before. The US is under pressure and American Jews are not as enthusiastic as born again Christians, frankly. I agree with you that Christian Evangelicals have been a problem for both peaceful Jews and Palestinians. They want to use Jews and Palestinians for their own ends. And there is a lot of racism against Arabs in Europe. That's another matter.
I believe in non-violent resistance against the occupation. I agree that the PA is corrupt, but it may be better in some ways under Abbas than Arafat.
At least, Abbas understands the West and doesn't put all his eggs in one political basket.
Have Happy Holidays... It was nice to hear from you... I agree with many of your points.....
The time for peace-groups is to regroup away from being blamed-based. The
time for those who want to make a difference is for believers to go to
the West Bank and to place their bodies in harm's way to stop the
bulldozers. The PLA is so corrupt that they are ignored. People
getting attention are Jews going to the West Bank with a few Westerns to
lay their lives on the line. Anything less than this is just hot air.
So what do you say?