" I have had to live far too long with those who hate peace." - Psalm 120:6
What will Israel do?
What can Israel do?
Liberman: 'Annexation is inapplicable,' government needs to initiate a plan
TOVAH LAZAROFF - Jerusalem Post - 09/06/2014
Foreign minister says the government factions are at odds over how to move forward, warns a common policy must be adopted or one will be forced on Israel regardless of its best interests.
"Annexation is inapplicable to Israel's current situation with the Palestinians," Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said on Tuesday morning, as he dismissed a Bayit Yehudi plan to gradually impose sovereignty over Area C of the West Bank.
He criticized the 2014 Herzliya Conference, where Bennett floated the plan and speeches were delivered by four different party leaders, labeling it a "grotesque spectacle."
Bennett: Annexation of Area C is the best response to Fatah-Hamas government
Lapid: If even one settlement is annexed, we'll topple the government
"The Economic Affairs Minister [Naftali Bennett who heads Bayit Yehudi] spoke about annexing the settlement blocs and the Finance Minister [Yair Lapid who heads Yesh Atid] threatened to topple the government if even one settlement is annexed," Liberman said.
"They both know that there is no chance that either of these things will happen," the foreign minister said at a public speech in Eilat.
"Annexation is a good idea, but it is inapplicable," Liberman said.
"[Economy] Minister Bennett knows this but he thinks he can pick up a few more mandates by speaking about it."
"The Justice Minister [Tzipi Livni of Hatnua] is talking about the continuation of the Oslo Accords, 21 years after it started and then failed," Liberman continued.
"This reminds me of a quote from Hegel that 'governments never learn anything from history.' "The Interior Minister [Gideon Sa'ar of the Likud] talked about the continuation of the status quo, something that simply will not work," he said.
"The government must initiate a clear plan that has united ministerial support," Liberman said.
"The Prime Minister must do this as soon as possible because if we do not initiate [a plan] one will be forced on us that we do not want and is not in our interest," Liberman said.
His Yisrael Beytenu party, Liberman stated, was the only one that had a realistic platform for a future agreement with the Palestinians, but he did not elaborate as to what that was.
"Yisrael Beytenu supports a peace deal as part of an overall package that allows Israel to have a good relationship with the Arab world and resolve the issue of Israeli Arab citizens," Liberman said.
"These are all issues that will be dealt with in the agreement and must be worked on simultaneously," he said.
The Middle East has changed since the Arab League Initiative was first proposed in 2002, that offered Israel normalized relations in return for a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines. Today many nations in the Middle East face the same threats as Israel from Israel, Syria, al-Qaida and Islamic extremists, Liberman explained.
"If they want to survive they must openly cooperate with us," he said.
Explanation needed of what is meant by Annexation - where and by whom?
Honest Reporting - June 8, 2014 - Pesach Benson
Is Bibi eyeing some kind of unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank? Comments reported in the Israeli media are stirring considerable buzz:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left Knesset members in shock this past Monday by suggesting that Israel would have to "separate" from the Palestinians, according to a report which appears in Friday editions of the nationalist-religious newspaper Makor Rishon.
According to the report, which was written by the newspaper's political commentator, Ze'ev Kam, Netanyahu told lawmakers serving on the prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that for Israel to maintain its Jewish character, it would have to reach "a separation from the Palestinians."
Kam quotes unnamed members of Knesset who were present at the meeting as saying that Netanyahu left some of them "stunned," since they could not recall the premier ever using the word "separation."
Separation sounds similar to Disengagement! - Surely not!
HERZLIYA, Israel - An alternative plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by Israel's former ambassador to the U.S. is having a moment in the spotlight after U.S.-led peace talks broke down last month.
Michael Oren, a historian who served as Israel's U.S. ambassador for four years until late last year, has been advocating what he calls Plan B, a proposal that would have Israel unilaterally withdraw from the occupied West Bank, redraw its borders to include most of the settlers, and end the occupation - all without first negotiating a deal with the Palestinians. Plan B is intended to outmaneuver potential forthcoming Palestinian moves at the United Nations to seek acknowledgment of statehood.
The idea isn't exactly new. Oren proposed a version of his Plan B years ago, but it has come back into the spotlight after the former ambassador began re-promoting it in January, reviving the idea as a possibility if talks were to fail, which eventually came to pass in April.
Oren believes Plan B could garner support in the U.S. "There's greater support for the two-state solution in Israel than there is in the United States," Oren said. "The hard sell is the two-state solution in the U.S."
The U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro appeared to approve of the plan.
"We believe there's a way back to the negotiating table but I agree with Ambassador Oren that we should consider a range of options and I appreciate the creative solutions that he and others have brought forward, without endorsing any specific proposal," Shapiro said Sunday in an address to the Herzliya conference, a yearly Middle East policy conference that takes place near Tel Aviv. "I think it's a productive debate to have about what are alternative ways to proceed if we are not able to resume negotiations."
But it's less clear if the plan could become a political reality in Israel. Oren's idea and ones similar to it face deep skepticism due to similarities to Israel's controversial decision to withdraw from Gaza in 2005, a move that many blamed for an upsurge in violence coming from Gaza in its wake. But Oren insisted in an interview on Monday in his office on the campus of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya that it could become politically viable and that it had "moved to the Israeli center."
Some other proposals share elements of the unilateral nature of Plan B, including a new peace plan presented by Finance Minister Yair Lapid during a speech at the Herzliya conference on Sunday. Lapid's plan would involve freezing construction on isolated settlements and a withdrawal from parts of the West Bank that do not have any Jewish residents and eventually from isolated West Bank settlements, followed by negotiations with the Palestinians over a final border agreement.
"Not my specific concept but the idea of unilateral solutions has been adopted by many major parties, whether it's [Economy Minister Naftali] Bennett's idea or now Lapid's idea or Tzipi [Livni, the justice minister]'s idea," Oren said.
One skeptic is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who publicly criticized Lapid's plan, which like Oren's would involve unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank.
"We cannot allow a lack of experience, especially in security matters, to lead us to a program with reckless results, as they would be with disengagement," Netanyahu reportedly said of Lapid to members of his party on Monday.
Despite a seeming lack of support for unilateralism from Netanyahu, Oren suggested he believed this government could be the one to implement Plan B.
Governments that are "center-center right," he said, have an easier time making peace than governments that are "center-center left": "This is classic Israeli history."
A manifesto that exposes the flaws in the two-state policy of the United States toward Israel and the Palestinians and offers a direct and powerful call for Israeli sovereignty in the region.
The reigning consensus in elite and academic circles is that the United States must seek to resolve the Palestinians' conflict with Israel by implementing the so-called two-state solution. Establishing a Palestinian state, so the thinking goes, would be a panacea for all the region's ills.
She knows what she is talking about - From 1994-1996, as an IDF captain, she served as Coordinator of Negotiations with the PLO in the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In this capacity she was a core member of Israel's negotiating team with the Palestinians.
In 1997 and 1998 she served as assistant foreign policy advisor Binyamin Netayahu during his first stint as Prime Minister.
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