From disaster to catastrophe


This unofficial, unsanctioned peace plan forged between naive Israeli moderates and manipulative Palestinian political figures is turning into a bigger disaster every day.

When I first heard about this about a year ago, I thought it was a bad idea from the start. I’d hoped it would disappear.

Unfortunately, it’s resurfaced – with a vengeance. This week, we hear people starting to refer to it as the “Geneva Accord”, giving it legitimacy that it does not deserve. To compound that, world leaders have been over themselves to ratify it. Even Colin Powell has agreed to meet with the plan’s authors.

Now, as if any more proof were needed to show that this is a catastrophically bad idea, Fatah has admitted that its main purpose is to divide Israel:

Fatah official Hatem Abdel Khader, who was deeply involved in the secret talks that spawned “Geneva,” told The Jerusalem Post Sunday the Palestinian side had helped author the agreement primarily in order to cause a rift in Israeli society and to undermine the Sharon government.

“Our aim was to create divisions inside Israel and block the growth of the right-wing,” the Post quoted Khader as saying.

Well there you have it. A plan not backed by the official elected Israeli leadership or even by the dictatorial Palestinian leadership, overwhelmingly opposed by both sides, and designed to weaken Israel.

For the record, I do think that the terms of this plan are likely to be more or less what the two sides end up agreeing on eventually. Israel will have to concede the settlements and allow East Jerusalem to become the capital of a future Palestinian state sooner or later. The Palestinians will have to renounce their goals of destroying Israel, whether through terror or through the equally transparent “right of return”.

But the bottom line is, you can’t circumvent leadership and the will of the people to sign a meaningless piece of paper behind everyone’s backs. There can only be one government with the political authority to negotiate, otherwise you have mutiny or civil war on your hands. Think about it: what would happen if tomorrow, some Canadian group without any elected authority decided to sign a deal with the US promising to give them Quebec?

If the Altalena was the test of Israel’s state control over its military, then this might very well be the test of state control over politics and external affairs.

As for the Palestinians, they have an even more fractured leadership and no true democracy, but the will of the people is to continue terrorizing Israel until they succeed in their goal of eliminating it, or die trying. Nobody really expects the Palestinians to hold up their end of any bargain struck based on the Geneva principles. This will merely turn into another Oslo; another Road Map… another propaganda tool for people to use against Israel to point out its “violations” while ignoring the Palestinian noncompliance. Only that this one goes much further than either Oslo or the Road Map.

This is a catastrophe for Israel, and the fact that so many people can’t see it appalls me.

From disaster to catastrophe:

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michael Talismann 12.05.03 at 1:53 PM

Whenever I see it written that political moderates–regardless of ideology or orientation–are described with the premodifier: “naive”, the word “blinkered” usually is well applied to the author.


2 Otter 12.08.03 at 5:44 AM

Well, Michael, the answer to your concern is that the Israelis involved are in no way “moderates”. Although they’re not naive either. Having failed to convince Israelis to trust them or vote for them, they’re trying to get Kofi Annan and Colin Powell to help them impose their ideas on Israel.

You can’t blame Fatah for doing it, but you can certainly blame Beilin and his co-conspirators. Calling this a coup attempt isn’t overstated.


3 joe 12.09.03 at 5:26 AM

Well, Segacs, shows you just aren’t interested in peace. And since when are Shin Bet either moderates or naive?


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