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Israels trouwste bondgenoot

IMO Blog, 2007

Itamar Rabinovich, voormalig ambassadeur in de VS en schrijver van "Waging Peace", beschrijft een zorgelijke verandering in de VS ten opzichte van IsraŽl. Nog niet in de officiŽle positie van de Amerikaanse regering, maar wel in het publiek en onder invloedrijke politici. Voorbeelden hiervan zijn een recente brief van acht bekende en invloedrijke mensen waarin men een actievere houding ten opzichte van het IsraŽlisch-Palestijns conflict bepleit en onderhandelingen met SyriŽ, Hezbollah en Hamas.


Het komt er op neer dat met name IsraŽl zwaarder onder druk moet worden gezet om op korte termijn vergaande concessies te doen. Achterliggende idee is dat een oplossing van het IsraŽlisch-Arabische conflict zal zorgen voor stabiliteit in het Midden-Oosten, een vitaal belang van de VS. Vorig jaar kwam de International Crisis Group met een rapport dat succes in Irak koppelde aan oplossing van het IsraŽlisch-Palestijns conflict. En voormalig president Jimmy Carter is heel Amerika rondgetoerd om zijn boek, "Peace, not Apartheid" te presenteren, waarin de oorzaak van het Midden-Oosten conflict, en dus de oplossing, geheel op het bordje van IsraŽl wordt gelegd.

Wanneer de VS, die overigens nooit zo eenzijdig pro-IsraŽl is geweest als velen ter linkerzijde menen, de aanbevelingen van Carter, de ICG en voornoemde brief zou opvolgen, zou IsraŽl zijn enige betrouwbare bondgenoot kwijtraken. Hoewel sommige EU lidstaten goede relaties met IsraŽl onderhouden, nemen zij het zelden voor haar op in de internationale arena. Onredelijke en eenzijdige resoluties in de Verenigde Naties worden bijna uitsluitend door de VS aangevochten en gevetoed, het was de in Europa verguisde John Bolton die ervoor zorgde dat de schandelijke "Zionisme=racisme" resolutie werd herroepen in 1991, en het is de VS die aandrong op het permanente lidmaatschap van IsraŽl van het Westerse en Andere Landen Blok in de VN, zodat het nu eindelijk deel kan nemen aan de besprekingen van de meeste relevante VN lichamen.

Amerika stelt zich vaak op als een arrogante baas die geen boodschap heeft aan de visie en de belangen van haar bondgenoten, en het stapelt fout op fout in Irak. Het feit dat IsraŽl als een van haar belangrijkste cliŽntstaten wordt gezien doet niet alleen het imago van de VS, maar ook dat van IsraŽl geen goed. IsraŽl zou er goed aan doen hard op zoek te gaan naar nieuwe bondgenoten, om haar afhankelijkheid van de VS te verminderen. En de EU zou bereid moeten zijn tot nauwere banden met IsraŽl. Als we met Turkije, dat de Koerden onderdrukt en de genocide op de ArmeniŽrs ontkent, nauw kunnen samenwerken in de NAVO en het mogelijk als EU lidstaat zullen verwelkomen, waarom dan niet eenzelfde behandeling voor IsraŽl? De democratie in Turkije is minder goed ontwikkeld dan die van IsraŽl en het leger heeft er meer macht dan in IsraŽl. Dissidenten en minderheden kunnen in IsraŽl vrij hun gang gaan en tegen de overheid demonstreren, en in de kranten wordt de regering dagelijks op de schop genomen. Bovendien hebben moslims in IsraŽl meer rechten dan in Turkije: alom hoofddoeken in de Arabische wijken, en het was in IsraŽl dat ik voor het eerst hoorde oproepen tot het gebed vanuit de moskee. Het land is officieel tweetalig, en iedere Arabier krijgt onderwijs in het Arabisch. Een ware hel voor Geert Wilders...

Ratna Pelle

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Haaretz / Last update - 09:14 29/10/2007

What will happen after Bush?
By Itamar Rabinovich

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/917817.html


In its latest issue, dated November 8, The New York Review of Books published in a prominent - if not screaming - manner a letter signed by eight famous individuals and addressed to United States President George W. Bush, warning him of the grave dangers inherent in a possible failure of the Annapolis conference.

To avert this danger, the signatories suggest adopting a number of recommendations that will distance both the conference and Washington's policy from the widespread view that prevails today, albeit with slight variations, in the Bush administration and the government of Israel. The signatories include Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security advisor in the administration of former president Jimmy Carter; Lee Hamilton, the former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Brent Scowcroft, the national security advisor of former president George H. Bush; and Thomas Pickering, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel.

The authors see the Annapolis conference as "a genuine opportunity for progress toward a two-state solution." They believe that the Middle East is in the throws of an extremely grave crisis and that a conference with a positive outcome will play a crucial role in stemming instability and violence. They also hold that the conference must deal with "the substance of a permanent peace" and that it should adopt the outlines of a permanent status agreement, especially in light of the impossibility of reaching a comprehensive agreement before the end of November. If Israelis and Palestinians do not manage to reach such an agreement, the Middle East Quartet (made up of the U.S., Russia, the EU and the UN) will have to propose a formulation of its own for an agreement that will be based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Clinton parameters of 2000, the Arab peace initiative of 2002 and the 2003 road map.

The main points of a comprehensive agreement are the partition into two states on the basis of the June 4, 1967 lines, with additional territorial exchanges at a ratio of one to one; Jerusalem as the capital of both states; a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in a manner concordant with the principle of two states, alongside addressing the profound sense of injustice among the refugees and their compensation and rehabilitation.

The signatories congratulate the Bush administration for inviting Syria to the conference but believe that the U.S. government itself should also enter into negotiations with Damascus, based on the belief that a breakthrough in this channel could change the regional situation. As for Hamas, it is preferable to hold a dialogue with it than to attempt to isolate it.

The recommendations that appear in "the letter of the eight" and the basic assumptions on which it rests are not surprising. Its initiators have been disagreeing with the Bush administration's Middle East policy for years now. The letter is presented as a joint initiative of the U.S./Middle East Project, Inc. headed by General Brent Scowcroft and Henry Siegman and the International Crisis Group headed by Gareth Evans, along with the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program.

Scowcroft's chilly attitude toward Israel has been known for years and Henry Siegman, who was the director general of the American Jewish Congress, has been identified with and continues to uphold opinions that are in line with those of Meretz's left wing. For more than a decade now, Gareth Evans, Australia's former foreign minister, has been the primary advocate at the International Crisis Group of a view that disagrees with the positions of the governments of Israel and the Bush administration. Hamilton was James Baker's partner in the Baker-Hamilton committee, which recommended embarking on a dialogue with Iran and Syria, which he viewed as one of the essential elements for a solution to the Iraqi mess - the other element being the Israeli-Arab conflict.

In their view, the Israeli-Arab conflict, and its Palestinian aspect in particular, are responsible for the region's instability and the spread of anti-American attitudes. Without giving the Israeli-Palestinian issue a "root canal" treatment, the United States will not be able to resolve the crisis in Iraq and deal with the other challenges it is facing in the region.

It is not surprising that this letter was published in The New York Review of Books, the bastion of the liberal intelligentsia in the United States. Among its regular contributors are those who can be found on the left of the Israeli consensus, and it published historian Tony Judt's article calling for the establishment of a binational state in Israel.

The chances that "the letter of the eight" will influence the Bush administration's policy are small. The administration wants the Annapolis conference to be a success for reasons of its own and it is certainly not interested in another resounding failure in the Middle East. Indeed, its attempts to prevent a negative outcome - including the American secretary of state's efforts to invite Syria to the conference - are narrowing the gap between it and the letter's formulators. Nevertheless, the letter's spirit and the practical suggestions it contains are unacceptable to the administration and, above all, to the president.

The importance of this letter must be sought in two other contexts. The first is the effort to shape the American agenda on "the day after" the presidential elections. This is not the only attempt. Think tanks and other organizations are preparing reports of their own, with all of them aspiring to repeat the extraordinary success of the 1976 Brookings report that was adopted by the Carter administration as its Middle East policy. The day after the elections will see an increase in the efforts to convince the new president, whoever he or she may be, that there is no better way to shake off Bush's legacy than by bringing about a far-reaching change in the Middle East policy of the United States.

Another context is the continuing erosion of Israel's standing in the United States. This does not manifest itself in public opinion polls and in votes in Congress, but rather in the loss of the "moral horizon," the change that has occurred in the standing of Israel, which used to be regarded as an attractive and just state. A clear expression of this is the recent reception of Jimmy Carter's book and of the book written by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt about the Israeli lobby, which not only expressed criticism of Israel's policy but also questioned its legitimacy. Despite the criticism to which they have been subjected, these books are making waves and their authors are appearing throughout the United States. The "letter of the eight" is another link in this chain.


The author, a Middle East specialist, was Israel's ambassador to the United States from 1993-1996.


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IMO Blog (IsraŽl & Midden-Oosten) bevat mijn opinies over het IsraŽlisch-Palestijnse conflict, het Joodse recht op zelfbeschikking (ook bekend als Zionisme) en het Palestijnse recht op zelfbeschikking. Ik ben een academica uit Nederland. Ik ben actief geweest in diverse linkse bewegingen voor vrede, milieu en derde wereld. Ik ben noch Joods noch Palestijns noch IsraŽlisch noch Arabisch.

© Alle teksten op deze blogs zijn eigendom van de schrijver, en dienen niet zonder toestemming gekopieerd te worden naar andere websites.



IMO Blog contains my thoughts on the Israel - Palestine conflict, the Jewish right to self determination (aka Zionism) and the Palestinian right to self determination, and especially the involvement of Europe with the conflict in the light of it's own history. I am an academic from the Netherlands who has been active in several leftist movements for peace, environment and third world. I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian nor Israeli nor Arab.

© All blogs posted here are copyright by the author, and should not be copied without permission.


BLOGS NL-ISRAEL:
* Ratna.NL - Over IsraŽl en de Palestijnen 2005-2006
* Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog
* Laatste nieuws uit Israel
* Dutchblog Israel (NL/EN)
* Simon Soesan (tot 2013)
* The Crethi and the Plethi (NL/EN)
* Loor Schreef
* Israel in de Media
* Trouw Israel Monitor

AMI ISSEROFF & CO:
* MidEastWeb Log on Middle East peace (2002-2011)
* ZioNation - Progressive Zionism & Israel Web Log (2006-2010)
* Israel: Like this, as if (2007-2009)
* Middle East Analysis (2007-2011)

OTHER BLOGS ISRAEL:
* AP Israel Watch (2010)
* Blue Truth (2007-2015)
* UK Media Watch/
* Daled Amos
* Dry Bones cartoons
* Dvar Dea from Israel
* Elder of Ziyon
* FresnoZionism (2006-2014), now Abu Yehuda
* Haifa Diary
* Israel Proud (2009-2012)
* A Liberal Defence of Israel (2006-2015)
* Neville Teller's A Mid-East Journal
* Normblog (2013)
* Philosemitism (2007-2013)
* Point of no return (Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees)
* Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
* Ray Cook (Israel, Zionism and the Media)
* Simply Jews
* Unplugged Mike (2003-2011)
* Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

WEBSITES ISRAEL:
* CIDI
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* Christenen voor Israel
* Engage (GB)
* Etsel over Jodendom & IsraŽl
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* IsraŽl-Palestina Info (NL/EN)
* Likoed Nederland
* MidEastWeb - Middle East News/Views
* Maurice Ostroff - Second Thoughts
* Missing Peace (NL)
* Peace With Realism
* VECIP - Vrije Encyclopedie Conflict IsraŽl-Palestina
* WAAR media werkgroep Israel
* Zionism & Israel
* Zionism On the Web

DIVERSE ONDERWERPEN:
* Brassť Sittard - Van linkse politiek tot Joodse genealogie
* Sittard Web Log - "politieke, sociale en groene berichten"
* At the back of the hill
* The Euston Manifesto
* The IgNoble Experiment
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* Zin en Rede
* SEO - Search Engine Optimization

NIET MEER GEUPDATE:
* Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
* IreneLancaster's Diary (on Aliyah, Judaism, Zionism and Politics)
* Jewish State
* Octogenarian
* Ratna's Review on Israel, Zionism and Peace (2005-2006)
* Sanda & Israel
* Z-Word Blog, Views on Zionism

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