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April 22, 2009
Israel angles for control in chess-like peace negotiations

During its first three months in office, the Obama administration has repeatedly stressed how committed it is to a new peace agreement in the Middle East.

Its special envoy to the region, George Mitchell, recently visited Israel and the West Bank. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has traveled to the region as well.

But Israel’s new conservative government is taking an altogether different approach to any peace deal with the Palestinians — an approach that diverges significantly from the Obama administration’s.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to place Iran ahead of the Palestinian issue, and the new government has said that Israel will not move ahead with peace talks until the U.S. makes progress in stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Worldfocus editorial consultant Peter Eisner takes a look at the meaning behind Israel’s posturing.

A few days short of 100 days into the Obama administration, it’s still early to track the direction of Middle East negotiations. It’s also too soon to mistake posturing for substance. The attempt by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to shift attention from the Palestinian question to Iran may not go very far.

He appears to be only one player in a simultaneous chess exhibition, in which a chess master –- President Obama in this case — moves from table to table, playing a dozen games with less weighty competitors at the same time.

Netanyahu has already heard from President Obama on the airwaves, and more directly from special envoy George Mitchell, that the United States clearly wants a two-state solution –- that is, a separate Palestinian state. He opposes that solution and apparently wants to change the subject.

“What’s going on here?” asked Haaretz correspondent Aluf Benn, in an analysis earlier this month that still rings true.  “Clearly the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration have not yet developed discrete communication channels to let them coordinate their policy and avoid statements that would embarrass the other party.”

Not that Netanyahu’s mention of Iran should be taken lightly. There are hawks in Israel and the United States who advocate military action — and soon — against Iran if its nuclear aspirations are not contained. But Obama has been moving toward diplomacy with Iran, not only on the nuclear issue but also in an all-inclusive attempt to work on the problems of Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time.

It is unlikely that Netanyahu will be able to change the subject for long, even if he says today he won’t be working on the Palestinian issue until he sees positive developments on Iran. The White House has invited him, along with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Washington in May to work on the outlines of peace talks.

It sounds more like Netanyahu is looking to play from a position of strength. He’s probably read a report in Israel’s largest circulation daily, Yedioth Achronoth. Correspondent Shimon Shiffer played back some tough words by Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, to an unamed Jewish leader: “In the next four years there is going to be a permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples, and it doesn’t matter to us at all who is prime minister.”

Shiffer’s April 16 report sounds like the reverse of Netanyahu’s attempt to place Iran ahead of the Palestinian issue. He quoted Emanuel, who is highly regarded in Israel for his Israeli ties, saying that “Any treatment of the Iranian nuclear problem will be contingent upon progress in the negotiations and an Israeli withdrawal from West Bank territory.”

– Peter Eisner

Photo courtesy of Flickr user NguyenDai under a Creative Commons license.

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Comments

3 comments

#3

Actually, when all is said and done we should retire to the appropriate room and have a cigar and some brandy and discuss the simple things of life…if there still are any that do not have to do with murder, mayhem and chaos concerning various views and versions of relative religion.

#2

Israel-Arab Peace Plan Principles

Starting in 1948 from very first day of recreation of the State of Israel on the part of Israel territory, Arab countries waged several wars to eliminate Israel from her historic land. Israel won all wars and now Arab countries propose a peace agreement with Israel under conditions, which they intended to dictate. However, only Israel, who won all the wars and defeated Arab countries, has legal rights to formulate and dictate peace agreement terms and conditions, which, in general, shell include the following provisions:

1. Palestinian muslims must compensate Jews for damages caused by Jews massacres (actually, it was Holocaust) conducted in Palestine in 1920s-1930s under British administration supervision, for providing Hitler with idea of Final Solution and for taking active part in implementing the idea in Europe.
2. Arab countries must compensate Israel for damages inflicted on Israel during wars launched by Arab countries.
3. Arab countries must compensate several million Jews expelled from Arab countries between 1948 and 1953, where they lived for centuries, for violation of international law and stilling Jewish properties.
4. Arab countries must recognize “Article 24 of the 1964 PLO charter addressed to UN, which stipulates: Palestinian muslims do not claim Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza their territories”.
5. Arab countries must comply with Geneva Convention, which recognizes Israel rights on Gaza, Judea and Samaria, historic Jewish land liberated by Israel in 1967 war from Jordan and Egypt occupation.
6. Arab countries must recognize Jerusalem as historic Israel capital.
7. Egypt and Jordan are obligated to relocate Palestinian muslims (their former citizens) from Gaza (Egypt), Judea and Samaria (Jordan) inside their territories within 1 (negotiable) year term.
8. Arab countries have no right to develop or acquire WMD or weapon that can be used against Israel.

If any Arab country denies this peace terms and conditions, Israel has full legal rights for preemptive strike against this country using all available military power. All islamofascism organizations operating on Israel territory occupied by Palestinian muslims, such as PLO&Fatah (created after WWII on the principles of Hitler’s ideology and with close ties to Nazi party), Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Agsa Brigade, must be totally, unconditionally and immediately exterminated. All other Palestinian muslims must be expelled from Israel back to the countries of their origin.

Mark Bernadiner, PH.D.
Texas

#1

What value will each piece of the negotiations have to the intentions of each friendly (but opposing) side?
What kind of logical thinking behind each move will juxtapose best with each coordinating thought? What will be the cause and effect
of each move made?
Not so much a matter of who (in effect) wins the game but how (as a cause) the game itself shall be played will be brought forth from remembering what ramifications are the most susceptible of being the regionally predictable results when the game (in the structurings of its evolutions) comes to a level of incipient completion and with what kind of inner text of rules of Torah-like principles will have been known to have remained within the involvements-of-the-contexts with which each piece on the gameboard was moved from one color of the squares to (periodically) another color only rendered feasible according to the perceptions initiating each stated intention behind every well-thought-out move as each takes place all throughout each quadrant of the regions as they are continually intersecting and interlocking in boundary lines of squares within the structural components of the ongoing geometrical/political natures of the thinking behind the process involving positivity in opinion as well as responsive negation (insubstantial shadows of agreement-at-the-incipient-stage or dark squares on the board) due to the current and/or longstanding issues on the table (or gameboard) at hand.

Peter Eisner is an editorial consultant with Worldfocus and a 30-year veteran of international news. He has been an editor and foreign correspondent at The Washington Post, Newsday and The Associated Press. He co-authored “The Italian Letter,” which details fraudulent intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. He was founder and president of Newscom, an international online news service, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

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