Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

David Singer: Netanyahu Needs Trump Answer on Bush-Congress Commitments to Israel

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will be meeting America’s President Trump on 15 February under very different circumstances to those when Netanyahu met President Obama on 20 May 2011.

President Obama had delivered a wide-ranging address on the Middle East just the day before when he dropped the following bombshell on his view of how negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should proceed:
“The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.” 
Before boarding his plane for Washington Netanyahu said he:
“expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of American commitments made to Israel in 2004 which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress”
Those 2004 commitments to Israel had been made by President Bush in a letter to Israel’s then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004 (“the Bush Commitments”).

Obama never obliged Netanyahu by reaffirming those Bush Commitments.

Neither did Netanyahu press Obama to do so – though he had opportunities during
* Remarks by Obama and Netanyahu After their Bilateral Meeting
* An address by Netanyahu to AIPAC on 23 May 2011
* An emotion-charged speech Netanyahu gave to a joint sitting of the Congress on 24 May 2011
Netanyahu’s failure to mention the Bush Commitments in his Congress speech was a grievous error of judgement – since those commitments to Israel had been endorsed in the House – 407 votes to 9  – and in the Senate – 95 votes to 3.

Such commitments had been given to support Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza and part of the West Bank – marking real progress in realizing Bush’s Roadmap – and included the following: 
“In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.” 
Bush’s “mutually agreed changes” differed markedly from Obama’s “mutually agreed swaps”– which required Israel to swap some of its sovereign territory to gain sovereignty over any territory in the West Bank.

Under the Bush Commitments no such land swaps were required.

Obama had repudiated his predecessor’s commitments to Israel with this sneaky turn of phrase - adding insult to injury by demeaning Congress for its enthusiastic and overwhelming endorsement of the Bush Commitments.

In his AIPAC address Netanyahu made mention of Israel’s: 
“terrific Ambassador to the United States, a man who knows a few things about the U.S.-Israel alliance, Michael Oren” 
Michael Oren – now a Knesset member – made the following call on 5 January 2015: 
“The time has come to revive Bush's letter to Sharon and to act in accordance with it.”
As Netanyahu readies for his ground-breaking meeting with Trump he needs to heed Oren’s call and get a definitive answer this time from both Trump and the Congress.

America’s reputation and integrity as a trustworthy ally that honours its commitments is at stake.

Lightning can indeed strike twice in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

13 comments:

  1. David Marr's idiocy goes international
    Australia’s ABC: “There’s no record of a refugee being part of any of the terrorist acts that have occurred in the US”
    https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/01/australias-abc-theres-no-record-of-a-refugee-being-part-of-any-of-the-terrorist-acts-that-have-occurred-in-the-us

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Ian. Have you seen Glen Le Lievre's appalling cartoon analogy of Nazi persecution of Jews with Trump's so-called Muslim ban? See Glen Le Lievre page on FB.

      Delete
    2. Published in Crikey of course
      https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1000/1686/products/Broken_glass_fb_1024x1024.jpg
      I'll forward it to honest Reporting
      Of course we know who is actually breaking windows

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    3. And of course the usual suspects are lapping it up.

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  2. Trump doesn't need to commit anything regarding the 2004 Bush Letter and a 2-State solution.

    Firstly, Trump already has clarified his stance on a 2-State solution, which is that there need not be such a solution, especially in the traditional sense (e.g. Res 242, etc.).

    One only need read his Republican Committee Platform which makes no mention of 2-states for 2 peoples nor does it mention an Arab "Palestinian" state. .

    Secondly, unlike the Republican National Committee Platform, which reject[s] the false notion that Israel is an occupier, Bush's Letter to Sharon is ambiguous in regard to Israel's rights to J&S.

    In it, his only reference to "Settlements" is in the context of an Israeli withdrawal from J&S and Gaza. Instead, he permits Israel to keep "existing major population centers", the meaning of which is not even someone as well versed in these matters as yourself can define.

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  3. [REPOST]

    Trump doesn't need to commit anything regarding the 2004 Bush Letter and a 2-State solution.

    Firstly, Trump already has clarified his stance on a 2-State solution, which is that there need not be such a solution, especially in the traditional sense.

    One only need read his Republican Committee Platform which makes no mention of 2-states for 2 peoples nor does it mention an Arab "Palestinian" state. .

    Secondly, unlike the Republican National Committee Platform, which rejects the false notion that Israel is an occupier, Bush's Letter to Sharon is ambiguous in regard to Israel's rights to J&S.

    In it, his only reference to "Settlements" is in the context of an Israeli withdrawal from J&S and Gaza. Instead, he permits Israel to keep "existing major population centers", the meaning of which is not even someone as well versed in these matters as yourself can define.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Netanyahu wanted President Obama in 2011 to reaffirm the 2004 President Bush Congress-endorsed commitments to Israel.

      There seems to be no reason why Netanyahu would not be wanting President Trump to similarly reaffirm those commitments.

      Israel has paid a high price for its 2005 disengagement from Gaza and expected America to stand by its 2004 commitments during Obama's Presidency.

      Obama reneged on those commitments and sent America's reputation and integrity for honouring agreements with its allies into freefall.

      There is no reason why Israel would not be similarly asking President Trump to act honourably and reaffirm those commitments.

      This is one way Trump can restore faith in America's integrity which is badly needed following Obama's Presidency.

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  4. David,

    Coincidentally, this from Ted Bellman today (specifically, see Para 4 below):

    The GOP unanimously approved a pro-Israel platform at their convention in July 2016 which stipulated:

    “The U.S. seeks to assist in the establishment of comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, to be negotiated among those living in the region,”

    David Friedman and Jason Greenberg, representing Donald Trump, participated in the drafting and were in complete agreement with the final text.

    Gone was any reference to the Palestinian people or to a two-state solution. In addition, the platform included the words “We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier.” If not an “occupier,” then presumably Israel is a sovereign.

    Accordingly, the search is on for an alternate solution.

    For your viewing pleasure
    http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63621112

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    Replies
    1. The search for an alternate solution has been going on for years - indeed decades.

      My solution - redrawing the international border between Israel and Jordan in direct negotiations between those two countries. Simple and easily achievable in probably three months with no one - Jew or Arab - having to leave his current home or sell up his business.

      Until the two-state solution is dead and buried - my solution and that in Bellman's article - and several others - will have to wait in the wings.

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    2. It is very clear to every sane minded commentator, blogger, writer, etc. that the "two-state" solution is dead.

      This is especially true for Israel's government, which passed the Settlements Bill. The Bill, essentially applies Israeli property law to J&S.

      In other words, its basically an annexation.

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    3. Noah

      Again you make the false claim:
      "It is very clear to every sane minded commentator, blogger, writer, etc. that the "two-state" solution is dead."

      It is not dead ... yet.

      Go tell your nonsense to UK Prime Minister Theresa May - who stated this week:

      “We remain committed to the two state solution as the best way to bring peace for the future,”
      http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/362284/britains-theresa-may-backs-two-state-solution-in-meeting-with-netanyahu/

      Go tell it to the UN Security Council which stated in Resolution 2334:
      "Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal
      validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;"

      Advocating any position based on false facts gives you no credibility whatsoever.

      Why do you insist on continuing to make this false assertion? Are you seduced by Arab Goebbels-inspired propaganda that repeating a lie often enough will eventually get it to become accepted as fact?

      That type of garbage will not work with me.

      Base your arguments on facts and perhaps we can have a dialogue.Otherwise your views are becoming increasingly irrelevant with each comment you post.

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  5. Here is another great article entitled

    "Good-bye Two-State Solution"

    by Gideon Saar

    http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63620907

    You should read them. You may learn something about reality...

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    Replies
    1. The reality which you keep on denying is expressed by Saar in this article:

      "But the main question is whether the Israeli government is ready to dissociate from the “two states” paradigm, and reject the dangerous idea of establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of Israel? Theoretically, the conditions are ripe for such a move."

      The two-state solution is not dead - much as you and many others would like it to be.

      Delete