Arafat wishes to create rogue Palestinian State, born out of war and which will not live in peace

Ehud Ya'ari, one of my favorite Israeli political analysts, has an excellent article in the Jerusalem Report that explains why it's important not to allow Arafat and his thugs to create a rogue Palestinian State, born out of terrorism and war and which will not live in peace:

Arafatís strategic goal is runaway statehood that is not born out of peace and will not live in peace. And in this, he has to fail.

The "road map" for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement prepared by the U.S. and the other members of the Quartet -- Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- is nothing more than a rough draft for dragging out the real bargaining time until after the offensive against Iraq. Of course, the authors treat their own detailed document with great seriousness, but at this stage, it is too full of verbal negligence and planning flaws to serve as a route to any agreement.

The Road Map calls for Palestinian security and political reform and Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian cities, followed by a "provisional" Palestinian state in part of the West Bank and Gaza and a final-status agreement by 2005-6. But it displays a dangerous disregard for the effect that continued Palestinian terror attacks, and particularly suicide bombings, will have on the process as a whole.

Today, unfortunately, it is explosives that dictate the course of events, not diplomatic declarations. By choosing to spare the Palestinian Authority from any real effort in dealing with terrorism in the early stages, the drafters of the Road Map are essentially sealing the fate of the whole plan. What happened in late October is a case in point: The moment that suicide bombers were dispatched from Jenin, the army was forced to go back in and retake the city.

There cannot possibly be a situation where Israeli withdrawals and relaxation of counterterrorism measures go hand in hand with continued attacks.

I copy the full article below - like Rudra, my friend from India, used to say: "It's good stuff." :-)





Ehud Ya'ari: Bumps on the Road
The Jerusalem Report
http://www.jrep.com/
Columnists/Article-2.html

Arafatís strategic goal is runaway statehood that is not born out of peace and will not live in peace. And in this, he has to fail.

The "road map" for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement prepared by the U.S. and the other members of the Quartet -- Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- is nothing more than a rough draft for dragging out the real bargaining time until after the offensive against Iraq. Of course, the authors treat their own detailed document with great seriousness, but at this stage, it is too full of verbal negligence and planning flaws to serve as a route to any agreement.

The Road Map calls for Palestinian security and political reform and Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian cities, followed by a "provisional" Palestinian state in part of the West Bank and Gaza and a final-status agreement by 2005-6. But it displays a dangerous disregard for the effect that continued Palestinian terror attacks, and particularly suicide bombings, will have on the process as a whole.

Today, unfortunately, it is explosives that dictate the course of events, not diplomatic declarations. By choosing to spare the Palestinian Authority from any real effort in dealing with terrorism in the early stages, the drafters of the Road Map are essentially sealing the fate of the whole plan. What happened in late October is a case in point: The moment that suicide bombers were dispatched from Jenin, the army was forced to go back in and retake the city.

There cannot possibly be a situation where Israeli withdrawals and relaxation of counterterrorism measures go hand in hand with continued attacks.

Moreover, the Road Map seeks to sideline Yasser Arafat and to prevent his reelection, but simultaneously counts on his cooperation. How can that be? Why would anyone suppose that the chairman would be ready to serve as an undertaker at his own political funeral? What if he carries on refusing to appoint a prime minister who will assume his executive powers? And what if he continues torpedoing the security reforms and bypassing his own treasury by maintaining various private bank accounts and slush funds?

In short, the Road Map is an important outline that attempts to put some flesh on the bare-bones proposal sketched out by President Bush in his June 24 speech. But in the process, a distortion of the presidential program has crept in through compromises with the European Union. Now, both Prime Minister Sharon and Arafat will try to input their reservations and changes in sequencing, and to add landmarks and signposts convenient for them.

At the end of December, the Quartet will likely start drafting a revised version, by which time the offensive against Iraq will probably be just around the corner. After that, the Middle East will look a little different.

A significant factor will be accompanying us into the next stage, however -- one that is perhaps the main contribution of the Road Map: direct international involvement, by means of various monitoring apparatuses, to oversee every clause of the negotiations and every stage of implementation in the interim phase. The international community, along with the United States, has ruled, rightly in my opinion, that Israel and the Palestinians will not be able to make even a semblance of peace if left to their own devices. Therefore, an active third party on the ground and in the negotiating room will be an integral part of the configuration from now on.

The Americans are still hesitating to define the exact status of this "babysitter," and just how close the adult supervision will be. But it is clear that the intention is for a proper regime with an ongoing presence on the ground, which will have the authority to determine, for instance, when the conditions are ripe to move from one interim stage to the next.

Israel had better not have any illusions. The price of imposing a babysitting regime on the PA will be parallel supervision of the armyís actions in the territories. The Mixed Armistice Committees that existed until 1967 wonít be the model for the new arrangement, but they do give some idea of the workings of close involvement. Then, U.N. officers were the referees and go-betweens.

Sharon would therefore do well to focus a lot of his effort and attention on preparing his response to the administration on this particular aspect of the Road Map. Israelís primary objective must be to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, even in modest "provisional" borders, without a prior commitment that it will be subject to peaceful arrangements with Israel and international supervision.

Arafatís strategic goal is runaway statehood that is not born out of peace and will not live in peace. And in this, he has to fail.

The international babysitting regime has to be geared to forcing the PA to give up this goal -- and not to helping achieve it. Thatís what this war has been about for the past two years. The question now is not whether there will be a Palestinian state or not, but whether the Palestinian state will be born in peace, or to abort it.

Posted by David Melle
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