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Aftershocks continue in Israel « Previous | |Next »
June 3, 2003

The fall out continues in Israel. The Israeli hawks thought that the Israeli state could, and would, postpone the road map until eternity wound down. The widely accepted two state proposal was anathema to them.

Then that big one hit:

"Shellshocked hawks were at a loss to explain how Israel's most rightwing government had taken the most left-leaning bedrock policy decision in the
history of the Jewish state."

The religious settler movement, which embodies a political messianism, is beyond being shellshocked by Sharon's acceptance of the road map to hell. They see treason no less. They now have to fight Sharon, the superhawk who was the progenitor of the system of settlements and a symbol of the Israeli right. Things are turning toxic in Israel. Will Sharon be dumped by the right and embraced by the left?

And the US administration is divided on the road map. At the Aqaba summit, to be attended by US President George W. Bush, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen on Wednesday, June 4, Sharon will be presented with two bitter pills. One is to enter into peace negotiations with the Palestinians under the sword of continuing Palestinian terrorism organized by Arafat; the other is the evacuation of a number of Israeli outposts.

Don't count on Sharon swallowing the pills. His strategy is to hold onto the settlements so they can serve as a permanent strategic defensive purpose; avoid a productive peace process; and ensure that a Palestinian "state" is divided into enclaves that take up around 50 percent of the territories.

The road map needs to be seen within the context of the US geo-political strategy in the Middle East. This is directed at Damascus: Syria must stop sponsoring terrorists, speed-up the return of the hidden Iraqi leaders to US forces in Iraq and give up Iraq’s banned arsenal. The hard word is on Syria.

The Palestinians are next: they will have to develop a Palestinian security-intelligence force infrastructure that can close close down the Fatah, the Al Aqsa Brigades as well as the Jihad Islami and Hamas organizations in Palestinian areas. Can they deliver on security?

The road map also needs to be seen in the context of the capacity of Arafat, Osma bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein to use terror tactics to continue fighting a war against the Americans and their Israeli allies. In fact Arafat may well be gunning for his Prime Minister. (wrong link. Article is called: 'US and Israeli Fears for Abu Mazen’s Safety') This is due to Arafat's exclusion from the Aqaba Summit and US/Israeli attempts to sideline him. Arafat wants to show that he is still capable of lighting the fuse through the Intifada. The fuse may not spark a regional war, due to the toppling Saddam Hussein, but it could derail the road map.

Seems like Arafat and the Israeli hawks have something in common----being offside to the road map that holds out the promise of two states for two peoples. One state two peoples is off the agenda. The background to peace process--the failure of Oslo--can be found here

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:58 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

The Israelis will go along with the roadmap because it explicitly requires the Palestinians to take serious measures to stop the violence as part of the first stage.

Thus, why annoy the US by playing up now, when the fanatics will reliably give you a chance to walk away in a couple of months blaming the other side after the terrorist attacks continue?

Alan,
you are more optimistic than me. I see the Palestinans as divided: one one side are the reformists under the PM Abu Mazen who is at the Aqaba Summmit; the other side is Araft who has been excluded from Aqaba and who is threatening to derail the peace process by launching more suicide bombers against the Israelis.

There is a struggle for power between the two. Arafat will not go quietly.