Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Honestly, who is dishonest and weak? who's policies stalled the peace process?

(NOTE: This article is not aimed to attack president Obama or undermine the US-Israeli relationship, its aimed to The Israeli Public to get the real picture , and the media that report the fabricated , untruthful attacks on Netanyahu and his Governemt).

Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, accusing him of being weak and not keeping his promises.

"If you know that you're going to divide this country, how can you send a young couple to build a house in a place that you know they will have to leave?" She said during a special Knesset session. "How can you look into the eyes of abused women, whom you promised a budget that you didn't deliver. How can look into the eyes of students, whom you promised a tuition-free year, which didn't happen?"

Livni implied that the party that Netanyahu heads, Likud, has a "culture of lying." "How could you sell your principles for survival?" she asked. "You were quoted in one of the newspapers as saying a sentence, and I don't know if it's true - 'If I get through 2011, I will survive the rest of the term.' This is your whole truth."

Well here is the Truth:

There is no doubt that Netanyahu extended an olive branch further than any previous Israeli prime minister has, yet Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab world replied with disdain. Detractors called his policy shift an about face and said it came too late. Right-wing supporters in his Likud party had mixed feelings – anywhere from praise to comparing his policy shift to a u-turn but ultimately supported it. Left-wing supporters in the Kadima Party said it was a step in the right direction but some went as far as calling it a PR move.

“I have been making the case for Israel all my life. But I did not come here to win an argument. I came here to forge a peace. I did not come here to play a blame game where even the winners lose. I came here to achieve a peace that will bring benefits to all.” (Netanyahu in White house peace summit September 1 2010).

"In my speech at Bar-Ilan University, I outlined the principles for a peace agreement with the Palestinians: a demilitarized Palestinian state which recognizes the state of the Jewish people and lives beside it in peace.

In order for the compromise to lead to peace and not war, it must be accompanied by two fundamental components: recognition and security arrangements.

Although the Palestinians did not answer my call to begin direct negotiations for over a year, we took action. 

We removed hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints.  We encouraged impressive growth in the Palestinian economy – impressive by any standards, especially given the fact that at the same time the entire world was mired in recession and economic crisis.

We also suspended new construction in the Jewish settlements for ten months.... As the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated, it was an unprecedented move that no other government in Israel had taken before....We enforced the moratorium with determination and without compromise.  For ten months.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians wasted those ten months as well.

Now they demand that we continue the moratorium as a condition to continuing the talks.  I hope they are not doing so to avoid   making the real decisions necessary for a peace agreement.

I know what kind of decisions we will have to make, but I also know what kind of decisions they will have to make.  The only way to reach a peace agreement is to try, through direct talks, to bridge the gaps and make decisions. 

However, as Prime Minister of Israel, I am committed and want to advance towards an agreement, one that will bring an end to the conflict and achieve peace between us and our Palestinian neighbors". 

(Netanyahu’s Speech at the Opening of the Knesset Winter Session 11/10)

While PM Netanyahu made a clear and open offer to the Palestinians to discuss all issues on the table by the table, offered a compromise in exchange for compromise deal , the Palestinians rejected, but as Abbas declares day and night that he will never sign deal demanding recognition of Israel as Jewish state .

Abbas,and the Palestinian Authority not having its act together does not help left leaning Israeli’s to have the strength to pressure Netanyahu and others on the hard right to go along with the extension of the settlement freeze or any confidence in the worth of igniting the Israeli hard right wing over giving any concessions for a peace deal.

But why go so far and accuse the PA , when it is Abbas Himself offering a candid explanation: “When Obama came to power, he is the one who announced that settlement activity must be stopped,” he said. “If America says it and Europe says it and the whole world says it, you want me not to say it?”

As Jackson Diehl writes in the Washington Post:

“The statement confirmed something that many Mideast watchers have suspected for a long time: that the settlement impasse originated not with Netanyahu or Abbas, but with Obama — who by insisting on an Israeli freeze has created a near-insuperable obstacle to the peace process he is trying to promote….
“To the surprise of both Netanyahu and some in his own administration, Obama reintroduced the settlement issue. First in a press conference and then in his September address to the UN General Assembly, he called on the Israeli government to extend the settlement moratorium, which expired on Sept. 26. In doing so, he made it impossible for Abbas not to make the same demand…Abbas is the prisoner of Obama’s misguided rhetoric”.

So here are the facts, and these are the reasons why the peace process is stalled:

--The Obama administration raising the construction freeze idea in the first place.

--The position that promises made by the Bush Administration would not be fulfilled by his successor.

--Praising Israel for a construction freeze that didn't include Jerusalem and then screaming when Israel fulfilled the agreed conditions;

--And announcing last year that intensive Israel-PA negotiations would begin in two months when no such agreement had been made by the PA.