Monday, August 11, 2008

What we (Israel) should do

People say to me, "ok, you can criticize our leaders and point out what we shouldn't be doing. What should we be doing?"

OK, here is my 8 point plan for restoring Israel's standing and deterrence in this region. One caveat- this is based on what information is available to me. I obviously cannot decide based on secret information unknown to me.

1. The Prime Minister needs to have an immediate face to face discussion with Mr Noam Shalit, Gilad Shalit's father. It should go something like this: "Noam, I know how hard this has been for you and how your family has been suffering because of your son's captivity. But as PM of this country our higher national interests are at stake. I need to be concerned about Israel's deterrence and standing in this region, for the sake of all Israelis, civilians and soldiers alike. Therefore, I have decided that we are cutting off all negotiations with the terrorist Hamas organization for the release of Palestinian prisoners. We will continue to unequivocally demand Gilad's release and back up these demand via diplomatic, economic and military pressure. But under no circumstances will we consider paying Hamas a "ransom" by releasing any more prisoners. "

2. After the above discussion, the following public message such be sent to Hamas: "I, as prime minister of the State of Israel, do not negotiate with terrorists. Therefore, I have ordered all of Israel's representatives involved in the dialogue for paying "ransom" for Gilad Shalit, to halt and desist, effective immediately, all negotiations with Hamas over the release of Palestinian prisoners. The only dialogue which we will have with you is regarding the venue of release of Gilad Shalit. In the absence of negotiations, the State of Israel unequivocally demands the unconditional release of Shalit. We furthermore demand, in accordance with international law, that Hamas allow Shalit to be visited by the Internation Red Cross.
"The State of Israel will support these demands by all means including unrelenting diplomatic, economic and military pressure until such time Shalit is released. The State of Israel holds the terrorist entity of Gaza responsible for Shalit's like and return to safety.
" At the same time. let me clearly state that at such time when a permanent cessation of hostilities occurs between Palestinians, including Hamas, and Israel, then as part of a natural process of reconciliation, a mutual release of prisoners would occur. As such time I would be prepared to release most, if not all, of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

3. The above steps will be accompanied by a major public relations campaign in the popular Israeli media, to be supported by all of Israel's ministers. This campaign will explain the dangers inherent in negotiating and submitting to terrorist demands, including an erosion in Israel's deterrence, the strengthening of extremist elements in Palestinian society, and of the risk of released terrorists return to hostile activity, lacking a comprehensive cessation of hostilities.

4. The Hamas rulers of Gaza will be notified the following: Effective immediately, any violation of the cease fire agreed to in June, including even a single rocket attack, will be met by an immediate and severe response. This will include, but not be limited to, an artillery or rocket attack against Gaza civilian infrastructure, including bridges, roads, public buildings, and utilities, and/or reclosing the Gaza borders for unspecified periods of time.

5. It goes without saying that the above threat will actually be carried out consistently and as often as necessary. No minor violations will be allowed, even if carried out by supposed "splinter" terrorist groups. We hold Hamas responsible for Gaza, period. We need to behave like the stronger party, and we have no reason to be "forgiving" to Palestinian violations.

6. The Israeli government will send the following message to Lebanon: We seek no confrontation with you, and we have no territorial ambitions. Shaba farms will be returned to you as part of a negotiatied peace agreement between our countries. At the same time, Hizbullah, which is part of your government, had committed gross violations of the ceasefire as agreed to in UN resolution 1701. This the the reason for our flights in Lebanese airspace, which are necessary for our national security, in the face of Hizbullah's military buildup.
Since Hizbullah is part of your government, and your cabinet has recently adopted Hizbullah's platform vis a vis Israel, we hereby state that the Government of Lebanon is responsible for any all all hostile military activity against Israel, whether by Hizbullah or any other military body. As such, any attack on Israeli military or civilian targets, wherever they may be, will be considered a hostile act by the sovereign government in Lebanon, and it shall bear the consequences. To be clear: in the event that Lebanon initiates any attack against Israel, such as a rocket or mortar attack, infiltration, or attempt a kidnapping of soldiers or civilians, Israel will react swiftly, immediately and severely against Lebanon's government and infrastructure, including buildings, airports, and utilities.

7. It is important to realize that there are many regional and world trends that are beyond our control (such as the resumption of the cold war with Russia, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism). As such it is important that we not overextend our reach. In the present global environment of easy transfer of information, people and equipment, including abundant Russian and Chinese weapons, it is almost impossible to stop the armament of our adversaries. It is important in this environment to restore deterrence as a defensive measure.

8. Given #7 I believe that Israel should abandon the open effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. I believe that Israel can do very little to prevent this, and any military operation will have severe costs, and not prevent future rearmament. Furthermore, our failure will have further severe consequences on deterrence. In addition, if Iran really wants to quickly acquire such weapons, they can simply smuggle them in from one of the rogue nuclear states, such as Pakistan or North Korea, or perhaps Russia. The overall effort to prevent the nuclearization of Iran should be left to the US, as part of a wider regional confrontation in the context of the Cold War. We should stay out of this conflict and watch from the sidelines, while supporting US efforts and not complicating them. As part of our deterrent against Iran we should clearly state that in the event of any Iranian attack on Israel, Tehran will be destroyed by our missiles, against which they are currently undefended.

9. I think that the American government and people will support these policies.

In particular I believe that steps 1 through 5 will have an immediate positive effect on Israel's position, and will completely neutralize Hamas' gain from the kidnapping of Shalit. Steps 6-8 will have an effect over the long term.

6 comments:

judy said...

Your ideas sound like they would work but it's doubtful anyone would give them a chance. One question on item # 9 - to what people are you referring? Typical Americans? American Jews?
Thanks.

DrJ said...

Judy,

I agree, it would be naive to believe that in the current political environment that any of our leaders would do these things. Yet I still have a hard time understanding how these intelligent and knowledgable people don't know how much damage they are causing the Jewish State.

As for #9, I meant that my policies would be supported by the Americans at both an official and popular level. Americans respect others who act with self-respect,firmness and fairness. None of my steps involve actions that would cause unwarranted or massive civilian casualties, the kind of thing that usually draws criticism from the west.

Shalmo said...

How about Israel stop the genocide? And please don't pretend like you don't know what I am talking about.

The problem with Jewry today is its complete inability to acknowledge where it went wrong, as well as to blame EVERYBODY else for the problems of the Jews.

60 years of Hell for the Palestinians have come because you stole a land. And as the history of European colonialism has shown, whenever you try to enslave a populations and take their resources for prophet, they WILL indeed fight back. Israel as an imperial adventure is no more successful than any other form of colonialism.

And no you do NOT have any historic claim to this land. Archaeology has already debunked the Torah as little more than the political propaganda of Judea's kings. Contrary to the Torah, the sciences of history have shown that in fact Jews have never had access to all of the biblical land of Canaan.

Shalmo said...

Many Jews are descendants from later converts (ever wonder about all those blond haired Jews...). Jews had largely already left prior to any Muslims coming in there, and no, it wasn't because the Romans kicked them all out. That's a distortion of history, Jews had been leaving for other lands for some time, such as to Egypt (Alexandria) and other areas, not out of persecutions, but for the same reason so many people in the "third world" leave their homelands today, economic opportunities. From what I recall, population estimates indicate that prior to the Roman sack, the majority of Jews were already living outside of Palestine. Even after the Roman sack of Jerusalem, there was still a Jewish presence in Palestine after that. How can the descendants (thousands of years later) of people who voluntarily left, or whose ancestors were never there in the first place, lay any claim to the land today?

"Writing in 1971, Salo W. Baron estimated the Jewish population within the borders of the Roman empire at just under 7 million, with slightly more than a million others living outside its borders, mostly to the east; the Jewish population of Palestine he placed at not higher than 2.5 million (Encyclopaedia Judaica [New York: Macmillan, 1972], vol. 13, p. 871). Paul Johnson writes “Though it is impossible to present accurate figures, it is clear that by the time of Christ the diaspora Jews greatly outnumbered the settled Jews of Palestine: perhaps by as many as 4.5 million to 1” (A History of Christianity [New York: Athenaeum, 1976], p. 12). Subsequent estimates generally fall between these extremes. Thus, Wayne Meeks in The First Urban Christians (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983) estimates 1 million Jews in Palestine, 5 million to 6 million in the diaspora."

[Encyclopaedia Judaica and Yale University Press]

DrJ said...

To deny the Jews the right to a homeland is a double standard. This comes from anti-semitism.

Shalmo said...

An evening with Dr. Finkelstein



“Narallah is the only Arab leader, who is intelligent and has the political awareness - and courage to understand Israel’s evil agenda and challenges it,” - Dr. Finkelstein, January 15, 2009.

“I don’t care what Torah or Qur’an or the Old Testament or the New Testament says about Palestine. The truth is Palestine is an occupied land,” - Dr. Finkelstein, January 15, 2009.

Norman Finkelstein PhD, is an American Jewish academic, po;itical thinker and author of several books. He was the key-speaker at a function held at University of Toronto’s Mississauga Campus (UTM), last evening. The function was attended by more than 1,500 people including myself - while several hundreds people missed the speech due to the limited capacity of the hall.

The evening, in additional to Dr. Finkelstein’s speech, followed by Q/A - had a fundraising for the latest victims of the Zionazi state in Gaza Strip. Following are some of comments Dr. Finkelstein made in his speech:

1. Several apologetic voices portray Israel’s current genocide of people in Gaza in which one-third of victims happen to be children - as a political stunt to get popularity among the Jewish voters for the coming election next month. However, the fact of the matter is that when in comes to the affairs of the State - none of the major parties care for the voters, because they all have a common agenda. Even Israeli military actions in the past have proven that Israeli military invasions have very little to do with the elections. For example, there was no election around Israeli war of June 1967, which was created based on Israel’s propaganda lies. Same is true for Israel’s unprovoked bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility in construction under IAEA supervision.

2. Israel’s policy towards its neighbours has always based on ‘the fear of Israel’ as the detrrent. Every time Arabs have made gesture of accomodation - Israel has provoked them to become radicals. The invasion of Lebano in 1982 was for the same reason. Yasser Arafat showed his willingness to accept a “two-state solution” based on pre-1967 borders in 1981 - which was against the Israeli deterrent of “fear”. The current Israeli brutal attack on Gaza Strip, the world’s most over-populated (1.5 million) area - is to inflict fear among the civilian people - in order to turn them against their elected government of Hamas.

3. Hizb’Allah fighter put the first dent in Israeli deterrent (Fear) in 2000 - when Israel was forced to withdraw from Southern Lebanon. For the next six years, Israel prepared its forces and anti-Arab propaganda to put that “fear” back into its Arab neighbours. In Summer 2006, Israel coined an excuse to support its killing of more Lebanese. However, Israelis were utterly shocked to witness the shear inability of an army laced with the best of modern arms to disarm less than 3,000 Hizb’Allah fighters. This second humiliation of Israel was hailed by Arabs all over the world and anti-war groups in the West.

4. In 2006, when Hamas won PA elections - it posesd no threat to Israel. It was its non-corrupt leadership, its dedication toward raising the living standards of Gazzan and to stop endless military clashes with Israel - which feared Israeli government the most. Hamas accepted the UN and other international organizations’ solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Hamas even signed a ceasefire with Israel last year in good faith. However, Israel used this lull in Palestinian rocket attacks - to prepare its armed forces and world opinion for its new genocide of Palestinian - because it found Hamas becoming “a moderate resistance”, which had to be turned into a “radical group” in order to put more “fear” among young Palestinians and boost the 2006 Israeli wounded ego.

5. Israel being failed, so far, to create a tangible excuse to push the US to attack Iran - has to find an easy target to inflict that “fear” into the hearts of Arabs - and who could be a better target than the civilian in Gaza Strip.

6. Dr. Finkelstein, answering a question, said: “People who are propagating the ‘one state solution’, are in fact providing Zionist regime another excuse to ignore the UN resolutions and the 1969975International Court of Justice ruling. In fact Israel will never agree to a “two state solution”, as that would be the begining of the end of Israel, as it has been in the last 60 years.

7. Replying a question regarding the coming new US administration’s policy toward Palestinian conflict - Dr. finkelstein was of the opinion that Obama’s selection of some of the pro-Israel neo-cons in Clinton and Bush administrations - proves that Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East would not be much different than the two previous administrations.