Seven Mistaken American Assumptions

[Ynet News] Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland - Assumption: "Establishing a Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders is the essence of the Palestinians' national aspiration." The Palestinians could have secured such a state many times in the past, including at the Camp David talks in 2000. What is the basis for assuming that the Palestinian ethos, which is premised on a "desire for justice," "need for revenge," recognition of their "victimhood," and mostly the "right of return," has changed all of a sudden? Assumption: "The gap between the Israeli and Palestinian positions is bridgeable." Reality is different. The maximum any Israeli government can offer the Palestinians is far from the minimum that any Palestinian government would be able to accept. Assumption: "Egypt and Jordan want to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolved." Reality is different. As long as the conflict exists, Egypt has the ultimate excuse for all domestic troubles. For the Jordanians, a neighboring Palestinian state - likely under Hamas' rule - would mark the end of the Hashemite Kingdom. Assumption: "A final-status agreement would bring stability and security to the region." The exact opposite is true. There is no chance that the small and divided Palestinian state would be viable. The frustration created by such a situation, and with Israel being stripped of "defensible borders," is an obvious foundation for instability. Assumption: "We have an opportunity that must not be missed." The chance of securing an agreement back in 2000 was much greater than it is currently, yet it didn't happen. Is it more possible now to reach an agreement when Hamas is the dominant Palestinian movement? Assumption: "Progress on the Palestinian front is vital in order to enlist the support of Arab states against Iran." Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia have a supreme interest in curbing Iran, irrespective of the Palestinian issue. Assumption: "There's only one solution to the conflict - the two-state formula." There are alternate solutions whereby the Palestinian are no longer under Israel's control. The writer chaired Israel's National Security Council from 2004 to 2006.

2009-05-26 06:00:00

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