Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Bush Administration prepares to sandbag Israel - and slaps Abbas around a little

The Bush Administration, represented by Secretary of State Condi Rice is attempting to impose a Munich-like settlement on the Israel.....just as Ariel Sharon and a few of the rest of us foresaw.

In meetings with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, Rice is pushing for no less than the implementation of the infamous Saudi genocide `peace' plan or at least many elements of it, in an effort to bring the Saudis and the other Sunni autocracies on board for help in building a coalition against Iran and Syria, and to assist in pulling the situation in Iraq out of the fire.

The Saudi plan, for those of you have forgotten, calls for a Palestinian state in ALL of Gaza, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) including all of East Jerusalem. it also calls for swamping what's left of Israel with homicidal Palestinian `refugees' under the so-called right of return. In exchange for that, Israel gets undefined `normal relations' from the Arab League - at least, for as long as it continues to exist.

`Moderate' Mahmoud Abbas is definitely in the loop on this, which is why he reiterated in his speech to his Fatah loyalists that they would continue the war against the Jews until they got the entire Saudi package - and that they should turn those shiny new weapons they just got from the US via Egypt against Israel.

What Rice and the Bush Administration are looking for is some kind of progress on the Arab-Israeli conflict (translation: concessions from Israel) in order to present them to the Saudis and the Arab leaders as baksheesh when she meets with them next week.

Now here's the kicker: supposedly `Moderate' Abbas had scheduled to meet in Damascus Tuesday, January 16th with Hamas kingpin Khalid Meshaal and the Syrians to cobble together a Palestinian unity government with Hamas under Syrian and Iranian sponsorship! He apparently, in true Arab fashion, decided to see what kind of offers were on the table if he decided to switch sponsors.

Apparently Rice told him in no uncertain terms that if he did so, the $86 million the Bush Administration was trying to get through Congress for him was history, and that he personally stood to lose quite a bit from any double dealing.

Abbas claims to have canceled the meetings with Hamas and Syria - for now.

In their press conference, it was obvious that Rice and Abbas were at odds. Condi Rice emphasized sticking to all stages of the long defunct `road map', which includes an interim stage of provisional borders for an interim Palestinian state (Oslo redux in other words.). Abbas flatly rejected any interim stages or provisional borders as provided for in the road map and was quite plain in saying he wanted a diplomatic track to “a comprehensive, just and durable peace.” Or to translate, exactly what he was demanding in his speech to the Fatah loyalists, the implementation of the Saudi peace plan, complete with the return of all those `refugees'.

Rice meets with Olmert tomorrow, and it's pretty certain what she'll be leaning on him to do: she's going to put the arm on Olmert to transfer to the Palestinian leader the $100m of the Palestinian frozen tax revenues he promised Abbas when they met last month. Next, she will pressure Israel to ease access and movement for the Palestinians by easing the security checkpoints now stopping the Palestinians from sending homicide bombers and terrorists into Israel.

And if Abbas had been willing to play ball and accept , interim stages or provisional borders, I guarantee you she would have been pushing fro those borders to come up to the line defined by Israel's security fence.

This, of course, would all work about as well and be as big a boost to the`peace process' as Israel's retreat from Gaza last year.

Speaking of which, Rice also had a little talk with Israeli minister for strategic threats Avigdor Lieberman, who told her that an Israeli reoccupation of the Gaza Strip to put a stop to the barrage of missiles against Israel was inevitable... and suggested that NATO get ready to put at least 30,000 troops as a peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip afterwards.


Anonymous said...

But does Israel have to accept these concessions? Can't they just say "screw you, America, we're gonna do it our way" and leave it at that?

Of course, I guess that 2 billion a year in $ doesn't come without any strings attached, but surely we wouldn't just cut them off, right?

Freedom Fighter said...

Indeed they could.

It's not well known, but the US refused to even sell arms to Israel (with one small exception, a few air defence missiles during the Kennedy Administration) or give them any aid until well after the 1967 war.

That includes the 1948 war, when Israel was attacked at the moment of its UN sanctioned birth by 5 well armed (and in one case,British officered) Arab armies who were quite plain about their intentions to massacre every Jew in Israel.

In 1967, the Israelis used French Mystere jets, obsolete US, British and French arms and some stuff that was, frankly, improv..captured Soviet cannons on a British Centurion tank chasis with American electronics, for instance.

The US in 1967, inthe words of LBJ, was `neutral in thought, word and deed.'

Nixon, really, was the one who changed all that.

And in the past,when some American administrations have made unreasonable demands, the Israelis have in fact said `no', notably during the Carter and Bush `41 administrations.

Israel's problem is the same one we have here - weak, ineffectual compromised leadership. Olmert is an accidental PM who is despised by most Israelis (the last Ma'ariv poll showed him with a 14% approval rating)but has managed to barely stay afloat by juggling coalition politics.

He is the first Israeli PM without any significant military experience, and his wife, daughter and sons are part of the lunatic fringe of the Israeli Left.

He won't last very much longer..and hopefully Israel will not sufer permanent damage because of his idiocy. For now, he and Livni are content to play the game with Bush and Condi Rice.

BTW, the vast majority of the aid Israel gets ( actually, about $3B) gets spent here to buy US arms and as credit towards Israel's share of the R&D costs of joint weapons programs like the Patriot and Arrow missiles.