The Diplomacy Game
Posted by Emile Tubiana on September 18, 2010
The Diplomacy Game
We all know that Israel prefers peace over any war. The Camp David Accords, signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 18, 1978, led directly to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. This was the best proof of Israel’s will for peace, as well as when Jordan and Israel signed the Treaty of Peace between The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and The State of Israel on October 26, 1994. The parties to these treaties were independent countries with all their institutions and recognized by the world as legitimate states with well established governments.
Can we say the same about the Palestinians, who in fact never had any country or government? Their government came to power with the grace of the Israelis and cannot make any decision without the Arab League. When Israel signed the Oslo Accord for the West Bank and for Gaza and lately when Sharon gave Gaza to the Palestinians, this was another test to see what the Palestinians could perform given independence. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority could not hold or control the area of Gaza.
Hamas didn’t bother to respect his own people or his authority; it grabbed the entire Gaza for itself, killing Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces and administrative officials. Not a single country or the United Nations intervened to redress the situation. By doing so, Hamas legitimized its terrorist movement as an official government. The Iranians took advantage and provided Hamas with money and weapons.
President Obama is maybe right by wanting the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate a peace treaty, but he cannot convince all Jewish people that this is the right way to go. Since he won the presidency he cannot convince the American people about the direction he is taking. He is now challenged by the GOP and by the Tea Party movement. How can he expect to convince the Jewish people without exercising any pressure on them and on the Israeli government? Of course, Netanyahu will accept to sit down with Mahmoud Abbas or any leader who seems legitimate even for the time being. I believe that this is the show that Netanyahu has to put up with temporarily even if his people do not agree with him.
As Prime Minister, he cannot divulge his diplomatic plan in public. Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu knows very well that the real problem is neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas, but the Iranian threat. Even today, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, when he met Syria’s President Dr. Bashar al-Assad, that Israel has no place in the Middle East. Until now neither Israel nor the United States have reacted to the Iranian menaces. The United Nations and Europe are completely paralyzed just like it was before WWII.
I am convinced that if Israel reacted by using the same words of threat against Iran as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did against Israel, the entire world would stand on its head. From the time of the Roman Empire and through the centuries, especially during the last century and lately before WWII, the Jewish people had no choice and no defense against injustices done to them. But today things have changed, and everyone knows that they are able and determined to use any force if their existence is in danger.
Ahmadinejad is taking a lot of risk by playing with such irresponsible words. In fact he is playing with fire. He also knows that if he dares threaten Israel with any action through his surrogates, the result would be the same as if he did it himself. I believe that the Iranian people are wise enough and aware of this danger and I hope they will know how to avoid such a disaster to their country and to the entire region.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is keeping silent to these threats at the moment, is cautious enough as not to fall into Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s trap. He should continue participating in this so called peace process and not lose sight of Iran and its surrogates Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. Meanwhile Israel should hold on to the old Roman adage: “Si vis pacem para bellum” (If you want peace prepare for war).