UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Saturday, October 19 2013:
**Saudi Arabia’s decision yesterday to decline membership on the U.N. Security Council has left many shaking their heads–particularly after the Kingdom had campaigned for the position for the last three years.
But we do more about the reasoning behind the decision–and it all begins with Israel.
What follows are the first three paragraphs of the official statement of the Saudi Press Agency. Note that paragraph 1 is about Israel, paragraph 2 is apparently about Israel and Iran, and paragraph 3 is about Syria:
With the current continuation of the Palestinian cause without a just and lasting solution for 65 years, which resulted in several wars threatened international peace and security is irrefutable evidence and proof of the Security Council’s inability to carry out its duties and assume its responsibilities.
The failure of the Security Council to make the Middle East a free zone of all weapons of mass destruction, whether because of its inability to subdue the nuclear programs of all countries in the region, without exception, to the international control and inspection or to prevent any country in the region from possessing nuclear weapons, is another irrefutable evidence and proof of its inability to carry out its duties and hold its responsibilities.
Allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people by the chemical weapons, while the world stands idly, without applying deterrent sanctions against Damascus regime, is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities.
Behind the scenes, Saudi diplomats seemed as surprised by the decision as anyone else. Their consensus is that the action was taken because of frustration with the Obama Administration over its rapprochement with Saudi Arabia’s long time opponent, Iran.
Whether that is true or not, Saudi Arabia’s declining of Security Council membership is a positive development for Israel–though one can only assume that it will be followed in short-order by the appointment of another anti-Israel member of the U.N.
“We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.
And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:
A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the “Green Line,” prior to the Six Day War.
D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”
Yitzhak Rabin, October 5, 1995–from his last speech to the Israeli Knesset (click here for text of the entire speech)
With all the current talk about dividing Jerusalem, eradicating Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and returning so-called Palestinian “refugees”, another flashpoint of dissension between Israel and the PLO arose this week–one that threatens to scuttle the Israel concession talks.
That flashpoint is the Jordan Valley.
As far back as Yitzhak Rabin (note point B above), Israel has made it clear that the IDF must maintain a presence along the border with Jordan. In a speech last week, PM Netanyahu specifically referred to Rabin in saying that an IDF force is more important than ever because of the way that Iran and Islamic extremism have moved into every area that Israel has evacuated from the Sinai to south Lebanon to Gaza.
Netanyahu’s comments come amidst revelations that two proposals concerning the Jordan Valley have been made since the latest round of “negotiations” with the Palestinians began.
First, the United States proposed that “an international force” be placed along the border. This proposal was rejected by Israel.
Second, Israel proposed that it would “grant sovereignty” over the Jordan Valley to the PLO in return for automatically renewable leases of the land being granted to Israel. The arrangement would be similar to the arrangement that Israel reached with Jordan in 1994. This proposal was immediately rejected by the PLO with Palestinian National Council Member Hanan Ashrawi declaring this week: “No Israeli soldier will be there. We will not agree to Israeli control or lease of the control or lease of the lands.”
Your humble servant finds it reprehensible that Israel would have ever offered sovereignty of the Jordan Valley to the PLO. Doesn’t the government realize that by doing so, it strengthens–in the international arena–Palestinian claim to this integral part of the land of Israel? Apparently Livni and Netanyahu don’t have the slightest clue what the ramifications of their offers are.
And to make such a proposal without anything in return from the PLO is astonishing. No recognition of Israel as a Jewish country, no recognition of Israeli rights in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, no Palestinian compromises about anything.
As your humble servant has always said, Israelis and Palestinians are not engaged in “negotiations for peace”, they are engaged in an Israeli concession process.