War without end. That is
what the Obama administration promises the US, Israel and the Palestinians. If
the current Obama-Kerry plan for an Israel-Palestinian deal is implemented,
scores of Americans will likely die. This was revealed recently by US Secretary
of State John Kerry, particularly in a speech at the Saban Forum. (By the way,
the Saban Forum speech was made appropriately on December 7, the anniversary of
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The former head of the Saban Center
has also been cho The Obama administration plan is very
simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly – which of course it will
sen as negotiator.
According to the plan, the United States would gradually create and
maintain the agreement by policing an independent Palestinian state. Israel
would be protected by the US forces, and Palestine would be protected from
Israel by them. And that’s part of the problem, because the Palestinians would
stage a huge number of protests against and complaints regarding Israel’s
actions, likely demanding more concessions.
In addition, the
Palestinians, particularly Hamas, would see the new Palestinian state as
perpetually victimized. They would mobilize any Arab forces they could to back
their complaints. It would be a nightmare. But what the wrong-headed people in
the Obama administration do not understand is that they would be under constant
challenge. They do not understand that no matter what they say, Hamas, Fatah,
Iran, Syria, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists – and most
likely Saudi Arabia – will never accept an Israeli state. In other words, if
Americans are on the ground, they will be targeted.
Now the question is,
what will they do? Will they “protect” Israel? And what is the definition of
protecting Israel? And what about gaps in this protection or disagreement among
the observers? In his Saban speech, Kerry said, “Our commitment to Israel’s
security spurred the US-Israeli development of ballistic missile defense
technologies to keep Israelis safe from rockets and missiles. Those systems and
newer technologies continue to protect Israelis from the range of threats that
they still face today.”
What about a large number of cross-border
attacks? Will Americans attack Palestinians if they violate the agreement? May I
point out that at various times Iraqi, Hamas and Hezbollah rockets have landed
on Israel with no US defensive action. Again, the most important point is not
Iranian nuclear weapons but routine policing of a Palestinian state, not to
mention Israel’s Lebanon-Syria border.
Are we to believe that American
helicopters, airplanes and ground soldiers would attack when the whole effort of
this exercise had been to avoid military commitments? How many years would this
neo-mandate continue? Will the United States intimidate certain countries if
necessary? Remember that the US didn’t even support the military government in
The US may suffer a great number of casualties over time. Note the
3,400 deaths of Western coalition soldiers in Afghanistan so far.
Western forces willing to sacrifice more than 300 soldiers a year? In 2010, IED
attacks in Afghanistan wounded 3,366 US soldiers. And that was in just one year
of the war.
And of course Americans are going to accidentally kill
Palestinians, both fighters and unarmed civilians. As of February 2013, between
17,000 and 19,000 civilians died in Afghanistan. This then would create a blood
And by the way, many of these people will blame
Think along the lines of Afghanistan.
The US has informed
President Hamid Karzai that it is withdrawing its forces. Karzai is not happy
with that, and he wants to reject the deal. Again, can Israel rely on American
defense even if it accepts it? Recently, the US has betrayed the following
countries; Egypt (wanting to support a Muslim Brotherhood government); Saudi
Arabia, Qatar and Turkey (supporting their side in the Syrian civil war). And it
has left a mess in Iraq. Do you think at this moment Israel is going to trust
the US? Consider this, too: what will happen when the US soldiers come back in
body bags? How long will the US commitment last before dumping an independent
Palestinian state on Israel? Remember there will be Turks, Iranians, Arabs,
Islamists and Palestinians who will not to accept the solution or who will
continue fighting. And sooner or later, the US would leave the new state and
leave Israel with a mess.
Given all the above, such a solution cannot
possibly work. I cannot conceive that people do not look forward in this way and
rather seem to be guided by wishful thinking that the conflict will end
It is no accident that Israel has never been willing to trust
its security to a third party. This is a roadmap for increased conflict. For
example, is the US air force going to bomb a building in Gaza that is an open
headquarters for Gaza rocket and terrorist attacks? Will it aggressively go
after foreign fighters, even if those foreign fighters have attacked Americans?
Will it send them to Guantanamo Bay? Will it respond to criticism in the UN? May
I point out that US counter- terrorism policy has not been very aggressive of
late? Think Benghazi.
The US will then have two choices: 1. The US helps
Israel, albeit with constant opposition, and alienates the Arab and Iranian and
Turkish world. 2. The US will gradually get tired of the burden and walk
away from it.
In other words, Israel would not benefit from what can only
be called “ObamaStrategicCare.”
If you like it, no matter what you’ve
heard, you can keep your strategic patron or plan, you can keep your ally
(Obama), and you’ll save money. No one will be able to take that away from
The author is director of the Global Research in International
Affairs (GLORIA) Center at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya and is
editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA)
journal. His latest books are The Israel- Arab Reader (seventh edition),
The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East
(Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan).