'Israel should offer Clinton, Olmert peace plans'

Former MI head Amos Yadlin predicts PA would reject proposals, but says move would save Israel from "losing world."

December 25, 2012 20:34
3 minute read.
Yadlin speaks at the INSS, November 2011.

Yadlin INSS 311. (photo credit: Yaakov Katz)


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Israel should put the Clinton parameters from 2001, or the Olmert proposals from 2008, back on the table to avoid “losing the world,” even though it is clear the Palestinians will not accept them, former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin said Tuesday.

Yadlin, speaking in Tel Aviv at the Calcalist conference, said putting forward these proposals – both of which call for generous territorial concessions and the division of Jerusalem – would allow Israel to refill its “battery of legitimacy.”

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“Unfortunately, as a Military Intelligence head who knows the Palestinian strategy, they will reject it, but it will return to us the moral leadership and the legitimacy that we lost,” he said. Then, he added, Israel can take the steps it feels it needs to determine its borders.

According to Yadlin, today the director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, the diplomatic defeats Israel suffered in 2012 could lead to a “first degree strategic problem, both economically and politically.”

Yadlin, who is not identified with any political party, said he was not among those who maintain that if only Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was strengthened, then “the messiah will come.”

“I think we have difficult problems with our neighbors,” he said, noting that the Palestinian strategy is not to reach peace with Israel.

“They listen to what we say – that if there is no peace, and no two-state solution, then the country will be destroyed.

They say, ‘Why not, that is a good idea for us, let’s go there.’ So Israel needs to take its destiny in its hands, not be dependent on whether the Palestinians agree. I suggest putting on the table in 2013 the proposals that [US president Bill Clinton] and [prime minister Ehud] Olmert put on the table.”

Yadlin said the Palestinians will reject the deals because their strategy is to get a state roughly along the pre-1967 lines, with Israeli concessions on Jerusalem – not from Israel in negotiations, but rather from the international community.

That way, he said, they will not have to give Israel what it wants: an “end of conflict” declaration, an end to demands of a Palestinian “right of return” and security arrangements.

Turning to Iran, Yadlin praised the US for its current strategy, and predicted that US President Barack Obama would in his second term put a compromise proposal on the table for Iran.

According to Yadlin, the proposal would obviously not give Israel everything it wanted to see – the destruction of the Iranian centrifuges, the closing down of all enrichment plants and the export of the enriched uranium – but it could contain elements that would set the Iranian nuclear clock back two years, and is something Israel should support. Currently, he said, Tehran could build a bomb within six months if it made the decision to do so.

Yadlin said that the American strategy of “going for something that might not be the best thing in the world, but which gives you a strategic achievement” is a good one, especially since if the plan does not work, then it would provide Israel “with the legitimacy for the actions” it might want to take.

Recalling that every year the head of Military Intelligence provides the government with a strategic assessment, Yadlin said that if he were preparing the report this year, he would say the chances of Israel’s enemies launching a war against it in 2013 were low. Israel’s deterrence, he said, is very strong against Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran.

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