Literally just before stepping down from office, Switzerland’s Micheline Calmy-
Rey has reaffirmed her country’s commitment to interfering in our
affairs. As outsiders, uninitiated in the mysteries of the Swiss system,
it’s not easy for us to define her role but as president of the Swiss
Confederation, Calmy-Rey was head of government and, as head of the Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs, she was foreign minister.
spoke at a recent Geneva gettogether summoned, in the words of an official Swiss
Foreign Ministry communiqué, “to review the achievements of the Geneva
Initiative and analyze its potential in the light of current developments in the
Near and Middle East.”
We may well ask “what achievements?” However, the
palpable absence of any hint of achievement in itself made the sorry Geneva
reunion a fittingly surreal farewell bash for Calmy-Rey. Thirty Israeli and
Palestinian “negotiators” were flown by Calmy-Rey’s ministry first-class to
Geneva and put up in a posh hotel to mark the eighth birthday of the stillborn
initiative, sponsored and bankrolled by the Swiss.
The fact that a fellow
democracy thereby went against the wishes of Israel’s elected governments – and,
needless to stress, against the majorities that voted them into power – didn’t
one bit douse Calmy-Rey’s ardor to override our domestic
Likewise, the initiative’s inglorious flop didn’t cause her to
entertain niggling second thoughts. Instead, Calmy-Rey reiterated her country’s
dedication to meddling: “We remain committed to ensuring that solutions are
proposed, debated, and ultimately implemented.” Our business is her
business and is obviously enough of a prestige-booster to rationalize her last
Here reminders are useful. Three years ago, flouting
international sanctions, Calmy-Rey mounted a pilgrimage to Iran to “witness” the
signing of a mammoth gas-supply contract. Swathed in a white head scarf,
she affably hobnobbed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, accorded the
transaction her government’s official stamp of approval and lent the occasion
legitimacy and high profile. Unrepentant, she defended doing business
with genocide-mongering Tehran by intoning that “Switzerland is an independent
country which has its own strategic interests to defend.”
For all her disingenuous honestbroker pronouncements, Calmy-Rey isn’t obliged to
have our best interests at heart. But, given her non-too-disguised insincerity,
why do Israelis play along with her?
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Yossi Beilin, Avrum Burg and the mayors of
Rishon Lezion and Holon, among others – all of whom represent nobody and were
never empowered to negotiate on our behalf – didn’t have to succumb to the lure
of a sumptuous junket. Still, disgracefully, they did.
reminders are called for. Most of us forgot what the Geneva Initiative entailed.
This Oslo remake was boiled down into a seemingly detailed agreement, replete
with maps and codicils. It’s instructive. Each and every vaguely phrased
clause, if implemented, is liable to blow each and every one of us sky-high and
blow the State of Israel to extinction. The aggregate of all these clauses is an
overkill formula for national suicide.
Consider the proposed corridor to
connect Gaza with Judea and Samaria. It would cut Israel in two, although the
Palestinians do magnanimously undertake not to sever Israeli utility lines and
infrastructure or disrupt traffic. Word to the wise: in the 1949
Armistice Agreement they vowed to allow free access to the Israeli enclave at
Mount Scopus, to holy sites in Jerusalem, to the Mount of Olives Cemetery, to
Jerusalem via Latrun – among other breached promises.
But we needn’t
obsess. Clause 6.vi. of Article 4 guarantees that the corridor won’t be used “in
contravention of this Agreement.” If things don’t work out, we can whine to the
international Implementation and Verification Group. What a load off our
minds! Haven’t international intermediaries always ruled in our favor?
arrangements on Jerusalem are nightmarishly complex recipes for disaster all on
their own. To sum things up, Beilin, Burg and crew require Israel to cede not
only the Holiest of Jewish Holies but every site that is core to Jewish
Nonetheless, that’s only the beginning. All ceded settlements
are to be surrendered intact, after a detailed inventory. Little imagination is
needed to conjure the upshot of handing over the hills directly behind Kfar
Saba, rendering the entire densely packed Coastal Plain vulnerable.
reliable security measures for Israel are included, not even on the Jordan
River. Israel would be unable to defend itself from the east or south. It’d be
critically worse off than it is now, with no control over border crossings, air
or sea transportation into “Palestine.” Nothing would prevent the illegal
importation of weaponry. Consequently, no Israeli car could travel threat-free
on central Israel’s thoroughfares, not to mention planes taking off or landing
at Ben-Gurion Airport.
The Palestinians don’t undertake to combat terror.
The Geneva Accord merely demands they not “encourage... irregular armed
bands.” Not to worry. A multinational force will protect us. It’ll
doubtless severely curtail our freedom of action and keep us as unsafe as did
its predecessors from the British Mandate to the assorted UN
Not only hasn’t the “right of return” been remotely
relinquished, but UN Resolution 194 (which called for the repatriation of
refugees inside Israel) is cited as the basis for the Geneva Accord’s
unimaginably convoluted Article 7, which obliges Israel to admit a number of
socalled refugees based on the average admitted by “third countries.” This
invites bogus benevolence from the likes of Syria or Yemen to artificially
inflate Israel’s share. Priority is to be given to refugees from Lebanon’s
Like a humiliated vanquished country, Israel is to
pay compensation for former refugee property within Israel, for “refugeehood”
and for the “hospitality” of host countries during the past decades.
Israel isn’t inundated with hostile Arabs and bankrupted via incredible
unprecedented restitution to aggressors for their failed aggression, it’ll face
a bloody war under the most adverse conditions ever.
Why waste any breath
at all on the Beilin boys?
Because instead of hiding for shame in shuttered
rooms, they insist on having another go at what failed miserably and keeps
exacting a terrifying bloody price. Because they operate in utter defiance of
legality. They weren’t ever hindered by the fact that no one authorized them to
represent Israel, haggle in its name or determine its future.
foreign minister Beilin, by his own admission, concocted Oslo in 1993,
successfully pitched the notion that the Palestinians had undergone a strategic
metamorphosis to his boss Shimon Peres, who proceeded to sway PM Yitzhak Rabin.
With much fanfare and self-congratulation, the clandestine deal was unveiled to
the citizenry as a glorious fait accompli. The intelligence community didn’t
raise a ruckus, the intellectual elites celebrated and the obstinate opponents
were lumped with Hamas as “enemies of peace.”
Beilinite folly is
inherently dangerous because the Beilinites dominate the media, dictate the
national agenda and may inspire a future government as they did the one which
gave us Oslo. Their unconscionable recklessness casts a lingering portentous
pall over us. Someone once wisely observed that fools rush in where fools have
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