PRO-PEACE DEMONSTRATORS take part in a march in October. The author argues that Israel needs to concentrate on making peace with the Palestinians..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israeli peace initiative will attempt to achieve a comprehensive, multilateral solution to the Arab-Israel conflict rather than a bilateral solution for the Palestinian-Israeli issue.
The initiative should have been put on the desk of US President Donald Trump when he first came to the White House, and must now be delivered to him before the negotiations between the parties are resumed under his auspices. The initiative will transfer the responsibility for solving the conflict, as well as the duty to compromise, from Israel to the Arabs, will relieve Jerusalem of the blame for the continued conflict, but will also influence the American mediator to avoid applying pressure on Jerusalem and to direct it to Cairo and Riyadh, Ramallah and Gaza instead.
The Arab Peace Initiative was ratified in the Arab League summit in Beirut in March 2007. The initiative was accepted in the world as a basis for a solution to the conflict between Israel and its neighbors, but it effectively represents an Arab diktat. Should it be accepted, the initiative will leave Jerusalem with no appropriate answer to its vital security needs. Under this initiative, Arab states will establish normal relations with Israel and a declare an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, the formation of a Palestinian state whose capital is east Jerusalem and a solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194.
The Israeli peace initiative will put an end to the conflict and the demands of Israel, stabilize the Middle East and ensure the survival of threatened Arab regimes. The initiative will include: forming a stable, prosperous Palestinian entity that will be secured through an international commitment and a confederation with Egypt and Jordan; Arab recognition of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish People with Jerusalem as its capital; ensuring a solid Jewish majority through demographic detachment from the Palestinians while applying Israeli sovereignty to a considerable proportion of the territories of Judea and Samaria; absorption of Palestinian refugees in their countries of domicile through comprehensive international assistance; disbandment of Hezbollah and stabilization of Lebanon; fighting Iran’s disruptive influence in the region and putting an end to its threatening nuclear project; and recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights in the planned future arrangement with Syria.
“Please don’t try to stop the wind from blowing, even if it’s blowing against your will,” says the Persian proverb (Hafez Shams-a-Din 1320-1389); accordingly, Israel will avoid clashing with President Trump, who may force it to adopt painful concessions or sanction it should if refuse to abide by the agreement forming in Washington. Instead, Jerusalem must harness the White House for a solution to all the challenges that it faces according to the proposed initiative.
INTELLIGENT ISRAELI conduct will enroll both President Trump and leaders of Arab countries to the proposed solution by stressing the losses that adopting a limited Israel-Palestinian arrangement would entail: weakening of Israel, the US’s most loyal and strongest ally in the region; strengthening extremist Salafi Islam, allowing it to expand its influence in the region; empowering Iran and its satellites to the point of allowing other regimes to fall to Tehran, such as Iraq after the 2003 Iraq War, including Saudi Arabia with the dreamlike agreement of $350 billion that was signed with it. But above all, an agreement of this kind would show Trump to be a failed leader who led to the deterioration of the conflict rather than its resolution.
The gains in the proposed multilateral arrangement include a conclusion of one of the most vicious and longest conflicts in modern times, stabilization of the Middle East for many years and ensuring the continuity and prosperity of existing Arab regimes. The agreement will be associated with Trump’s name, turning him into a historic leader much more successful than his predecessors, who all failed in the attempt to solve the conflict.
In view of President Trump’s declarations of deep support for Israel and the many advantages for the Arab world and its leaders, there is a chance that the Arab reaction will not be to dismiss the plan outright.
So Jerusalem will be in a good opening position for comprehensive regional peace talks and President Trump may fulfill his self-proclaimed role as the “ultimate deal maker” in the best way possible.The author is a geostrategist and international security policy and Middle East expert at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.