Ya'alon: Crisis management, not peace

Says Israel needs "new diplomatic paradigm"; Swedish FM: No military option on Iran.

Mofaz 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Mofaz 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon called on Tuesday for an overhaul of the two-state solution that has been the basic premise of a diplomatic solution since the beginning of the Oslo process in 1993. In a session at the Herzliya Conference entitled "Negotiating the final status agreement," Ya'alon said a brand new paradigm was needed, one that called for long-term crisis management rather than finding a short-term solution, which he said was currently impossible to reach. The former IDF chief of General Staff, now a senior fellow at the Shalem Center's Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, said history has proven that the Arabs have not come to terms with Israel's existence here in any form. He said that Yasser Arafat's decision to start a terrorist war against Israel in September 2000 while on the verge of gaining a state along the 1967 lines was done "to avoid a two-state solution that would entail de facto recognition of Israel as an independent Jewish state." Oslo presumed that a diplomatic solution and economic development would create peace, and peace would bring security, Ya'alon said, saying that this paradigm simply did not work. He said that a new concept needed to be created that was based on fundamental reform of Palestinian society in the following spheres: education, law and order, security, economy and governance. He said that Palestinians needed to prove that they could rule responsibly according to the principle of "one authority, one gun, and one law." While Ya'alon said that the Oslo premises needed to be ditched, former ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, one of its proponents, cautioned against "disposing of the peace process." Rather, he said, there was a need to take the given situation and "try to make it work." Kurtzer, today a professor at Princeton University, said that one of the problems of the Oslo process was a lack of accountability and a mechanism "to monitor the parties and hold them accountable." The US, he said, could have played this role, but did not. As part of the Annapolis process US President George. W. Bush has, however, recently set up a mechanism, to be led by General William Frazier, explicitly for this purpose. Mofaz: Likelihood of attack on Iran increasing Transportation minister and also former IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz hinted that the likelihood of a preemptive attack on Iran is increasing. "The diplomatic efforts are failing", said Mofaz, "and so the possibility of a military option is growing." In his special address at the Hertzelia conference, Mofaz also said that the Iranian train was "an express train", and said that the nuclear program was for Iran only "means to the cause of becoming an Islamic superpower." "We have two years to stop Iran before it's too late", added Mofaz. Former White House adviser sees gap with Israel in communication, not policy Is there American pressure on Israel limiting its options regarding the peace process or military decisions? According to a former Middle East advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, there isn't any pressure - just bad communication. "We hear often that Israel has to pursue policy because it's under pressure from the American president, our closest friend. Is that true?" asked former MK Natan Sharansky, introducing the former advisor, Dr. David Wurmser, at lunch at the Herzliya Conference. Wurmser: "I would have been very surprised if prime minister Sharon or Olmert had said to the president, 'We have a vital interest to protect,' and the president would refuse. I never saw a moment like that." Wurmser admitted "there are some voices in Washington" that want to pressure Israel, but not at the political level. Indeed, said Wurmser, during the Second Lebanon War "we acted deliberately to give Israel space. For me, it is unimaginable that in a supposed expansion of an Israeli war against Hizbullah" - such as Israel attacking Hizbullah's supply chain in Syria - "we would suddenly turn neutral. There seems to be a gap between Washington and Jerusalem, not on values, but in communication." Sweden: Iranian nuke "can't be stopped militarily" "A military option doesn't exist. You can only delay" Iranian nuclear armament through military means, according to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, speaking to journalists Tuesday on the sidelines of the Herzliya Conference. Asked if the world could live with a nuclear Iran, he replied with the question, "Can you stop it? The only way we can be certain of succeeding is an agreement with Iran that's verifiable. Military options won't do the trick." Bildt also spoke of the Annapolis process, which he believes is the best possibility for peace between Israel and the Palestinians to date. "There are three factors now that we haven't seen before," he explained. "There is an Israeli prime minister who said there's a partner for peace, the active involvement of the world seen at the Paris donors' conference, and suddenly the active involvement of the United States." According to Bildt, the world sees a "virtual collapse of the Gazan economy" with recent Israeli cuts to the strip's fuel supply. He warned that "Israel will be seen in the eyes of the world as responsible for a humanitarian disaster." Even if Israel tries to end its responsibility for the Gaza Strip, "you can't get rid of responsibility for access" to the Strip, Bildt said.