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Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has a plan.
“I’m talking about an operative diplomatic plan with quite a high resolution. I won’t reveal all the details to you now, but I can tell you that I, for my part, know exactly what must be done.” [ The Livni Plan – Interview by Ari Shavit – Haaretz Magazine Section 29 December 2006]
But first, a reality check.
Livni: “The diplomatic result of the war – UN General Assembly Resolution 1701 – is a success.”
That’s right. The same Livni who is confidently certain that she has a great plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (launching final status talks while indefinitely postponing Palestinian compliance) thinks 1701 was “a success”.
“1701 is a success” – the Israeli hostages remain in Lebanon.
“1701 is a success” – Hezbollah not only wasn’t disarmed but has rearmed, replacing the missiles it fired at Israel in the war as it remains deployed in south Lebanon.
The last thing Israel needs is another such “success”.
Foreign Minister Livni certainly has confidence in diplomacy:
“The separation fence provided a solution for the suicide bombers and it began the process of partition, but it is not providing a solution to the present security problems (rocket fire). We have to find an answer for them in a diplomatic context.”
Does Livni have in mind the same kind of “successful” arrangement in the West Bank as there is now in Lebanon?
But what’s wrong with postponing Palestinian security compliance and sitting down now to hammer out deal creating a sovereign Palestinian state?
Wouldn’t it be easier for the Palestinian “moderates” to finally get around to honoring their security obligations if they could show their people a final status agreement in the offing?
From the day that Yasser Arafat got away with donning a military uniform instead of the agreed business suit at his first Kodak moment on the White House Lawn, Palestinian compliance has been anything but compulsory.
And the same combination of excuses, denial and wishful thinking that got the Palestinian leadership this far without them having to actually breakup the ever growing terror infrastructure will come into play after the photo-op signing ceremony.
“Yes, there is an agreement, but the Palestinian street won’t disarm until they see that the occupation is actually over on the ground.”
“The moderates need time to establish themselves before they can act.”
“The new state is too fragile for the civil war that a clash over disarming promises.”
“We can’t let a small minority hold implementation up.”
And of course the ever popular: “and there weren’t attacks before?”
If anything, Palestinian implementation of security obligations would serve as an important learning experience for the actors who might ultimately engage in final status talks. The radically different Palestinian and Israeli interpretations of the current Palestinian obligations and whether the Palestinians actually fulfilled them would serve to force the final status negotiators to address this critical problem instead of bury it under more layers of broken agreements.
Will Israel finally hold its ground and truly insist on compliance?
Prime Minister Olmert, who sees Livni’s program as a challenge against his authority, first responded today by opposing such a move.
But talk is cheap.
Next week’s meeting in Egypt provides Olmert with an opportunity to demonstrate a genuine change in Israel’s attitude towards security.
Instead of following the Israeli tradition of publicly kissing Mubarak’s [posterior — MB] while he openly criticizes the Jewish State before the cameras, Prime Minister Olmert can opt to express Israel’s disappointment with Egypt’s systematic failure to stop the flood of weapons into Gaza and insist that they honor their treaty obligations.
Bingo! Aaron Lerner has hit the tail on the donkey when he writes;
“Prime Minister Olmert, who sees Livni’s program as a challenge against his authority, first responded today by opposing such a move.
But talk is cheap.”
The point is that as stated previously, trial balloons in israel have their ways of becoming laws and governmental doctrine; whether regarding prisoner releases, talks now, implementation later or expelling Jews from their homes.
The bottom line apparently is that Tzippi Livni’s irresponsible plan to negotiate while the Arabs continue to attack Israel is nothing more than a clever disguise for implementation of Olmert’s convergence plan to expell 100,000 or more Jews from their homes and neighborhoods on Jewish Land in Yehuda and the Shomron, seizing their property and snookering them out of their just, law-mandated compensation. MB