Friday, June 26, 2009

Demilitarized State? Palestinian State vs. Pre-WWII Germany

In Demilitarized Palestinian State?, Prof. MK Arieh Eldad reacts to Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech--specifically Netanyahu's acceptance of the two-state solution that would result in a Palestinian state. Bibi accepted the idea conditionally, one of the conditions being that the state would be demilitarized.

Prof. Eldad does not find this reassuring:
The more I listened to this and said to myself that there is no such thing, I was reminded of something quite bothersome. Was there once such a state? And then one of my friends reminded me there had been.
"It will be forbidden to Germany to maintain or build fortifications... in this territory (West of the Rhine).... It is forbidden for Germany to maintain an army.... the German army will not include more than seven infantry divisions.... It is forbidden for Germany to import or export tanks or any other military hardware.... The German naval forces will be limited and are not to include submarines. The armed forces of Germany will not include any air forces.... In the political realm, Germany is forbidden to enter into any treaty with Austria."
So it was written and sealed in the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty was signed on June 28, 1919, as part of the Paris Peace Conference following the First World War. Essentially, Germany became a demilitarized state and was also limited from a political perspective.

So what happened? Did the "demilitarized" status prevent the Second World War and, worst of all, the destruction of European Jewry?

By 1922, an agreement between Russia and Germany had been signed in the Italian city of Rapallo. The agreement was open and met the terms of the Versailles Treaty, but the conference that prepared it was secret; and there, Soviet Russia and Germany agreed on joint establishment of weapons factories, poison gas and ammunition. German army officers were sent to Russia to be trained in the use of weapons that were forbidden to be maintained in Germany. In Germany, civilian factories were refurbished into arms factories, funded, as it were, by private individuals, not the state.
In a previous post, I wrote about an article by Prof. Louis Rene Beres that explained that there is no way to legally enforce the demilitarization of a Palestinian state--even if they agree to it beforehand.

Prof. Eldad points out that there is no way to prevent the demilitarization of a Palestinian state politically either:
The lesson being that there is no political power that can prevent a sovereign state from doing whatever it wants.

Whoever recognizes the right of his enemy to establish a state in his homeland has abandoned all principle.

Netanyahu knows that if ever a Palestinian state should, Heaven forbid, be established, Israel will not be able to declare war on it if it should choose, for instance, to sign an international tourism agreement with Cyprus or a transfer-of-technology agreement with Iran. If pipes are manufactured in Tulkarm, Israel will not be able to start a war that can be justified in the eyes of the world if steel cutters turn the pipes into Kassam rockets. Since nothing other than Israeli force could possibly preserve demilitarization, Netanyahu is deceiving the people of Israel and promising them something that cannot be delivered.
He concludes:
But all of the above is not the main thing. The main thing is that Netanyahu has recognized the right of Arabs to establish a sovereign state in our homeland. None of his conditions and reservations can hide this abomination. Whoever recognizes the right of his enemy to establish a state in his homeland has abandoned all principle and all that is left to do is argue over the price.
Is Netanyahu counting on the conditions he stated to stall movement towards the two-state solution he has now accepted? If so, how long till the Palestinian Arabs realize the conditions are meaningless and call his bluff?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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