Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Only The Palestinians Can Say No (Updated)

Despite the overall positive reaction to Netanyah's speech on Sunday, demilitarization of the proposed state is a sticking point:
U.S. officials reacted skeptically Monday to an Israeli proposal that the United States and other world powers guarantee that a new nation of Palestine remain demilitarized as a condition of its statehood.
Actually, it sounds as if the issue is not skepticism--the issue is that the Palestinian Arabs will say no:
We take the security of Israel very seriously, but we need a solution that works, and this would be very difficult for the Palestinians to swallow," said an official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the diplomacy. American officials "are a long way away from the point where we'd be talking about this kind of arrangement."

He noted that Netanyahu provided no specifics about what would be a complex task.
In other words, Palestinian Arabs have the option of saying no. Israel, on the other hand, does not. So when it comes to settlements, all Obama has to say is that the US is opposed and Israel is supposed to jump through hoops.

The same anonymous official complains that Bibi does not give specifics about how demilitarization would be done--when is the last time you heard Obama give the specifics on how they are going to guarantee Israel's security?

Because no one has pinned down the US on what constitutes Israel's security concerns, this official can easily brush aside the threat of a new Palestinian state with its own army to Israel. The lesson of Gaza is ignored.

It must be nice to be able to throw a tantrum and get what you want.
When you're a two year old.

UPDATE: Apparently the proposal of a demilitarized Palestinian state has been proposed before--both by the US and by a respected Palestinian:
But Netanyahu’s proposal, for all the hype, is nothing new. Both teams and the referees have at one time or another endorsed the idea. A demilitarized Palestinian state, after all, was a cornerstone of the Oslo Process—one of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak’s four “red lines” for final-status negotiations at the July 2000 Camp David summit. The Palestinian moderate Sari Nusseibeh, the president of Al-Quds University, called for the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state as far back as January 2002 [read his comment in a PBS interview in 2004]. In the U.S., Gen. James Jones, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s special envoy to the Annapolis conference in 2007, concluded that a future Palestinian state would require third-party troops—from NATO, for example—to secure Israel’s security.

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