Commentary on Israel "Tunnel Vision" in Its West Bank Policy

#1
Interesting commmentary by former Israeli general about Israel's failure to properly assess its position as to Israeli settlements in occupied territories.

Commentary: Middle East tunnel vision


Published: Sept. 18, 2009 at 11:08 AM
By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE, UPI Editor at Large


WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The only bank this Rothschild ever owned was the West Bank. Danny Rothschild, an Israeli general and onetime coordinator of all government activities in the occupied territories, and now one of 1,200 former intelligence officers in Israel's Council for Peace and Security, says the Palestinians should be allowed to have their capital in Arab East Jerusalem. The very thought of allowing Palestinians to set up a government where 200,000 Israeli settlers moved in since the 1967 war, when Israeli forces "liberated" East Jerusalem from Jordanian rule, is sacrilegious. But Rothschild, speaking at the New America Foundation, was not afraid of geopolitical apostasy.

For Rothschild, governments, including his own, are suffering from tunnel vision. Everyone sees light at the end of the tunnel, but few seem to realize this could be the search party looking for survivors. Islamization threatens the secular regimes of the Middle East, he says. Extremists are moving into gaps the governments themselves, including Israel's, create by their short-term thinking. Israel's political leaders are more concerned with their next election than in broadening their horizons to the needs of regional peace over the next decade.

Egypt, adds Rothschild, has to find work for 1 million additional people every nine months. By holding the reins of power since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981, and serving as vice president for seven years before that, President Hosni Mubarak is simply allowing the radical Muslim Brotherhood to consolidate its hold on the future of Egypt. "It won't be tomorrow," says the former military intelligence general, but "the trend is unmistakable and inevitable."

Rothschild also believes failure to anticipate the future means Israel is now walking eyes wide shut to horizon 2022 when the population between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River will be half Jewish and half Arab. Today, 50 percent of Palestinians are under the age of 13. And it doesn't take an overwhelming effort of imagination to see how radicalized they will be if they don't have a proper homeland. This, in Rothschild's mind, means that several hundred thousand Jews will have to be uprooted from West Bank settlements and brought back to live in Israel.

The general, once in charge of the entire West Bank, sees some 30,000 settlers out of 300,000 who will physically resist any attempt by the Israeli Defense Force to remove them. Some 70,000 to 100,000 (many of them U.S. citizens) moved to the West Bank "for ideological reasons" because they believe it is part of the ancient land of Israel. Rothschild concludes the Israeli government "must absorb some 200,000 settlers, a material effort that will require two to three years to work out." But he concedes, "I'm not optimistic this will happen." If, on the other hand, the army and the police are ordered to remove them, "they will do it."

"We can cry about the past," says the general, "and quote from here to eternity, but the real issue is, where do I want to be in 10 years?" Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East negotiator, has been sucked into a debilitating game of "freezing" new construction in the settlements. That, clearly, is not the problem. Dismantling, not freezing, settlements is the issue. The Israeli public must also see how and when it is getting full normalization with the Arab world -- e.g., Israel concedes something and the Arabs then reciprocate, step by step.

Prince Turki al-Faisal was head of Saudi Arabia's intelligence service for a quarter of a century. He was a key player in the U.S.-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia coalition that organized the resistance that defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Following Sept. 11, 2001, this youngest son of the late King Faisal, a brother of Foreign Minister Prince Saud and a nephew of King Abdullah, served as ambassador to the United Kingdom and then ambassador to the United States. He now runs the King Faisal Cultural Foundation -- and behind the scenes remains a key emissary for the thinking of the powers that be.

In 2002 Crown Prince Abdullah got the entire Arab world, including Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Libya's Col. Gadhafi, to agree to total peace with Israel and full diplomatic and economic relations in return for the evacuation of all occupied territories. Turki's latest message to Israel and the United States is "land first, then peace."

Answering the Crown Prince of Bahrain who had urged greater communication with Israel and "joint steps from Arab states to revive the peace process," Turki's message is that normalization will follow, not precede, Israel's withdrawal from the lands it conquered in 1967.

Israeli leaders now hint they will return only a portion of these lands in return for military and economic concessions. But Turki says that's putting the chariot before the horse as Israel has yet to respond to the 2002 Abdullah peace plan. Step one, Turki makes clear on behalf of the 22 member nations of the Arab League, is the removal of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The refugee issue can wait.

When Israel agreed to evacuate the entire Sinai peninsula, which is part of Egypt, President Sadat went to Israel in 1977 and peace was agreed. Absent a similar pledge from Israel to evacuate all occupied territories, which President Obama has urged Israel to do, Faisal wrote in the International Herald Tribune, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab countries could not offer what Israelis most desire -- regional recognition.
http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats...Middle-East-tunnel-vision/UPI-47801253286520/
 
#2
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
 
#4
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
We truly are blessed to be in the presence of a great mind.

On the article - not really new and most of it is well within the Israeli consensus. Problem with the whole thing is that Israel can make peace with most of the Arab world but the fear is that there will always be another and another faction that will carry on the good fight.
Happy ElQuds Day,
Eid Mubarak
and Shana Tova :D
 
#5
I never quite get the hold Israel has over America. The US gives Israel over US$10 billion a year in aid yet get spit in their faces for it. Hardly any gratitude shown but the money keeps flowing.
I know they have a powerful Jewish lobby in Washington but how did that get so strong when the Jewish population in the US is so small compared to others?

Why do the average Americans feel the need to defend Israel and all it's actions, however despicable or selfish, to the point of blindness? Is it a feeling of guilt over what happened during the Holocaust?

I could never get a straight answer from my American friends Lots of vague this and that but no one could pinpoint what it is that Israel uses to squeeze America by the short and curlies.
 
#6
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
On the other thread, you said you prayed for Israel. I'd be interested to know why, if you don't mind me asking...

The answer would be, I think, relevant to explaining Sergei's statement above.
 
#7
para_medic said:
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
We truly are blessed to be in the presence of a great mind.

On the article - not really new and most of it is well within the Israeli consensus. Problem with the whole thing is that Israel can make peace with most of the Arab world but the fear is that there will always be another and another faction that will carry on the good fight.
Happy ElQuds Day,
Eid Mubarak
and Shana Tova :D
So seven million Israelis are going to carry on a perpetual war with 1.8 billion Muslims as a saner alternative?
 
#8
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
On the other thread, you said you prayed for Israel. I'd be interested to know why, if you don't mind me asking...

The answer would be, I think, relevant to explaining Sergei's statement above.
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).
 
#9
jumpinjarhead said:
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).
Genuinely, thanks for that. I guess God does seem quite clear on that point, if you believe in it all. I'm sure you can also see that if you don't, then it seems baffling and obstructive.
 
#10
littlejim said:
para_medic said:
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
We truly are blessed to be in the presence of a great mind.

On the article - not really new and most of it is well within the Israeli consensus. Problem with the whole thing is that Israel can make peace with most of the Arab world but the fear is that there will always be another and another faction that will carry on the good fight.
Happy ElQuds Day,
Eid Mubarak
and Shana Tova :D
So seven million Israelis are going to carry on a perpetual war with 1.8 billion Muslims as a saner alternative?
Good for the Israelis, someone has to keep fighting islamic extremism.
 
#11
jumpinjarhead said:
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
On the other thread, you said you prayed for Israel. I'd be interested to know why, if you don't mind me asking...

The answer would be, I think, relevant to explaining Sergei's statement above.
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).

Ah... that's the problem, many Christain's believe Rapture can't happen until Israel is restored so happily encouraged it's creation and expansion. We Brits can't feel smug about this as it was some of our leaders who in the 1920's/30's were happy for Jews to head to the middle east believing the same thing.

Bloody daft really but since many believe Israel needs to expand to some mythical biblical borders first a whole shit load more settlers need to take over half of Jordon/Syria. That is why some US Christian fundamentalists back Israel so much.

Toodle pip.

BGL
 
#12
RangeStew said:
Good for the Israelis, someone has to keep recruiting for islamic extremism.
:roll:
 
#13
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).
Genuinely, thanks for that. I guess God does seem quite clear on that point, if you believe in it all. I'm sure you can also see that if you don't, then it seems baffling and obstructive.
Understood. The Bible provides for that too: Spiritual Blindness
 
#14
I agree with Rumpel, whether or not Israel is justified in war against Hamas and its ilk is relatively moot if your response is helicopter attacks that kill innocents too: "collateral damage" just alienates a whole new generation of orphans into taking up arms and doing it all over again.

(In my opinion) if Israel was sensible and went to the table, they'd remove more threat from extremism by the simple expedient of chopping out half their arguments.

US support of Israel needs to grow up too - you can't have one of the kids beat up others in the yard, reward them with extra cookies for doing so, and expect all the other kids to like you.
 
#15
jumpinjarhead said:
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).
Genuinely, thanks for that. I guess God does seem quite clear on that point, if you believe in it all. I'm sure you can also see that if you don't, then it seems baffling and obstructive.
Understood. The Bible provides for that too: Spiritual Blindness
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5:39&version=NIV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6:29&version=NIV

http://trendsupdates.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Israel-war-crimes-in-Gaza.jpg
http://rtsf.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/israeli-war-crimes.jpg

Thanks for the scripture lesson. :roll:
 
#16
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).
Genuinely, thanks for that. I guess God does seem quite clear on that point, if you believe in it all. I'm sure you can also see that if you don't, then it seems baffling and obstructive.
Understood. The Bible provides for that too: Spiritual Blindness
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5:39&version=NIV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6:29&version=NIV

http://trendsupdates.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Israel-war-crimes-in-Gaza.jpg
http://rtsf.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/israeli-war-crimes.jpg

Thanks for the scripture lesson. :roll:
Not proselytizing-just trying to explain.
 
#18
Powerslave said:
I never quite get the hold Israel has over America. The US gives Israel over US$10 billion a year in aid yet get spit in their faces for it. Hardly any gratitude shown but the money keeps flowing.
I know they have a powerful Jewish lobby in Washington but how did that get so strong when the Jewish population in the US is so small compared to others?
...
There's lots of reasons.

The influence of Evangelicals with their scriptural predisposition to creating the conditions for The End Times often overstated as certainly is the power of the Jewish vote. Guilt about the Holocaust also dos not explain it.

The truth is intellectually and at every cultural level Jews built America. In science, industry, the arts and most especially movies and comedy they've punched way above their weight. In American politics, especially of the "progressive" variety, the chosen people are also over represented and noticeably more able players than the lumpen Goyim.

When you hear "Liberal elite" in US discourse it's still often code for smart, thrusting Jews and their "Socialist" egalitarian ideas. Ironically a only slowly waning tolerance for race stratified societies in the once fiercely anti-Semitic US has also found an natural expression in an attachment to Israel.

That said Israel was once seen in the US as a dubiously Socialist colony of shouty Eastern Europeans not much different from the French or Brits when it came to filching other peoples canals. A few decades of generously funded diligent Israeli PR exploiting these genuine sympathies and selling Israel as a recognizably "Wagons West" project explain a lot.

They've been particularity successful with political elites. US politics is mostly a pork fueled patronage system and the muscular lobbies exert a great deal power by being able to influence and block appointments. This explains why Congress was lock step behind Cast Lead while disapproval levels shown in US poling data of likely voters were quite high with a majority of Dems disliking the spectacle of the Gaza incursion. Jewish American voters mostly looking on appalled.

Some on the Israeli Left would say the illusion of an embattled ME pit bull on the edge of a second Holocaust provides voter friendly pretexts for both rich opportunities for vast indirect Government subsidies to the US arms industry and a palatable reason for DC's obsessive militarized interest in Persian Gulf's oily assets.

Kissinger in his History Of Diplomacy points out that nations become habituated in policies and often continue them long after they were of any use. Israel like S.Africa was a once genuinely valuable US ally. With the Cold War DC's is still running in the same policy ruts in most aspects of it's foriegn affairs, Israel is just one example of this.

Barry O. really is more in tune with the traditional US policy stance on Israel than Bush was. As it was throughout the 20th century DC is both firmly behind Israel and meekly trying to nudge this very Bolshie little country away from policies that plainly do not serve US interests and are of questionable use beyond short term domestic politics for Israel itself. I doubt he will achieve much. Bibi plays as subtle a game as the tricksters in Qom.
 
B

benjaminw1

Guest
#19
jumpinjarhead said:
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
On the other thread, you said you prayed for Israel. I'd be interested to know why, if you don't mind me asking...

The answer would be, I think, relevant to explaining Sergei's statement above.
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).
Of course that refers to the new Israel - Christianity; not those refusing to recognise the Messiah has arrived.

I don't know - the state of theology after 1087 leaves a lot to de desired...
 
#20
benjaminw1 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Rumpelstiltskin said:
jumpinjarhead said:
KGB_resident said:
Who cares? Israel during Obama's term will do what it wishes.
Erm...Okey dokey.....silly me.
On the other thread, you said you prayed for Israel. I'd be interested to know why, if you don't mind me asking...

The answer would be, I think, relevant to explaining Sergei's statement above.
Don't mind at all--as Christians we are encouraged to pray for Israel in the Bible. -Genesis 12:2-3

I realize many do not care what the Bible says but that is why for me. It does not mean "Israel right or wrong" in the sense I have to accept all that it does. Like any other nation, it makes "mistakes" (depending on your perspective of course).
Of course that refers to the new Israel - Christianity; not those refusing to recognise the Messiah has arrived.

I don't know - the state of theology after 1087 leaves a lot to de desired...
Perhaps. I am no theologian and never professed to be. :D
 

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