WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama plans to act firmly and decisively in order to reach durable peace, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Sunday night in a closed forum attended by 300 of the biggest donors of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The event was held as part of the pro-Israel’s [sic] lobby annual conference in Washington.
He reiterated that the ability to confront Iran depended on the ability to make progress on the Palestinian front. Solving the conflict will make it possible to advance the handling of the main threat posed by Iran, he said.
Emanuel explained Obama’s determination to pressure the sides to reach a peace agreement by the fact that when there was no progress in the process there was an intifada, an escalation in Lebanon and an escalation in the Gaza Strip. When there is no peace, he said, it benefits those who are against Israel. If Israel fails to make peace with its neighbors there will be those who will favor violence, he stated.
This is truly an incredible statement. When Arafat refused to accept a remarkably generous offer — because no offer that left Israel standing would suit him, after Israel had brought this terrorist back from exile and turned over large areas in the territories to his control — at this point he chose to unleash a massive murder offensive, which ended only when the IDF retook control of the areas.
When the IDF withdrew from southern Lebanon, Hezbollah invaded Israel, killed and kidnapped its soldiers and unleashed a massive rocket attack against the northern part of the country.
When Israel dragged 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza settlements, withdrew every last Jew from there, even dead ones, Hamas began its campaign of rocket attacks, cross-border raids, etc. Today there’s only one Jew left in Gaza, Gilad Schalit.
In every case Israeli concessions and withdrawals led to war and violence. How is it possible to miss this?
The White House chief of staff clarified that the foundation for an agreement between the two sides must be security for Israel and a sovereign state for the Palestinians. The US is committed to the two-state process, he said, adding that this was the only solution.
All sides must meet their commitments, as difficult as they may be, he noted.
If Israel doesn’t meet her commitments, we know what will happen. But when terrorists with plausible deniability kill Israelis, what will the US do? The Palestinians will get their state, that’s guaranteed. But will Israel get security?
According to Emanuel, the US expects Hamas to accept the international Quartet’s principles – recognizing Israel and past agreements and renouncing terror. If Hamas fails to do so, he said, it will have no seat beside the negotiating table.
With all due respect, regardless of whatever magic formula Hamas can be made to utter, does anyone believe that Hamas will ever offer more than a temporary postponement of its jihad against Israel and Jews?
Meanwhile, while the US is busy raping Israel (apologies to ex-Ha’aretz editor David Landau who thought it was a good idea) into making concessions which will undoubtedly cost Israeli lives, Iran will be cheerfully spinning those centrifuges.
Israel needs to understand that the US is more interested in a Palestinian state and (as I wrote in my last post) keeping the Saudis happy than either Israel’s security or Iranian expansionism and bomb-making. Remember: American interests, Israeli interests. They are not the same.
Let’s hope that Israel understands that in particular the Iranian nuclear program is an Israeli problem, which will need to be solved by Israel. The sooner the better.
Rahm Emanuel strikes a pose at AIPAC meeting