Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Foredoomed to Failure Without Agreement on the 1967 Borders
By Adam Keller
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, July 22, 2013
Gush Shalom: negotiations stand or fall on the 1967 borders issue
"The negotiations due to open in Washington, after all the efforts of
Secretary of State Kerry, will stand or fall primarily with one issue: an
agreement that the Green Line, the internationally recognized borders of
Israel as they were on June 4, 1967, will be the basis for the permanent
border between the existing State of Israel and the State of Palestine
which will come into existence at its side" says Gush Shalom, the Israeli
"If this is agreed on, we have a breakthrough to a
peace agreement with the Palestinians and with the entire Arab world. It
then would be possible to hold detailed negotiations of demarking the
precise boundary line and define small, reciprocal swaps of territory.
Also other issues such as Jerusalem and refugees, highly emotional for
both sides, can be solved once it is defined where the two parties
stand on the ground and what will be the border between the two states.
On the other hand, if there no agreement on the 1967 borders as the
basis for an agreement - and clearly the Government of Israel in its
current composition is neither willing nor able to provide such an
agreement - then negotiations are foredoomed to
failure. In that case, the Washington talks will be remembered as
a passing episode, followed by escalating violence on the ground and an
increasing international isolation for Israel. In such a case, decision
makers cannot disclaim responsibility."
Contact: Adam Keller +972-(0)54-2340749
The easy part of the task
By Adam Keller
Saturday, July 20, 2013
So it seems that he did it, after
all. After so many mocked his mission and prematurely proclaimed its
demise (as did I in one of these blogs).
The Israeli media accorded John Kerry the ultimate insult of hardly
bothering to report on his repeated visits. And for their part, the
settlers and their representatives in the cabinet and the Knesset did not
regard Kerry and the prospect of negotiations with the Palestinians
as a threat. "So, let there be some talks. Nothing will come of it,
anyway" said Naftali Bennett and his friends hardly more than a week ago.
And now, after all the efforts, the repeated trips and shuttles from
Washington and back, all the severe problems and the infinite insistence -
dubbed as naïve - John Kerry seems to have succeeded. At least, in the
easiest and simplest part of the task: bringing a representative of the
government of Israel and one from the Palestinian leadership to sit in one
room and talk to each other. But what reasons have we, if any, to assume
that this time something would really come out of the talks?
is no festive ceremony planned, no photo opportunity, no formal
handshakes, no declaration of “A Historic Moment”. Nothing even remotely
resembling, for example, the pathetic show of George W. Bush’s Annapolis
Conference. Tzipi Livni of occupying Israel and Saeb Erekat of occupied
Palestine, who already met more than once, are to come to Washington
without ceremony and talk "in complete secrecy, away from the public and
the media, so as to deal thoroughly with all the most sensitive issues,
without interruption and without public pressure."
But what is
going to happen there, away from the public and the media? Would Erekat
ask "What about the 1967 borders" and Livni answer "I have no
mandate from Netanyahu to discuss this" - which would essentially bring
negotiations to their end fifteen minutes after they started?
maybe, one who sets up talks on such a basis, with no ceremonies and no
photo opportunities and just simple plain prosaic talks, might be
seriously intending them to bear fruit? Not be just “A Peace Process", of
which we have had more than enough, but one which ends with real peace?
Getting there will be far more difficult than just getting Saeb Erekat and
Tzipi Livni to sit in a single room.
At least, the honorable
Naftali Bennett, Minister of Economy, is no longer certain that talks will
not lead to anything. He had started to feel apprehensive and also make
threats: "Let it be clear, the Jewish Home Party under my leadership will
have no part, even for one second, in a government which agrees to
negotiate on the basis of the 1967 lines". Maybe Bennet has some inside
information causing him to feel apprehension and make threats?
These talks are starting under the shadow of the European Union 's
decision to impose a far-reaching boycott on the West Bank settlement
enterprise, a decision which alarmed the Israeli political establishment
and brought the issue of the 1967 borders to the top of the national
agenda. And if talks get into crisis because of this issue – which is very
likely - the European Union will be waiting outside for Netanyahu, with
another package of sanctions. "Good cop/Bad cop", is a well-known power
play, practiced worldwide for many centuries. And maybe it will work for
us, too, with the nice American cop sitting inside the negotiating room
and the dastardly European cop waiting outside with a club?
the fact that we got this far proves that Secretary of State John Kerry is
very stubborn. If Kerry really wants the negotiations to produce results,
he would have great need of all his stubbornness.