Blasphemy alert: Alon Pinkas, former Israel diplomat, calls for a U.S. peace plan
05/13/2010 - 10:00
James Besser

American pro-Israel groups, mostly an echo chamber for the Netanyahu government in Jerusalem, have jumped on the “don't present a U.S. peace plan” refrain like ants jump on picnic scraps. But a longtime Israeli diplomat has different ideas.

Alon Pinkas, writing in today's Politico, said that “After more than 17 years of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, you know something has gone terribly wrong when all you can hold, maybe, is a strange setup called 'proximity talks.'”

Strange, indeed; special envoy George Mitchell sounds more like a mailman than a negotiator.

What's needed now isn't just out-of-the-box thinking, he argues; we need a whole new box. And that box should involve a “comprehensive, detailed and viable peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — if not a plan, then a bold vision with concrete principles and parameters. And yes, the sides are encouraged to make changes. But there should be a timetable.”

Blasphemy! How soon will American Jewish right-wingers label Pinkas anti-Israel?

But Pinkas bravely soldiers on.

“President Barack Obama, who lucidly defined the resolution of the conflict as a vital U.S. national security interest, should not be too cautious or overly sensitive to the intricacies of Israeli and Palestinian politics,” he argues. “We have seen this movie several times — and the ending does not change.”

He makes a clear distinction: a “U.S.-sponsored plan — whether written by the Obama administration or presented by the “Quartet” (the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia) — is not an imposed peace. You cannot impose peace, and you cannot enforce sustainability or guarantee durability.”

The “peace process,” he writes, has grown into a “bureaucracy. The less the process accomplished, the bigger the bureaucracy grew.” Only a smart U.S. or Quartet plan, he said, can break through an “industry [that] became all about the process. The process now floats aimlessly between being a maintenance tool, designed to prevent hostilities, and a colossal exercise in futility that precipitates violence.”

The tragedy, he says, is that “both [Israel and the Palestinians]  know what needs to be done. Obama should say so.”

I always thought Pinkas was one of Israel's most effective diplomats. This op-ed isn't going to win him any popularity contests, but it effectively argues that what pro-Israel groups here want the most – a continuation of the diplomatic status quo, with no pressure on Israel, no real leadership from Washington, just diplomatic babysitting  – just isn't going to work.

Comments

To find a solution to the Arab -Israeli conflict one must first and before all understand and acknowledge what the conflict is all about. Contemporary history made many wrong turns, facts have been tampered with, fake and deceitful narratives have been accepted as truths etc.. The main obstacle to "peace" is the refusal of the Arabs ( and Islam) to come to terms with the very existence of a Jewish state. The second main reason is that the International Community for a series of reasons is most willing to accommodate and appease the Arabs and the Islamic/Muslim world, policy for which they would not hesitate to dump Israel. Several reasons come to mind like the western countries refusal to see the bad tidings ahead, their compromising approach and hesitation to confront dangers. Anti-Semitism also remains an essential factor in the equation. Why does the international community not stick to international law as set forward by the League of Nations? Why did the International community came to accept the fraudulent existence of a Palestinian people which never existed before? Why did the international community created a separate organization (UNWRA) exclusively for the Arab refugees and financed the perpetuation of it for over 60 years? Why did the international community prevented Israel to win her wars decisively and denied her to capitalize on them? Israel should stand up and ask embarrassing questions to the world's hypocrits.

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.