State of Confusion – By Ephraim Sneh | Foreign Policy #Israel – #Palestine

Ephraim Sneh, a retired IDF general, and formerly Israel’s deputy minister of defense, may be confused himself.  However there are several key points to take away from this piece in Foreign Policy Magazine:

Abbas’s remarkable interview on Israeli television earlier this month. “We will not go back to terrorism and violence,” he said. “We will only operate through diplomacy and through peaceful means.” Abbas then made a surprising concession on the refugee issue that has long plagued Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, noting that while he is a refugee from Safed, he would like to visit but not live there. “Palestine for me is the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital,” he explained. “The West Bank and Gaza is Palestine. Everything else is Israel.” Just days before this interview, in Ramallah, Abbas confirmed to a small group of former Israeli generals, including me, that he will ask the Israeli prime minister to restart direct peace negotiations immediately after U.N. recognition.

If, however, the U.S. Congress follows through with its threat to cut financial support to the Palestinian Authority as part of a series of punitive measures for Abbas’s campaign at the United Nations, it would be a shot not in the foot but in the liver — Israel’s. If the PA collapses economically and Palestinian security forces have to stop their operations because of budget constraints, the struggle against terror in the West Bank will suffer dramatically. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will then have to increase their presence in the West Bank at the expense of other areas in the region, generating more unnecessary friction with the population in the territory. The fruitful cooperation between the IDF and Palestinian security forces — trained and organized by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton’s team — will collapse, reversing the most impressive American achievement on the ground in recent years. The near-total cessation of terrorist activity in the West Bank in the last four years is a result of this cooperation. Without it, more Israelis will be killed. And Israel’s friends in Congress must remember this. 

What’s more, his initiative is good for Israel. True, it embarrasses those Israelis who prefer continuing the occupation over having a democratic Jewish state with a Jewish majority. But U.N. recognition of Palestine also deters a one-state reality. One state, with an Arab majority, is a prescription for the destruction of Israel and the end of the Jewish dream. Now, with parliamentary elections two months away, Israeli politicians, who have long swept this issue under the rug, will have to come out in favor of either a two-state solution or a one-state non-solution. Furthermore, granting the Palestinians non-member state status at the United Nations does no harm to Israel’s security. It will not change Israel’s military hold on the West-Bank.

Read the whole article here:  State of Confusion – By Ephraim Sneh | Foreign Policy

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