§287 Time to vote soonJanuary 28, 2009
You know what’s funny about Israeli politics? Ten years ago there was elections, the two candidates were Bibbi and Barak, and everybody knew that Bibbi doesn’t stand a chance, and that Barak would definitally win. Now it’s exactly the opposite. Ok, sure, now there’s a Livni inbetween too who catches the leftish right votes and the rightish left votes, but it’s more than just the left vote split between Barak and Livni. They could create (and they are now) in a coalition, so they could still outnumber Bibbi together. Fact is, the voters have changed their minds. They do that all the time. The studies show this too. We always react to what we see, and the Israeli public will according to all studies choose Netanyahu this time. Why? Because we’re sick of empty promises. Because we remember how Barak dissapointed us in Camp David 2000. Because we don’t want negotiations under fire. Because we are sick of unilateral withdrawals that only brings the front closer to us.
So I went to Bibbi Netanyahu’s site to see his views. I’m getting tired of Bibbi and Livni throwing dirt on one another, I want to hear where they stand. So on Bibbi’s site, http://en.netanyahu.org.il/Themes-of/security/ I read:
No more unilateral withdrawals
The 4000 rockets fired at the Galilee and Northern Israel during the Second Lebanon War, and the 4000 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza have proven to many people in Israel that the warnings issued by the Likud and its leader against unilateral withdrawals were not empty. Today, after the Disengagement, Hizbullah holds new and more dangerous weapons than it ever possessed. While there is a cease-fire in Gaza, Hamas continues to bring in tremendous quantities of munitions in preparation for the next round of terror. In the final analysis, these withdrawals and the Disengagement have turned an already complicated situation into one that is even more complex and perilous.
There cannot be any unilateral withdrawals in the future. Any area that the IDF evacuates will be taken over at once by the Hamas, and every withdrawal will broadcast a message of weakness and surrender.
The Likud is prepared to make concessions in exchange for peace, such as Menachem Begin did in the peace treaty with Egyptian President Anwar Saadat – concessions in exchange for a true and reliable peace agreement. Only through such arrangements which protect Israel’s security can we promote peace with our neighbors.
A Peace that Can Succeed
The current peace negotiations, initiated at Annapolis, with their focus on reaching a final status agreement immediately, are misguided. I do not believe that the Palestinians are prepared today to make the type of historic compromise that would end the conflict. There is no evidence that the Palestinians will accept even the minimal demands that any responsible Israeli leader will make. The Palestinians rejected an offer of sweeping concessions eight years ago, and there is no evidence that their positions on any of the core issues have become more moderate. If anything, faced with a weak Israeli government, their positions have only hardened.
Israel should be focusing its efforts instead on helping Abu Mazen and Fayad improve the day-to-day lives of Palestinians. In particular, we should be trying to help them rapidly develop their economy. While this will not resolve the conflict, it can create an environment in which negotiations would have a better chance of succeeding. A Likud-led government will immediately focus on a serious and sustained effort to fundamentally change the situation on the ground.
Where we draw the lines in any peace agreement
When the times comes for a final-settlement negotiation, the Likud will draw the line in a clear-cut way:
The Likud and its leader will insist that the responsibility for the security of the citizens of the State of Israel remains firmly in the hands of the State and that Israel’s right to defend its borders will be secured, a right that is grounded in UN Resolutions 242 and 338.
Responsibility for Palestinian Refugees – belongs with the Arab Countries
A Likud-headed government will not allow thousands, certainly not millions, of Palestinian refugees to enter Israel. Israel will not take any moral responsibility for those refugees, since their very plight today is the result of the fatal decisions made by the Arab world: the decision to declare war on Israel instead of accepting the right of Jews to have a country of their own, and the decision maintained ever since 1967 to deny those Palestinian refugees the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and continue their lives in Arab countries.
Jerusalem undivided and under Israeli rule
The government headed by the Likud will keep Jerusalem the unified capital of Israel under Israeli sovereignty. For 2000 years Jews from all over the world have yearned to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their historical capital. Jerusalem is the very heart of Jewish culture and we will continue to preserve it as such, while allowing freedom of religion and access to all religions in their holy places in the city.
The worst action that can be taken for peace is dividing Jerusalem. Such a step would create a permanent site of friction that is likely to ignite the entire region. Only an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty can preserve regional peace.
I realy liked this. Now, Livni’s site says almost exactly the same, the same red lines (So she basically wants to present herself as “just like Netanyahu but better because I haven’t made any decisions that made people mad… yet”), but with two large exceptions:
-Nothing said against further unilateral withdrawals
-Nothing about “focusing its efforts instead on helping Abu Mazen and Fayad improve the day-to-day lives of Palestinians”
I don’t trust Barak. 1999 he stood on the walls of Jerusalem during his campaign, declaring it our eternal capital, and in summer 2000 he negotiated about the division of Jerusalem with Arafat in Camp David (luckily, Arafat was stupid enough to go for the “all or nothing” principle – so he naturally ended up with nothing).
Basically, what Bibbi says is true – we are ready for negotiations and for compromises whenever they are. If they keep insisting on “all or nothing”, we cannot negotiate. We will have no choice but keep the situation as it is, and invest in improving the lifes of the Palestinians, hoping to one day achieve willingness to talk. Until then, it’s a waste of time.
And believe me, if my settlement was about to be torned down as part of a serious and effective negotiated peace plan, built in step-by-step measures to be taken by each side, and I had seen that the palestinians had fulfilled all their commitments according to that – I would be happy to leave Maale Adumim, even though I don’t believe in a two-state solution, and even though I believe this is part of our homeland – I would leave. I would give peace a chance. If I had only seen that they are ready to give peace a chance. If, however, my government would try to evacuate me as part of an unilateral withdrawal, I would fight that decision with all my might.
The economy is another issue. I totally disagree with Netanyahu’s capitalistic trickle down policy. But there are more important things at stake here.
If I could only vote for a security-right and socially-left candidate.