Since seventies-retro foreign policy seems to be all the rage lately, I guess there was no way to stop Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, from weighing in on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Last Sunday he and Stephen Solarz presented a plan so impressive that even the analysts at the DEBKAfile, called it an “extravaganza” that “deserves Hollywood’s finest director.”
Ex-President Jimmy Carter’s National Security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Democratic congressman Stephen Solarz have come up with yet another Middle East peace plan – this one, as published in the Washington Post, relies heavily on a dramatic Barack Obama peace odyssey to the region with a party of Arab leaders and Quartet (US, Russia, EU and UN) members climaxing in a dramatic speech “to all the peoples of the region” from the Old City of Jerusalem.
The only problem is, with Obama’s approval hovering around 9% in Israel, who will they find to wave palm branches and shout “hosanna” as he arrives?
Nevertheless, Brzezinski – a man who fusses about U.S.-spawned “islamophobia” and advocates war in Iraq only if it involves shooting down Israeli aircraft – optimistically prepared three principles for a new Palestinian State which Mr. Obama would present following the triumphal entry. However, as DEBKAfile points out, despite the messianic window-dressing, Brzezinski’s “durable and comprehensive peace plan” is merely a tiresome rehash of past failures.
This proposition is gainsaid by another fact of life which both Brzezinski and Solarz choose to ignore and which every objective, informed Middle East observer knows: The Palestinians – today as always before – are secretly opposed to the independent state on offer.
In the 33 years since the Begin-Dayan peace initiative, four Israeli leaders have offered the Palestinians the lion’s share of the areas Israel captured from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 war.
In 1993, Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo framework accords which permitted Yasser Arafat to end his exile in Tunisia and establish himself at the head of a ruling administration with military and intelligence branches on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He had the kernel of a state which he used for nothing more than to develop terrorist attacks against Israel.
In 2000, Ehud Barak, then prime minister, sat opposite Arafat at Camp David and in the presence of US president Bill Clinton offer the Palestinian leader 100 percent of the Gaza Strip and 98 percent of the West Bank for permanent peace. Arafat rejected the offer there and then and, two months later, in September, unleashed his suicide terror offensive against Israel.
In 2005, Ariel Sharon unilaterally pulled every last Israeli civilian and soldier out of the Gaza Strip and handed it over to the Palestinian Authority – only to have it fall a year later in June 2006 in a putsch staged by the Iranian-backed, extremist Hamas, exposing southwestern Israel to a systematic missile offensive.
In 2007, Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) 94.4 percent of the West Bank for a Palestinian state. Abbas turned him down.
In the fourteen months since Binyamin Netanyahu has been prime minister, he has been consistently snubbed every time he proposed restarting peace talks, even after he reluctantly accepted the Obama principle of a two-state solution to the conflict. He even accepted proximity talks as an interim measure for getting negotiations going.
It’s truly amazing that the Israelis, who cut their teeth in a foreign-relations snake pit, have the fortitude to politely entertain the futile demands of book-smart and bossy American diplomats who plague them with their delusions of moral superiority. Self-proclaimed sages too short-sighted to see that everything Israel does, short of a second Exodus, always provokes the same result: murderous Islamic fury and the censure of the world. And yet, DEBKAfile suggests that ignorance may not be the problem in Brzezinski’s case. Israel’s reputation may be an intentional casualty of his plan.
The Brzezinski-Solarz peace plan therefore rests on the flimsiest possible premises, is unsupported by any serious research into past or present factors. It appears to be designed to clothe Israel, rather than the Arab-backed Palestinians, in peace rejectionist garments, as a service to key elements of the Obama administration, such as his national security adviser James Jones.
With friends like us, I wonder how many Israelis secretly long for the good old days of Pharaoh, Haman, and Vespasian.