The Wrong Message

Sharon’s top aide Dov Weisglass said today that the significance of the disengagement is the freezing of the peace process:

“And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

This is the wrong message. Disengagement is good because it allows Israeli resources to be diverted away from defending radical settlers, reigns in those settlers, and temporarily puts the peace process on hold until there is an accountable Palestinian leadership with whom Israel can negotiate. Coupled with the security barrier, this will make a large dent in Palestinian terrorism– with less occupation, there will be less popular support for attacks on Israeli civilians. It’s limited nature also makes sure that when negotiations resume, there are “bargaining chips” still available to the Israeli government.

But the goal must be to come to a final status agreement at some point. Israel should not aim to prevent a Palestnian state from ever being formed, but only to make sure that that state is not a threat. Israel must address Palestinian nationalism in a constructive manner– ignoring it completely will amount to a negation of all the positives of disengagement that I mentioned.

The comments regarding American policy are a huge diplomatic mistake. Bush has publicly supported a Palestinian state, and certainly will not be happy to hear that Israel believes it has pulled a fast one on him. Israel needs to make sure that it is highly cooperative and responsive to America if it wants to enjoy continued support of the sort it received just today in the UN.

Ariel Sharon ought to distance himself from these comments ASAP. Full story here

10 thoughts on “The Wrong Message

  1. That’s where you are wrong Ronen. The difference between what you project about the ‘seperation/retreat’ idea and the actual reality or mindset behind the idea is light years.
    When Mr. Weisglass speaks, listen. He’s been Sharon’s personal advisor for the past few years. Sharon is an old man who knows that eventually Israel (as a weak country) will be pressured to retreat back to 67 borders, and then back to the partition as well, so him nad his team think that they can preempt this by their unilateral initiative.
    Sharon’s team actually believe that they will get peace and quiet from the world if they do this retreat of Gaza, but the reality is that the world loves precedents and as the speaker of the knesset said this week, once you move one Jew out of his house, you set the ball rolling for all of them – Gaza, Shomron, Yehuda, Jerusalem, and rest of Israel.
    Foreign Minister Shalom in Paris recently tried to gauge their opinion and received in reply that they thought that this retreat plan is part of the road map, and notwithstanding, Israel won’t be given and time to rest afterwards.
    don’t be so naive. Find the retreat plan and read it. The only thing that is happening is the deportation of Jews from their homes, and removal of all property and cemetaries. After that, all association with the ‘Palestinian Authority’ is actuallu upgraded.
    Last, but most important; If you really want to stop the occupation, remove all Jewish sovreignty from Israel. Don’t assume that the ‘occupation’ ends at the 67 borders.

  2. OK Josh, whatever– your perspectives are so bizarre they don’t really merit reaction. Suffice to say that the ‘ball won’t roll’ into ‘the rest of Israel.’ That’s a very paranoid outlook, and it’s not realistic.

  3. Weisglass’s remarks are very revealing.
    On the other hand, considering the fact that sharon has been approving more and more settlement building in the west bank, whats the big surprise? the facts on the ground confirm what weisglass is saying.
    the disengagement definitely seems as an ingenious political strategy to make him look like a dove, while creating a strong enough right wing opposotion that can assure him that the disengagement wont be successful anyway. Even if such a desired right wing opposition is not desired by sharon, and even if sharon is sincere about the disengagement plan, one thing is sure – sharon is willing to give up the gaza strip for what he considers to be the real asset- and that is the west bank.
    sharon is a great politician, but a tragedy for the israeli people.

  4. Ahmed Tibi brought up an interesting point – was the US actively supporting the disengagement for the same reasons Sharon was (that is, for the sake of not getting involved in any serious negotiation)? The question as I see it is rhetorical and the answer is – YES. I hope Kerry and his southern buddy finally take a serious stance about the Israeli occupation, using Weisglass’s remark against Bush.

  5. It’s interesting because it seems to indicate that the right is backing off their accomodation to the idea of a Palestinian state, even after the whole discourse has moved so far towards accepting it that Bush — BUSH — has been the first president to mention it multiple times in speeches. (Sure, Clinton supported it, but in the context of peace agreements. He didn’t speechify about it very much.)
    We’ll have to watch closely to see where this goes…
    I personally think that neither Sharon nor a handpicked successor will win the next Israeli elections. It’s too bad they’re so far away right now. Maybe something can bring them closer…

  6. I’ve always been a bit suspect of the motivation of the disengagement plan, although I like the idea of it. As far as making sense of Weisglass’s stupid comments, a lot depends on if this is a continuation of the ongoing infighting within Likud, or if he actually has his fingers on the pulse of Sharon’s motivation. I hope it’s the former and that he will soon be repremanded.

  7. I found the comments of Weisglass’s comments to be very ‘interesting.’
    I don’t know if the article I read is true, but I recently read an article that stated that Weisglass has financial ties to Yassir Arafat, and that the plan is to build a new casino in the Gush Katif region. Again, I have seen only one article and can’t swear to it’s accuracy, but find the combination of these comments when combined with that potential.

  8. Weisglass’ response:
    “However several hours after the interview was published on Haaretz daily, Weisglass claimed he was misquoted by the newspaper and did not mean to rule out on the whole negotiations with the Palestinians.
    ‘The paper quoted only the first half of my sentence. What I said is directed at this specific time when there is a non-functional Palestinian Authority, and when terror is raging– if that’s the case there should not be, God forbid, a process that would lead to the establishing of a Palestinian State, which would have anarchy as its founding stone.’
    Weisglass added that the road map couldn’t be implemented because the Palestinians are not keeping their side of the bargain under the peace plan – putting a stop to terror activities, breaking down all terror organizations and reforming the Palestinian Authority.”
    Which is pretty much in line with the whole logic of unilateral steps.

  9. Aviva:
    What exactly did I say that makes you sick?
    I was asking a simple question based an article that I had read and was looking for any additional information.
    As far as Dov’s comments, as happens when people are talking off the cuff in an ‘interview’ type situation, he is reported to have back peddled about some of the statements in the report several hours later. Partially, according to what I read, do to several of his statements being taken out of context.
    The thing that really occured to me after reading the article is that by ‘abandonning’ Gaza, the beginings of an independent Palestinian state is being established. I am not sure how it takes those concepts off the table until there is a change in leadership. It seems to me that if anything it will appear to many of the Palestinians that ‘President’ Arafat’s plan of using terror to advance his agenda will have succeeded. They will have gained a foothold on a new country with out negociating anything to get it. This would see to bolster the existing ‘leadership’ as opposed to further reducing it’s effectiveness. This seems to be the wrong move.

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