Ambassadør advarer mod pres på Israel

Barukh Binah
Barukh Binah Israels ambassadør i Danmark

DEBAT: Fortsat pres på Israel kan få palæstinenserne til at tro, at de ikke længere behøver at tale med israelerne og betale en pris for deres fremtidige stat. Det kan spænde ben for fredsforhandlingerne, mener Barukh Binah, Israels ambassadør i Danmark. Artiklen er på engelsk.

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Af Barukh Binah
Israels ambassadør i Danmark

The diplo air is filled with discussion on where to go next following operation “Protective Edge”, and the talk of the town, or at least of some circles in the European continent, is the level of pressure that should be brought to bear on Israel.

Continued pressure on Israel may lead the Palestinians to believe that they can obtain their desired independent state descending upon them from heaven, gift-wrapped and with sweet bells tolling.

Barukh Binah, Israels ambassadør i Danmark

But peace between Israel and the Palestinians can be attained only through direct negotiations; it will not be achieved through pressure, especially since all the pressure is directed towards Israel. I watch with admiration the European zeal for peace and the growing annoyance with the situation.

Occasionally I hear that Europe and the world have lost patience with “our” conflict which “must” be resolved. Today, please; right here and right now, please; and to hell with such details as security (for Israel) or finality (“end-of-conflict”).

Fakta
Fra 23. september og en måned frem sætter Udviklingsdebatten fokus på Israel-Palæstina-konflikten.

Mød denne måneds debatpanel her.

Udviklingsdebatten på Altinget : udvikling har til formål at fokusere og styrke den udviklingspolitiske debat i Danmark. Løbende inviterer Altinget : udvikling eksperter, politikere, fagfolk og interesseorganisationer til at debattere udvalgte emner og/eller problemstillinger inden for udviklingsområdet. 

Bland dig gerne i debatten ved at sende en mail til kafr@altinget.dk.

We hear a lot about the settlements, but when did you last hear of Hamas never-ending desire to destroy Israel and to replace it with an Arab state from the river to the sea?

Read Hamas charter. It is still there, and Hamas murderous provocations attest to its veracity.

Unfair pressure
The assertions that the so-called guilt rests on Israel’s shoulders is not making justice with reality. Assuming that therefore pressure applied towards Israel will do the trick is at least not helpful, if not unwise.

The conflict is far too complex and nuanced than what could be settled by a metaphoric blow of a metaphoric economic sword into a metaphoric Gordian knot. I know my countrymen and I can venture an estimate that, when faced with what must be seen as unfair and one-sided attitude they will circle the wagons and resist outside pressures.

What is an unjust pressure? It is the international tendency to look the other way (albeit with an occasional lip service to the contrary) when more than 4,500 missiles and rockets fall on Israel in 51 days of rage (and over 17,000 in the last decade) while the consequences of Israel’s actions of self-defense are highlighted and taken out of proportion.

We are saddened by each civilian death, but to disregard Hamas culpability for the tragic human toll is unfair and unjust.

Likewise it is unjust to claim that Israel is the chief culprit, because it did not suffer a lot of casualties (due to its excellent systems of alert and defense), while Hamas, poor souls, invested most of the contents of its coffers in digging attack tunnels and hiding places for its leaders or in the production of missiles and rockets.

Unfair pressure is to maintain that, since Israel has an advanced economy it could be vulnerable to economic pressure, while the Palestinians are immune to it. This Israel-bashing may lead to boycotting of Israeli trade (and not only of settlements products).

It may open the gates of hell to the abyss of anti-Semitism (Remember jews and Europe? We’ve been in that movie too many times). It will not necessarily inflict a major damage on Israel and on its high-tech based economy, but it can inflict mortal wounds on the peace efforts.

Prevents peace talk
Continued pressure on Israel may lead the Palestinians to believe that they can obtain their desired independent state descending upon them from heaven, gift-wrapped and with sweet bells tolling.

They may believe that they no longer have to talk to the Israelis and pay some price for their prospective state. They may be misled to believe that membership in the umpteenth UN agency, coupled with some suitable political statements from Europe can free them from the need to sit down and really talk to Israel. But it does not work that way, as Sally Albright told Harry Burns in the immortal movie “When Harry met Sally”.

So, how does it work? It could work with a lot of sweat and patience, with hard labor and determination. The late Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated 19 years ago, once told a group of American law-makers who complained that Israel did not live up the target dates of the Oslo Process, that there was no sanctity in the dates; only in the targets, and that we might spend many days and nights in negotiations, so long as we agree on a single precondition, namely that violence must end and that all the differences must be resolved around the table.

He told the Palestinians: ”Enough of tears and bloodshed. Enough!” Just like Anwar Sadat of Egypt who said to the Israelis: “No more war, no more bloodshed”.

Once the Palestinians adhere to this principle negotiations could be restarted. It is not going to be an easy glide. I am sure that the Palestinians have grievances that Israel will have to address. On the other hand, Israelis feel that all their gestures, including a one-sided, complete and voluntary evacuation of the Gaza strip, failed to yield peace and security for Israel, including a continuous refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish State and the recent provocations by Hamas that led to operation “Protective Edge”.

The unfortunate statements made recently by Palestinian leaders that they no longer seek the resumption of the peace talks with Israel, may be given some back wind from European politicians. It is high time that Europe will encourage the Palestinians to shoulder the burden, once more and live with reality.

Omtalte personer

Barukh Binah

Fhv. ambassadør, Israels ambassade i Danmark
cand.polit. (Hebrew Uni.)

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