Dennis Ross, Former Chief U.S. Middle East Negotiator & Giora Eiland, Former Israel National Security Head: Negotiations Aiming For Palestinian State Unrealistic
October 3, 2008


 Fmr. Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Head Steinitz:

Pal. State Would Be “Israel‘s Demise



In recent days, two senior figures involved with the Arab-Israeli situation, Dennis Ross, formerly America‘s chief negotiator during the Oslo process, and Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former head of Israel‘s National Security Council, have each come out opposing the idea of a negotiated agreement leading to a Palestinian state under current conditions. In a Washington Times opinion piece, Ross wrote about the impossibility of creating a peaceful Palestinian state while Hamas rules in Gaza, an argument first made in February 2007 by ZOA’s Morton A. Klein to then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at a meeting in Jerusalem of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in February. The same argument was also elaborated in July this year in an article by the Director of the ZOA’s Center for Middle East Policy, Dr. Daniel Mandel (‘No Time For a Palestinian State,’ Detroit Jewish News, 17 July 2008).


Ross observes that, when Mahmoud Abbas’ term as Palestinian Authority (PA) president ends in January, Palestinian laws would result in his successor being Abdel Aziz Dweik, a Hamas member who sits in an Israeli jail, or his deputy, Ahmad Bahar, who is also a Hamas member in Gaza [ZOA: Bahar, in an address in the PA legislature in April 2007, called for the extermination of Jews and Americans, saying, “Allah, take hold of the Jews and their allies, Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies… Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don’t leave even one.”]. Of this, Ross writes, “Hamas leaders have already begun to declare that Abbas will have no legitimacy after his term ends … Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice … remains determined to try to produce an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians on the permanent-status issues of Jerusalem, refugees, security and borders. While that might be desirable, it is simply not in the cards. As one senior Israeli official said to me, ‘There are only two people in the world today who think that a deal is possible now: Ehud Olmert and Condi Rice'” (Dennis Ross, ‘A Mideast Crisis to Avert,’ Washington Post, September 15, 2008).


Also, this week, General Eiland wrote in a paper presented at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that “Israel and the Palestinians do not truly desire the conventional two-state solution, and the Arab world – especially Jordan and Egypt – does not truly support it either … Contrary to other disputes – where the devil is usually in the details – here the devil is more in the concept … What is the basis for believing that now we can resume the same [Oslo] negotiations and be more successful? … [The 2000 Clinton parameters for a peace settlement involving the creation of a Palestinian state is] a solution that not only can’t be agreed on, but probably can’t be implemented” (Hilary Leila Krieger, ‘Eiland: Two-state solution “untenable,”‘

Jerusalem Post, September 23, 2008).


Another senior figure who has criticized the Olmert policy aimed at creating a Palestinian state, Knesset Member Dr. Yuval Steinitz (Likud), the former Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, said this week that the Government’s offer to give away all of the Golan Heights and most of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem is a plan for “national suicide” and not for peace. (‘Steinitz: PM’s “Peace” Suicidal,’ Israel National News, October 2, 2008). Steinitz also said last month that “For any foreseeable future I do not see a partner, or any possibility to leave Judea and Samaria or even part of it … The idea of a two-state solution should be dead, today, because unfortunately a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would bring about Israel’s demise … [Such a Palestinian state would] immediately become an outpost for Iran” (Tovah Lazaroff, ‘Two-state solution should be dead,’ Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2008).



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