by John Hawkins | May 13, 2002 9:34 pm
Israeli Knot Tightens: Stratfor does some analysis of the Likud vote against Palestinian statehood this week-end. Why did they vote that way?
“…The argument for a Palestinian state is that it would eliminate an internal threat to Israel in the event of a war along its periphery. But the majority of Likud argues that the assumption that a Palestinian state would effectively be an Israeli protectorate or ally is false.
To the contrary, their argument is that any Palestinian state would resist the constricting terms of statehood and constantly try to increase its room to maneuver. Should a time arise when Egypt repudiates its treaty with Israel, and if the Arabs close the military gap with Israel, that would be the precise moment when Israel would not be able to assert residual control over a Palestinian state. Under this scenario, Israel would not have secured better internal lines of communication, but in fact would face a situation wherein its enemies, with the Palestinians aiding them, would have access to a long, convoluted border, with many avenues to attack the Jewish state.
Likud has expressed Israel’s primordial fear and belief: Regardless of what the Palestinians may say or promise, they remain committed to the destruction of the state of Israel and the reclamation of all of Israel to Islam. Likud does not believe that the Palestinians see statehood as anything other than a step on the road to Tel Aviv.
Likud’s view of the Palestinians is not an unreasonable one. The Palestinians have been ambiguous at best about the idea of a state representing their final claim, and several powerful groups reject any solution short of the destruction of Israel. More important, regardless of what is felt now, the Palestinian state envisioned on the West Bank and Gaza is inherently insufficient economically, politically and militarily. That state cannot sustain an autonomous Palestine.”
That’s the ultimate fear for Israel and it’s totally reasonable. But, it bodes ill for anyone who hopes to see a peaceful, negotiated, settlement between both sides…
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