Israel Should Be Smart About September
With the failed Flotilla II campaign of anti-Israel, or simply ignorant, European boat-people behind us (those on the boats who tried to reach Gaza last month, were either deeply anti-Israel/ pro-Hamas supporters or “enlightened” Europeans looking for something to do) attention in Israel is turned towards September.
Two major events are on the agenda next month at the UN. The Durban III “anti-racism” conference is set to take place in New York on September 21, and there can be no doubt as to what is on the agenda, as was the case at the previous two sham events: bashing Israel.
The second event, which has not been officially scheduled, is a General Assembly vote on “Palestinian” Statehood.
The idea of the “Palestinians”declaring statehood at the General Assembly is not novel, as such a move was carried out back in 1988. At the time arch terrorist Yasser Arafat was invited to address the plenum in celebration of that body’s acknowledgement of “the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council.” The vote passed handily with 104 states voting for the resolution, 44 abstaining and just two countries, the United States and Israel, voting against.
Fast-forward to this September. It is likely that the Palestinian Authority will garner a similar automatic majority in this year’s vote. So why is a second vote, more than 20 years later, needed? It’s for the same reason as the Flotilla – which had nothing to do with providing humanitarian aid to Gaza – to create an Israel-bashing media propaganda spectacle.
A General Assembly resolution is simply a non-binding recommendation that bears no weight. The only way to even begin the process towards statehood is via a UN Security Council recommendation, which if all things hold, will be vetoed by the United States should it be placed on the agenda. Then again, should we be so confident that the Obama Administration will use its veto? I am not so sure. Even so, it will create momentum for the Arabs, and once again cast Israel the “occupier” in a negative light.
That’s bad enough, but what really concerns me is what will happen on the ground in Israel after the vote. While nobody knows what will happen in September, several Israeli politicians, including former Defense Minister MK Shaul Mofaz, are worried that violence could break out. That potential for violence is the only reason that I can think of, which would allow the Netanyahu Administration to suddenly endorse the “1967 plus” speech that President Obama gave right before the AIPAC national convention in May. Although Netanyahu made clear at the time that the 1967 lines were a non-starter. Suddenly, it was reported this week, that Bibi is willing to accept those lines as a baseline for talks. See a news item on this here.
So perhaps it is the fear of violence similar to the second intifada, or perhaps Bibi is trying to divert attention from the economic protests engulfing the streets of Israel. But either way, offering land concessions yet again to entice the Arabs from withdrawing their UN application, is simply bad policy. Perhaps it would defuse tension in the short term, but Israel knows, all too well, that every display of weakness and surrender of territory only lead to more blood spilled.
As an alternative plan regarding September, I would suggest two strategies. Firstly, I would simply ignore the UN vote itself since it carries no weight. Instead of combating the vote with a counter campaign, which will only draw more attention to the statehood vote itself, just let it be. There is no reason to get baited into a battle at the UN, especially one that Israel has no chance of winning.
On the other hand, Israel must be prepared militarily for what may come. Whether it’s in Israel’s major population centers in the middle of the country, Jerusalem, along the Southern or Northern borders – which have withstood thousands of rocket attacks over the past decade – or the communities within Judea and Samara, there is no excuse for the strongest army in the region to fail from quashing any violence via protests or outright terrorism.
For Israel September could bring with it turbulence, but if Israel takes the appropriate steps, we’ll look back in October and realize that it was no big deal after all.