Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Annapolis Post-Mortem

In truth, the title to this post is a bit misleading, because most of the links are to pre-conference critiques of Annapolis. Nonetheless, they provide a valuable basis for a post-mortem assessment, which is to say that they concur with my own views.

The following four columns all are available for reading at Jewish World Review:

Daniel Pipes agrees with me that the central issue at Annapolis, and any post-Annapolis negotiations, and the central issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the outset, is Arab recognition and acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state.

Michael Freund, writing after the conference, observes that the reception afforded Israel's representatives by Arab nations at the conference reminded him ever so much of Alice In Wonderland, with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as the Queen of Hearts, and a Mad Tea Party at which the guests all take turns bashing Alice (Israel). He notes:

" With that image in mind, consider how Israel has been greeted by various Arab participants at the Annapolis gathering.
"Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal declared that he would not even shake Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's hand, and on Monday, the Saudi embassy in Washington expelled Israeli journalists from its premises for seeking to attend a press conference.
"The Gulf Arab emirate of Bahrain flatly rejected a proposal to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, while the Palestinians refuse even to recognize the country as a Jewish state.
"If our Arab foes won't shake hands with us and won't even recognize us, then what are the chances that they will truly wish to live in peace with us? Or, as Alice herself put it, 'It's the stupidest tea party I ever was at in all my life!'"

Caroline Glick writes:

"There is a bit of perverse poetry in the fact that the Annapolis conference is taking place the same week as the 60th anniversary of the UN General Assembly's resolution recommending that the British Mandate of Palestine be partitioned between a Jewish and Arab state.
"What the confluence of events serves to show is just how little has changed in the past 60 years.
"Both the 1947 UN resolution and the Annapolis conference are dedicated to the task of forcing the Jewish people to compromise their rights in a bid to appease Israel's neighbors who still 60 years on maintain their refusal to accept the right of the Jewish people to sovereignty over their land. And both are presented as diplomatic achievements by the Israeli government."

Ms. Glick takes to task all those (and the Kosher Hedgehog recently has been among the guilty parties) who "celebrate... the 1947 UN resolution as if it were the foundation of Israel's international legitimacy." She points out that as a General Assembly Resolution, Resolution 181 had no force of law, and that the League of Nations Palestine Mandate was the legal basis in international law for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. She argues that the 1947 UN resolution was simply an acknowledgment of the already existing de facto Jewish state, and that Israel would have declared its independence in 1948 even if the 1947 resolution had failed to pass. Indeed, foreshadowing the next 60 years of UN mistreatment of Israel, the 1947 UN resolution legitimated the actions of the Mandatory Power, Great Britain, from 1922 on, that sought to prevent the emergence of a Jewish state in Palestine, in blatant violation of the League of Nations mandate.

It is Ms. Glick's boss at the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney, who writes most bitterly about Annapolis, likening it to the scandalous midshipmen rape incidents that have blackened the reputation of the U.S. Naval Academy in recent years. "Despite official efforts to low-ball its significance, Ms. Rice's conclave is shaping up to be a gang-rape of a nation on a scale not seen since Munich in 1938, when the British and French allowed Hitler and Mussolini to have their violent way with Czechoslovakia." Gaffney warns that Annapolis, like Munich, eventually will prove injurious to the interests of the United States and the Free World.

Gaffney condemns Secretary of State Rice and the Bush Administration for abandoning the principles of the Road Map for Middle East Peace, which required progress by the Palestinian Authority in scaling back terrorist attacks against Israel as a precondition to further Israeli territorial concessions and the emergence of a Palestininan state:

"Even before Annapolis, Condi Rice has found it inexpedient to do more than mouth platitudes of the kind that once governed George Bush's policies vis a vis the Jewish State and its enemies. Today, Palestinians can remain in the terror business — they can even officially and explicitly refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish homeland — and still enjoy the Administration's political support and access to U.S. military equipment, training and vast amounts of taxpayers' funds."


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