Ending Israel’s conditional legitimacy

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone

In the chanceries of Europe, the die has apparently been cast. The time has come to launch an all-out diplomatic war against Israel. That is, the time has come to begin to unravel EU acceptance of Israel's right to exist.

Last Friday, in anticipation of the swearing in of the new Netanyahu government, EU foreign ministers met in Prague and discussed how they would stick it to the Jews.

According to media reports, the assembled ministers and diplomats decided that they will freeze the process of upgrading EU relations with Israel until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explicitly commits his government to establishing a Palestinian state and accepts that the only legitimate policy an Israeli government can have is the so-called "two-state solution."

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, reportedly summed up the new approach saying, "There won't be any progress in relations between Israel and the European Union until the Israeli government clarifies its stance on the creation of a Palestinian state."

On an operational level, the assembled ministers and diplomats decided to cancel the Israel-EU summit now scheduled for late May until Israel has bowed to Europe's demand.

Europe's decision to launch a preemptive strike against the Netanyahu government even before it was sworn into office on Tuesday came against the backdrop of its growing enthusiasm for opening formal ties with Hamas. As The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday, Europe's diplomatic courtship of the Iranian-sponsored genocidal terror group is being spearheaded by Sweden and Switzerland. But they are far from alone.

Britain's Foreign Minister David Miliband has in recent weeks openly called for recognizing Hamas. France is reportedly using its involvement in the attempts to secure the release of Israeli hostage Gilad Schalit from his Hamas-controlled captors to advance its own bilateral ties to the jihadist group. At last Friday's meeting, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht reportedly also called for Europe to open ties with Hamas.

In its move to isolate Israel – and indeed to treat the only free country in the Middle East as if it is morally and politically inferior to Hamas – the EU reportedly believes that it is acting in concert with the Obama administration.

Since entering office, and increasingly in recent weeks, the Obama administration has been both directly and indirectly signaling that it will adopt a hostile stance toward Netanyahu and his government. Unnamed Democratic congressional and administration sources have been warning Israel through the media that the administration does not accept the Israeli voters' right to set a new agenda for the incoming government that rejects the Olmert-Livni government's subordination of Israel's national interests to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The administration itself has stated through both White House and State Department spokesmen that it is completely committed to the swift establishment of a Palestinian state – regardless of Israel's position on the issue.

Other global policy-shapers have also weighed in. Former British prime minister and current Quartet Middle East mediator Tony Blair has been making daily statements warning of a breach with Israel if the Netanyahu government doesn't fall in line. On Wednesday, for instance, Blair threatened, "There is no alternative to a two-state solution, except the one-state solution. And if there is a one-state solution, there's going to be a big fight."

The Palestinians are enjoying the ride. Last Saturday, Fatah negotiator Saeb Erekat published an op-ed in The Washington Post where he portrayed Netanyahu as more radical than Hamas, and demanded that the US show that it is a true "honest broker" by treating Israel and Palestinian terrorists as moral, political and strategic equals.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has also piled on, announcing that he will boycott the Netanyahu government until it falls into line.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the international hysteria over the Netanyahu government is its timing. The calls for Israel's international isolation, the decision to treat Israel as a beyond-the-pale-pariah-nation far worse than Hamas, emerged even before the Netanyahu government was sworn into office. How did this foul state of affairs come about? Why is the Middle East's only democracy being treated worse than North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Hamas and Hizbullah?

THE RESPONSIBILITY for this horrendous state of affairs belongs mainly with Netanyahu's predecessors – former prime minister Ehud Olmert and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. During their tenures in office, Olmert and Livni effectively embraced Israel's enemies' view that unlike the PLO and even Hamas, Israel has no independent right to exist. Indeed, not only did they accept that view, they turned it into the official policy of the government.

Around the time that prime minister Ariel Sharon was felled by a stroke in January 2006, Olmert and Livni began asserting that Israel's very legitimacy is dependent on the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state. For instance, in her speech at the Herzliya conference in January 2006, Livni stated outright that until and unless a Palestinian state is carved out of land currently controlled by Israel, the Jewish state cannot expect for the world to accept its right to exist. Olmert made this point explicitly in a series of media interviews in recent months.

Livni maintained her allegiance to the view that a Palestinian state is more legitimate than Israel when during coalition talks with Netanyahu she stipulated that like the EU and the PLO, she would only accept the legitimacy of the Netanyahu government, and so agree to serve in it, if it accepted the two-state paradigm.

To fully understand the significance of what Livni and Olmert have done, it is necessary to understand the source of the phrase "two-state solution."

The term was created by the PLO. When the PLO discussed the issue, the question under debate was not whether or not to build a Palestinian state, but whether or not to accept the existence of a Jewish state. That is, the debate over whether to accept a "one-state solution" or a "two-state solution" did not revolve around the establishment of a Palestinian state – which would exist no matter what. At issue was whether to accept the existence of Israel. For the Palestinians then, and for supporters of the two-state paradigm like Blair and his European and American cohorts, it is Israel's existence, not the existence of the Palestinian state, that is conditional.

Israel embarked on the road toward accepting the PLO's position when it accepted the legitimacy of the PLO with the launch of the Oslo peace process in 1993. The first time Israel explicitly and formally accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state, however, came only in 2004, with the Sharon government's qualified acceptance of the Middle East Quartet's so-called road map plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

That acceptance was not unconditional. As both the government's reservations and Sharon's repeated statements made clear, Israel would only accept the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state after the Palestinian Authority dismantled all terror groups operating in Palestinian society including its own Fatah terror groups. That is, for the Sharon government, it was the Palestinian state, not the Jewish state, whose legitimacy was contingent on its actions.

The innovation of the Olmert-Livni government was to discard this position. In November 2007, Olmert and Livni enthusiastically signed on to the Annapolis formula for Palestinian statehood, which itself was nothing more than a regurgitation of the PLO's position. Then-US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice extoll
ed the Annapolis formula specifically because it removed the requirement that the Palestinians dismantle all terror groups operating in their territory before receiving statehood. That is, she applauded the fact that at Annapolis, the goal of fostering peaceful coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel was supplanted by the establishment of a Palestinian state as the aim of the so-called peace process.

By adopting the so-called the Annapolis "two-state" platform then, the Olmert-Livni government accepted the PLO's position that it is Israel, not the PLO and its sister terror groups, whose legitimacy is contingent on its behavior. It is not the PLO that needs to quit the terror business in order to be acceptable. Israel needs to accept the PLO – and for that matter Hamas – regardless of their behavior if it wishes for anyone to even consider recognizing it.

DUE TO the Olmert-Livni government's unconditional acceptance of the PLO's position, today conditional Israeli acceptance of the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state, along the lines of the Sharon government's conditional acceptance of the road map, is no longer sufficient. Now, as Europe, the US and regional actors are all making clear, Israel must accept that its own right to exist is contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state – regardless of its character or the identity of the Palestinian leadership. That is, if Israel doesn't accept the legitimacy of a Hamas or Fatah-ruled Palestinian terror state in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza, then it has no right to exist.

This reality, of course, was made clear by the outcry that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's official denunciation of the Annapolis formula on Wednesday induced. Lieberman, after all, did not say anything particularly anti-Palestinian. Indeed, he made clear that the Netanyahu government remains committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

All Lieberman said was that the Netanyahu government will not accept a Palestinian terror state. That is, all he said was that Israel's support for Palestinian statehood is contingent on Palestinian behavior. Additionally, Lieberman correctly pointed out that Israel's own international position has been harmed rather than advanced by its willingness to compromise its positions and accept those of its Palestinian adversaries.

What the outcry at Lieberman's remarks – from both Livni and her domestic supporters, and the international community – makes clear is that it will be exceedingly difficult for the Netanyahu government to walk away from the anti-Israel positions adopted by its immediate predecessor. But it also shows how urgently those positions need to be rejected.

For the past 16 years, from Israel's first acceptance of the PLO as a legitimate actor to Israel's acceptance of the PLO's position that it is the Jewish state rather than the Palestinian state whose legitimacy is conditional, Israel's international position has become ever more tenuous as prospects for peace have become ever more remote. The Netanyahu government was elected to put an end to this disastrous trend. It is heartening to see that straight out of the starting gate, it is working to accomplish this essential task.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone


  • Ron Grandinetti, USA 04/03/2009 at 12:46

    Caroline it appears that all governments are pilling on to pressure Israel to accept the two state solutions regardless of the PA and its connection with terrorist organizations while they will not recognize the existence of Israel.
    Israel has faced and survived adversities since its birth and she will survive this one.
    Remember the majority of Americans and citizens of the EU have a different attitude and relationship to Israel and her people.
    Unfortunately governments do not reflect the attitudes and concerns of the people they represent. Take the various government officials throw in anti-Semitism and this is what you get.
    These outspoken government critics would be better served by channeling all their energy in denouncing those terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hizbullah.
    What they all forget is Israel did not overcome these adversities in the past alone. You can rest assure God was in her corner and don’t expect God to bail out now.
    The Israeli government and it fine people cannot let other dictate their future.
    What will it take to get the American Jews to stand up for Israel and gather the support necessary to pressure this government to support Israel and her elected government?
    Let’s hear if from all the Rabbi’s in every Synagogue cry out for her parishioners to come together and be heard and support Israel.

  • Marcel Cousineau 04/03/2009 at 14:13

    This end game has become much more than Israel alone can bear as it is the whole world against Israel and fair or morality does not play into their final decision.
    They have in a united way chosen to side with evil Islam against the thorn in their side , namely Israel.
    Psalm 2 and Psalm 83 speak of this confederation against Israel and how God laughs at the puny humans and their ‘big’ plans against Him and Israel.
    The showdown of cosmic proportions has begun.
    A compliant and easily malable Israeli leader is needed to bring about the plans of the evil western globalist leaders and that was who the sheep of Israel headed for slaughter gave them when they elected Olmert,Livni.
    Netanyahu has been warned that hel also must be soft and pliable to accomplish the last moves to set in place the dismanteling of Israel for the partnership of Inon and clay to succeed.
    There is only one thing in the way and it is not Hamas or Islam’s war against Israel ,instead it is Israel.
    Israel has fallen into a big,big trap she is not able to extricate herself from and only the Holy One of Israel can and will save Israel.
    Daniel the Jewish prophet revealed the final global kingdom on earth at the time Messiah returns to deliver Israel and crush all her enemies.
    ‘You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
    And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
    Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
    And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
    As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
    And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.’
    Daniel 2
    The New World Order Globalist assume that they are the iron but in reality they are the clay and Islam is the iron that does not bend or break.
    In their global chess game of the ages the US,UN,EU have chosen to throw away the Jewish pawn for the Islamic kings to stand with them.
    Israel is in the way ,a problem for their evil ONE WORLD plan I call Babel II.
    The Holy One of Israel is in control and His fury is directed against all the nations as what they intend for Israel will come upon them.
    Here is one of many wars that He personally will rain down on Israel’s enemies in our day
    You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” ……..
    And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
    For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, …….
    And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who [are] with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
    Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”
    Ezekiel 38

  • Aline 04/03/2009 at 18:20

    Caroline, I was impatient to write BRILLIANT!! to your comment, until I got to the last paragraphs. You write:
    “What the outcry at Lieberman’s remarks – from both Livni and her domestic supporters, and the international community – makes clear is that it will be exceedingly difficult for the Netanyahu government to walk away from the anti-Israel positions adopted by its immediate predecessor. But it also shows how urgently those positions need to be rejected.”
    Difficult? Of course. But that’s how a PM job is supposed to be. The people trust him to be strong, clever, creative and inspired.
    This is not the time, Caroline, to commiserate with his predicament. This is the time to give him encouragement! To tell him that nothing less than the survival of the state – with everything that this implies for every Jew of this or future generations – is at stake. This is not the time to act subservient and timid and fearful of states that – let’s be quite frank here – have a lot to answer for past behavior regarding the Jews.
    I urge you, Caroline, please, to do everything you can to give encouragement to this government and to the people of Israel to be brave and dignified in face of this concerted attack on your existence.
    The words by the EU, UN and the US are not just diplomatic words. They are weapons that they are firing against you! You can’t stand idle just dodging the fire. You must take the offensive.
    If the government is too timid to do it, then the people of Israel, non-political organizations must take the initiative and advocate for legitimacy based on the League of Nations determination of Israel’s right to exist and its border. Whatever followed that, including partitions of its territory, are illegal.

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 04/03/2009 at 18:34

    Now that the Netanyahu government is operational, Israel should concentrate on securing its borders. Israel has unconditional rights to its territory, and no concessions should be made to destabilize security. The EU and the West want to ram a “two-state failure” down Israel’s throat. The Europeans are so weary of dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict, that they are unwisely appeasing Islamists. Even if the “two-state failure” went ahead, Europe will never deter the jihadist’s plans for global domination. Finally, Iran plans to stockpile a nuclear arsenal that will imperil Europe.

  • Bill K. 04/04/2009 at 1:01

    Israel has really gotten itself into a fix this time. By screwing up the near perfect opportunity to eliminate Hamas at the start of the year and end a long time threat, Israel is now worse off than when it started. So how will Israel get out of this mess it made for itself?
    Let’s start by getting one thing clear. Israel will never get anywhere by pleading its case with the EU, the Obama administration or the “international community”. Capitulation to their demands for the bogus “two state solution” means Israel will never be a free, independent nation again. As you have implied Israel will slowly be bullied out of existence.
    Endless diplomatic yapping is pointless. Israel must act now to eliminate Hamas before it gains any further support. Launch the war and then explain to the world bluntly why a Hamas terror state on its border means Israel will never be safe. Hamas will not and cannot be reformed because its raison d’être is the destruction of the state of Israel. Israel must act unilaterally without asking permission of any state or even notifying them in advance. A free state does not beg the permission of its equals, and especially not of its inferiors, to eliminate a looming threat. Of course a war like this will not be easy. There will be a concerted hate campaign against Israel that will make the present one look like a love fest. But in the end it will not amount to anything. Not a single country will interfere or lift a finger to help Hamas. Israel will restore its good reputation as a country that will not brook any terror state on its borders. Fatah, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran will take notice. So will the EU and the Obama administration, though for a different reason, – they will realize they cannot bully Israel around any longer.
    It takes moral confidence in the righteousness of your cause to take an action like this. Netanyahu talks the talk but can he walk the walk?

  • Bradford Stephen Kyle, Texas 04/04/2009 at 1:06

    To whatever extent Israel compromises on the principles of individual rights and the unequivocal protection thereof, to that extent Israel sanctions Islamic evil, empowering it, and prolonging the world’s agony.
    Not only must Israel prevent a PLO state, but Israel must also terminate all Islamic regimes in the mid-east, for there will never be a peaceful co-existence with those evil governments. Unfortunately, Israel alone must rise up with its righteous might and rid the world of the evil of Islam, for the rest of the world has abandoned Israel. But Israel’s task begins within its own house to purge its government of the doctrines of collectivism, statism, altruism, and original sin.
    Israel can begin to understand by heeding the Voice of Reason, Alissa Rosenbaum, a Jewish refugee from the USSR who became known as Ayn Rand in her adopted country, the United States of America. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/statism.html

  • Bob 04/04/2009 at 5:01

    Israel is actually the only legitimate nation on planet earth. Hashem Himself gave the Israelites the title deed to the land and even named the boundaries, which exceed greatly the current ones. The other nations of the world acquired their land by attacking their neighbors, killing them and occupying their land. (America comes to mind.) So much for being “occupiers” of someone else’s land. The time has come for Israel to return to the days of Entebbe and the spirit of Yoni. The entebbe raid in 1976 brought the terrorists up short and Israel had the world’s respect. The word went out quickly that if you “messed with the Bull you were going to get a horn in the posterior”. The terrorists were very quiet for several years. Israel, forget “land for peace”, the 2-state solution and all the Israeli, EU, and U.S. pacifists. Go get Ahmadinejad, the mullahs and enjopy the peace and quiet of Entebbe for a good while. You have earned it.

  • Luigi Frascati, Canada 04/04/2009 at 10:40

    Obama promised change, and change we got. We sure did.
    Here is a week in review in the wonderful world of American politics:
    1) Did you think Michelle touching the Queen was distasteful? How about Barack bowing to King Abdullah. Here it is, full video for you:
    How distasteful can that be? Let’s hope next time the President will have the decency to get down on his knees and kiss the King’s feet.
    2) The Land Of The Free, The Brave and … The Apologetic. And so we are. Let’s all apologize together to our European allies for our arrogance, just like Barack did here:
    And please … remember to apologize with conviction. Put some sentiment in it.
    3) In fact, talking about apologies, we surely couldn’t possibly forget our Mexican friends to the South – you know, the ones that are machine-gunning us all the way back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Mrs. Clinton surely didn’t forget:
    “It’s our fault” says Mrs. Clinton. We didn’t know the drug cartels were actually going to use the guns we sold them. We thought they were gun collectors. We are sorry – “lo siento mucho!!”. By the way, sorry if we took California from you and … oh yeah, lest we forget, sorry if we breath, too. We didn’t mean to use up that much oxygen.
    4) You know Mr. Obama, in politics it pays to have fans all over the world. Here is a couple of your greatest admirers:
    They are convinced, just like yourself, that Capitalism is dead. And they are convinced, just like myself, that you are full of shit.
    5) There is power in faith and religion like Hassan Abu-Jihaad, formerly known as Paul Hall, can personally attest. Mr. President, may I suggest that you close Guantanamo for foreigners and that you re-open it immediately for … American converts:
    6) By the way, Mrs. Clinton: stop worrying about Afghanistan and the Taliban. They are not a problem. Here is the problem, right in your own home State:
    Is this the reason why we don’t call them “Terrorists” anymore? How about calling them “New-Yorkers”?
    7) Huhmmh …. “Islamberg” – nice name for a town, all-American just like pop, mom and apple pie:
    I bet you didn’t think about that in Israel, didn’t you. Just another token of American liberal inventiveness.
    8) Etiquette plays an important part in politics. I’m sure we’ll all agree on this. Let’s see folks, how would you address the President of the United States if you were to meet him in person? Mr. President, Excellency, Comrade … Comrade?? Absolutely. Here it is:
    Get ready for the announcement at the next State Of The Union, aptly made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of The United States – Comrade Obama!”.
    9) And finally, the greatest news of them all. Forget about the Dollar, it is so old-fashioned:
    Of course it is not important how we call the new global currency. It is important not to let white people with blue eyes anywhere close to it:
    Only black people with black eyes will do. Well, we’ve got one …
    There you go, Ms. Glick, another week under the belt. I trust nobody in the Netanyahu Government takes these buffoons in Washington too seriously.

  • Jeff Benton ([email protected]) 04/04/2009 at 12:38

    According to Caroline Glick: “THE RESPONSIBILITY for this horrendous state of affairs belongs mainly with Netanyahu’s predecessors.” To the contrary, the responsibility lies mainly with the morally bankrupt, selfish, and short-sighted national leaders around the world who want to sacrifice the nation of Israel on the altar of their own twisted version of “peace” in the Middle East.
    Granted, Netanyahu’s predecessors deserve blame as well. They negotiated Israel into progressively weaker positions while encouraging the terrorists and the world to make ever-increasing demands.
    However, my point is that even if Israel had never negotiated at Olso, never recognized the PLO, never agreed to either the Road Map or the Annapolis Plans, etc.—is it not likely that the current diplomat war against Israel would still be raging? I believe it would.

  • Philip Barnes 04/05/2009 at 2:31

    I follow your articles in the Jerusalem Post regularly. I look forward to them as they are usually very much to the point and you tell it as it is ( at least in my opinion)I am a Candian and lived in Winnipeg, Canada most of my life but now reside in the USA.I was always proud to be a Canadian but I was not always proud of Canada’s behavior with regard to foreign policy that had an effect on Israel even though they were generally mainly pro-Israel.I now find myself in the same situation in the USA which I feel is also a wonderful country I again find that their foreign policy with regards to the Middle East and Israel specifically makes me very nervous.However I am a physician and not really a politician.Maybe there is something I don’t see or understand and wish someone could enlighten me.Please keep up your good work and I will continue to read it. Philip H. Barnes M.D. F.R.C.S.(c)

  • Ted Moran 04/05/2009 at 3:27

    Perhaps it is for the best. Israel needs to wake up and realize that she is all alone in this world of nations. She represents a promise that no other nation can boast of, and her people blessed by the hand of G-d.
    Israel needs a spiritual reawakening. It was not the nations of the world that tried to stop Hitler from exterminating every son and daughter of Jacob. The nations knew of the horror and did nothing to stop it. Great liberals like Roosevelt would not give one mission to stop the crematoriums in any camp. It was the hand of G-D that saved a remnant of HIS people to give a rebirth to the land HE had given to them thousands of years ago. What Israel needs to realize is that she is not alone, unseen by the eyes of the nations is a champion unlike any standing by her side, waiting for her to call on Him.
    What I do not understand however is the politics of the right. What Olmert and Livini have done is rightly considered treason, so why doesn’t Netanyahu call them out. Why doesn’t he say what they have done is to have betrayed the Israeli people to the world. A world that wants oil and money more than it wants righteousness. Why doesn’t he go on television and talk to the Israeli people about what Kadima and the left have lead the world to beleive? This is what puzzles me. Why doesn’t Netanyahu tell Obama that if America can change course, then so Israel has that right. Israel signed no treaty committing herself to suicide. I hope people in Israel know that there a significant number of Americans who are starting to beleive Obama is not Constitutionally qualified to be President, but the liberal press in America is not reporting this.
    In this economic turmoil the nations will not help Israel, but they will strengthen her enemies. The usurper Obama has prostrated himself before the Saudi King, and there is no mention of it here in America.
    Israel, wake up! The world has sided with darkness and they want to extinguish you, because you are the last light. Please do not be fooled again to willingly march to your own destruction. The land was not given to Ishmael or Esau, it was given to you.
    If Israel does not stand for Israel, then I am afraid he stands alone. If Israel stands she will find she is not alone, but it is her choice.

  • deborah harker 04/18/2009 at 4:31

    I am a American who wishis only the best for Israel and want to appoligize that America has Barak Obama sitting in the White House I did not vote for him.


Leave a Comment