Oslo III – False-Start

The Israelis have always considered the US as their “best friend”; for strategic and economic reasons, but also because they love democracy, freedom, western values. Today, when a tsunami of US-produced digital media engulfs Israel itself, the Israelis assimilate the US declaration of Independence concepts of “Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness” with their own state Declaration of Independence. NYPD, FBI, CIA, NASA, NBA are an integral part of the Israeli popular culture. The blue hexagram is blurred by the stars and stripes, and many think that the US presidents care about Israel, at least as much as about Florida.

Although both the US-Israeli relations and the US values to the world are of prime value, the US-Israeli bond is neither reciprocal, nor idyllic. Rafael Medoff, Historian and Director of the Washington-based David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, recently reported how President Roosevelt, who publicly supported the creation of Israel, actually run an anti-Zionist policy in 1947 (Rafael Medoff, Obama, FDR and Zionism, The Jerusalem Post, March 19, 2013). Forty years later, Secretary of State James Baker was discourteously bullying Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. In 2010, US Vice-President Joe Biden and US Army Gen. David Petraeus linked the construction of houses in Jerusalem with possible US casualties in the Middle-east. This year, (ret.) US Commander James Mattis expressed biased and hostile statements against Israel.

Today, when the US summons Israel in Washington for discussions with Palestinians who want nothing else than the destruction of Israel, the US-Israeli connection becomes awkward. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian representative, notorious for his recurring and virulent media attacks against Israel, is not a fair partner; on the Israeli side, Minister of Justice Tsipi Livni, the darling of the US and Western chancelleries’ officials, is, within diplomatic circles, discretely and happily suggested as a future Prime Minister of Israel, due to her collusion with the US administration. She is not a trustworthy partner either: First, her general positioning on the Israeli-Arab conflict shows a cocktail of naivety and political opportunism, as one can see in this month CNN broadcast “Peace process back from the dead” with Christiane Amanpour; not the best tools to represent Israel in the Washington talks. Secondly, her opposition to the Referendum Law disqualifies her; indeed, since April 2013, she has been blasting this democratic tool, probably estimating that the secret Oslo Accords, initiated in 1993 behind the backs of the Middle-east people, led to Peace. Obviously, she doesn’t assess that it headed Israel to defeat and the Middle-east to a democratic deficit, following the lack of trust generated between the people and their leaders, perceived as arrogant, corrupted, opaque and unaccountable.

Here we are again; Oslo III is born! From Israel, the referendum will be the only tool to counter mistakes made in Washington and honeyed promises for a New Middle-east, ornamented by Dubai-style skyscrapers. From the US, some real friends understand the danger planning over their “greatest ally” and initiated a bill, urging the recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel Act, pushing for the implementation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, repeatedly postponed by the White House.

Hollywood-style Oslo III featuring President Obama & Co, a Palestinian wolf and an Israeli lamb should be neither a priority of US Foreign Policy, nor an Israeli national interest. The Palestinians have not proved to be reliable or stable partners, and certainly not shown any inclination to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Instead, they expressed extreme pre-conditions, such as, among others, the “return” of millions of Arabs to Israeli cities, and an unethical “land for peace” formula, a suicide-recipe for Israel. It is time to get back to reality, and for Friendship to get some amount of reciprocity.

Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

About the Author
Dan (Jerome) Vitenberg is an international political analyst. He has taught Political Science and International relations for the LSE via the University of London's International Programs at DEI College, Greece. He holds a BA in Political science and International relations from the Hebrew University and a MA in Political science (International political communication) from Tel-Aviv University. Through years of experience in International Business, he developed a multicultural expertise in Asia, Africa, Europe and Middle-East.
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