By Prof Abdullah Al Ash'al
The Arab Initiative's mandate to hold direct negotiations with Israel which was the result of its Committee meeting on July 29th 2010 is bound to remain confused given its extreme gravity, and the fact that the Arab world is not convinced of this nihilistic approach which seeks to lure Israel into a closure of the conflict.
Arabs hedging their bets on American guarantees constitutes a dangerous beginning to the dissolution of the issue and as such, the authority to order direct negotiations was reserved for the Arab League and Abu Mazen; the League is unable to withhold it and Abu Mazen is not willing to use it in this act of political suicide.
When Israel was established, security was its foremost obsession. This was normal as it was an alien entity that had been imposed on the region and explains why the Jewish immigrants, who formed the nucleus of Israel, considered the owners of Palestinian land as terrorists. However, Palestinians did not understand the full significance of this until more recently and since Israeli leaders declared that 'Israel' is a project to redeem the land of their ancestors from usurpers. This conception of Israel formed part of the declaration of the state but it did not draw much attention in 1948 and was considered by some as a prank. The first reference in international documents that the security of Israel was linked to the borders with its neighbors was in UN Security Council Resolution 242 which provided for the right of Israel to exist within secure and recognized borders.
This statement includes three issues; the first is Israel's existence and its right to it given that Israel was created in an abnormal way. Whereas states usually arise from existing ones, either by secession or union, it has never been the case that a state has arisen on the ruin of another amid mysteries and incense, burners and ritual, as if it were a state of jinn and demons that has thereafter plagued this region from the West. As such, this was the dilemma in accepting the Security Council resolution; a resolution that had nothing in it except for this reference which formed the core of the problem. Its assertion of Israel's right to exist has no basis and even when founding their assumptions on holy books, it offends both the Palestinian people and Jewish groups who are all servants of God. May He forbid that support is given to these groups at the expense of a people that have lived on this land for thousands of years. Accordingly the acceptance of Resolution 242 implies an acceptance of the existence of Israel.
The third issue is that of secure borders. Some of the most enthralling material written about this concept was featured in the controversy that raged on the pages of the American Journal of International Law between the late scholar, Ibrahim Shehata, author of "My will to my country" on his death bed, and a number of Jewish professors who hid behind so-called science and objectivity. These secure borders have now transcended the geographical boundaries and have expanded to the realms of moral and psychological security for the Jews of Israel. There is no doubt that the exaggeration of the concept of secure borders is consistent with Israel's determination to impose itself on the region by force. Hence, secure borders include preventing the emergence of any state that is sympathetic to Arab rights or which seeks to expose the reality of the Zionist project. This entails denying any such state the ability to arm itself with anything that may support the Arab cause. These borders also involve ripping the region apart and creating discord between and within these states as well as supporting systems which prevent the growth of these peoples and ensure their impoverishment and oppression. In this way Israel reaps a double benefit; on the one hand, its racist democracy is lauded amid the lack of Arab democracy and is one of the critical bases for the support of Israel's right to exist and the justification of its crimes. On the other hand, this ensures Israel security from a mass awakening up of the people that can shatter its dreams, because it is not logical for a small country to dominate a region which has hundreds of millions surrounded by more than a billion Muslims and billions of others from developing countries. This aspect has forced Israel to conduct diplomacy of vigilance which moves in all direction towards a receding Arab body.
Israel has identified its secure borders, which includes everything throughout the world and has ensured the recognition of its right to exist. Recognition of this right to exist and open borders to Israel means its right to act openly and even to commit crimes so long as threatening this right is illegal.
Thus, Israel stressed that the "freedom flotilla" is the aggressor and keeping it away by force, even if victims fall, is legal and that the fleet itself was a haven for terrorists. Israel has also stressed in the United Nations, in response to the Human Rights Council resolution to form a commission of inquiry into the incident against this fleet, that the fleet has done something illegal which is breaking the commitment to Israel and its 'legitimate' right to strangle Gaza in defense of itself.
This also explains Israel's expulsion of the Palestinian Arabs in the Negev, as its ambassador in Cairo said to the BBC on July 31 of last year. This means that Israel's security is determined by Israel, which is clearly understood by the United States. Thus, U.S. political rhetoric persists in considering Israel's security sacred in this sense, and is conspicuously repeated in this form with every U.S. statement regarding the Middle East. Israel has now extended its security concerns to North Korea accusing it of supplying Hezbollah and Syria with missiles; something that prevents Israeli dominance and impedes its full exclusivity over various types of weapons and its ability to threaten others with impunity. It follows that within this conception, the security of Israel cannot be combined with any kind of peace settlement with the Palestinians and the Arabs; the required settlement is to recognize the consequences of the Israeli theory. In addition, no Israeli actions can be condemned, and as such, Washington has desperately defended the Israeli position on the Gaza holocaust and the "freedom flotilla" and fought against the Goldstone report.
Israel and Washington also cooperate in order to dismember the Sudan and the rest of the Arab nations to implement a scheme that was published in the early eighties in Foreign Policy magazine. It is worth noting that the International Court of Justice refused to use the security of Israel as a justification for the building of the Separation Wall, and that was a fatal blow to Israel's right to remain as it wishes, the right of self-defense, and the right to security as it claims.
Finally Israel's security and its existence sharply contradict Arab existence, and even more so, Arab national security. So after all this, what does Washington want from the Arabs?
*The author is a former Egyptian diplomat,
Source: Al-Hayat London Newspaper
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.