Sunday, May 10, 2009

Peace is not the goal of new Obama-backed Middle East peace plan

The new U.S. peace plan for the Middle East, the so-called "57-state solution," might sound good on paper but could be quite different in reality. The new plan, reportedly developed in meetings between Jordan's King Abdullah and U.S. President Barak Obama in April, would result in all of world's Muslim countries recognizing Israel, according to the Reuters international news service. But what would Israel be required to surrender in return? Details on that are sketchy, but they appear to involve having Israel withdraw to its pre-1967 war borders and the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank of the Jordan River, which Israel captured in the Six-Day War along with East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula, which it also captured in 1967, in a separate peace treaty with Egypt in 1979. "We are offering a third of the world to meet them with open arms," Abdullah told the London Times, Reuters said. "The future is not the Jordan River or the Golan Heights or the Sinai, the future is Morocco in the Atlantic and Indonesia in the Pacific. That is the prize." But that is no prize -- not if, as Abdullah says, Israel will be forced to make further concessions to get the right to fly over Arab countries or the right to visit them. What he is talking about is not peace, it is precisely the opposite. Abdullah is offering a situation that can serve only as a prelude to war. In fact, Abdullah actually threatens war is Israel does not agree to the plan. "If we delay our peace negotiations, then there is going to be another conflict between Arabs or Muslims and Israel in the next 12-18 months," Abdullah told the newspaper. Maybe new U.S. president Barak Obama is in accord with the new plan, maybe not. Maybe Obama already realizes this is not a legitimate peace offer. Peace means more than the mere absence of war and, rhetoric aside, the 57-state solution is, at best, no more than a starting point.

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