Home > Diplomacy, Israeli Neoconservatism > Israeli NSA Arad on-record: Two states? That’s a zero-sum game!

Israeli NSA Arad on-record: Two states? That’s a zero-sum game!

Yesterday (June 22 2010), In a speech to the Jewish Agency, Israeli National Security Adviser Uzi Arad, asked Israelis to ‘curb their enthusiasm’ about a two state solution to the conflict, saying that legitimizing a Palestinian State is tantamount to de-legitimizing Israel:

Arad also leveled veiled criticism at the two-state solution. “On the one hand, most of the people of Israel see the two-state solution as the path to a peace agreement. There are even quite a few Israelis who have mobilized for a Palestinian state and the promotion of its legitimacy, and are winning converts to it.

“What they do not notice is that this claims a certain price. The more you market Palestinian legitimacy, the more you bring about a detraction of Israel’s legitimacy in certain circles. They are accumulating legitimacy, and we are being delegitimized. If we were aware of that, perhaps we would be less enthusiastic.”

Anyone who read Arad’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ interview last year, cannot really be surprised by anything he says. This is an important reminder, however, of who has the Prime Minister’s ear on Israeli-Palestinian issues. I think journalists who repeat ad nauseum that Palestinian rejectionism is the only obstacle to peace breaking out would find it useful. Also, Gidi Ginshtein at the Reut Institute might want to add the speech as a reference in his latest report, which contends that the mortal danger currently facing  Israel is from forces trying to undermine the legitimacy of the two state solution.

Uzi Arad versus the world

Eli Bardenstein, Maariv, June 23 2010 [Hebrew original here and at bottom of post]

Yesterday, National Security Adviser Dr. Uzi Arad fired arrows of criticism in every direction and made unusual statements on a series of current affairs. He sent barbs in the direction of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who, according to reports, is not allowing the National Security Council to do its job, aimed criticism at Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, who believes that a peace plan will extricate Israel from the diplomatic impasse, said that Israel’s enthusiasm over the two-state solution is damaging to Israel’s legitimacy, and gave legal justification for a military attack on Iran.

In a speech to the members of the Jewish Agency Assembly in Jerusalem, Arad said of the peace initiative being pushed by high-ranking Kadima officials, “Some say that we need to offer a peace initiative, and I must assume that the leader of the opposition, Ms. Tzipi Livni, will agree to that. There is no need to think that this is the magic and promised solution.

“We must not believe that the moment we do this, things will resolve on their own and then we will be saved. Such an initiative is only liable to cause the Palestinians to reject it and wait for another initiative on the understanding that Israel only gives. And therefore, I propose the commandment of caution. Making projections about the implications of what might happen is political adventurism.”

Arad also leveled veiled criticism at the two-state solution. “On the one hand, most of the people of Israel see the two-state solution as the path to a peace agreement. There are even quite a few Israelis who have mobilized for a Palestinian state and the promotion of its legitimacy, and are winning converts to it.

“What they do not notice is that this claims a certain price. The more you market Palestinian legitimacy, the more you bring about a detraction of Israel’s legitimacy in certain circles. They are accumulating legitimacy, and we are being delegitimized. If we were aware of that, perhaps we would be less enthusiastic.”

Regarding the subject of a strike on Iran, Arad mentioned the American position: “When people talk today about the military option — American, Israeli or of any other country — there is no argument over the legal aspect.

“The question that arises is only whether it is worthwhile and will it achieve the desired result, but there is no doubt regarding the operation’s legitimacy.”

Arad mentioned the doctrine that was developed by President Bush senior, who developed the idea of “having the cure precede the disease, because otherwise, it might be too late.”

Regarding Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his problematic relationship with the National Security Council, Arad said, “There were questions as to why the National Security Council was necessary at all. Barak as defense minister, even in Olmert’s time, took a restrictive approach toward the National Security Council.”

[…]

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  1. ARTH
    June 23, 2010 at 11:08

    He ignores the issue of “the occupation” which is a real human rights issue and how the Arabs doe have Israel squeezed by the balls. Much of this squeezing is a result of Israel’s own muddled mishandling of the issue. There is no security issue associated with the West Bank settlements. The might be, perhaps, even a security burden. If Israel hasn’t built the settlements, and taken all of the water and land of the Arabs there, it might have been able to control those areas for “security” objectives without having to “tangle” so much with the human rights issue and the gross violation of human rights of the Palestinian Arabs which occurs there on a day-to-day basis.
    People like Arab refuse to recognize that there is a legitimate ta’ana against Israel and because of that, Israel’s legitimate interests, objectives, and security concerns are underminded and de-legitimized. So Arad can talk about the Arab threat and Arab can talk about why there can not be a Palestinian State, and his reasons might possibly be, correct, but the world is not interested, because in its mind is the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs, which is true and real, under the Israeli “occupation.”

  2. Haviv Gur
    June 23, 2010 at 18:21

    I was in the room. That’s not at all what he said. He said that the more Israelis legitimate the Palestinian side, the more Israel’s side is delegitimized in return. And that the Palestinians are front and center in that delegitimization process.

    He was saying that peacemaking can’t coincide with delegitimizing the Jews’ right to their state.

    He also said the government wants peace, but that the Palestinians haven’t been willing to sit down and negotiate.

    There are a lot of misquotes here. The whole business with Barak vs. the NSC was told jokingly – he even added that Barak had come around to his view.

    I’m sure the Jewish Agency recorded the speech. Coteret should get a copy. This is a classic case of a journalist being too stupid to understand a sentence with more than two verbs in it.

    • June 23, 2010 at 18:44

      Thanks, Haviv. Nothing in their website press room. If no one clarifies tomorrow, will you chronicle how the Jewish Agency and/or the PM’s office disses a lowly left-wing blogger who’s trying to make them look better?

      • Haviv Gur
        June 23, 2010 at 19:38

        Not even the PMO makes any particular effort to make the PMO look better. So why should they help you? 🙂

    • ARTH
      June 24, 2010 at 16:52

      What would be the basis of the Peace agreement for which Arad would like to negotiate? Will it continue the settlement project, which has no security aspect to it? Will it continue the subjugation of the human rights of at least a million people? These are the issues which interest the Arab side. If Arad is serious about a Peace agreement, he should make a proposal. Since he has no idea what the content of a Peace agreement would be to which the Arab and Palestinian side could agree, he just says “direct talks without preconditions.”

  3. Shoded Yam
    June 24, 2010 at 17:59

    Arad is simply a fractal of a national personality trait. If you think the rest of us haven’t noticed, you’re shittin’ yourselves. This one has been making the rounds for years;

    “…Two Israelis meet each other at LAX at the EL Al gate on their way back to Tel Aviv. Both have spent a couple of weeks in the states on vacation. While they were here both of them bought ipods. However one guy paid $100.00 for his ipod, the other paid $120. Now, not only does the guy who bought the ipod for $100.00 feel great because he’s now positive he got a deal, but he feels especially good, because in his mind he’s convinced he got the deal at the expense of the frier who paid $120.00. When he returns to Israel, you would think he would be full of stories about Los Angeles, Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, etc. Nah. All this guy can talk about is the great deal he got on his ipod because the other shmuck paid $120.00.

  4. November 3, 2011 at 18:28

    May be this blogs best piece on the web..

  1. June 24, 2010 at 08:10
  2. June 26, 2010 at 19:07
  3. July 10, 2011 at 01:49
  4. August 13, 2011 at 18:06

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