Gershon Baskin

De-risking peace - Part 4

23.06.2016

Gershon Baskin. Photo: Otmar Steinbicker

The large majorities for peace that existed in the past on both sides of the conflict in support of a two-state solution have considerably dwindled with the continued failure of the Oslo process. Politicians on both sides are very cautious about committing themselves to a genuine peace process, knowing that any possible agreement will involve considerable concessions that they fear their political coalitions and parties will not accept.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

I am often asked in my lectures in Israel and around the world “how could a public consensus possibly be built around a peace agreement with the Palestinians – surely it’s impossible?” There is no doubt that this is of great concern for the politicians themselves, but also for diplomats and leaders outside of Palestine and Israel. I have repeatedly been asked by foreign leaders how any Israeli leader could have the support of their coalition for a real deal with the Palestinians. Surely, the deal has to be de-risked for the leaders as well.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

There are about 30 percent of Jewish Israelis who are likely to vote against any peace agreement with the Palestinians. These include almost all of the settlers – even those who will remain in their homes under Israeli sovereignty as part of a deal. It also includes a majority of the national-religious camp inside of Israel proper, and the traditional, more secular hard Right. That still leaves 70% of Jewish Israelis and probably at least 80% of the Palestinian citizens of Israel who would most likely vote “yes” to a peace agreement.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

Any peace deal will be brought to a referendum in Israel or to new elections. The people of Israel will vote on whether or not to support a peace agreement. Any prime minister that agrees to a deal will likely only do so with the backing of the national security establishment – including the chief of staff and a majority of the generals, the head of the Mossad, the head of the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) and other senior national security experts and officials. It is unlikely that any prime minister would arrive at an agreement on all of the core issues without the core of the security establishment being involved in the negotiations and without their support. Assuming such support, it is highly unlikely that a referendum or elections would bring about negative results.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

The majority of Israelis will support any peace agreement brought to them by the prime minister.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

This is why I believe that the distance between where we are and an agreement with the Palestinians is leadership.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

The very best negotiations that have ever taken place between Israelis and Palestinians have been when they were alone in the room.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

This is what happened in Oslo, in Taba, and between prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

The worst negotiations have been when there was an American mediator in the room – Camp David, Senator Mitchell and John Kerry. The tendency of Israelis and Palestinians when the American mediator is there is for them both to talk to the American and not each other. But the conflict is between Israel and Palestine and must be resolved by them. It is time to stop waiting for others to come to the rescue – we must rescue ourselves from ourselves.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

The parties should agree on Terms of Reference (ToR) for negotiations because without agreed ToR failure is almost guaranteed. It would be best if the parties could agree on ToR by themselves but, if not, the international community could be helpful, as it is now trying to be. The ToR should be general and something along the lines of: direct bilateral Israeli- Palestinian negotiations will be conducted for the purpose of reaching a permanent-status agreement between the State of Israel and the to-be-recognized State of Palestine. The negotiations will cover all of the permanent-status core issues including borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security. The negotiations will also cover issues concerning economic and trade relations, border management, natural resources including water, and means to foster a culture of peace.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

The negotiations should not be open ended and should have a target date for their conclusion, however, this too is problematic because the tendency in difficult negotiations with a deadline is to wait and leave the tough decisions to the very end. This usually ends up creating bad agreements that continue conflicts rather than resolving them. Instead, the parties should commit to allocate the necessary time for intensive negotiating sessions last three to four days each time with no more than two weeks between sessions. They should commit to remaining in negotiations until all of the issues in conflict are resolved.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

Another important element which should be integrated into the negotiations is the principle that what is agreed is agreed and can and should be implemented even before full agreement is reached. Previous negotiations have failed because (among other reasons) of the idea that nothing is agreed until all is agreed.

Six agreements were signed in total (Declaration of Principles, Paris Protocol, Agreement on Gaza and Jericho, Interim Agreement, Wye River Memorandum and the Sharm e-Sheikh Agreement) and all of them were breached. Breaches were substantive and committed by both sides.

Each small agreement, successfully implemented, assists in reaching larger and more difficult agreements.

Gershon Baskin ist Autor des Aachener Friedensmagazins www.aixpaix.de. Seine Beiträge finden Sie hier


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Beiträge von Gershon Baskin
2016

De-risking peace - Part 5

De-risking peace - Part 4

De-risking peace - Part 3

De-risking peace - Part 2

De-risking peace - Part 1

The Left is right

The French connection

The United Nations and Israel’s legitimacy

A moment of opportunity

The darkness of our times

Addressing the core

The worst negotiations, the best negotiations

Palestinian turmoil and Israeli interests

This one is for you - the Palestinians

Palestinian suffering makes no sense for Israel

Creating a compelling vision for peace

It is also in our hands

Sooner or later

There is no partner

There is no partner

2015

Yes, it is difficult to make peace

What does he really want?

To those who oppose Israeli-Palestinian peace

Israel – my sad home

Have I got news for you

It is still not too late for peace

Netanyahu, tell us what you really think!

The partnership challenge

The binational reality that we are experiencing

Abbas is still the leader who can make peace

A new intifada?

After Abbas

The distance between here and peace and security

Doing the wrong thing at that wrong time

The one and only solution!

Yeshayahu Leibowitz was right!

The disengagement – 10 years on: What we choose to forget

Needed - a new approach to Gaza

A bad agreement is better than no agreement

Obviously no peace now, so what then?

Ramadan Kareem!

Israel’s strategic choices regarding Gaza

Anti-normalization hypocrites

FIFA, soccer and the Palestinians

Both sides now

It’s time for Palestine

The citizens’ challenge – from despair to hope

We have the chance to do the right thing in Yarmouks

The world is not against us

This is what you voted for, and this is what you will get

The no decision elections

A cautious peace, but peace nevertheless

For the sake of Israel, Netanyahu must be sent home

Going ballistic even prior to an agreement

To the new IDF chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot

The Peace Bridge

The choices we must make

Israeli elections – It’s not about the economy

Threats and security

2014

Returning to negotiations

Our most important elections

The missed opportunities

We want peace, but they don't

Our future is in our hands

Defining who we are

Unlike religious wars, political wars have solutions

Today and tomorrow

If we had a real leader

Jerusalem of peace, Jerusalem of war

No tango going on at all

The Gaza challenge

Is Hamas prepared to end this war with a long-term ceasefire?

The end of the ceasefire, the renewal of war and the end game

The aftermath

Some thoughts this morning

Regional forum for security and stability – Gaza first

After a long phone conversation with a Hamas leader in Gaza

Don’t destroy Gaza, build it!

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 3 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 2 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace

Palestinian refugees in Syria

Annexing the West Bank – a catastrophic plan for the Jewish people

Mutual and reciprocal recognition

Our Palestinians, their Jews

A very personal statement on peace

2013

Contextual reciprocity

Negotiating atmospherics

My Conversation With Hamas

Ramadan Kareem

Wahrheit, Lügen und Rechtmäßigkeit

Kauft palästinensisch!

Rat für den Präsidenten

Keine Fortsetzung des Unilateralismus!

Diesen Weg müssen wir einschlagen!

Die Kluft im Umgang mit den israelischen Arabern schließen

2012

Eine Ein-Staat-Realität ist nicht durchführbar

Strategische Fehler und Herausforderungen

Mord an der Chance für Ruhe

Das Ende des Raketenbeschusses aus Gaza

Die Aufgabe eines Staatsmannes

Es gibt einen Ausweg

Atomwaffen raus aus dem Arsenal

Was Abbas Israel sagen sollte

Obama, gestatte es uns nicht!

Ist mein zionistischer Traum gestorben?