Thursday, September 06, 2007
Yisrael Beiteinu platform: Land for peace deals destined to fail
"The principle of land for peace is a mistaken and misleading principle that is destined to fail," Yisrael Beiteinu platform: Land for peace deals destined to failBy Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondentaccording to a party manifesto drafted by Yisrael Beiteinu Chair"The principle of land for peace is a mistaken and misleading principle that is destined to fail," man and Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman. "Territorial concessions do not lead to peace; they lead directly to escalation and worsening terror, as we have seen in Lebanon and Gaza," continues the manifesto, titled "Yisrael Beiteinu's Vision." The document is due to be published in the party's bulletin in the coming days. Lieberman began work on the manifesto following last summer's Second Lebanon War. A few months later, he joined Ehud Olmert's government, on the pretext that the security threats facing the country obligated him to be part of the national leadership. However, the document makes it clear that he vehemently opposes Olmert's current diplomatic program: negotiating an "agreement of principles" for a two-state solution with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, which the two hope to present at an international peace conference in Washington later this fall. These negotiations are based on the "land for peace" concept. The manifesto also makes clear that if Olmert and Abbas do reach an agreement, Olmert can expect coalition trouble. The document reiterates Lieberman's proposal for a population exchange between Israel and the Palestinian state, under which Israel would annex some of the settlements, while certain Israeli Arab towns would become part of Palestine. Other highlights of the document include the following: * The attempt to achieve peace and security simultaneously "has proven a vain hope, an illusion destined for disappointment." * Regarding Syria, "Israel must make it clear now that its response to any provocation, great or small, will be total, energetic, determined, without hesitation and without fear. Any result that constitutes a victory on points rather than a decisive victory will have disastrous and far-reaching consequences for Israel." * Israel should enact a new citizenship law that would condition naturalization on a declaration of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state, and a pledge to serve the state through either military or civilian national service. * In the Second Lebanon War, "the government, the home front and the military command all failed. The private sector, in contrast, continued to function."