Series: A Usable Peace Plan
It appears that Israel is expected to come up with a working agenda for the West Bank Palestinians…or the U.S., Soviet Union and Europe will impose a solution. The imposition of this solution would be wrapped in diplomatic jargon and probably within the framework of an International Peace Conference, as envisioned by Mr. Peres. The U.S. expects Israel to allow the establishment of a semblance of a Palestinian State, satisfactory to the Arab nations, local Palestinians residents and the PLO. This framework would include the removal of Jewish settlers and turning the completed towns and cities over to the incoming refugees as turn-key housing.
It has always been my opinion that the ‘intifada’ was started with the tacit approval of the U.S. and certain individuals in Israel who believed that the only answer to the Palestinian problem was to offer that homeland in the West Bank and because they could visualize no other solution. The European Common Market, of course, backed the overall concept for some time, but would not use the pressure of a trade embargo until the U.S. took the lead and first political heat. The Arafat gambit was finessed by the U.S. State Department. It almost has become irrelevant as to how Arafat, or any division of his, might act in the future. Obviously, the objective was merely to get past the restrictive point of Kissinger’s commitment which called for certain expressions by the PLO in order for public contacts to begin.
All of this has now passed the point of no return and Israel can assume that a great deal of pressure will be applied requiring Israel’s obedience to the will of an unsympathetic majority. Although the U.S. has frequently made public statements of eternal protection of Israel’s well-being, clearly, where trade, power and profits are concerned, statements of support are irrelevant. If these forces coalesce, Israel will be in a poor strategic position to resist.
Various pundits and newspapers make the case that Prime Minister Shamir will not have substantive ideas for his visit to America in March. Perhaps you already have many concepts to deliver, but I am sure you would be willing to consider one more.
The concept I have in mind contemplates a proposal that, by its very nature, must be studied for a long time. This would, of course, slow down the process of coercion by our friends…and our enemies.