[Freemanlist2] Dr. Aaron Lerner - Commentary: Still not too late for Israel to seize the initiative on
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Weekly Commentary: Still not too late for Israel to seize the initiative on
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 19 April, 2007
"First, they will discuss immediate concerns, like movement and access,
management of the passages, and preventing arms smuggling and rocket fire by
terrorists in Gaza. On this trip, however, it became clear to all of us that
establishing clear benchmarks to measure progress will help us move forward.
So this is one immediate task that the parties will undertake with the
assistance of General Keith Dayton."
Secretary Condoleezza Rice remarks to the press - Jerusalem March 27, 2007
More than three weeks have passed since Ms. Rice talked about the need for
And in the apparent absence of any Israeli suggestions, Washington is
preparing its own list that it plans to present to the Israelis and
Palestinians in the coming weeks.
Judging by past plans, one can expect a list of amorphous benchmarks for the
Palestinians and measurable benchmarks for the Israelis.
While the Palestinians will be expected to make some photo-op deployments of
security forces and "make efforts" to "prevent attacks" or even "prevent
smuggling", Israel will be given benchmarks in the form of numerical goals
(number of roadblocks removed, flow of trucks per day from Gaza, etc.).
It doesn't have to be this way.
Not if the Olmert team wakes up now and develops its own proposed timeline
with a series of benchmarks for Palestinian security compliance.
A "put up or shut up" proposal that puts "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas to the
test by setting a series of well defined "bite-size" confrontations between
"moderate" PA forces and the "terror infrastructure".
The timeline could start with confrontations to destroy such high profile
targets as illegal militia training facilities. The PA forces could then
graduate to seizing illegal weapons stores and handing them over to General
Dayton's people for elimination.
Mahmoud Abbas already has many thousands of well armed soldiers. Certainly
magnitudes more than what he needs in order to launch these kinds of
operations if he wants to.
That's if he wants to.
And that's really the point.
Because up to now "moderate" Abbas has repeatedly explained that he has no
intention to confront other Palestinians.
And for some reason this refusal to fight has been rewarded by programs to
give his forces even more weapons and training.
The choice is in the Olmert team's hands:
Either sit back and wait for asymmetric performance benchmarks from
Washington or seize the initiative and pre-empt D.C. with a detailed
timeline of Palestinian performance benchmarks that, if honored, would
genuinely move the Palestinians in the direction of security compliance.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra at netvision.net.il
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