Wednesday, July 01, 2020

  • Wednesday, July 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



It’s July 1, the day that Benjamin Netanyahu has been touting. The day that the Palestinian Arabs and their fans have declared a “Day of Rage.” The day that has been causing great angst in Western Europe. The day that countless articles and op-eds have been declaring the end of Israeli democracy. The day the UN said will witness a massive violation of international law.

And from all appearances, nothing will happen today.

The main reason seems to be that the Trump administration has not agreed to any change in the status quo, and possibly that it wanted Israel to make more concessions to Palestinians in concert with the move.

While I think Israel extending sovereignty on areas that it insists on keeping in any possible peace agreement is a good move that can contribute to peace, this entire affair was handled poorly and amateurly.

Here’s a scorecard:

Bibi is the biggest loser. His unfulfilled promise, especially one with a deadline, is a major blow to his credibility which has already been hit hard with his legal troubles and his insistence that he deserves tax breaks when the economy is in trouble.

Beyond that, Netanyahu didn’t plan for the day that sovereignty was to be extended. Israeli media was filled with stories about how no maps were prepared, no one who needed to know the details from the army to local mayors were kept in the loop. It was simply a fiasco. Major details like whether Palestinians in the newly sovereign territories would be offered citizenship were never clarified, allowing Israel’s haters to define the terms of the argument.

Bibi is normally a master strategist, but this was bungled from the start, and the lack of a contingency plan in case Trump didn’t approve is a huge rookie mistake.

Israel is a major loser. The plan generated lots of animosity towards Israel – and Israel doesn’t yet get any of the benefits. Furthermore, this fiasco has been a major speedbump in Israel’s improving relations with Gulf countries. It has damaged Israel’s relations with much of Europe. No one in the world has defended the plan. And Israelis themselves have not generally supported the plan; it was heavily criticized from the left and the right.

American Jewry and American Zionists have lost. This aborted plan has caused big splits in the community as organizations were forced to take positions they weren’t altogether comfortable with, with insufficient information as to the extent of the plan. Jewish unity towards Israel has already been battered by Obama and by Trump, but now it was done by the prime minister of Israel who never properly explained what extending sovereignty meant and the benefits it would have for everyone.

The Palestinian Authority has lost. Their attempts to inflame anger among their people has failed. No one cares. They cannot even claim victory, because Bibi might end up slowly extending sovereignty over some settlement blocs, and a single square millimeter would be considered a major loss to them.

Israel’s haters have won, but not because their tweets had any effect. They’ve won because Israel has lost credibility and its friendship with many countries has been hurt. They’ve won because they have had months of opportunities to slander Israel without Israel being able to answer because the plan was never solidified.

Possibly worst of all, this fiasco isn’t over. If Netanyahu decides to extend sovereignty over bits and pieces of Judea and Samaria, every single move will generate more anger, more negative media and more denunciations from world leaders who are otherwise sympathetic with Israel. Instead of weathering the world’s opprobrium all at once, it will be spread out over months or longer.

If Bibi abandons the plan altogether, it makes Israel look weak in a Middle East where only strength is respected.

This has been a debacle on every level.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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