The State Department is financing a study on the conditions for establishing a Palestinian state based on the outline presented by President Bush. An odd situation has arisen, because the study has ended up in the hands of a pro-Palestinian group at the Council for Foreign Policy in New York.
A draft of the study shows that it is one-sided. The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University turned down the offer to take part, and was correct in its suspicions. Researcher Joseph Alpher, an ex-Mossad man, took up the invitation but at the end refused to sign on to the study's conclusions. He submitted a document listing his reservations, in which he strongly objects to the idea that the Palestinian army in the future state be equipped, according to Palestinian demands, with anti-aircraft missiles and mortars.
The study ignored the fact that for the last two years a war initiated by the Palestinians has been underway. The lessons from this war must be the basis for any future security arrangements. In light of massive Palestinian violations of the agreements, which began while Rabin was still prime minister, and the lies that have since been exposed, Israel must insist on much wider security margins than those in the Oslo Accords and the interim agreements. Every agreement in the future must be tested over the long run. That holds for the international border crossings, and in the matter of weapons smuggling, monitoring of the agreement and inciting against Israel and Jews. None of this appears in the study handed in to the State Department.
The Palestinian position as expressed in the study totally ignores the last 22 months. They act as if they defeated Israel in war and are now dictating terms for an agreement. There is not a word about the 580 Israeli dead and more than 1,500 Palestinian dead. Just as it's impossible to discuss protecting the American rear without a mention of the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon and the lessons learned from those attacks, it's impossible to discuss security arrangements between Israel and the Palestinians without dealing with the current conflict.
The strange attitude of the American Council on Foreign Relations can be seen in its decision to ask a Palestinian who participated as a member of the official Palestinian negotiating team on security, to formulate a synthesis of the Israeli and Palestinian demands. The Palestinians, in effect, are demanding that the Palestinian state not be demilitarized. Demilitarization, they say, is a form of "political aggression." That's where the demand for anti-aircraft missiles and mortars comes from. And there's more: The Palestinian state will be allowed to invite whoever it wants to train its army (the Iranians?). In exchange for the IDF's right during an emergency to reach the Jordan Valley, they demand an Israeli surrender of Ma'aleh Adumim and Ariel. There's even a Palestinian demand for setting rules concerning when the Israeli government is allowed to declare an emergency and call up reserves.
The State Department can waste the American taxpayer's money. Israel has to regard the latest Palestinian demands, coming as they do while the IDF is inside Palestinian cities, as either chutzpah or a joke.