Has Netanyahu's "Demilitarized State" Ploy Opened a Pandora's Box?

When Netanyahu spoke in his 14 June speech at the Begin-Sadat Center at Bar-Ilan University of the imperative that there be guarantees that a Palestinian [sic] state would indeed be a "demilitarized state" without ever using the words "independent" or "sovereign" to describe the state he left a few microns of wiggle room to argue later that it is patently obvious that it is impossible to guarantee that a Palestinian state would indeed remain demilitarized is if it is an autonomous rather than sovereign state.

Unfortunately, it is far from clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be able to guide the discussion to this very logical conclusion.

In fact, members of his own team are claiming that the "demilitarized state" can indeed be guaranteed.

And that's not all.

Less than two weeks after the presentation and there are reports that Washington has pulled off some shelf the old scheme to have a "demilitarized Golan and Jordan Valley" that would involving transforming it into a park.

What's the problem with a demilitarized Golan? Simply put, it fails to assure that Israel would win the critical race back up the Golan in the event that conflict breaks out in the future. And this while undoubtedly setting into motion the arming of Syria — as has been the case with Egypt — with the best American weapons US grant money can buy.

Is this only a blip or just the beginning?

Don't be surprised if in the coming days and weeks we hear of a "demilitarized Jerusalem" and maybe even a "demilitarized corridor" that cuts Israel in half as it connects the Gaza Strip with the West Bank [sic].

[Editor's note: Perhaps it was the White House that suggested the use of the term demilitarized state in the first place, in anticipation of these types of scenarios. US President Barak Obama did speak several times with Netanyahu the week before the speech was made at Bar-Ilan University.]

[This post was written by Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis). It is taken from his weekly commentary, June 25, 2009.]

posted: June 26, 2009   |   permanent link  |  

Want to keep current with these articles?

Sign up to receive free e-mail alerts.