ISG Redux?

Ed Lasky
Former Congressman Lee Hamilton and James Baker chaired the Iraq Study Group Report  that  departed from its mandate and offered prescriptions to solve the Middle East crisis that suggested pressuring Israel.

Lee Hamilton subsequently praised a book written by Israel critic Augustus Richard Norton (who was one of the "experts" called by the Iraq Study Group). This book   served as a public relations effort on behalf of the terror group Hezbollah (responsible for the killing of hundreds of Americans, Argentineans, and Israelis).

This past week Lee Hamilton and fierce Israel critic Zbig Brzezinski  sent to the White House a letter advocating that President Bush take certain measures to ensure the Annapolis Conference among the Israelis  Palestinians, and Americans is a "success" in their eyes.  What constitutes "success" in their eyes?

--Two states, based on the lines of June 4, 1967, with minor, reciprocal, and agreed-upon modifications as expressed in a 1:1 land swap.

--Jerusalem as home to two capitals, with Jewish neighborhoods falling under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighborhoods under Palestinian sovereignty

--Special arrangements for the Old City, providing each side control of its respective holy places and unimpeded access by each community to them.

--A solution to the refugee problem that is consistent with the two-state solution, addresses the Palestinian refugees’ deep sense of injustice as well as provides them with meaningful financial compensation and resettlement assistance.

--Security mechanisms that address Israeli concerns while respecting Palestinian sovereignty.

A recipe for Israeli surrender? The list could have been written by Abbas himself.

Meanwhile, the Administration is being tightlipped about what its
real strategy will be:
Just weeks before a peace conference marking President Bush's most direct intervention in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. officials are trying to say as little as possible about what is on the table.

The November session will be a serious run at problems that have proved insoluble in the past, U.S. officials say, yet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others have avoided talking specifics or using the lexicon of past, failed peace talks.

Rice calls the U.S.-sponsored session an "international meeting," instead of the loftier summit or conference, as a way to keep expectations low. She talks about establishing a Palestinian state, the practical goal of peace talks, but almost never uses the word "peace."
Those "past, failed peace talks" only proved to be opportunities for the Palestinians to take as much as Israel was pressured to give them by the western powers while giving little or nothing in return.

If Hamilton et al. had their way, Annapolis would go down in history with other great betrayals like Munich. Thankfully, their recommendations are all mostly non starters.
Former Congressman Lee Hamilton and James Baker chaired the Iraq Study Group Report  that  departed from its mandate and offered prescriptions to solve the Middle East crisis that suggested pressuring Israel.

Lee Hamilton subsequently praised a book written by Israel critic Augustus Richard Norton (who was one of the "experts" called by the Iraq Study Group). This book   served as a public relations effort on behalf of the terror group Hezbollah (responsible for the killing of hundreds of Americans, Argentineans, and Israelis).

This past week Lee Hamilton and fierce Israel critic Zbig Brzezinski  sent to the White House a letter advocating that President Bush take certain measures to ensure the Annapolis Conference among the Israelis  Palestinians, and Americans is a "success" in their eyes.  What constitutes "success" in their eyes?

--Two states, based on the lines of June 4, 1967, with minor, reciprocal, and agreed-upon modifications as expressed in a 1:1 land swap.

--Jerusalem as home to two capitals, with Jewish neighborhoods falling under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighborhoods under Palestinian sovereignty

--Special arrangements for the Old City, providing each side control of its respective holy places and unimpeded access by each community to them.

--A solution to the refugee problem that is consistent with the two-state solution, addresses the Palestinian refugees’ deep sense of injustice as well as provides them with meaningful financial compensation and resettlement assistance.

--Security mechanisms that address Israeli concerns while respecting Palestinian sovereignty.

A recipe for Israeli surrender? The list could have been written by Abbas himself.

Meanwhile, the Administration is being tightlipped about what its
real strategy will be:
Just weeks before a peace conference marking President Bush's most direct intervention in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. officials are trying to say as little as possible about what is on the table.

The November session will be a serious run at problems that have proved insoluble in the past, U.S. officials say, yet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others have avoided talking specifics or using the lexicon of past, failed peace talks.

Rice calls the U.S.-sponsored session an "international meeting," instead of the loftier summit or conference, as a way to keep expectations low. She talks about establishing a Palestinian state, the practical goal of peace talks, but almost never uses the word "peace."
Those "past, failed peace talks" only proved to be opportunities for the Palestinians to take as much as Israel was pressured to give them by the western powers while giving little or nothing in return.

If Hamilton et al. had their way, Annapolis would go down in history with other great betrayals like Munich. Thankfully, their recommendations are all mostly non starters.