The Peace Process According to David Levy
by Gad Nahshon
David Levy is Israel's Foreign Minister and a political leader. For many years, he has been a leader and a minister of the Likud party. Today, he is with the Labor party. Levy has been a dove. Even in Prime Minister Ehud Barak's cabinet, Levy is still more dovish than Barak himself.
Today, Levy is a senior politician with enormous political experience. Today, he is a sophisticated one although not an intellectual, per se, like for example, Israel super dovish Justice Minister Yossi Beilin.
Many Israelis relate to him as a charismatic leader. Others point to the fact that he does not have much of formal education.
Indeed, Levy fights for the socio-economic progress of the masses in Israel. He still believes in the idea of a welfare state. Today Levy, who is popular inside the White House and the State Department as well, is dedicating his political life to promote the peace process. Recently, as a guest of the ADL, American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress, Levy had a forum to express his concept of peace.
Levy came to the UN's General Assembly and met with many foreign ministers of many countries but the peace process was his main target. Sad to say, David Levy had to share his deep sense of frustration in this endeavor with his hosts, Abe Foxman, David Harris, Phil Baum, Jack Rosen, and the Israelis who come to this event (at the ADL's offices in Manhattan) such as Shmuel, Sisso, Zalman Shuval, Eitan Ben-Zur, and others.
Levy defined himself as an optimist but his own description of the state of the peace process left room for a sense of pessimism. Why? Levy confessed and explained: "We do not know what is the real concept of the Palestinians as to the peace process." What is their real intention? Why do they use, again and again, a "double message technique?" Levy expressed the will of Israel for a real victory: PEACE! Israel must be strong in order to achieve peace.
Today, many countries praised Israel for the implementation of the Wye Agreement: "We did everything. We released murderers from our jails. We did what they wanted. We took many risks, but they are still managing a war against us in the UN and the international world as if nothing happened. They try to make Israel weak. Their policy is not the language of peace. This is a paradox. We must stop it," said Levy, who outlined his frustration. This is not a road to normalization. And the international community tends to ignore the realities and is increasing pressures on Israel to show good will and to ignore basic security measures. The world does not care about justice. It does not care about Israel's risks. Risks? Levy confessed to the fact that Israel does not know if its utmost good will means a real peace in the next century or will it result in the PLO using "salami tactics" (gaining their objectives slice by slice).
Israel does not even know what will be the 'color' of this peace. Egypt, for example, signed a peace agreement with Israel but there are no real relations between the two nations. And the press depicts Israelis as Nazis. Furthermore, the Palestinians accumulate more and more weapons. "Why do they need so much weapons? Who is their enemy? The same is true of other countries such as Syria or Iran, by the way," said Levy. Is this the future model of peace in the Middle East? Israelis live with the issues of the peace process every day. And the world keeps pressuring Israel to give in, to make more compromises with the PLO which asks Israel to get rid of its settlements, to go back to the 1967 borders, and to let millions of Palestinians, who live abroad, immigrate to the West Bank! (Around 2 million) And, of course, Jerusalem belongs to them.
As to Syria, Levy said that Israel should evacuate South Lebanon because this is not a security issue anymore. Levy knows that Syria is the ruler of Lebanon. If Israel will evacuate the south, Syria will have to do the same. And Levy promised that Israel will use its power to force Syria to follow or a new attach on Israel's north region from Lebanon would be considered as a direct Syrian attack on Israel.
Levy's honest speech can only develop the notion that Israel's policies of defeatism which rooted in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the disaster of the 1981 war in Lebanon have reached the red line of a total bankruptcy. We must, therefore, create a new concept of our relations with the Palestinian entity. Perhaps the PLO used these policies just to achieve its goals and to turn Israel into a new ghetto.
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