Yaari briefs AIJAC supporters

February 18, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Top Israeli political commentator and Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) guest-speaker Ehud Yaari briefed AIJAC supporters in Sydney on recent developments in the Middle East, focusing particularly on the recent demise of Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani and the trendlines of Israeli-Gulf State rapprochement as well as the recently released Trump Peace Plan.

In what Yaari calls “a sea change in the attitude of the Arab World and Arab States” towards Israel, there are reportedly ongoing deliberations among the Gulf States about signing an official non-belligerency pact with Israel and bringing the under-the-table cooperation out into the open.

According to Yaari, Trump’s peace plan was “dead upon arrival,” since the Palestinians have made clear from the beginning they would have nothing to do with it. However, “the Trump plan was intended to achieve one objective, and the objective was to put on the table a different peace plan, which is a major departure” from previous peace plans, “and use it as a platform for encouraging a public Israeli-Arab dialogue” that cuts out the rejectionist Palestinian veto on closer Israeli-Arab ties. In this sense, Yaari argues, the plan is hopefully accomplishing its goals. While the Arab League did unanimously reject the plan, individual Arab states were more restrained, and Tunisia even recalled and fired its ambassador to the UN, apparently over a draft of a Security Council resolution condemning the plan too harshly.

To achieve the plan’s purpose, the US has subsequently done two very important things, Yaari says. First, it stopped Netanyahu from using the plan as an election ploy in trying to annex all the territory specified in it immediately. The second was that the US administration reiterated multiple times “that the plan is not a ‘take it or leave it’ document. It’s open to amendments, discussion, negotiation, improvements, etc.”  This allows the Arab interlocutors political room for maneuver.

One particularly controversial aspect of the plan, which envisioned the large triangle area north of Tel Aviv being attached to a future Palestinian State while its 250,000 Israeli-Arabs potentially lose their citizenship, elicited an overwhelming rejection by  Israel’s Arab citizens, from the officials to the average person in the streets, says Yaari. This, he argues, is encouraging and belies the claims of those parties that attempt to demonize the Israeli-Arabs as a fifth column. “These people want to stay with us,” Yaari says. This is a message to Jews as well as Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, who Yaari argues themselves long ago rejected the idea of the Two-State solution but continue sloganeering.

The Israeli-Arab parties, running as a highly factionalized bloc, will also be significant to the outcome of the upcoming Israeli elections in March, according to Yaari. Neither Gantz nor Netanyahu have a chance of forming a government under current circumstances, he argues, although Netanyahu is a consummate political operator who will continue to use every public relations manoeuvre possible to get his voters out to the polls, from normalization talks with Sudan to bringing home an Israeli prisoner in Russia to much fanfare. Gantz, meanwhile, is campaigning quietly and running as the anti-Bibi.

Yaari compares the elimination of Qassem Soleimani to the killing of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the primary architects of the ‘final solution,’ in 1942. “Soleimani was the only one in the history of Israel who presented… a cohesive, coherent, implementable plan, how to gradually get to a point where you have a chance to eradicate the state of Israel… He was the most dangerous enemy Israel ever had.”

“The question,” he says, “is whether Soleimani’s plan can survive him.” The IDF claims to have disrupted about 80% of Iran’s endeavours to establish a war machine of militias and missiles in Syria to use against Israel. A war with Iran and its proxies, if it spreads beyond Syria into Israel, could mean up to 300 “red alert” rockets and missile warnings a day in Tel Aviv. “How many of them will be intercepted by our different layers of anti-missile systems… I don’t know. Probably many. But there will be missiles that reach their targets and some of them, luckily so far not most of them, are precision-guided.” While the central battlefield to decide the fate of Soleimani’s plan continues to be Iraq, Yaari argues that the best hope of avoiding an eventual large-scale Israeli collision with Iran is the exploitation of Russian-Iranian divisions over Syria and convincing the former to marginalise the latter, something that hasn’t been achieved so far.


One Response to “Yaari briefs AIJAC supporters”
  1. Eion Isaac says:

    Killing Heydrich May 1942 was highly ethical but did not stop the Holocaust . .
    From June 22 1941 the Holocaust by shooting started and a million were killed and from February 1942 – October 1942 the Holocaust by poison gas had killed by mass shootings and poison gas three million Jewish people .
    This is because Nazi Germany had millions of Heydrich’s willing to organise and implement Genocide .
    Heydrich was one of many many Nazis and Nazi collaborators involved in the Genocide of the Jewish people .
    The history is he was killed because Hitler wanted him in France and there his brutality and satanic force could wreck havoc with the French Resistance .
    Also the USA was pushing for a landing in France as early as May 1942 by the British in an en masse invasion when France did not yet have the immense Nazi Atlantic Wall but the British refused believing casualties would be horrendous and the Government in the United Kingdom could be overthrown for a more defensive strategy -supplying the Russians yes and creating the Second Front which would be bombing German cities taking 8,000 Luftwaffe airplanes away from the Russian Front .

    But no strong efforts to save the Jewish people at all .

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