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January 05, 2003

If you believe that a Palestinian State will be demilitarized don't hold your breath

Shmual Katz writes in the JPost that for Sharon to have uttered the words Palestinian State, even with limitations, was an egregious blunder.
Most weighty of the envisaged limitations is, of course, that the Palestinian state would be demilitarized. This notion is the purest nonsense.

Israel were to reach the nadir of political inanity of actually helping to establish a state for the Palestinian Arabs, the Arabs would reject with all vigor the idea that their state would be hobbled by a denial of major armaments. No less emphatic would be the hostile reaction of a large segment of the European and other nations. Even friends, appalled and distressed, would find themselves bound, albeit reluctantly, to deplore such a limitation of sovereignty. They would find it intolerable.

For the Arabs the military issue is doubly critical. First because the very idea of demilitarization would be regarded as a blow to their honor; second, because a sovereign state has never been the ultimate purpose of Arab policy.

The purpose is the destruction of Israel. A state could represent only the penultimate "phase" in the policy of phases. It could be the staging ground with a large and variegated arsenal for the "final phase." That is the original Arab game plan. MORE
Til now I have taken some comfort in these limitaitions and in the expectations that the road map would take a detour through all the conditions of the Bush vision speech of June. But no such luck. MENL reports that
The United States has rejected virtually all of Israel's reservations regarding an international plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Now I am really worried. The only hope is this rejections is the child of the State Department and that the White House has yet to weigh in. But what the heck do I know.