On Aug. 27 an editorial written by Aftonbladet’s political editor-in-chief Helle Klein was published. Here comes the translation:
Do not compromise on settlements
27 August 2009. Since winter’s Gaza War, relations between Israel and the international community have been strained. The EU froze negotiations on an upgrade of the trade agreement with Israel. Human rights organizations and the UN have condemned war crimes. Not least have the Israeli military’s use of phosphorous bombs been criticized.
And when the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March formed the extreme right-wing government with Avigdor Lieberman as Foreign Minister, the relationships between Israel and the US/EU became directly frosty.
Demands for Non-Proliferation
The Obama-administration has indicated that if at all any peace negotiations can be conducted, an ending to settlements is required. The Geneva Conventions are prohibiting settlements on occupied territory. Yet the number of Israeli settlers has grown from year to year.
The pressure on Israel also concern other issues. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Assembly will meet in a few weeks. Prior to meeting there has been demands that Israel should sign the non-proliferation treaty and open its not officially recognized nuclear weapons program for the IAEA inspectors. The Arab League has sent a letter to Carl Bildt, asking that he, as the chairman of EU foreign ministers, shall support the call on Israel.
Demand the resignation of the Foreign Minister
This is a perfectly reasonable requirement. The nuclear weapons issue is of utmost interest in view of Iran’s potential nuclear weapons program.
EU foreign ministers meet next week. Right now, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu make a European tour. Today he will meet Germany’s Angela Merkel.
The Israeli government’s sensational overreaction on Aftonbladet’s culture article does nothing to increase the Europeans’ confidence in Lieberman and Netanyahu. Also in Israel there is growing criticism of Lieberman’s accusations on anti-semitism. In its main editorial yesterday the newspaper Haaretz called for the Foreign Minister’s resignation.
Israel violates international law
The Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has stated that he does not believe in a peace agreement in the next 16 years. Deputy Prime Minister Ya’alon spoke recently about the Israeli peace and anti-settlement movement as “a virus plaguing Israeli society.” Israel does not recognize a two-state solution and Netanyahu said that Jerusalem will never be discussed.
In this context the most recent statement by the Israelis, to possibly freeze the plans for new settlements during a year, becomes meaningless. Neither the EU nor the U.S. can allow this to become the so-called compromise. The international community should stick to international law and make it clear to Israel that the settlement policy must cease as well as the construction of the wall on Palestinian land. EU foreign ministers would be wise to not upgrade any trade agreement as long as Israel violates international law.
It is only negotiations about a just peace that can be called peace negotiations.
To begin from the end: What is a “just peace”? A peace in with the demands of Helle Klein on Israel have been fulfilled, maybe?
Accoring to miss Klein Israel should
– end the return of Jews to east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the policy of “settlements” (but she make no claim that the palestinian arabs should refrain from their illegal settlements),
– open its nuclear program for IAEA inspectors (but she make no claim on Iran to do the same) and thus side with the claim made by the Arab League which i. a. consists of some states formally at war with Israel,
– dismiss its Foreign Minister,
– recognize a two-state solution (a “solution” that some of Israel’s enemies at best only regard as a step on a “phased” path aiming at the destruction of Israel),
– discuss the status of Jerusalem (which is Israel’s capital city),
– end the building of the “wall” on “Palestinian land” (not mentioning that most parts of the “wall” is a fence, and that the final decision on what is and is not “Palestinian land” still remain to be settled in a peace treaty).
One should note that all of these claims on Israel, if not in all cases identical with claims made by her enemies (such as Hamas and Fatah, both of which in their “constitutions” call for the destruction of Israel by means of aggressive war), are at least very well aligned with them. One should also note that miss Klein doesn’t demand anything from the palestinian arabs, let alone from those among them, who are Israel’s most outspoken enemies.
A peace should be made up on the ground of compromise, not on the precondition that the part that have actually won the war(s), Israel, must concede to all claims that the losing – and originally attacking – part might find appropriate. The losers wanted to destroy Israel. That’s why they started war. They did not succeed, but too many of them unfortunately still harbor this wish.
A compromise must in its turn of course have as a precondition that the enemies of Israel at least acknowledge the right for Israel to exist. Until they have made trustworthy statements and deeds pointing in that direction, peace will not arrive.
That they do not and have not done so for too many years, is the main hindrance to peace. Aftonbladet’s incitement against Israel will most certainly be felt by the enemies of Israel as supporting them in their efforts, thus adding to their stubbornness and determination not to allow Israel the right to exist.
Aftonbladet’s and Helle Klein’s unfortunate points of view are thus making peace more distant and improbable.
Link: Does Sweden love Israel?