Geneva Initiative Annexes
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GI Israel Position Paper: Rabin's Legacy: A Local Peace in the Service of Regional Security

GI Israel Position Paper: Rabin's Legacy: A Local Peace in the Service of Regional Security
Date: 24.10.07

One of the strategic reasons that led the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to advance the Oslo Accords was his realization that the true threat to Israel will be posed by Iran's nuclear armament. As Rabin saw it, a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians could substantially aid Israel in handling the Iranian threat. Twelve years after Rabin's murder, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert returns from his European meetings regarding Iran, Geneva Initiative's position is as follows:

  1.  Israeli-Palestinian negotiations leading up to a final status agreement would facilitate the handling of the Iranian threat on several levels:
    • Removing the Iranian President's basic formal argument when he threatens to attack Israel for global-Arab pro-Palestinian reasons.
    • Reducing the Iranian president's ability to rally the Arab world around the hatred for Israel once Israel has peaceful relations with three of her neighboring countries and will have normalized its relations with additional Arab countries.
    • Blocking the development of pro-Iranian trends around the world and specifically in the Arab world, as they are based not on anti-Semitism, but rather on opposition to Israel's political-security activities.
  2. If Israel is perceived as torpedoing negotiations with the Palestinians and as to blame for the lack of peaceful relations with its Arab neighbors, it may be perceived by the countries of the world as - fully or partially - guilty for a future war in which Iran will be involved. The linkage U.S. President George Bush has created between Ahmadinejad's desire to wipe Israel off the map and the next World War, may harm Israel's status unless it takes operative steps towards peace.
  3. Iran's President is currently seen as a threat to the Western world, and even the Arab states are not backing him. Nonetheless, an escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which could result in a wider Arab-Israeli war (especially with Hezbollah), could cause the Arab world to perceive the Iranian President as the defender of Islam. The success of the Annapolis conference and a lasting Israeli-Palestinian dialogue leading to a final status agreement can ensure that the situation will not deteriorate in such a manner.
  4. The positions of the current Palestinian leadership enable the sides to reach a final status agreement in which Israel does not concede its essential and principal concerns. Israel must seize this window of opportunity and make the utmost efforts to reach an agreement, if not for the sake of a "local" peace, than for the sake of regional security.