Geneva Initiative Annexes
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GI In News After Israeli PM Netanyahu's Speech

Extracts from Yediot Ahronot, Ma'ariv, and Ha'aretz

Below are extracts (of many additional Hebrew articles) from Israel’s leading media outlets, following Israeli PM Netanyahu’s speech.

Ben Dror Yemini, Ma’ariv (19.06.09)
The Geneva Initiative, to recall, recognizes Israel as the homeland of Jewish people, leaving large settlement blocks and the majority of settlers under Israeli sovereignty; recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state and granting Israel sovereignty in the Jewish neighborhoods of the east side of the city; determining that the Palestinian state will be demilitarized and granting Israel meticulous security provisions, including international supervision, outlawing incitement; and despite the problematic phrasing regarding the refugee problem, leaving the final decision to the state of Israel.

No wonder that the Geneva Initiative published a notice this week according to which: “Netanyahu has adopted the Geneva Initiative and has turned it into his new policy.”

They have a point.

Netanyahu should have offered them the Geneva Accords this week.

Alex Fishman, Yediot Ahronot, (19.06.09)
Formerly, the discussions on the peace administration under Col. (Res.) Shaul Arieli began during Barak’s term as Prime Minister. The issue was raised again at Camp David in 2000 and Taba in 2001 and appears in documents that were drafted by Brig. General (Res.) Udi Dekel and again the Geneva Accords in 2003. The Geneva Initiative was publicly endorsed by President Clinton and recently by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Together with its annexes, the Geneva Initiative outlines the security elements in the demilitarized Palestinian State. The Geneva Initiative was a point of reference for the Annapolis declaration and for the discussions which former PM Olmert and FM Livni held with Pres Abbas and Abu Ala until recently.

Ben Caspit, Ma’ariv (15.06.2009)
The Geneva Initiative, Netanyahu’s worst nightmare; includes specific clauses which prevent Israel or Palestine from “joining, assisting, promoting or co-operating with any coalition, organization or alliance, the objectives or activities of which include acts of hostility against the other”. According to Geneva, Palestine will be a demilitarized state with a Multinational Force to act as a deterrent and oversee implementation of the agreement. Geneva also details that the Israeli Air Force will be entitled to use the Palestinian sovereign airspace for training purposes; and that two Israeli early warning stations will function from within the Palestinian state. Also according to the Geneva Initiative, both sides affirm “that this agreement marks the recognition of the right of the Jewish people to statehood” and that Israel is the homeland of its respective people. All this, in the most dovish document that the peace process has, to date, produced between the sides.

Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon or Ehud Olmert would have probably demanded much more. But Netanyahu, in order to appease the right, is acting as one who has reinvented the wheel with respect to Israeli demands from the Palestinians. As if until Netanyahu showed up we were planning on giving the Palestinians two armor divisions and one ambitious nuclear project.

Akiva Eldar, Ha’aretz Front Page (15.06.2009)
The demilitarization of the Palestinian state was mentioned in the Clinton guidelines, the Taba understandings and the Geneva accord, as was the right of return to Palestine, not Israel. The difference between these documents and the Bar-Ilan address is not only that the former recognized the Palestinians’ full rights to the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The real difference lies in the tone − in the degrading and disrespectful nature of Netanyahu’s remarks. That’s not how one brings down a wall of enmity between two nations, that’s not how trust is built.

The Israeli PM's speech was also analyzed by several think-tanks and academics - below are two examples:

BICOM (Britain and Israel Communications and Research Centre):
The principle of demilitarisation is not a new condition that is being imposed, but has been an Israeli demand accepted under the Clinton proposals in 2000 and as part of the unofficial Geneva Accords. Netanyahu's insistence on Israel's recognition as a Jewish nation-state is also not new, and is a logical element of a two-state solution.
Click here to read more.

Dr. Bernard Avishai, blog:
You get the feeling that the words are not simply tactical but come from Netanyahu's deepest convictions. Yes, he has declared a willingness to entertain the idea of a Palestinian state, so long as it is demilitarized. (For the record, Palestinian leaders in Fatah and the West Bank have never made an issue about having an army big enough to pose a threat to Israel--again, read the Geneva Initiative--and have often called for international forces to replace the IDF.) But he couched the point in Revisionist historical rhetoric that seems more an effort to wrest key Congresspeople from Obama than address the Arab world.
Click here to read more.