This possibility was first raised by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who suggested sending 40,000 troops from European nations.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Bureau refused to respond on the record to a query on this subject.
A representative stated that “Netanyahu clarified that there has to be an Israeli presence on the border of the future Palestinian state with Jordan, at least for a certain period of time.”
The Palestinians, who would like to internationalize the conflict, have been promoting the initiative.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians hoped to reach agreements about the future Palestinian state by the end of the four months that were allocated to the proximity talks.
Back in December, 2003, the head of the European Parliamentarian Delegation to the Geneva Initiative, a project of the Israeli Left, MP Graham Watson, described the planned armed international force that the U.S., Canada, the EU, the Scandinavian countries, Japan and Australia plan to dispatch to patrol the future borders which will run through the middle of Jerusalem and alongside Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
MP Watson confirmed that Geneva Initiative mandates the creation of an international force which would actively prevent the Israeli army from pursuit of terrorists who escape into “Palestinian territory” since that international force is, according to the Geneva Initiative, designed to protect the “integrity of Palestinian territory.” The good will of all future Israeli governments would be moot.
The intentions of the Palestinian leadership, on the other hand would be critical.
One of the most important lessons of the failure of the Oslo process was that despite the military force at its disposal, the Palestinian Authority has consistently refused to use force in order to prevent any terrorist attacks against the citizens of Israel.
The Geneva Initiative does not address the issue of what will happen if the Palestinian State will prove itself no more inclined to prevent murderous attacks on Israel by the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad or Abbas’s own force, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, than did the Palestinian Authority did under the Oslo Accords? What if the Palestinian State were more successful at smuggling in weapons and missiles than its predecessor?
None of the Geneva Initiative spokespeople were prepared to address that issue.
Under the current situation, Israel can and does exercise its right of self-defense by intervening militarily against the perpetrators of terrorist attacks. Under the Geneva Initiative, this option would require Israel to clash directly and militarily with virtually the entire international community.
According to MP Watson’s plan, An Implementation and Verification Group, made up of Americans, Europeans, Russians, the United Nations and “representatives from the region” (presumably from Arab States), would be charged with defending the territorial integrity of the Palestinian State.
In other words, the very same Palestinian leadership that has been caught in the act of smuggling massive quantities of armaments into its “demilitarized” territory under Oslo would be protected from Israeli military action even if terrorist attacks were to be launched against Israel from Palestinian territory and even if Israeli passenger planes are shot out of the sky by “unofficial” Palestinian missiles.
David Bedein can be reached at email@example.com.