The Future Of Palestinian-Israeli Security Cooperation

Categories: Seek Peace and Pursue it
Tags: , ,

No American knows more about Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation than Steven White, an aide to three U.S. Security Coordinators in the region between 2005 and 2010. He is clearly worried about the impact of recent Israeli provocations on the joint security apparatus he helped to set up, which has played a major role in a substantial decrease in terrorist attacks emanating from the West Bank.

”I was told by a top Israeli military official that, ‘Netanyahu has obviously decided to put a bullet in Abu Mazen’s head without any thought to the strategic consequences,’” White  said, using PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ nickname when describing a recent trip to the region.

palestiniansecurity
Palestinian security forces take position to block the road from stone-throwing Palestinians trying to reach an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank town of Hebron on May 11, 2012. (Hazem Bader / AFP / Getty Images)

Only deluded or blind apologists for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are arguing that it is possible to implement his plans for new housing on the outskirts of Jerusalem—including the infamous “E-1” corridor—without killing the two state solution. Objections to these plans from the Zionist left generally focus on outcomes that will occur down the road (e.g., they will lead to one binational state and the end of democratic Israel). But the lack of a Palestinian political horizon also poses a more immediate danger: the potential collapse of joint Israeli-Palestinian security operations in the West Bank.

Palestinian Authority security forces, trained in Jordan with American assistance, have been protecting Israeli lives and ignoring derisive claims that they are collaborators not because they want to collect salaries; instead, they want to build an institution necessary for statehood and to allay Israeli fears about relinquishing the West Bank. Ghaith al-Omari, a former Palestinian Authority advisor, told me that the work of the security services “was predicated on a path leading to liberation and a new state. Soon, very soon, if it is clear that is not happening, they will feel like suckers enforcing the occupation, and this security regime—like the Palestinian Authority itself—could dissolve.”

Indeed, a troublesome Yediot Aharonot report indicates that amidst a recent upsurge of violent unrest in the West Bank, security cooperation has been fraying. Some believe the West Bank is on the verge of a third intifada, which, White says, would put Palestinian security officers in an “impossible situation.”

In a conference call organized by the Israel Policy Forum with his colleague, Colonel P.J. Dermer, White recounted what a “senior IDF general” involved in the cooperative security operations told him: “‘My job was to tactically set the ground where my government, the government of Israel, could negotiate with the Palestinians without a knife against its neck… With American help, with Palestinian help, we delivered that. Unfortunately, my government has not chosen to take the strategic, long-term view or to build upon that.”

In a better world, the political situation would not have an influence on how Palestinian moderates take on the violent rejectionists in their midst. But the grim reality is that in a battle between two national movements—with such a long history of bitter conflict—those moderates need incentives. Netanyahu’s government seems determined to destroy those incentives with its settlement plans, as well as with its decision to withhold salaries from the Palestinian Authority as punishment for its bid for upgraded U.N. status.

In his harsh response to Israeli President Shimon Peres’s assertion that Abbas was a partner for peace, Netanyahu said: “Everyone knows that Hamas could take over the Palestinian Authority. It could happen after an agreement; it could happen before an agreement. Therefore…the diplomatic process must be managed responsibly and sagaciously and not in undue haste.”

But by continually provoking Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials who have been shielding Israelis from the consequences of the occupation, Netanyahu is essentially inviting Hamas to take over and working for even more extremist Palestinian groups within the territories to have a freer hand. That is not going over very well with Israelis who are responsible for protecting their country’s security. According to White, “There is a very, very clear distinction between the messages and reports that Israeli security officials have given to their government and what the government puts out for the public.”

This article, previously published in The Daily Beast, is reprinted here with permission from the author.

About Dan Fleshler, Board Member

Dan Fleshler, a New York-based media and public affairs strategist, is a board member of Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now and the Givat Haviva Educational Foundation. His book, "Transforming America's Israel Lobby-The Limits of Its Power and the Potential for Change"(a new release from Potomac Books) published in May of 2009 has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. He blogs at Realistic Dove (www.realisticdove.org/)
This entry was posted in Seek Peace and Pursue it and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Future Of Palestinian-Israeli Security Cooperation

  1. Tim Upham says:

    But the Palestinian Authority is being challenged by armed gangs, that are threatening Palestinian security forces. So is this lawlessness an indication that Mahmoud Abbas’ power to waning and being challenged? The challengers have to be an organization, could it be Hamas? But Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian elections, why would they be armed challengers? The Palestinians have not entered into civil war yet, it surprises me that they have not.

  2. Abraham Laye says:

    Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  3. Bong Sheive says:

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  4. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

  5. Calgary PR says:

    I just like the valuable information you supply for your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check once more right here frequently. I am fairly certain I will learn many new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the following!

  6. I will right away grab your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  7. I dugg some of you post as I thought they were very helpful invaluable

  8. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  9. You are my intake, I possess few blogs and often run out from post :). “No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.” by W. H. Auden.

  10. of course like your web-site however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the reality then again I¦ll certainly come back again.

  11. mvksnokclf says:

    The Future Of Palestinian-Israeli Security Cooperation | Ameinu
    mvksnokclf http://www.g897lmzj3e9396l86b8l1h2tlmz1lx07s.org/
    amvksnokclf
    [url=http://www.g897lmzj3e9396l86b8l1h2tlmz1lx07s.org/]umvksnokclf[/url]

  12. Eliseo says:

    Along with every thing which seems to be building within this area, a significant percentage of perspectives tend to be relatively stimulating. Having said that, I beg your pardon, but I do not give credence to your whole suggestion, all be it exhilarating none the less. It would seem to me that your commentary are actually not entirely rationalized and in fact you are your self not even totally convinced of the argument. In any case I did appreciate reading it.

  13. In this great design of things you receive a B+ for hard work. Exactly where you lost everybody was first in your details. As people say, the devil is in the details… And it couldn’t be much more true right here. Having said that, allow me tell you what did deliver the results. The writing is quite powerful and that is possibly the reason why I am taking the effort in order to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, despite the fact that I can easily see a leaps in logic you come up with, I am not confident of exactly how you appear to connect your points that produce the actual conclusion. For now I will subscribe to your position however trust in the future you actually connect the dots much better.