Wednesday, November 07, 2007

BESA: "U.S. Kosovo Policy Is Bad for Israel"


....While most Israelis may assume their country has no stake in the outcome of the Kosovo question, Washington’s proceeding with its current course would in fact adversely affect Israel’s interests in a number of ways:

1. It would set the precedent that a solution to an intractable political and territorial quarrel can and should be imposed by outside countries, even if one of the parties rejects the proposed solution as contrary to its vital national interests. While the question of how Israel should come to an accommodation with Palestinian aspirations for self-rule has resisted efforts to find a negotiated settlement, no one suggests a solution imposed from outside would likely be in Israel’s interest.

2. The theory that outside powers can award part of a state’s sovereign territory to a violent ethnic or religious minority would put in question not only Judaea and Samaria – which, in any event, are not formally part of Israel – but even such areas as the southern Galilee and parts of the Negev, where non-Jews have, or may eventually acquire, local majorities. Israel’s Muslim population is now just above 20 percent, roughly the same as Serbia’s if Kosovo is included. If Albanian Muslims can demand separation from Serbia today, and citing alleged past mistreatment, why cannot Israel’s Arabs do the same tomorrow?

3. Washington’s plan to circumvent the Security Council to avoid Moscow’s veto would amount to a devaluing of Russia’s veto in the Security Council. Such an action is likely to devalue the power of the veto as such, at least as concerns a Permanent Member’s protection of smaller states. In light of how many times anti-Israel UNSC Resolutions have been thwarted by a US veto, damaging the power of the veto per se is detrimental to Israel in the future.....

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