*The Annapolis Initiative: Call for a Courageous Step Forward*
On December 5, 2007, I gave the paper set forth below to a European
ambassador serving in Paris. This ambassador had previously served his
country as Foreign Minister. The European ambassador said that at the
European Union meeting in Paris in mid-December, there would not be
sufficient unity among its members to take a really strong political
position in support of the Annapolis initiative.
He opined that the European Union members would agree on the use of
money to help the Israeli-Palestinian negotiators find agreement in
arriving at a negotiated two-state solution. Certainly, the foreign
ambassador said, there would not be unanimity among the EU members to
take the kind of courageous initiative with the U.N. General Assembly as
set forth in the paper. At the European Union, all political decisions
must be taken unanimously.
The following is the partial text of the paper I gave the European
ambassador on December 5. In the meantime, other diplomats have also
requested my paper.
*How to Breathe Life into the American Initiative at Annapolis to Bring
Peace to the Near East*
1. The U.S. Government alone can NOT bring the Annapolis Initiative to
fruition. Why? Because Congress does not have the majority needed to
support the Annapolis Initiative.
a. The Israeli lobby
b. Christian Fundamentalists
c. Indian immigrants living in the U.S. who have an open
agreement on cooperation with the Israeli lobby
d. One of the biggest obstacles is Congressman Tom Lantos,
Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
2. In early December (about ten days ago), the U.S. withdrew a
resolution in the United Nations supporting the Annapolis Initiative.
_Hence, someone else should sponsor it._
3. The Europeans should sponsor such a resolution in the United Nations,
preferably in December when Portugal is still chairman of the EU.
4. Why a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly?
- The new borders for Israel and Palestine were created in 1947 by a
U.N. General Assembly vote.
- The situation today in the Near East is a political threat to peace.
Hence, the U.N. General Assembly is the appropriate place for a
resolution in support of the Annapolis Initiative for bringing peace to
the Near East.
- The U.S. used the same U.N. General Assembly tactic when it needed
support for its policy in Korea in the early 1950s, the “Uniting for
- Use this resolution to push a two-state solution in the
Palestine/Israel conflict—as it was voted in 1947, but now offered with
the precise borders for Israel proposed by Saudi King Abdullah in the
2002 Beirut Declaration (1967 borders for Israel).
- Indicate clearly that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian state.
5. Ask the Secretary General of the U.N. to report back to the U.N.
General Assembly on the status of the Israeli-Palestinian efforts to
implement the Annapolis Initiative by June 1, 2008.
I have suggested to some French friends close to the French President
that perhaps President Sarkozy, who is known in France for his
pro-American sentiments, might be the right person to take a bold
initiative as suggested in my paper by seizing the U.S. General Assembly
to help make peace in the Near East. But before doing so, he would be
well-advised to ascertain from Secretary Rice that such an initiative by
France would be welcome. After all, the purpose of any action at the
U.N. would be to support the American Annapolis initiative and thereby
to keep the international community in step with current American policy
toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
If no Western leader takes the lead in support of the
American Annapolis effort early in 2008, the Russians, with the support
of China and others, might take action themselves at the Moscow
conference in early 2008—action that would get the international
community involved in settling the 60-year-old Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Such Russian action would not necessarily give credit to the
U.S.-led Annapolis Initiative, but might be used to enhance Russia’s
standing in the world, casting Russia in the role of defender of justice
in the Near East and promoter of peace around the world.
Finally, an initiative by French President Sarkozy is a
win-win situation for everybody:
1. Such an initiative in the U.N. General Assembly would receive a
vote of approval of 150 in favor to perhaps 10 abstentions. The
Sarkozy initiative would show that nearly the entire world
community supports a fair settlement of the 60-year-old
2. It would help the U.S. initiative taken at Annapolis.
3. It would help France’s standing, as well as that of the West,
around the world as an enlightened, fair, and tolerant state,
especially in the developing world.
4. It would force the Israelis and Palestinians to make concessions.
Among them would have to be making Hamas join the negotiation.
5. It would receive the emphatic approval of the entire Muslim world,
from Morocco to Indonesia.
6. It would significantly undercut the extremist climate all over the
world, especially the Islamic fundamentalists.
7. It would keep the Israelis from endangering the very survival of
the state of Israel in the long term.
8. It would also reduce U.S.-Russian tensions by putting the Western
world and the Russian sphere of influence on the same wave length
in the Near/Middle East.
As ever, and Happy New Year,
John Gunther Dean