Israeli deputy FM: This is no peace process

Tuesday, November 02, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is a member of the Israel Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) political party which has made a name for itself by bluntly describing things as they are instead of doing the diplomatic dance their coalition partners are so adept at.

In particular, party leader and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has repeatedly pointed out that as things currently stand, there is no chance for a genuine and lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs. Last month he also told visiting European diplomats that they should take care of their continent’s own problems sticking their noses in Israel’s affairs.

Ayalon, a former ambassador to the US, is second in command to Lieberman in both the party and at the Foreign Ministry, but is no less outspoken.

Addressing foreign pro-Israel activists at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Monday, Ayalon suggested that what Israel and the Palestinians are currently engaged in is not a peace process. Rather, the Palestinians and the Arab world are continuing their effort to eradicate the Jewish state, just using different tactics.

“They tried to take us on militarily and they couldn’t, then economically… and then with terror. Now the [battle] front is the political and legal warfare,” explained Ayalon. “We have to understand that we are facing a very dedicated enemy.”

Ayalon noted that even while being involved in direct peace talks with Israel last month, the Palestinian Authority continued to do its best to de-legitimize Israel in every way possible. He said that this is part of the “peace process” tactic currently being employed against Israel.

“If you try and paint Israel into a corner there is no incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate because they believe that someone else will do the job for them,” said Ayalon, referring to the constant international pressure brought to bear on Israel to surrender to Arab demands despite a lack of reciprocity.

Ayalon said Israel and those few governments that actually support it cannot fight this alone, not in the age of instant communication and social media. He urged the foreign activists to help Israel form a network that goes beyond governments and forms grassroots movements banded together in support of Israel’s cause.

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