While long-time observers of the region can be forgiven for not holding their breath… it still offers an interesting insight into a growing rift between the politicians and the military they command that may have greater consequences in the future.
by James Corbett
The International Forecaster
There are new peace overtures toward the Palestinians coming out of Israel these days, but they’re coming from the last place you’d expect: the Israeli military.
Late last week a group of over 200 former Israeli military and security officials forwarded a proposal for ending the impasse with the Palestinians and normalizing ties with the Arab world.
[…] In tabling their action plan, the group–which includes IDF Generals as well as former high-ranking members of Mossad, Shin Bet and Israel Police–called for a freeze on settlement building, an acceptance of the Arab Peace Initiative and the concession of East Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state.
What is perhaps even more eyebrow-raising than the proposal itself is the context in which it is being brought forward. As Jason Ditz notes at Antiwar.com, the peace push follows consternation over Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who had the gall to suggest that the military should have moral standards and that Israeli soldiers shouldn’t empty magazines into Palestinian girls brandishing scissors. This was followed by Maj. Gen. Yair Golan’s controversial comparison of modern Israel to 1930s Germany. When Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon dared to defend Eisenkot, he was ousted from his position and replaced by ultra hardliner Avigdor Lieberman, Chairman of the far-right Yisrael Beytenu.