halialkers: Vulcan at his forge, squat blacksmith hammering force (Axitunnin Maugrin)
Peace has arrived between Israel and Palestine. The Treaty of Paris of 2004 provides for the emergence of a Palestine by 2008 (in terms of the historical events in the TL actually 2007), with the practical state having a staged emergence. Palestine forfeits the right of return (because its leaders are eager to actually gain territory and aware that in real-world terms they wouldn't be viable with a massive wave of refugees to start with), but in return Israel yields both almost all of Palestine and control of water nodes, with certain settlements becoming semi-autonomous (the bulk of these being the ones right on the border of the two states, as well as some in the interior). With Palestine larger and controlling all the rest, as well as having taxes drawn from all of this, the new state would encompass the OTL West Bank and Gaza Strip both. While as per OTL Sharon withdraws altogether from the Gaza Strip (which ITTL becomes the great Palestinian port par excellence), thus parts of the West Bank become technically Palestine but given self-government.

Palestine ultimately builds a full-scale military establishment, but it'll take time for it to 1) afford the equipment required, and 2) for Israel to accept that not only does Palestine exist, but it having an army won't lead in the next five minutes to war between the two states. On the other hand, Jordan in particular does not like the idea of a Palestine, and Palestine's first international challenge is Jordan, which is going to lead to some ironic relationships between Tweedledum and Tweedledee......


halialkers: Katy Perry, brunette with blue shirt, green belt, pink pants, pink umbrella (Brittany Boudreaux)
The Palestinian Civil War has ended, and the path to the Treaty of Paris is beginning. A crucial element in the ATL of the evolution of the ultimate peace is that it's one of several possibilities, but relatively uniquely among them it requires reciprocal elements of accountability, this believable because both sides before the Palestinian Civil War already saw that peace is more beneficial than war (the most shocking discovery of all time, ALL TIME /snerk) and the Palestinians and Israelis ultimately agree to a modified version of this proposal.


Now, this being an Under L TL, there is ultimately an element of some dystopia in how the timeline evolves. In this case it's the equally unexpected and unforeseen reality that a peace between Israelis and Palestinians does absolutely nothing to resolve the broader issues of Israel and the other Arab states, or with the Middle Eastern dictatorships themselves. In fact in the ATL the misconception that this *would* happen leads to some really nasty things happening with the ATL's Iraq War: Bush decides and stubbornly keeps believing that peace with Israel and Palestine will lead the Iraqi insurgency to collapse from morale and fires a few generals, among them David Petraeus, who keep telling him this ain't gonna happen.

Likewise while this peace is the greatest change in Israeli-Palestinian relations since 1967, it doesn't do a damn thing to stop or even to directly affect the ATL version of the Arab Spring, and this isn't even getting into the global ramifications of what realizing this actually means for a good number of useful idiots-er wackos-all over the world. I think one of the relatively unique aspects of this TL (but something that shows up in all the TLs, is the reliance on false documents, in this case the ATL version of the US Republican Right figuring out what to make of the evolution of a genuine peace.

halialkers: Alucard with smoking pistol, brunette man with red hat, red cloak, red tie, moving gif (Nova)
Part II of the timeline has just concluded. The USA's gearing up to invade Iraq with its mass bombing raids in the No-Fly Zones, the Palestinian Civil War drags on because Arafat's a sucky general who doesn't really have the capability to force it to any kind of conclusive end, deepening to some extent the wounds of the war, and finally leads to Arafat's own assassination by the former Hamas movement which is attempting to do this as a propaganda coup for itself to claim Fatah betrayed the Palestinian people only for Abu Mazzen (Mahmoud Abbas) to end-run them first.

The result now is that the Palestinian national symbol is safely dead, he was already getting an agreement with Israel for something akin to the unilateral disengagement by Sharon IOTL, and now this becomes a potential political gift for Abu Mazzen, who recognizes he's got a perfect opportunity to begin consolidating an actual, real-true Palestinian state with his defeating the IPF offering credentials to prove to Israel he can actually enforce what he says. Meaning that if Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip and the PNA starts building a state from there, it has a perfect means of having a way to ensure nobody starts shooting at Israel more, the unintentional result of the Civil War: the actual militants who'd be the fly in the pudding have all been killed off in the Civil War battles so there's none of them around at the wrong place from the Palestinian POV and the right place from Israeli extremist POVs. It's not peace by any means, but it's certainly a major change in both the nature of the Palestinian Civll War (leading to the more competent Abu Mazzen-style leadership, a discrediting of Hamas instead of internal politics strengthening it, and the Palestinians desiring to take an opportunity and having Social Darwinist-style destroyed anyone who'd spoil it).

I would put it this way that what starts as a mutual bluff by both sides to discredit each other is turning into something neither side remotely expected at the start of the whole thing. The really bitter set of historical in-jokes is what's going on simultaneous to this, namely the lead-in to the Iraq War of this particular timeline. The prospect of an actual peace between Israel and the Palestinians (which of course thanks to those damned Middle Eastern political nuances is nothing equivalent to a peace between Israel and the Arab states itself) overshadows Bush's lies and only accelerates the 2003 USA's hubris, as it thinks with the prospect of it actually getting the "diplomacy cred" of finally breaking one log-jam that sure, why not, just take out another, what could possibly go wrong........

While Saddam's taking notes from the IPF in ways that are just perfectly calculated to lengthen the Iraq War of 2003 longer than IOTL and coming to the conclusion by 2003 that perhaps he can actually exploit US hubris and puncture it while he's still got something of a semblance of power. And of course to the USA, as all Arabs are all alike, there's the misperception that somehow ending the Israeli-Palestinian War makes the rest of the region peaceful, which ain't happening.......
halialkers: J. Edgar Hoover, right profile view. Receding hair line, short nose, beady eyes (Agati)
The US invasion of Iraq is approaching. The ATL, for those who've read the previous entries (if anyone in fact is reading them), is the one where in 2002 Arafat decides to bluff Sharon into showing Israel for the merciless bullying evil entity it is by offering concessions that would in actuality produce a peace, figuring Sharon will break them and thus he gains much while conceding nothing at all. Sharon, however, deliberately screws Arafat not by reacting with violence but by deciding to wait himself to get Arafat to be Arafat and betray the agreement and thus drop the hammer with no scruples whatsoever (much as happened historically, but this time with the benefit of deliberately refusing to react violently and thus improving his moral edge over Arafat). Neither, however, reckoned on this reaction and both try to http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KansasCityShuffle each other into an actual war, neither succeeds because neither really benefits.

Arafat actually *gains* popularity because the Palestinian people are able to begin rebuilding in the unexpected peace and look forward to making actual, legitimate gains in terms of peace, though still as a tactical maneuver dedicated to re-establishing *all* of Palestine. He at first gets Hamas and Islamic Jihad to go along with it.....until in the new peace accords Sharon offers the same disengagement he did historically to establish the first phase of a proper Palestinian state if Arafat agrees to a full-fledged peace, which it appears to Arafat is actually by now fully in his interest to do so. Unfortunately for Arafat the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad can also read maps and scheme. The result is a Palestinian Civil War between the Palestinian National Authority (which in this timeline is a US ally in the War on Terrorism (hey, if Saudi Arabia can be one so can Yasser Arafat)) and the Islamic Popular Front, a unity of the various Palestinian Islamist movements into a joint bloc.

This war naturally complicates the early GWOT. It also complicates the joint bloc against the Iraq War as the EU and Russia both support Arafat, but the EU wants to link this with opposing the Iraq War, while Russia feels its interests are served by using this as a proxy to start working for a better relationship with the USA to exclude the EU and China from the Middle East and further enhance Russia's oil advantage over EU economies. China, meanwhile, doesn't give a damn either way about the Palestinian Civil War as it feels the only real winner will be Israel, which wouldn't really help the PRC and it has much bigger plans than an Arafat-IPF war would involve. The disagreements over this complicate any kind of joint action against the USA in the lead-in to the 2003 war, so the crisis takes a different form. Instead of there being a relatively joint bloc of states like France, Germany, Russia, and China opposing the war, there's a great deal of dislike for the conflict but no such joint opposition, rather multiple separate means to oppose it that really mean that the war is even less halted than it is IOTL, coloring the crisis somewhat differently. As to any potential Arab Spring butterflies from this Civil War, well.....that is yet to be seen.
halialkers: Magnangemon, six wings, two covering face (CJ)
The war between Fatah and Hamas has started, with the trigger that starts it as mentioned in the last post a suicide bombing killing Mrs. Arafat and Arafat's daughter. Arafat now decides "It's personal" and has ever reason to hate the UIF, which attempts gunboat diplomacy of a sort and the result is a protracted street battle in Ramallah that ends in a Fatah/Palestinian National Authority victory. The UIF winds up internationally isolated, dependent on only one country for arms traffic: Pakistan. The Israelis aren't about to openly go in at this point from a mixture of cynicism and pragmatism: Cynically the Palestinian movements bleeding each other to death only helps Israel, pragmatically they could either create a monster which would be stronger on their own efforts or alternately unite both factions against Israel, neither of which they want. But with the UIF shooting rockets at them in a vain attempt to draw them in (and after finally realizing they really can't get that to happen) and the PNA officially and privately deploring it (from fear that either Israel goes in and destroys the UIF and costs them their freebie base or alternately Israel aids Hamas due to this having happened in the earliest days of the movement, not disagreement with attacking Israeli civilians), the Mossad decides privately to aid the people condemning it instead of the people doing it.

I did mention this timeline would be like other Omniverse Timelines, that is an attempt to do plausible, realistic political developments from a point of divergence, right? Well this is about the complexity level of the *real* Palestinian Intifada and here there's a bit of a The Producers-style cease-fire between Palestinians and Israelis that a Fatah-Hamas War is only accelerating and deepening. With of course Arafat not in the least having changed his stripes, and now impaled on his own incompetence into a prolonged civil war with a UIF that to put it crudely is a pathetic bunch of bunglers who last only as long as Arafat does because Arafat was terrible at war.
halialkers: Anzaea in brighter colors, blotches orange mouth, diagonal right arm/thumb, semicircle left arm (Anzaea)
The one about Arafat doing something just a little different in April of 2001, his attempts to bluff Sharon into shooting first so he gets a moral victory without any real concessions (and this the deepest motivation for the Paris meetings, an attempt to say "See, SEE? I TOLD YOU SO, these guys negotiate with us and they're attacking us during it? Sharon can't be trusted! (hypocrisy, yes, if the name "Yasser Arafat" appears hypocrisy will be all over it like ants on a chicken bone at a picnic)) aren't working and are instead producing an accidental full-scale cease fire and peace. Sharon doesn't *need* to shoot first, he's preparing to hunker down and wait for the other shoe to drop, and Arafat's attempts to unilteraly create and enforce peace are ensuring Hamas and Islamic Jihad, attracted as much as he is to a Gaza Strip where settlements are all gone and Palestinian Authority order and authority are recognized (what Sharon did unilaterally IOTL he's using as the carrot in his negotiations with Arafat ITTL) are busy starting to form a united military and political bloc to take over the Gaza Strip.

Arafat sees this, decides "And now it's personal" and starts conglomerating his own troops to stomp the everloving Hell out of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but he lacks any actual pretext to do so as they're just as insistent about the peace as he is for a similar reason. The murder of Ghassan Shaqawa provides the reason Arafat starts looking very closely at what Hamas and Islamic Jihad is doing, while his continual attempts to ensure Sharon shoots first are continuing to fail, not because Sharon cares about public or even US opinion so much as Sharon is convinced for a damn good reason that if he just waits long enough Arafat will be Arafat and behave like Arafat.


But note the point of divergence is a local political one in April of 2011, which means that at the end of Part I of this timeline the September 11th Attacks offer the Patron Saint of betrayal and hypocrisy has just found his pretext. ITTL, Bush's Administration's first major foreign policy coups are the Paris negotiations for Sharon to withdraw settlements from the Gaza Strip, his second is that in the first month of the GWOT Yasser Arafat promises full co-operation with the GWOT, with his first targets just so happening to be none other than the Hamas/Islamic Jihad United Islamic Front........


In terms of TVTropes this is Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon *both* pulling a http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KansasCityShuffle while 9/11 leads Arafat to do a http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BatmanGambit with Sharon using it for a http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/XanatosGambit. With GWB being the sucker for both types of Gambits *and* the Kansas City Shuffle from both sides.

The simplest view of this particular alternate history is as follows: a http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MassiveMultiplayerScam leads to a http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GambitPileup

When I said that the Omniverse Tales are complex, this is the kind of thing I'm referring to. XP

halialkers: Anzaea in brighter colors, blotches orange mouth, diagonal right arm/thumb, semicircle left arm (Anzaea)
Which will be my overall shortest, covering a mere ten years. The point of divergence is that Yasser Arafat opts for a slightly different tactic to his goal that he's still pursuing in the ATL: the triumph of a Palestine that means the eradication of Israel, no regard for the means used to achieve it. Arafat decides in his usual pattern to wrong-foot everyone with a magnanimous gesture that really isn't one, hoping to secure a complete success. This is in April, 2001, when Bush is still new in office and not yet soured on Arafat. His *idea* is to wrong-foot Sharon with a peace offer he expects Sharon to turn down and ignore, without having lost anything and as a means to show the Palestinian people that he's always right and there will never be a sincere peace with Israel.

Of course what he expects and what he gets are two different things......and in keeping with a general theme of my alternate histories the people portrayed are as close to their unvarnished historical selves as possible (hence Arafat's unilateral action and blinding himself to the possibility Sharon might well accept it for the same reason he's offering it: to show neither side is sincere in their offers, hence Arafat's refusal to consult any of the other Palestinian leaders, hence Hamas and Islamic Jihad acting as they did IOTL on his orders, at least at first)......

And focusing on the results of this proposal through an alternate history which is changed more than somewhat globally by all of this, and focusing as well on the potential of one of history's most malignant and repulsive failures trying as always for his own interests and what might happen if he tries to be too clever by half. I might note that this alternate history again is *not* going to try any kind of political tract and that as the first post makes clear Arafat's only thought, as always, is Arafat and long-term consequences as always are not remotely considered if short-term gain can come from it (i.e. he thinks this is a way to look good, get a breathing spell, and prepare a new wave of attacks, and a means to get his weapons-loaded ships into the Gaza Strip with Israel unable to actually get to them or do anything about it, and in classical Arafat fashion he's going to be giving a private speech about this which would extremely offend Israel if they actually heard of it):


Edit-At this point in the timeline, Sharon's called his bluff and Bush intends to outdo Clinton in terms of peacemaking to make his name as a Presidential peacemaker, stunning Arafat and Sharon both. Arafat's gamble's working a little too well but in classical Arafat fashion he expects Israel to do what he'd do and to be far more fragile in politics than it ever was. The Israelis for their part had no idea GWB had this concept in the ATL and neither did most of his staff......


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