Friday, May 20, 2011


The President's Speech

The speech was about American interests and policy toward the Middle East, the area at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea and adjoining regions.  He stated conditions that he believes are an essential starting point to any serious and sincere negotiations regarding the status of Palestine and Israel.  His starting point is:

To me this seems like a fair place from which to start.  However, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyau, immediately dismissed it, claiming that the border that existed in 1969 is indefensible.  The pro-Likud claque in the United States has chimed in and claims that Mr. Obama has set back the peace process and caused irreparable harm to it.

To me, it's like Alice in Wonderland.  Does the government of Israel really want a peaceful settlement based on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on part of the territory of pre-war Palestine or pre-Roman Israel?  Mr. Netanyahu talks of wanting peace.  When it is suggested that Israel ought to be able to make some useful concessions in a serious negotiation, he changes the subject to the question of security and his doubt that the Palestinians really want peace.  His first requirement is that the Palestinian negotiators formally recognize "Israel's right to exist."  But that requirement involves circular reasoning.  A right to exist is properly contained in or implied by a peace treaty or a formal exchange of ambassadors.  It's the end of a process, not a beginning.

I am honestly suspicious of Mr. Netanyahu.  I don't think he is sincere in wanting peace with a rump Palestine.  I think he wants the Palestinians to go away, to disappear, to migrate to other Arab countries, and leave all of Biblical Israel to the present state of Israel for occupation and colonization by Jewish immigrants.  He regards the Palestinians as interlopers who are occupying land that properly belongs to the Jewish People, as the gift of God to the followers of Moses.  These interlopers must be moved out or killed off, just as other interlopers were dealt with in ancient times.

I applaud President Obama's speech.  I believe that most Americans will applaud it.  I hope that it receives a favorable audience in Israel among people there who do not blindly approve of everything the present Likud government is doing.


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