Friday, May 20, 2011
The President's Speech
- There shall be two independent but friendly nations, Israel and Palestine.
- The borders between these nations shall be either the boundary that existed in 1969 or an agreed to modification of that boundary.
- Other outstanding differences, such as the right of Palestinians to return to their lost homes, are left open with no preconditions.
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.