Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his explanation as under which conditions Israel would recognize the existence of an independent Palestinian state. He insisted Palestine must be demilitarized and not be allowed to control its own air space or to have the capability of militarily threatening Israel. On this point, the Israel prime minister has a valid argument. Given the size of Israel, if a Palestinian state came under the control of radical groups and had access to rockets and planes it would pose a serious threat to Israel. On the other hand, Israel must give iron clad guarantees to Palestine that it will not interfere in the internal affairs of that nation.
However, Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize the existence of a “Jewish state” raises serious questions. One out of five people in Israel are Muslims and to accept the concept their country is not representative of their existence is simply not tolerable. Jews in America constitute less than two percent of the population and would be furious if America was termed a “Christian nation.” This is a semantic argument and has no place in serious negotiations.
The West Bank continues to be ignored by Netanyahu, but no nation of Palestine could simply surrender a large portion of their territory because some Jewish settlers want to live there. The West Bank was awarded to Arabs, not the new nation of Israel. The land was illegally seized and must be returned.
Perhaps, in surrendering the complete right of return of Arab refugees a compromise could be worked out allowing a small piece of the West Bank to be exchanged for land in Israel such as a road connecting Gaza to the remainder of the country.
Posted in Barack Obama, Christianity, Conservatives, Democrats, George Bush, Human Rights, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Liberals, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Israel, Netanyahu, Palestine
Even before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened his mouth on Sunday for his expected speech on the future of Israel and Palestinian leaders, the Obama administration said what he intends to say is not sufficient in terms of moving the Middle East towards peace. Netanyahu supposedly told envoy George Mitchell that he would not be able to express the ideas desired by Obama about moving quickly to work with Palestinians about establishing an independent state. He refuses to halt further housing on the West Bank and he refuses to accept the concept of an independent Palestine. Netanyahu is caught in the trap of having created a government in which right wing fanatics hold important positions. If he accepts the American position it might lead to the collapse of his government.
There are moments in history when a leader has to speak the truth to his nation. There are moments in history when a leader has to be prepared to lose power if the end result is saving his nation from disaster. This is one of those moments for Benjamin Netanyahu.
There are moments in the history of nations in which choices must be made regarding the future existence of the country. The state of Israel has endured fifty years of isolation and hatred and survived. But, there is always a price paid when living in a constant state of fear and aloneness. President Barack Obama has openly challenged Israel to confront the need for peace and be willing to pay the price that goes along with ending isolation. He discussed mistakes on the part of the United States, he discussed mistakes on the part of Palestinians and Muslims, and he discussed mistakes on the part of Israel. At no point did he single out Israel as the only one responsible for the current impasse in peace.
Jewish voters are divided on how to respond to the Obama challenge. A newspaper poll that asked: “Should Israel accept Obama’s demands or reject them and risk sanctions?” About 40% of respondents said their nation should reject the demands of Obama while 56% said it was necessary to deal with reality. The latter figure might include Israeli Arabs.
The time is now, not tomorrow for Israel.
Posted in Barack Obama, Human Rights, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Israel, Obama speech, poll results