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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New York Times Editorial, "Israel’s Choice": More Delusional Hatred of Israel

A few days ago, The Washington Post stated in the first sentence of an editorial entitled "President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/president-obamas-foreign-policy-is-based-on-fantasy/2014/03/02/c7854436-a238-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html?hpid=z6):

"FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality."

Indeed, the emperor has no clothes, but this did not prevent The New York Times, i.e. the semi-official organ of the Obama administration, from again lambasting Israel in an editorial entitled "Israel's Choice" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/opinion/israels-choice.html?hpw&rref=opinion).

Entirely in keeping with Obama's recent warning to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that time for a peace agreement is running out (see: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-02/obama-to-israel-time-is-running-out), today's Times editorial declares:

"In Washington this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel sounded two different notes about peace negotiations with the Palestinians, which are nearing a critical juncture. In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby, he enthusiastically advocated a peace agreement as a means to improve Israel’s ties with its Arab neighbors and 'catapult the region forward' on issues like health, energy and education.

But at other moments, a more familiar skepticism was apparent. He demanded that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state with 'no excuses, no delays.' In response, a senior Palestinian official, Nabil Shaath, accused Mr. Netanyahu of putting an end to peace talks because Palestinians have already rejected that designation. (Palestinians recognize Israel as a state, but not as a Jewish state because they believe that that would undercut the rights of Palestinian refugees.) And, on Monday, at the White House, Mr. Netanyahu asserted that while Israel has worked hard to advance peace, the Palestinians have not.

. . . .

In remarkably blunt comments, Mr. Obama said that he had not heard a persuasive case for how Israel survives both as a democracy and a Jewish state absent a negotiated two-state solution, since in Israel and the West Bank 'there are going to be more Palestinians, not fewer Palestinians, as time goes on.' He also warned that given Israel’s aggressive settlement construction — 2,534 housing units were begun in 2013 compared with 1,133 the previous year — Palestinians may soon decide that a contiguous state is impossible and America’s ability to help manage the consequences will be limited.

. . . .

In his Aipac speech, Mr. Netanyahu declared, 'I’m prepared to make a historic peace with our Palestinian neighbors.' But, really, what other just and durable choice does he have? What is his long-term answer for Israel, if not a two-state solution?"

Netanyahu of course has regularly voiced his support for a two-state solution. For example, as reported by Arutz Sheva last April (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/167201#.UxgQsZtWHcs):

"Speaking during a reception for foreign diplomats in honor of Israel’s Independence Day, Netanyahu said, 'We are committed to our aspiration for peace, a peace that will be based on the principle of two states for two peoples, a Jewish state alongside a demilitarized Palestinian state.

'But in order for the peace to last it must be anchored in security,' he added. 'The State of Israel must be able to defend itself by itself; its security will be a main component of any future peace agreement.'"

Is Netanyahu's demand for security extreme? Israel unilaterally evacuated Gaza in 2005, resulting in a blizzard of Palestinian rockets and missiles aimed at towns and cities in southern Israel and several costly military operations intended to quell the attacks.

The editorial appears to portray Netanyahu's demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as unreasonable, given acceptance by the Times of the Palestinian claim that such recognition would undercut the rights of Palestinian refugees. But why should this be the case? The new Palestinian state would be free to accept Palestinian refugees from Jordan (once comprising 77% of the Palestinian Mandate and where Palestinians amount to some 70% of the population), Syria and Lebanon. If it is demanded that Israel accept these refugees, this would end the negotiations.

Needless to say, the Times fails to acknowledge that Israel, which is approximately the size of New Jersey, already provided a home for some 600,000 Jewish refugees from the Muslim Middle East without any compensation or restitution.

More settlement construction on the West Bank? Most of the settlers live in areas which will be retained by Israel as part of a land swap agreement providing for a new Palestinian state. Moreover, as acknowledged by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Israeli settlements comprise only some 1.1% of the West Bank (see: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/erekat-olmert-offered-palestinians-territorial-equivalent-of-west-bank-1.393484).

What other just and durable choice does Netanyahu have other than to agree to terms demanded by Obama with the unequivocal backing of The New York Times? The answer is simple: Without ironclad guarantees of no future terror attacks emanating from the West Bank, Israel is simply better off biding its time. Moreover, such guarantees begin with Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

By the way, from the text of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, (Palestine Partition Plan), November 29, 1947, which created Israel (my emphasis in red):

"PLAN OF PARTITION WITH ECONOMIC UNION

Part I. - Future Constitution and Government of Palestine

A. TERMINATION OF MANDATE, PARTITION AND INDEPENDENCE


1.The Mandate for Palestine shall terminate as soon as possible but in any case not later than 1 August 1948.

2.The armed forces of the mandatory Power shall be progressively withdrawn from Palestine, the withdrawal to be completed as soon as possible but in any case not later than 1 August 1948.
The mandatory Power shall advise the Commission, as far in advance as possible, of its intention to terminate the mandate and to evacuate each area. The mandatory Power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and in any event not later than 1 February 1948.

3.Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts II and III below.

4.The period between the adoption by the General Assembly of its recommendation on the question of Palestine and the establishment of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States shall be a transitional period."

1 comment:

  1. Jeffrey, start referring to this rag correctly: "Der Neue Stuermer."
    Secondly, this Der Stuermer is THE ORGAN of the Obama party, but unlike the decent Soviet Communist Party which put the status of Pravda on the front page, just below the title, Der Stuermer pretends to be journalism.
    BTW, look at their typeface in the title - so Teutonic - their mustached master would have approved.

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