Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Netanyahu said the right things

Israeli Prime Minister Binyami Netanyahu made some important points in his major speech. Anyone interested in discussing the conflict in a civilized way should first acknowledge its root cause: the Arab refusal to recognize the state of Israel. Netanyahu specifies by reminding that it was the Jews who accepted and the Palestinian Arabs who overwhelmingly rejected the partition plan of 1947 or any proposal that'd have established a Jewish state of any kind in the Holy land. He also states that violence against Jews in Palestine began long before a Jewish soldier set a foot on West Bank.

But the big news is Netanyahu's willingness to see the birth of a Palestinian state assuming it is demilitarized. Understandably, this is in Israel's interests. Israel cannot afford to have a sovereign state next to it that threatens her very existence like Gaza, a terrorist state that supports and is supported by Hezbollah and Iran. Without a military Palestine would not be able to establish military pacts with Israel's enemies. Of course this isn't a very pragmatic proposal since the Palestinians would never agree to demilitarize. That is their problem, however. It's their society that has been on the verge of collapse for years now.

Netanyahu slams the silly idea that Palestinian refugees should have a right to return to Israel. Such a right would only mean slowly turning Israel into a non-Jewish state quite likely ruled by Islamic laws. As for Jerusalem, Netanyahu says it should remain a part of Israel, a united city that tolerates all religions. This is much better than allowing Jerusalem to be turned into a city where atheism and homosexuality is punishable by death.

As for the settlements in the West Bank, Israel is in no rush to leave although Netanyahu doesn't support expanding the settlements. Netanyahu notes that their Gaza withdrawal was for nothing. It did not stop violence, but merely turned Gaza into a Hamas-controlled entity that fires rockets into Israel on an almost daily basis. In other words: the assumption that disbanding the West Bank settlements would bring peace is based on nothing. Israel is done with concessions that only lead to more demands and violence against Israelis.

Moreover, there can be no peace and no Palestinian state until there's a "public, binding, unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people" and that the Palestinian people must decide "between Hamas and peace".

Meanwhile in the United States, former President Jimmy Carter has asked the Obama administration to remove Hamas from the American list of terrorist groups. It seems that Hamas certainly has a way to appreciate Carter's pro-Palestinian stance:

a Palestinian source told FOX News that the group had discovered two roadside bombs planted near a crossing between Israel and Gaza on a path Carter's convoy took to meet with the group's leaders. According to the source, the bombs were intended to hit Carter's vehicle as he exited Gaza.

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