This is not my normal kind of post. Oh, don’t get me, wrong, I am most passionate about this subject. I just generally don’t share my opinions with you, my blog readers.
Let me start out by telling you that I am NOT a fan of Binyamin Netanyahu. And, many of my co-religionists consider me to be a traitor- because I don’t fall into the “Israel is besieged and needs my backing” camp. I was never a fan of the “love it or leave it” crowd here in the US, either. Because it is the job of each citizen to hold his/her country to the highest standards.
Given that introduction, the recent Obama-Kerry actions on Israel are so full of … that it is hard to remain quiet. Let’s first start out by recognizing that Obama and/or Kerry were instrumental in the recent Security Council vote condemning Israel. They may have abstained in the actual voting, but they orchestrated the event- their protests notwithstanding. It stinks as high as when the Bush Administration (OK, especially the Dick Cheney criminal crowd) outed Valerie Plame ( a covert CIA agent) to discredit her husband’s actions , which were attempting to make clear the administration’s lies about (the lack of) weapons of mass destruction in the possession of Iraq.
Egyptian sources have already admitted that weeks before the Security Council vote the US leaned on them to prepare Proposition 2334. Furthermore, the Egyptian government shared additional information that the US worked with the Palestinian delegation on the wording that was employed.
Now, only a moron would not recognize that Netanyahu and Obama were frenemies. (OK. More enemy than friend.) And, no one could really accuse the Obama administration of its position, since Netanyahu clearly operated just like Mitch McConnell. (You know- where McConnell admitted his major effort was to stop Obama at each turn, to ensure (and fail) that Obama would be a one-term president.)
Furthermore, I personally agree that given the birth rates of the folks residing in the West Bank, if Israel doesn’t provide the means for a state in that region, it is clear that the concept of the Jewish State of Israel is tenuous. Because, just like white folks in America must recognize they will be a minority in the US, unless the West Bank becomes a separate state, Jews will become a minority in Israel.
But, let’s make a few other things clear. Israel is right to demand that no negotiations can proceed unless and until the Arab nations (we’ll get to what “Palestine” may be) agree- clearly and unequivocally- agreethat Israel exists and has a right to exist. (The Arab concept is that Israel is clearly Arab land. Not what they tell Americans, but what they publish in their newspapers, books, and what is presented on TV. These folks even state that it’s “occupied Chaifa [Haifa]”, “occupied Jaffa [Tel Aviv]”- clearly cities within Israel.)
And, Israel obtained these lands- the West Bank- after Jordan, Syria, Egypt and a few other Arab nations attacked. Did you notice something there? NO Palestine. Because Jordan – after the UN Mandate of 1948 stipulated that there should be a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state- took over the entire region that was not Israel. Was there one peep about a Palestine then? Was there one peep (other than from Jews around the world) that the “international city” of Jerusalem was prohibited to Jews? Nah.
Which is why these are not “occupied” lands. Because there was no Palestinian state. These lands were considered part of Jordan for decades and no one had any issue with that “occupation”. So, the West Bank really is “disputed” land. Land that I- and many others- believe should form the basis for the state of Palestine.
(While we are at it- where are the continued UN resolutions about Tibet. A country- not a region- that has been usurped by China- and India. Or, Kashmir which involves routine battles between India and Pakistan- as opposed to the independent state. Let us not forget about Cyprus, which northern region Turkey appropriated.)
And, now, let’s look at this resolution, Number 2334. This was not really a resolution about settlements in the West Bank. No, the resolution clearly stipulates that Jerusalem is not part of Israel- and then extends this belief to all the settlements that exist in the West Bank. And, despite every previous resolution of the UN, 2334 declares all these areas are “Palestinian territories”. (That would be akin to making the Dakotas, Oklahoma, Montana, among other states “Native American” lands.) Do you recognize that this very same logic would afford Russia the right to its appropriation of Crimea?
Moreover, every Arab nation (from the 1949 armistice forward) has never agreed to a border between Israel and the rest of the Middle East. (Of course, that’s because they deny Israel’s right to exist.) Now, all of a sudden, the 1949 armistice lines that have never been accepted are considered a de facto border.
No mention was made that Binyamin Netanyahu (for a short period) maintained a settlement freeze (at the request of the Obama administration). Were there negotiations then? Nope. None. Or, the fact that Israel has ceded (ok, abandoned) Gaza to the Arabs in 2005. Which only has led to more wars, continued rocket attacks from the area- or having the police authorities and citizens looting the viable greenhouse business near the border between Gaza and Israel.
And, as John Kerry stated (in his misguided missive on 28 December) those settlements he derided 80% of the population resides in places that Israel will obtain in a peace settlement (assuming one would ever be obtained between the Arabs and Israel). (Just so you know, this is the area that is considered as Greater Jerusalem by Israel.) And, the other settlements (some 150 of them scattered about the West Bank)- the ones that (at least in my mind) have no credence for future existence (assuming a peace agreement) have had very little growth over the years. (Something on the order of 3% a year- or less, with a current total population on the order of 350,000, for an average population of 2000 apiece .)
Moreover, the “process” that Kerry proposed was exactly what Mahmoud Abbas (who went by the name of Abu Mazen in his terrorist days) refused a few years ago (2014). But, Kerry only blames Israel. Even the Washington Post, not known for “fair and balanced” reporting when it comes to Israel, admonished the Obama Administration, asserting it “has not learned from its mistakes over the past eight years”.
I wish I had some great answers. I had great hopes back in 1995 when Rabin and Peres wanted folks like me to institute businesses that would be joint Israel-Arab ventures, promoting peace and prosperity among the residents. Except an assassin terminated that vision.
And, Netanyahu has no such vision. Nor does the PLO. And, certainly not Hamas.