Thursday, May 19, 2011

Now that I've finished my series, I'm going to occasionally take the liberty to comment on current events. So let me explain what Obama just said and did not say about his vision of a "peace" agreement:

1. The borders will be based on the '67 lines with swaps. (That's the part the headline writers seized upon.)

2. Israel must withdraw the IDF fully from the areas to be handed to the Palestinians. His words: "The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state." This contradicts one of Israel's main demands, namely, that the IDF remain in the Jordan valley.

3. He pointedly did not insist that Palestinian refugees be resettled in the Palestinian state, as opposed to in Israel. His words: "Two wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair..."

In short, we got some bla bla about the right to security and the right not to be isolated in the UN, but he sided with our enemies on all the substance.


Blogger Gil Student said...

May I recommend that now that you are done with your series, you return to using subjects for each post. Just a suggestion that I believe will make reading easier.

11:25 PM  
Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

I thought that this made his position on refugees fairly clear:

"a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace."

You'd never hear that from Abbas (he went out of his way not to say that in the NYT).

11:27 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Gil, thanks for the suggestion. I agree.

Elli, I beg to differ. On a hot button issue like that, you either say it or you don't. Conceding that Israel is a Jewish state is feeble -- even if Abu Mazen can't manage that much -- and says nothing about the refugee issue.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous zalman said...

"1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps" could be read as "1967 lines provided the sides can mutually agree on swaps." But in the diplomatic world I guess it is enough that it could mean "1967 lines, with swaps if they can be mutually agreed". On a hot button issue like that, you either say it or you don't.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Terry said...

Look, I didn't like the speech either, but selective quotations from your side to match the selective quotations from the NYTimes doesn't really help produce an accurate and full picture of the speech.

Here's a paragraph you did not choose to include - it is particularly blunt, and no more strident than Israel would want if they wrote it:
"For the Palestinians, efforts to deligitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won't create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection."

And, as we speak, the very same President Obama is now going through Europe trying to convince our Western Allies to not join in the vote at the U.N. That can't be fun after Bibi chewed him out publicly (and how moronic was that? Okay it plays well at home and makes you feel better, but you're the frickin' Prime Minister - bigger picture, etc.)

In the paragraph you did choose to select - which indeed a disturbing sentence - you 'inadvertently' dropped the first sentence. "As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself - by itself - against any threat."

Bottom line: Except for rejectionists, on both sides, everyone knows where the border lines would likely be if a deal ever came to fruition, and - surprise surprise, they are pretty much "1967 with mutually agreed swaps, SO THAT SECURED AND RECOGNIZED BORDERS ARE ESTABLISHED FOR BOTH STATES" (the part of the quote both sides leave out - for obvious reasons).

So, the fuss?

First, we don't like being picked on (and he is picking on us - even paranoid people have real people picking on them). Second, we don't like them not being picked on (well, he's picking on them a little, but it's clearly not the same). Third, we think we deserve a status as "favorite" in these matters, and don't want a 'level playing field'. Yes, yes, it is far more sophisticated than that, and there is no "them" to make peace with.

But, really, is the whole thing just about who has leverage? Is that it?

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is your reason for neglecting to acknowledge that substantively George Busb said the same sort of things? The republican tendency to forgive every W sin and distort every Obama statement is like something out of Orwell. if I didn't know better I'd say the old primitive Jewish fear of darkies was beneath it all.

2:48 PM  

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