JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NETANYAHU HAS SOFTENED HIS STANCE ON TWO STATES? I DON’T THINK SO   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

“Softens his stance” is inaccurate.

Obama has backed Netanyahu into something of a corner. Those who want genuine peace have always believed it can only come when the U.S. makes demands of Israel for all the immense subsidies it has poured into that state and all the unpleasant risk it has assumed in doing so.

Netanyahu’s response is to say, “Okay, I’ll mouth your phrases, but I’ll make them meaningless.”

It’s a nasty game various governments of Israel have played a long time. The decades-long “peace process” has been only a way to gain time to absorb more Palestinian homes and farms and water minus the Palestinians. It really is a ploy which covers what may fairly be characterized as slow-motion ethnic-cleansing.

Netanyahu’s conditions are ridiculous to any fair-minded person.

First, you cannot speak of negotiation when you set a precondition like recognizing Israel.

Withholding recognition is one of the only bargaining chips the poor Palestinians have: it is a perfectly ordinary tactic in international affairs.

You cannot tell Palestinians they must give it up before negotiations.

Or rather, you can tell them that, but it amounts merely to another way of saying you don’t accept a two-state solution, another way of buying time to grind away at the poor Palestinians and what little they have.

Besides, how do you recognize Israel when its borders change almost weekly? Where is Israel?

It certainly is not the Israel of the various 20th century agreements underlying Israel’s birth, all documents showing two roughly equal states. Nor is it the Israel of the Green Line.

Perhaps most important, how do you recognize Israel as “the Jewish state” when nearly 20% of its population is not Jewish?

It is an absurd demand, and deliberately meant to be absurd.

To all fair-minded thinkers, the genuine barrier to peace just could not be clearer.

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