Friday, May 20, 2011

So, what did Obama say about Israel and 1967, really?

Depends on whom you ask. Here are the words from a transcript:

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
I suppose it depends on which lines we're talking about. Are we talking the entire West Bank, and, say, the Golan Heights, too? Or something less, or something else entirely?

To me, the key part of the statement is defining, precisely, what is a "viable Palestine." The experience of Gaza isn't especially encouraging on that score. Instead of getting on with the business of building something, Gaza has become a place of greater despair than it was prior to the last major peace effort in the 1990s. Hamas isn't going to change what it is and it's hardly surprising that the Israelis would want no part of negotiating with a group that is dedicated to driving Israelis into the Mediterranean.

I also bring up the Golan Heights because it is so important to Israel's ability to defend itself. Syria is unremittingly hostile to Israel and if it regained the Golan Heights, that would mean unremitting war on Israel's northern border. It's a nonstarter.

As is this related notion from the Obama speech:

The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: he can lead that transition, or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests; release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests; allow human rights monitors to have access to cities like Dara'a; and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition. Otherwise, President Assad and his regime will continue to be challenged from within and isolated abroad.
Assad made his choice a long a time ago. He's not going to be a transitional or transformational figure, any more than Gaddafi can be in Libya. It's time to stop pretending otherwise.


Bike Bubba said...

My take is simple; when the Palestinians stop launching rocket attacks from their elementary schools and hospitals at Israeli elementary schools and hospitals and other such acts of barbarism, then we'll know Israel can negotiate. Until then, no dice.

And please, can we stop funding the PLO and Hamas? Please?

W.B. Picklesworth said...

There will be no peace.

Bike Bubba said...

WB: quite true, but I was hoping that our nation might end up plausibly on the right side of this conflict. Empowering those who launch rockets at elementary schools does not seem to be it.

CousinDan 54915 said...

Obama is trying to piss everyone off, domestically and in the Middle East.

Mr. D said...

BB, agree 100%.

WBP, unfortunately, I agree 100% with that, too.

Dan, he seems to be succeeding.

Gino said...

i've seen this type of response to words before, like when a spoiled kid, who's given everything he wants doesnt like his mom's latest proposal for him.

the israelis need to get over it. they built a nation in a region they knew was unstable, largely displacing people that they knew possesed anger management issues, because they had a daddy willing to sponsor it for them. now deal, and stop making demands of daddy all the time.

Anonymous said...

Gino, the Istaelis have one other option and we best not forget it. They can nuke or use convential weapons to blast their enemies out of existence. You most definitely seem to have it in for Israel, and that's your perrogative, but if you back anything in to a corner, it's going to come out swinging. If Israel truly feels that they have to go it alone the bet here is that they will react accordingly. Their history is rife with examples of what appeasement has gotten them. I can appreciate the issues of the Palesestians as well, but the Isrealis have better toys, and in way, the side with the better toys almost always wins. I can only imagine the dilemma that the United States would face if such events unfolded.

Gino said...

"You most definitely seem to have it in for Israel,"

actually, its a lack of caring. their existance is as irrevelant to me a palestinian state is.

but i do not like the massive amounts of american wealth spent to prop them up. that needs to stop.

funny you bring up the nukes. so they have them, but are they gonna use them? i doubt it. the fallout the would destroy everything they are trying to create.
my bet: they'll accept another diaspora first.

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