Sunday, June 14, 2009

Netanyahu Endorses Palestinian State?!?!

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced today that he was willing to accept the existence of a Palestinian state adjacent to Israel if the following conditions are met:
  • They would have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and give up the claim that Palestinian refugees have a right to return to Israeli land.
  • Jerusalem would remain united and would always be the capital of Israel.
  • Jewish "settlements" in the West Bank would remain and could continue to expand.
  • Most importantly- the Palestinian state would have to be completely demilitarized.
Smart move, if you ask me. Netanyahu knows full well that the Arabs would never agree to those conditions, particularly the part about giving up their weapons. So he scores some headlines, comes across as a moderate in the eyes of the West, appeases the Obama administration a bit, and successfully pisses off the Arabs even more (which I suspect is Bibi's most-fun-thing-to-do).
Sure enough, that's exactly what happened. Right after Netanyahu's announcement, the Obama administration called the speech "an important step forward", Saeb Erekat said, "Netanyahu's speech closed the door to permanent status negotiations," and Hamas (the world's standard bearers of tolerance and respect) called the speech racist.

So we know what the Americans and the Arabs think about the announcement. Now I'd like to hear what the Jewish blogosphere thinks about it.
Let it rip, guys.


ProfK said...

What took him so long? He heads a sovereign nation with all the same rights as other nations to protect its borders and to offer security for its citizenry, including and not limited to assuring that those who have destruction on the brain get lobotomized post haste.

Baila said...

I watched the speech live and was pleasantly surprised. He also said that there is no right of return for Palestinian refugees, another sticking point. He noted if little Israel could absorb hundreds of thousands refugees from all over the world, their state could do so to...assuming they want to, that is.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Can't agree about this one.

From a purely pragmatic standpoint (and I have other, ideological objections as well), once you open this door, you run the risk of being pushed through without your conditions being met.

And there is no going back once you realize your mistake.

Just one example of a week link: The demilitarization of the Palestinian State. Might I remind you that after WWI Germany was also demilitarized... that did not work out so well for the Jews, did it?

Why is it so hard for us to stand up to the world and say: This is OUR land, this is OUR country, and we will not be giving any of it away to people whose main goal in life is to destroy us.

Hamas has no problem saying "we want it all." That's why they get so much. They won't settle for anything else.

In the end, you will see, Israel will compromise on everything because demands will be placed on Israel to show "good will," to compromise, to fulfill her "side" of the bargain. Like with Oslo, we will give up everything, get nothing, and lose so much.

It's a nice intellectual argument on your side of the ocean, but I live with the results. And I will state unequivically that my life was SAFER before we had peace...

Before peace (via the Oslo accords) we did not need guards at our restaurants, we did not need guards at our kindergartens, we did not need guards on our busses, etc. The residents of Sderot were not bombed on a regular basis, or even on an irregular basis. Jews could drive into highly populated Arab areas (such as Gaza and Ramallah) and do business (go shopping, visit doctors, meet with friends, etc.)

Appeasement does not work. How many more people need to die before we stand up for our rights to live?

SuperRaizy said...

Please note that I didn't say that I agree with what Netanyahu said. My opinion is much closer to yours than to his. I was just remarking (rather cynically) on the fact that the speech was a clever way to look like a good guy in the eyes of the West while still telling the Arabs that Israel won't give them what they want. (And I identify much too closely with Israel to accept that "your side of the ocean" comment.)

Garnel Ironheart said...

Years again the Communists figured out Israel's Achilles' heel and told Arafat, y"sh, to say "I recognize Israel as a state. I want peace!" They knew that if he said that, he'd never have to delivery. The onus for the entire thing would descend on Israel's shoulders. With Oslo, this is exactly what happened. Arafat signed the agreement but was never held responsible while Israel was held account for things that they didn't even agree to.

While this is a great speech, it will come back to haunt Bibi. Obama will turn around in a short time and say: Okay, you agreed there should be a state. Let's implement that immediately and worry about your conditions later! Then what?

The only thing saving us is that even under those terms, the Arabs will still say no.

Mrs. S. said...

I also think that it was a good speech and agree that Netanyahu played his cards very well.

My concern, however, is that "the world" (read: the Obama administration) will ignore everything the PM said except for the word "state"...

Anonymous said...

I'm going to play Candid and ask what might look like a stupid question. If they had a state (not on any conditions of course), wouldn't it be easier to fight back if/when need be? At least we wouldn't be attacking territories or whatever they choose to call Gaza and the West Bank but we would fight an independent state that would threaten us. It would be harder for palestinians to call themselves victims.
Does that make sense?

randomly ranting maidel said...

I had your thoughts exactly after I read Netanyahu's speech. However, after watching American news I'm not so sure. Chicago news is having interviews about it and no one seems overjoyed, they are cautious and unsure of how much he really is willing to give and did notice that he went completley against Obama's call for a divided Jerusalem. They are also wondering how far they can talk him down and negotiate his position. So while Israel's PR is slightly better than it was, the next form of attack against the country will be how much can we get him to negotiate back to Obama's original plan?
Side note: On the Chicago evening news there was an interview and the woman asking questions asked, "now they said that they need the palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and homeland, now that seems new what do you think of that?" The responses didnt seem so positive towards that idea.
We are still in trouble guys.

Shimshonit said...

Raizy: I'm still mulling over Bibi's speech, but I liked Joe Settler's take on it, that it was an almost point-by-point rebuttal to Obama's speech in Cairo, with all of its half-truths and bad history. Bibi knows his history (he gave a stirring speech last August at the 1st International Jewish Bloggers' Conference that included some history that I bet most bloggers present and listening in hadn't heard before) and I'm glad he called Obama on the carpet for his phony "facts."

Ilana-Davita: You make an excellent point, and one which I think the Arabs have thought over carefully, which is why they turn down every offer of a state they've been made. They have much more to lose (in money, sympathy, and PR) if they take the plunge and undertake the work of state-building. It's further proof that they will not rest until the Jewish state is no more.