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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Palestinians: Pre-1967 Borders Sound Good, Just Like Obama Said

If you needed proof that Obama's Middle East speech was a mistake and simply would embolden Palestinians to pocket the territorial victory, you didn't need to wait long:
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on Sunday said that he agreed with US President Barack Obama's assertion that the 1967 borders should be the basis for negotiations with Israel, but that it was more important that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accept this premise.
“Once Netanyahu says that the negotiations will lead to a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, then everything will be set,” Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Erekat as saying. He added that until that happened, negotiations with Israel would not resume.
Note that Erekat says "a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders."  Not with the post-script "with land swaps" as proposed by Obama.  Because the land swap idea already was rejected by the Palestinians when former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert floated the idea as part of an overall settlement of all issues.

Perhaps Obama could offer a clarification which would induce the Palestinians to be more serious:
"When I said the 1967 border plus land swaps, what I meant was the June 10, 1967 border plus land swaps."
If that were the American position, we might actually have a chance for peace because the Palestinians would have something to lose by waiting.  As of now, waiting is working just fine for them.

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  1. To be fair, I think I've heard Erekat say that land swaps would be acceptable in return for pre-1900 borders.

  2. Netanyahu should tell Obama to give California back to Mexico since we can't defend our border, but they can. dannynasco.blogspot.com

  3. the starting point should be the current borders ...

  4. Good point. Start with the post-June War borders! :-) Brilliant!

    I was at Union when that happened. Heschel was across the street at JTS and had earlier been at Union for a year on exchange. I took two semesters with him then and we became friends. Shared many bus trips up and down Broadway from Morningside Heights or lower down. Fond memories.

    Heschel was the first to call it "The Six Day War," comparing it to God's Six Days of Creation recounted in Genesis 1. He took flack for that from Union faculty and students. Didn't phase him. He took flack from JTS faculty and major NYC Jewish leaders for his opposition to the battle in Vietnam. Didn't phase him. Times have change on one of those stands he took but not the other.

    Union 1967 was the first time I saw the anti-Israel sentiment inside US academe and Protestant and Reformed Christianity and realized it was anti-Jewish sentiment in displaced focus on a piece of land. It was also the first time I saw the anti-Christian sentiment also inside academe and Judaism. One of the reasons I eschewed career in either academe or ecclesia.

    Anyhow, anyone who thinks the Palestinians and their allies don't want Israel and Jews gone and dead isn't alive. The critical bug there is the other Arabs, many of them allies or at least dependents of Israel, the ones who keep the Palestinians in perpetual poverty and tumult in enclaves because they don't want them in their countries -- because Palestinians are permanent bitchers. Palestinians are the untouchables, the chaos vectors of Arab society. Their "brother" Arabs despise and fear them. They'll never be happy until they are dispersed very widely and absorbed by working societies. That would alter their genetics for the better. Of course, who wants to take in problems? Still, it will have to be done because it's the only way to solve the problem. Extermination by uprooting and absorption. The Baha'i founder has good advice in this regard.

  5. Nuance by the “greatest orator of our time” ...

    WASHINGTON — Claiming his remarks earlier this week on borders for Israel and a future Palestinian state had been misrepresented, President Obama said Sunday that “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means the two sides will “negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.”

    I wouldn’t want this guy to negotiate a deal on a dog house.

  6. IF that were the American position? William, it has been the stated American position since 2004, and the unstated American position for years longer. Erekat was being disingenuous because he added his own conditions. Quote: "PLO Executive Committee member Hana Amira was quoted by Israel Radio on Sunday as saying that the Palestinians would cancel plans to go to the UN with a unilateral declaration of statehood in September if Israel would agree to negotiations based on the 1967 lines AND freeze all building in West Bank settlements AND east Jerusalem for a period of three months."

    It is unclear whether the Palestinian side, especially now that Hamas-Fatah have reconciled, would recognize Israel's right to exist. That is a vital pre-condition.

    Second thing. Obama said pretty much the same thing at AIPAC as he did in his Cairo 2.0 speech. The transcript is here:

    That he repeated his position in a two-day period says less about him and more about his opponents who have serious reading comprehension problems. FTR, I voted for McCain in the last presidential election.

  7. Obama, if he wants peace in the Middle East, is naive on a grand scale. One, Israel must have fully densible borders - and that is not the 1948 borders. Two, Iran, the entity most responsible for flaming the Palestinian Israeli conflict, must experience regime change. Three, those who would attack Israel - i.e., Hamas and Hezbollah, must be vilified and attacked at every turn until they are destroyed or beaten into submission, whether by force or by economic pressure. Then perhaps peace will be possible. Without those three conditions being satisfied, what Obama proposed in his speech is naught but war and perhaps genocide, regardless of his intentions.

  8. Here's why any settlement with the Arabs is problematical:


    With insane attitudes like this going on it is simply impossible to come to any kind of agreement that won't be promptly broken by the Arabs. Rational people don't fire rockets indescriminately into civilian areas. There is no such thing as the win/win scenario in these people's minds. Unless and until the religious leaders in the Arab world preach otherwise, hating anyone not Muslim whether that be Jew, Christian or otherwise is the central mindset of these people. The problem is that kind of solution would fundamentally change the character of Islam and they aren't about to do that. The whole premise of their religion is to dominate others by force or through intimidation.

    I blame the UN and the US for perpetuating this situation by funding the so called refugee camps. These people should have been dispursed to the neighboring Arab countries thus eliminating the idea of "Palestinians". They created and supported this fiction.

  9. Land swaps are sounding pretty good to me. We'll give the Palistinians Berkeley CA, and San Francisco, and in exchange the Israelis get the West Bank and Gaza.

    A Win-Win solution. And we'll never even notice the difference in rhetoric coming from the West Coast.

  10. @Georgfelis - they already have Berkeley and San Fran, you'll have to offer them Cambridge and Ithaca. Oh wait, they have those too. Any suggestions?

  11. " ... they already have Berkeley and San Fran, ..." --Professor Jacobson

    That's for sure. One of my best childhood friends is the grandson of a prominent Pulitzer-Prize winning German-Jewish composer who fled the Nazis. My friend has numerous degrees, including a law degree from Berkeley. Smart guy ... who has settled in Berkeley and refers to Israelis as "Nazis."