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Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Not Put The 1948 Borders On The Table?

Why are the pre-1967 borders of Israel, which amount to the 1949 armistice lines, so sacrosanct?

Once you buy into the narrative of exclusive Palestinian victimization, once you take the Helen Thomas view which is widely accepted in many circles that Israel is an alien European implant, once you view the desire to placate the Arab world as the fundamental U.S. interest...

Why stop or start at 1967 or 1949?

If Obama had proposed the original 1947 U.N. partition plan and 1948 borders as the starting point, plus land swaps, would it be disrespectful to "my President" for Bejamin Netanyahu to explain why that could not and would not happen? 

Would the domestic U.S. opposition merely be another occasion for Glenn Greenwald to denounce the Israel Lobby and the Israel-firsters?  Would Andrew Sullivan, while reiterating his Zionist credentials, blame Israel for whipping up the domestic opposition?

Really, if you are going to buy into the Israel Apartheid narrative of law professor George Bisharat, the descendant of settlers in Jerusalem, why not have the intellectual honesty to admit that there is no line in the sand, there is no Israeli right to exist as a Jewish state, there is no reason to do anything other than placate the Arab street?

Don't think it's far-fetched.  Hamas is making the point that if 1949/1967, why not 1948 (emphasis mine):
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said Monday that it was clear that US President Barack Obama's platform was not so different from the one adopted by former US president George W. Bush. According to Zahar, the 1967 borders, while "sacred," were not the final borders on which the Palestinians should settle.
Speaking to Al-Emirate Al-Youm, Zahar asked "Why won't we talk about the 1948 borders? Why won't we discuss the partition plan which was internationally recognized?"
If you didn't know that the quote was from a Senior Hamas leader, would you be surprised to hear it from the chorus of domestic Israel critics?

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  1. I expect Jimmy Carter to chime in at any time.

    Come on 2012 - we can't make it much longer! Neither can Israel.

  2. If they intended to act peacefully (stop laughing!) its baby steps. Ask for more than you want, take what you can get, then come back and ask for more.

    But why ask for the moon when all you really want is to get enough land to render Israel indefensible? Negotiate for the highground, getting as much of it as you can, along with all the buffer it provides and natural chokepoints. Its not about land for settlements and homes, its about being able to put tanks and forces across the river without them having to fight their way uphill out of the Jordan Valley. Its about talking your opponent into putting his neck in the noose.

  3. Professor, don't let the Greenwald/Sullivan "Israel Lobby!!!" crowd make you feel like you need to play defense. Stay on offense and call them out for what they are-- a "disloyalty smear lobby."

    Like my Jewish friend I mentioned in another post (whose grandfather corresponded with Einstein, for crying out loud ... the family has a letter written to their grandfather from Einstein), a number of Jews in the media seem to feel embarrassed/ashamed of the Jews' fantastic and disproportioate success in America and, at the top of their own personal Maslow's Pyramid is the final stage of self-satisfaction through a pseudo-noble form of self-criticism that is manifested by throwing Israel under the bus.

    I look at my Jewish friend and the saying, "the Jews are like everybody else ... only more so" comes to mind. He's taken the admirable quality of self-criticism and turned it into a fanatical obssession in search of equality ... all because of his embarrassment at the Jews' glaring success.

    When I was a teenager and the only things on my mind were girls, football, and rock music ... he was a political junkie. Besides referring to the Israelis as "Nazis," he gave me an anti-Israel book about the oppressed Palestinians.

    At the risk of sounding like a doctor, I have to make a diagnosis and say this is some sort of perverse psychological condition.

    It was so refreshing to see Bibi standing up for his people.

    My solution: The Israelis say to the "international community,"

    "You always accuse us of disproportionality. Okay, for once we'll show you disproportionality. We'll go disproportionate. Well go Roman just a bit. And then ... in the future, maybe we'll negotiate on the 2011 borders."

  4. Why stop at 1948 when we can go all the way back to 569 (the year before Muhammed was born).

    The Muslims and their apologists seem to forget their founder was late to the game... only beating out Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard by a few centuries...

  5. I don't follow this site, but came across the link on another blog and was particularly impressed by the side-by-side photos, which say it all, IMO. I love the photo of the young Bibi, and agree with the article.


  6. His late Grace Archbishop Cranmer has an even better suggestion at his blog


  7. Barack Obama’s Disregard for Ally’s Security Begs Clarity

    "I reject President Obama’s idea that Israel must cede back its territories to the 1967 line. Will we now be in the habit of telling our allies what their borders should be?"

    "the 1967 lines do not include a “contiguous” Palestine. (See the map here.) So what does he mean? The President proposes “mutually agreed [land] swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.” Is linking Gaza and the West Bank with a road the “secured border” he has in mind? Or is he suggesting something more? Is it not possible he’s suggesting that the only way you can create a “contiguous” Palestinian state with “secured” borders is by carving Israel in half? Clarification on this point is of paramount importance, Mr. President."

    "In fact, that leads me to another even bigger geographic problem with the President’s remarks. As the British newspaper The Independent points out, there is further confusion because President Obama said, “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.” As The Independent asks: “How does that square with the pre-1967 borders? Was the President implying that the new improved Israel will border neither Jordan nor Egypt, as it does now? Would Palestine’s contiguous territory come at the expense of Israel’s? Would Israel get the Gaza Strip and the Mediterranean and Palestine get the Negev and a Red Sea port?”

    Sarah Palin, facebook

  8. Israel as Middle Eastern Hegemon

    "At constant fertility, Israel will have more young people by the end of this century than either Turkey or Iran, and more than German, Italy or Spain."

    "With a total fertility rate of three children per woman, Israel's total population will rise to 24 million by the end of the present century. Iran's fertility is around 1.7 and falling, while the fertility for ethnic Turks is only 1.5 (the Kurdish minority has a fertility rate of around 4.5).

    Not that the size of land armies matters much in an era of high-tech warfare, but if present trends continue, Israel will be able to field the largest land army in the Middle East. That startling data point, though, should alert analysts to a more relevant problem: among the military powers in the Middle East, Israel will be the only one with a viable population structure by the middle of this century.

    That is why it is in America's interest to keep Israel as an ally. Israel is not only the strongest power in the region; in a generation or two it will be the only power in the region, the last man standing among ruined neighbors. The demographic time bomb in the region is not the Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank, as the Israeli peace party wrongly believed, but rather Israel itself.

    The right way to read this projection is backwards: Israelis love children and have lots of them because they are happy, optimistic and prosperous. Most of Israel's population increase comes from so-called "secular" Israelis, who have 2.6 children on average, more than any other people in the industrial world. The ultra-Orthodox have seven or eight, bringing total fertility to three children.

    Europeans, Turks and Iranians, by contrast, have very few children because they are grumpy, alienated and pessimistic. It's not so much the projection of the demographic future cranked out by the United Nations computers that counts, but rather the implicit vision of the future in the minds of today's prospective parents.

    People who can't be bothered to have children presumably have a very dim view of days to come. Reams have been written, to be sure, about Europe's demographic tailspin. Less has been said about Persian pessimism and Anatolian anomie.

    Paradoxically, this makes Israel's present position dangerous, for its enemies understand that they have a very brief window in which to encircle the Jewish superpower. The collapse of Egypt and possibly that of Syria shortens this window. Nothing short of American support for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state on the 1949 armistice lines followed by economic sanctions against Israel, though, is likely to make a difference, and this seems unlikely."

    Spengler, Asia Times

    Spengler is the nom de plume of David P. Goldman, a former senior editor of First Things and author of the forthcoming book "How Civilizations Die"

  9. Professor, after reading some of the machinations the PLO et al are planning to hijack the UN into recognizing them as a state, I'm very concerned.

    I would like to see a discussion/post by those more learned than I the legal aspects of these moves and the likelihood of success.

    So far I've only found AP spin but even those facts that leak out of the obfuscation, misstatements an outright lies are alarming enough.

    Maybe you could aim your attention on these shenanigans. (or if already discussed, post a link.)