Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Setting the record straight

Couple quick notes:

1. In radio show discussions on the situation with Israel and Lebanon I keep hearing people say the Arabs/Palestinians won't be content until Israel is destroyed and Israel just wants to make peace. Thats highly inaccurate. Of course Israel wants to make peace, but on its own terms. The main issue is the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Since the 1970's there has been a strong international consensus that the way to solve the problem is for Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and allow a Palestinian state there. That particular solution is not only shared by a majority of the American public but is put to vote at the UN every year, usually 184-3 with the US, Israel and some random pacific island the US bribed voting no, and the US, of course, using its veto power. Also the Arab states have repeatedly said if Israel ends the occupation, they will make full peace with Israel and completely normalize relations with it. That passed the Arab League in 2002 and was called "The Saudi Plan" if you wish to google it.
The reason its rejected by the US in Israel is Israel wants to annex large parts of the West Bank, namely the most valuable farming land, the huge water aquifiers, East Jerusalem and parts of the Jordan River valley. If there was any question on this when the new prime minister, Ehud Olmert, came to power recently, there neednt be. He quickly announced that was his plan for Israel's "permanent borders."
And I also want to quickly correct the notion that the Palestinians were offered a fabulous peace deal in 2000. They were not. The offer only gave Palestinians 67% of their land (which they are legally entitled to under international law), it had Israel annexing the most valuable land, and it also divided the West Bank into 3 separate cantons. In fact even former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, who was at the Camp David 2000 talks, stated this year "Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David."

I'd be happy to extrapolate on any points and provide further citations if asked.

1 comment:

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