Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Villification of Prime Minister Netanyahu

If you read the left-leaning and much of the mainstream press it's easy to believe the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is the problem, or at least a big part of the problem, in the stalemated talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He is often described as "right wing" and "hard line" when nothing could be further from the truth.

Part of the reason, of course, is that he is from the Likud party. Likud is seen as the Israeli equivalent of the Republican Party by many American liberals. That is an oversimplification and is really incorrect. The Prime Minister himself corrects journalists, steadfastly referring to Likud as center-right. Israel is a multi-party system and, much unlike the Republicans, those right of center divide into a number of secular and religious parties. Prime Minister Netanyahu has committed himself to "two states for two peoples" and he is the elected leader of Likud. That position is an anathema to the truly right-wing parties, for example, National Union, which is in opposition to the current government.

This Prime Minister lost his government during his previous term when the right wing parties pulled out of the ruling coalition, including breakaway members of Likud. It wasn't the left that brought him down; it was the right. Why? He signed the Wye River Memorandum and gave control of more land to the Palestinian Authority, including most of Hebron. I have no doubt that Prime Minister Netanyahu would do the same again if there was a real chance for peace. Right now there isn't one.

The problem is, and always has been, the Palestinian leadership. They have had a total of three leaders since 1919: Haj Amin al-Husseini, who sided with the Nazis in World War II and wanted to bring Hitler's final solution to Palestine, his nephew and chosen successor, Yassir Arafat, and Arafat's hand-picked successor, Mahmoud Abbas, whose doctoral dissertation amounted to Holocaust denial. Yes, people can overcome their past. Anwar Sadat flew planes for the Nazis and led Egypt to war on Yom Kippur in 1973. Today we remember Sadat as a man who gave his life for the sake of peace. Sadly, Abbas is no Sadat. He insists on terms that he knows Israel can never meet as preconditions to negotiation, guaranteeing their failure in advance.

Look what Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians in 2008: land equal in area to what Jordan and Egypt occupied prior to 1967 with land swaps to account for present demographics, a divided Jerusalem with holy sites under international control, and a symbolic, limited acceptance of some Palestinian "refugees" into Israel. It's the most Israel probably could ever offer. The Palestinians didn't even respond and offered no counter-proposal.

What on earth could Prime Minister Netanyahu offer that hasn't already been offered? How is Prime Minister Netanyahu an obstacle to peace when he repeatedly says he will negotiate at any time in any place the Palestinians may choose? He's made the same offer to Syria. The answer is simple: Prime Minister Netanyahu is not a problem except in the minds of those who always find reason to blame Israel and those who believe them.

2 comments:

Colin Brace said...

What on earth could Prime Minister Netanyahu offer that hasn't already been offered?

Well, he could put a stop to settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. That might indicate he is serious reaching some kind of equitable arrangement with the Palestinians rather just simply grabbing their land, which is what he and his predecessors have been doing for decades now.

Caitlyn said...

Colin, you really should stop accepting Palestinian propaganda as factual, even when some of the left-leaning media present it as part of their news.

Tell me, where is Israel grabbing land? Where has Prime Minister Netanyahu expropriated any land at all? Be specific. I'd bet you can't name any such place because there aren't any. Rather, the Prime Minister has been razing illegal outposts built by the hard liners in the settlement movement, preventing any Palestinian land from being taken. Three such outposts were destroyed just this week. See: http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/news/jt/israel_news/israel_demolishse_third_illegal_outpost_this_week/29170

The Prime Minister also was very clear on his position on razing outposts recently: http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/news.php?Itemid=5235

Sadly, this is getting very little coverage in the West. That's called media bias. You should take it into consideration.

Also, East Jerusalem is NOT a settlement. It's part of Israel's capital. It was never intended as part of an Arab state when the UN partitioned then British controlled Palestine. Here is some history for you to read, replete with links from sources: http://israel-aliya.blogspot.com/2007/05/palestinian-mythology-arab-east.html Here is something else for you to consider regarding Jerusalem: http://israel-aliya.blogspot.com/2010/03/would-muslims-surrender-mecca-should.html

Finally, what will or will not be part of Israel will be determined through negotiations. Israel has evacuated settlements before and will undoubtedly do so again if there ever is a peace agreement. However, you don't make major concessions before negotiations. You do it as part of negotiations.

Despite this, Prime Minister Netanyahu did freeze settlement construction in Judea and Samaria for 10 months. The Palestinians ignored this until the very end, finally showed up to talk, and used the end of the 10 month period as an excuse to walk away.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that he will negotiate peace anywhere at any time. If the Palestinians really were interested they would talk rather than demand Israel's surrender first.