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Monday, February 15, 2010

No-brainers - but finally in print

I get Sam Bahour’s epalestine newsletter by email. He’s got a lot of good stuff, but I was really pleased and surprised to see some of these ideas in print.

Two very sensible points in this article. I was incredibly surprised to hear this was in the NYT. But in a good way.

Both points I highlighted below I have heard put forth in various discussions and in both cases the cry of anti-Semitism has been used to try to shut down the presentation of any POV but the one favorable to Israel. Hopefully, that won’t happen this time and maybe- just maybe- people can freely think about the subject at hand rather than whether or not they are an anti-Semite.


The article:
Hard Mideast Truths
By ROGER COHEN
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/opinion/12iht-edcohen.html?th&emc=th



Point 1:

“It makes sense for America to assure Israel’s security. It does not make sense for America to bankroll Israeli policies that undermine U.S. strategic objectives. “

The first sentence is up for debate. The second is what we are doing. We need to ask ourselves why.



Point 2:
“And this: Obama needs to work harder on overcoming Palestinian division, a prerequisite for peace, rather than playing the no-credible-interlocutor Israeli game. The Hamas charter is vile. But the breakthrough Oslo accords were negotiated in 1993, three years before the Palestine Liberation Organization revoked the annihilationist clauses in its charter. When Arafat and Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn, that destroy-Israel charter was intact. Things change through negotiation, not otherwise. If there are Taliban elements worth engaging, are there really no such elements in the broad movements that are Hamas and Hezbollah?”

People want Palestinians to demonstrate perfect democracy and society as a precondition for a state. I have said for awhile that this is backwards. Have we forgotten what negotiation is or what it is supposed to do? Seems so.

***

The following quote and article are along these same lines, but an Israeli politician is stating it, which is notable and interesting.

Usually just a mention of a non-Jewish Israel regardless of context will get you called anti-Semitic, so this is rather remarkable. I’m guessing this is a statement to support a two state solution, since both non-Jewish and non-democratic are equally unthinkable for Israeli Jews.

I still can’t believe I heard an Israeli leader break the situation down like this: “If the Palestinians vote in elections, it is a binational state, and if they don't, it is an apartheid state.”

It’s true. I agree. I agree with Ehud Barak. And I can’t believe I just said that.


The article:
A retractionist-retentionist discourse
By Daniel Levy
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1149369.html



The quote:
“In his keynote address at last week's Herzliya Conference, Ehud Barak summoned up the most dramatic case for changing the status quo: "If, and as long as between the Jordan and the sea, there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic ... If the Palestinians vote in elections, it is a binational state, and if they don't, it is an apartheid state." “

And just to ground you... No, Israel hasn't rejected discriminatory attitudes and policies... They recognize the apartheid- and embrace it.

Israeli poll: 75 percent favour deporting fellow citizens; Netanyahu favours birth control

http://jnoubiyeh.blogspot.com/2010/02/israeli-poll-75-percent-favour.html

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