Netanyahu Makes Israel’s Position Clear: The Palestinians and Obama Can Go Fuck Themselves. Congress Applauds.
Netanyahu gave a speech to Congress where he clarified Israel’s position on a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, and his opinion of Obama’s recent policy speech on the Middle East. The title of the post pretty much sums it up. And how did our elected leaders respond to this man? He got 22 standing ovations. Such is modern America, where right is wrong and wrong is right. I can be reasonable and debate the issue though. What, exactly, did Netanyahu state were Israel’s preconditions for talks? IE these are the things the Palestinians must do before Israel will even consider actual negotiations:
1. Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem is inviolate and non-negotiable. Yes, the Palestinians must agree to let Israel annex the city they want for their capital.
2. There will be a permanent Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley. That’s the valley that lies between the West Bank and Jordan. In other words, whatever Palestinian state exists on the West Bank will be completely surrounded by Israeli territory. And in fact Israel would control such a state’s airspace and borders. Yeah, that’s a viable state.
3. The Palestinian Authority must tear up their recent unification agreement with Hamas. That’s right, Israel gets to decide who represents the Palestinians, what the Palestinians want doesn’t matter. You’d think that mainstreaming Hamas into a political party would be a good thing since political parties tend to be far less prone to violence. In fact historically this has been the most successful way to get terrorist groups to stop terrorism. I guess Israel doesn’t want to risk that happening.
4. The Palestinian’s right-of-return would be permanently off the table, no Palestinian or their descendent could ever return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel proper. This has been Israel’s official (and illegal) position since 1948, but I guess Netanyahu felt like rubbing it in again. Yes, the Palestinians must agree that all the homes and property stolen from them in 1948 is now Israel’s property. And this demand is coming from a country that is still trying to recover property stolen from Jews in World War Two Europe.
5. This is the one that should have brought Congress down in gales of laughter, just before they had Netanyahu escorted from the podium. He said that the Palestinians had to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State.” What the hell does that mean? It means that whatever the Palestinians agree to, Israel is just simply going to make more demands. The Palestinians agreed decades ago that Israel had a right to exist. And all Israel did is come up with the same demand in different words. Right.
In other words, Israel has zero interest in a settlement with the Palestinians. In fact they won’t even talk to the Palestinians unless the Palestinians agree to permanent status as a subject people of Israel. And yet there are Americans still so addle-headed that they believe the endless propaganda that Israel wants peace. If Israel wanted peace, they would try to negotiate peace, not make demands that are designed to be rejected as preconditions to talk.
Netanyahu had more in his comic monologue. He also claimed that Israel’s 1967 borders are “indefensible.” Let’s look at this claim. In 1967 Israel launched a war from behind those very borders that wiped out the militaries of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, and captured the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Sinai Peninsula … in six days! And since then Israel’s conventional military advantages over its neighbours has done nothing but increase, in addition to acquiring acquiring nuclear weapons. Again, gales of laughter should have broken out at this claim, the idea that the region’s most powerful military can’t defend itself doesn’t pass the laugh test.
It would be farcical if it wasn’t so disgusting. The USA has given Israel endless military and diplomatic support, and they’ve nothing with but strengthen their position and make the Palestinian position even more humiliating and hopeless. These are not the actions of a nation that wants peace with its neighbours and its occupied population, these are the actions of a nation that wants permanent war and permanent terrorism. Right, Israel has been attacking its neighbours since 1956 and its occupied territories since 1967, but they want peace. Snort.
On the plus side, maybe Obama will be so pissed off at Netanyahu spitting in his face that he will find a way to actually do something about it. A man can dream, can’t they?
(The above image is Egyptian prisoners during the Six Day War. I’m pretty sure that’s it’s public domain under US and Israeli copyright law. I chose it for obvious reasons, this is Netanyahu’s vision of peace.)