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In a speech Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu uttered words that heretofore have never crossed his lips in public: Palestinian state.
Of course, being one of the most stubborn men in the Middle East – a place rife with stubborn men on both sides of the wall – Netanyahu had a whole lot of conditions to the state he was proposing, including forbidding the Palestinian state from having a military, controlling the airspace over its land and making military pacts with other states. In addition, the Palestinian state would have to pledge to call Israel the “Jewish homeland,” ignoring that 1/5 of the population of Israel is Arab and accept “natural growth” in illegal Jewish settlements currently in the West Bank. There would be no sharing of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority would have to agree to fight Hamas, the radical Palestinian group that runs the Gaza Strip and has called for the annihilation of Israel. How the PA could fight Hamas without a military was not addressed by Netanyahu.
While some might think this a step in the right direction, and most pundits note this is BN’s “alright already” to Barack Obama’s strong Middle Eastern address last week, Netanyahu’s speech makes me want to pull my hair out. “Here guys, you can have a state, but you can’t defend yourselves and our crazy Zionist brothers and sisters can have weapons in their settlements and keep breeding other little Zionists in your land.” What kind of state is that? It is a state still under occupation.
Best quote from the various reports came from Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. middle East peace negotiator, who said, “You have President ‘Yes We Can’ squaring off against Prime Minister ‘No You Won’t,’ and the only way this is going to be resolved is if the two are willing to give.”
Ha! Like THAT’s going to happen. The Promised Land lacks promise because it is mired in 5,000 years of history with two groups of people who feel they – and only they – deserve peace, prosperity and happiness. Would it that they could walk in each other’s shoes and get a clue.