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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Thanks to all of you who voted for this moron

We all know that Prime Minister Netanyahu has problems from the right side of his coalition. Now, it turns out, he has even bigger problems from the left of the coalition. No, not Tzipi Livni. That would have been expected. It's Yair Lapid.

In August 2013, Lapid, who seems to have an IQ somewhere in the 70's, undercut Israel's most basic position in the 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians' by telling the New York Times' Roger Cohen (the one who thinks that Jews in Iran just love the Ayatollahs) that it doesn't matter whether the 'Palestinians' accept Israel as a Jewish state as part of a final agreement. That acceptance is code for "end of conflict." Lapid has completely undercut his Prime Minister's (and just about everyone else's) position on the issue. And Cohen has exposed that fact in a column published in Wednesday's New York Times - the day before US Secretary of State John FN Kerry's arrival.
Then there is the rebounding Israel-is-a-Jewish-state bugbear: Netanyahu wants Palestinians to recognize his nation as such. He has recently called it “the real key to peace.” His argument is that this is the touchstone by which to judge whether Palestinians will accept “the Jewish state in any border” — whether, in other words, the Palestinian leadership would accept territorial compromise or is still set on reversal of 1948 and mass return to Haifa.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, says no; this “nyet” will endure. For Palestinians, such a form of recognition would amount to explicit acquiescence to second-class citizenship for the 1.6 million Arabs in Israel; undermine the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees; upend a national narrative of mass expulsion from land that was theirs; and demand of them something not demanded from Egypt or Jordan in peace agreements, nor of the Palestine Liberation Organization when, in 1993, Yasir Arafat wrote to Yitzhak Rabin that it “recognizes the right of Israel to live in peace and security.”
This issue is a waste of time, a complicating diversion when none is needed. As Shlomo Avineri, a leading Israeli political scientist, put it to me, “It’s a tactical issue raised by Netanyahu in order to make negotiations more difficult.”
Of course, any two-state peace agreement will have to be final and irreversible; it must ensure there are no further Palestinian claims on a secure Israel. It may well require some form of words saying the two states are the homelands of their respective peoples, a formula used by the Geneva Initiative. But that is for another day.
If Israel looks like a Jewish state and acts like a Jewish state, that is good enough for me — as long as it gets out of the corrosive business of occupation. Zionism, the one I identify with, forged a Jewish homeland in the name of restored Jewish pride in a democratic state of laws, not in the name of finicky insistence on a certain form of recognition, nor in the name of messianic religious Greater Israel nationalism.
When I spoke to him in Tel Aviv a few months ago, Yair Lapid, a top government minister, said: “The fact that we demand from Palestinians a declaration that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I just think this is rubbish. I don’t need that. The whole point of Israel was we came here saying we don’t need anyone else to recognize us anymore because we can recognize ourselves. We are liberated.”
There are huge differences between Jordan and Egypt on the one hand, and the 'Palestinians' on the other, and there is every reason in the world why an agreement between Israel and the 'Palestinians' ought not to mimic the agreements that it made with those two countries. But let's leave that for a minute. How does Lapid come off contradicting his Prime Minister?

The answer is that it's not the first time, and since Netanyahu didn't act the first time Lapid shot off his mouth, Lapid went ahead and did it a second time. 
Last  year, Lapid made a similar statement, during an interview the Charlie Rose show in New York.
"I don't feel we we need a declaration from the Palestinians that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” Lapid said. “My father [former Justice Minister Yosef Lapid] didn’t come to Haifa from the Budapest ghetto to get recognition from [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas. The whole concept of the State of Israel is that we recognize ourselves. After 2,000 years of being dependent on other people, we are independent and make our own rules now.”
Is Lapid willing to sign an agreement without an end of conflict provision? Is he willing to let the 'Israeli Arabs' undermine a rump state that is left after an agreement?

One has to wonder - again - what Naftali Bennett was thinking when he entered into his agreement with Lapid, and what Netanyahu was thinking when he took the two of them into his government. Actually, I don't have to wonder about Netanyahu. At heart, he's Yitzchak Rabin and Ehud Barak.

You mean you didn't think you were voting for the Labor party in 2009 and 2013? Surprise, surprise, surprise....

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