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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state

Earlier this week, I discussed Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert's precondition to negotiations that the 'Palestinians' agree that Israel is a Jewish state and the reasons behind it. Olmert should stick by his guns, but you can rest assured that he won't. In today's Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby writes about what the 'Palestinians' are saying by rejecting the demand to declare Israel a Jewish state (Hat Tip: NY Nana):
So why won't the leaders of the Palestinian Authority acknowledge the obvious - that Israel is the Jewish state? The Jewish connection to Palestine is a matter not just of rich historical fact, but of international law. When the League of Nations entrusted Britain with the Mandate for Palestine in 1922, it expressly recognized "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and the rightfulness of "reconstituting their national home in that country." By that point, Britain had already transferred 80 percent of historic Palestine to Arab rule - today's Muslim kingdom of Jordan. All that remained for a Jewish state was the residual 20 percent. But there, at least, it was clear that the Jewish community was "in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance," as Winston Churchill underscored at the time.

Eighty-five years later, that small sliver of the Middle East is home to nearly half the world's Jews. If that isn't a Jewish state, what is?

Yet all this is beside the point. The refusal of the Palestinian Authority to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate Jewish state isn't a denial of reality; it is a sign of their determination to change that reality. Like Arab leaders going back a century, they seek not to live in peace with the Jewish state, but in place of the Jewish state. Olmert can show up at Annapolis bearing Palestinian sovereignty on a silver platter, with half of Jerusalem thrown in for good measure. He will not walk away with peace. On the contrary: He will intensify the Arab determination to replace the world's one Jewish state with its 23rd Arab state.

The key to Arab-Israeli peace is not Palestinian statehood. It is to compel the Arab world to abandon its dream of liquidating Israel. As a matter of national self-respect, Olmert should repeat his demand that the Palestinians acknowledge Israel's Jewish identity - and make it nonnegotiable. If Israel cannot insist even on so fundamental a point of honor, it has already lost more than it knows.
It goes without saying that Jeff is right. Unfortunately, Israel's weak leadership isn't capable of insisting on anything. And Annapolis is just the next step in the 'Palestinians' phased plan to replace the Jewish state with another Arab-Muslim one.

Read it all.


At 9:50 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Thanks for the hat tip, Carl.

Jeff Jacoby is the token sane voice on the Globe, but what a voice! Rather than read our old hometown paper on line, I subscribe to his columns.

It hurts to see the truth, but you and Jeff Jacoby have essentially nailed it.

Olmert and Condi Rice are a luxury that both countries can ill afford, and Annapolis is going to be nothing more that a staged 'conference' that we already know the results of.

The 'palestinians' do not want peace, they want Israel. And even the thought of appeasement, and the addition of even a grain of sand in Israel and Jerusalem is unthinkable. It is not Olmert's nor Rice and President Bush's to give away.


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