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Thursday, July 23, 2009

No free pass for the 'Palestinians'

On the JPost's blog page, American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris shares his remarks to a group of Democratic Senators in Washington on Wednesday. Here's part of the post.
Second, the President juxtaposed the Palestinian condition with that of black Americans and other suffering people "from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia."

Whatever its intent, this seemed to create a regrettable equivalence.

I would not for a minute deny that Palestinians have suffered. I have visited the West Bank and Gaza and know that the lives of many Palestinians have not been easy.

Yet I also know that the Palestinian condition is, above all, self-inflicted. That is to say that the Palestinian people have been ill-served by their own leaders.

Where are the Martin Luther King and John Lewis, the Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa, and the Mahatma Gandhi of the Palestinian people - individuals of visionary greatness and deep commitment to non-violence?

According to a senior British official, Palestinians are the world's largest per capita recipients of foreign aid. Yet corruption and mismanagement have siphoned off too much from the intended recipients.

To suggest that Palestinians are the modern-day version of those who endured inescapable oppression is to give them, and especially their leaders, a free pass. Those leaders should be held accountable for failing to move Palestinian society from victimization to responsibility.


In the end, Israel cannot and will not return to the fragile armistice lines of 1967. This was acknowledged by Presidents Clinton and Bush, and we hope that it will be reaffirmed.

As the late Abba Eban, an Israeli diplomat and peacemaker par excellence, said, "We have openly said that the map will never again be the same as on June 4, 1967. ... The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger."
Although I don't like Harris' conclusion (that the Obumbler should 'speak to Israelis directly' - the problem isn't his tone, it's his substance), Israelis can take heart from the fact that the American Jewish Committee - very much a 'mainstream' as opposed to an 'Orthodox' Jewish organization - is somewhat attuned to our reality and not just reciting Democratic talking points.

Read it all.


At 7:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

All the talk of peace is worthless without a Palestinian change in behavior. Which has yet to occur. The world doesn't seem interested in pressuring them to meet Israel half-way. No wonder they have a "free pass."

What could go wrong indeed

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Vicious Babushka said...

Palestinians will never have a "Martin Luther King" or a "Gandhi" because their goal, the elimination of Israel and the extermination of the Jews, can not be accomplished without violence.


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