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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

History is against a 'two-state solution'

I've jiggered the title of this Guardian "Comment is Free" piece by historian Benny Morris, because I think my title is more honest. Perhaps Benny Morris would agree, but the editors of the Guardian would likely never let it through that way.

Morris argues that what he refers to as President Obama's ambition - 'two states for two people' - is impossible. Here's why:
President Obama's efforts to revive the Middle East peace process are bound to fail because of the unbridgeable divide separating Israel's and Palestine's political goals. The minor problems are Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's unwillingness to partition Jerusalem and enable the Palestinians to constitute the eastern half of the city as their capital, and his reluctance to freeze the settlement enterprise in the West Bank. The major problem is that the two-headed Palestinian national movement is averse to sharing Palestine with the Jews and endorsing a solution based on two states for two peoples.
Read the whole thing. The only part I disagree with him on is his demographic projections.

One other point that bears making: In his New York Times op-ed over the weekend, former Saudi ambassador Turki al-Faisal referred to Hamas' 1988 charter as "the outdated 1988 Hamas charter" as if it was something in the past. Sadly, that is not the case. Here's Benny Morris again:
Hamas, which won the Palestinian national elections in 2006, says so bluntly. Its charter of 1988 explicitly calls for Israel's destruction and assures the believers that "Islam will destroy Israel". It repeatedly compares Israel to the medieval crusader kingdoms and states that its end will be identical. (This comparison, incidentally, has been a constant in Arab discourse on Zionism. In September 1947, the Arab League's secretary general, Abdul Rahman Azzam, told Zionist emissaries: "Centuries ago, the crusaders established themselves in our midst against our will, and in 200 years we ejected them.")

Fatah too has a constitution, never revised since the 1960s, which advocates Israel's destruction. During the 1990s, Fatah – then the leading component of the Palestinian national movement – agreed in negotiations with Israel to produce a revised Palestinian National Charter that deleted the clauses calling for Israel's destruction. No such revised charter was ever produced, though these clauses were ostensibly revoked by a gathering of Palestinian notables in Gaza in 1998.
That's just one of the elephants in the room with Obama's negotiators, but it's probably the biggest one.


At 12:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The problem is the Palestinians do not want to accept the legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise. They've been consistent in that stand for over 60 years and it shows no signs of changing for the foreseeable future. A Palestinian state in our lifetime is as likely to happen as the prospect of rain falling in the Sahara Desert.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger chanan dov said...

article 2 of the constitution on eligibility to run for president: No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.

legal treatise the Law of Nations, written by Emerich de Vattel in 1758. In book one chapter 19,
§ 212. Of the citizens and natives.
The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

birth certificate aside, as obama only has one american parent, on the face of the issue, he is not entitled to hold this office.

A California Federal District Court Judge Carter today tentatively scheduled a trial for Jan. 26, 2010, for a case that challenges Barack Obama's eligibility to be president based on questions over his qualifications under the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.

The judge did comment that if there are legitimate constitutional questions regarding Obama's eligibility, they need to be addressed and resolved.

Carter ordered a hearing Oct. 5 on the motion to dismiss and ordered arguments submitted on the issue of discovery.

If the case survives that challenge, a pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 11 and the trial for two weeks later.


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