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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Negotiate without preconditions?

Writing in the Denver Post, David Harsanyi points out some of the hypocrisy in President Obama's UN speech this week:
The United States does not negotiate with terrorists — but we insist Israel do without preconditions.

We will not get entangled in the distasteful internal politics of Iran — but we define Israel's borders.

We will remove missile defense systems in Eastern Europe so we do not needlessly provoke our good friends in Russia — but we have no compunction nudging Israel to hand over territory with nothing in return.

This week, President Barack Obama spoke to the United Nations' General Assembly and insisted that Israel and the Palestinians negotiate "without preconditions." (Well, excluding the effective precondition that Israeli settlements are "illegitimate," according to the administration — so no pre-conditions means feel free to rocket Israel while you talk.)

This tact, Obama hopes, will lead to "two states living side by side in peace and security — a Jewish state of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people."

Hate to break the news to you, but there already exists a Jewish state of Israel with true security for all Israelis. This security is attained through a perpetual war against terrorism and Arab aggression.
There are actually lots of preconditions in Obama's negotiating formula - so many that one has to wonder what's left about which to negotiate. He wants Israel to negotiate 'without preconditions,' and yet the outcome of the 'negotiations is foreordained. It includes two states - which would not necessarily be the result of a negotiation - a 'contiguous' 'Palestinian' state (which as Harsanyi correctly points out means that Israel cannot be contiguous) and an end to 'the occupation that began in 1967.' While it could be argued that any agreed borders between Israel and the 'Palestinians' would by definition mean an end to 'occupation,' Obama clearly means something different: He's trying to pre-determine the borders to which the parties are supposed to agree.

So where are the negotiations 'without preconditions'?

Read the whole thing.


At 5:11 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

No one in Israel is interested in the kind of "negotiation" Obumbler has proposed. No Israeli government is going to agree to dismember the country for the Palestinians. Hell will freeze over first before that ever happens.



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