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The Jewish State of Israel – illegitimate – a thief and criminal ?

Yoram Getzler

By Yoram Getzler It is little wonder that we have been experiencing continued failure for years now in the attempt of the US state department to “solve” the Israel / Arab conflict. Now that we know that Arnold David Miller has been advising several American sectaries of state on the middle-east there is less reason be surprised. (Jerusalem Post and; The Washington Post) Five myths about the Middle East peace process http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-yn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100103144.html

Out of his five myths he “gets” three profoundly wrong!

But in all fairness, lets begin with the two myths he is correct about.

YES, to the need for Direct Negotiations, the number one myth. And YES to the importance of this conflict to securing American interests (myth number five). Mr. Miller modifies this fifth myth by noting that “It would help, but wouldn’t come close to overcoming our (the US) challenges.” So far OK!

Now the three remaining of his five myths may very well explain why the American efforts here so consistently fail.

At this point we can see clearly, with President Obama having focused on myth number two, “Settlements are the main obstacle of peacemaking.”, to where this emphases leads. It leads to strengthening the Palestinian Arab League contention that the conflict is about the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. “Just give us this territory that was Jordan before 1967, and everything will be OK, there will be peace and all things good” Once that was said about western Czechoslovakia, remember? If that were the real problem why the inability to say the the words; “for two peoples” following the phrase “Two states”? Or the two words “Jewish State” set off such panic by Palestinian officials? Why did the terror against Israel begin before 1967. Why is the intersection in Kiryat HaYoveil, west Jerusalem bombed a few years ago, refereed to as “occupied” when the bus bombing there was reported in the Palestinian media?

I think the most honest statement about the settlements is the same one Mr. Miller makes about US security in myth number five, the absence of Israeli civilians in Judea & Samaria “ it would help, but wouldn’t come close to overcoming the problems… between Israel and the Arab league.”

In fact the myth about the settlements being the main obstacle to peace is really the first true myth, it serves the purpose of obscuring the real fundamental problem: The inability or unwillingness by the Arab / Muslim world to accept that the Jewish people have a legitimate historical claim on any of the land between the river & the sea! Just ask them?

As long as the Jewish state of Israel is considered illegitimate a thief and criminal, by the Arab / Muslim world they can not truly make peace with us.

As Bernard Lewis of Princeton University has pointed out in his book; Faith and Power

If the conflict is about the size of Israel, then long and difficult negotiations can eventually resolve the problem. But if the conflict is about the existence of Israel, then serious negotiation is impossible.

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