Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.
by Lakrosse, Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 01:41:38 PM EDT
Benjamin Netanyahu, in a surprising turn of events after months of pressure from our President Barack Obama, today endorsed the creation of a Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), and urged the peace negotiations to begin. This coming after years of heartache and heartbreak over the peace process, from when Arafat rejected the 2000 offer from Prime Minister Ehud Barak, to the second intifada, the withdrawal of all Israelis from the Gaza Strip, which led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza (which could now be called the Islamic Republic of Hamastan), to the present day, and Netanyahu's earlier foot dragging on this issue.
At Bar-Ilan University in Israel, Netanyahu said:
"In my vision, there are two free peoples living side by side each with each other, each with its own flag and national anthem," he said.
Netanyahu also said that the new Palestinian state must be demilitarized, in the name of protecting Israeli security, and preventing another Gaza, only in a much bigger form. He also brought up the contentious issue of Jerusalem, known to Arabs as Al-Quds, and said:
"Israel's capital will remain united."I expect this issue to be a hard line of contention, given the number of Islamic holy sights. Personally, I hope Netanyahu is flexible on this issue, however, the Jews should also be able to maintain control of the Old City's Jewish quarter.
Netanyahu also stressed that Palestine must recognize Israel for what it is, the Jewish State, which means no return of millions of Palestinians and their kids to Israel. After all, why would a Palestinian state be made if Palestinians are going to go to Israel?
"Our right to form our sovereign state here in the land of Israel stems from one simple fact. The Land of Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish people,"
Of course, Hamas is leading the charge of its rejectionism:
In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the speech "racist" and called on Arab nations "form stronger opposition" toward Israel. Hamas ideology does not recognize a Jewish state in an Islamic Middle East and has sent dozens of suicide bombers into Israel.
Right, we're going to listen to a group dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State, who has turned Gaza into a land devoid of any semblance of law.
I know the Palestinian Authority leadership is going to oppose some of the points made, and I can understand why. However, I hope for the sake of peace, that they realize this is their chance, and that there is consensus across the board among American leaders for a demilitarized Palestine. Why would Israel risk having another hostile country with potential for damage on its borders?
Israel, and even hawk Netanyahu have laid down their cards for peace, and Bibi, formerly an unconscionably stubborn man, as he was during the Clinton years, who led President Clinton to ask "who the fuck does he think the superpower is here" has pissed off many in his own coalition. It is now time for the Palestinians to come to the table and work for peace. Netanyahu has now stepped into the door of history. He may very well fail, but he may very well succeed. After all, it was hardline PM Menachem Begin who forged peace with Egypt, and earned the title that Netanyahu may himself hold, and it is that of peacemaker.