A breath of fresh air

If readers have not yet seen it, the editorial from the Washington Post of January 2nd 2013 is well worth a read, if only because it goes to show that not all the Western media is blinkered by certain ‘received wisdoms’ when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict and that there are still those out there who have not lost the ability to engage in critical thinking. 

“FACING AN election in which his most dangerous competition is from the far right, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has adopted a familiar tactic: a flurry of announcements of new construction in Jewish settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The predictable result has been a storm of denunciations by the United States and every other member of the U.N. Security Council, along with dire predictions that the new building would “make a negotiated two-state solution . . . very difficult to achieve,” as British Foreign Secretary William Hague put it.

The criticism is appropriate, in the sense that such unilateral action by Israel, like the unilateral Palestinian initiative to seek statehood recognition in November from the U.N. General Assembly, serves to complicate the negotiations that are the only realistic route to a Middle East peace. But the reaction is also counterproductive because it reinforces two mistaken but widely held notions: that the settlements are the principal obstacle to a deal and that further construction will make a Palestinian state impossible.”

Read the rest here

10 comments on “A breath of fresh air

  1. I agree with this article . But if the PA had not gone for unilateral statehood with the UN , then the build would not be happening . Both sides need to agree if peace is to be found . However , the muslims WILL NOT agree with anything Israeli . Hence no peace . Shame on them . It is not as if Israel hasn’t offered the hand of peace numerous times . Only to be rejected . If Israel and the muslims were a married couple , divorce would be the only option . If one side does not comply , then the other will soon get fed up appeasing their spouse . Shalom Israel and I raise my hat to you for being so patient . In the meantime build in YOUR COUNTRY

    • Your comment is quite true, but what no-one seems to acknowledge is that, even if some of the areas Israel has built/might build on actually turned out NOT to eventually become part of the Israeli state, if necessary (e.g. if the current PA proposal to create a ‘Judenrein’ Palestinian state becomes a sad reality) the affected houses could actually be vacated by their current residents (I would assume with compensation from the Israeli govt.), and would then form useful housing stock for any nascent Palestinian state. Or, if they proved absolutely unacceptable to Palestinians for some reason, they could be demolished. Houses don’t prevent peace: people do.

      • Absolutely. At the fundamental level this is a non-issue. Israel has already vacated homes and vital infrastructure in past peace deals,

        This issue – which borders on doublespeak – is only weighty because it is made out to be so. It has been grossly over-valued and, rather like the stock market, the herd mentality has helped push it beyond its obvious worth.

  2. I agree with the article too. It’s more than obvious that settlement building is yet another excuse for the PA to reject negotiations for peace. If it wasn’t the settlements, it would be another excuse.

    In reality, everything could be settled and a future planned, were Abbas to make the move and not insist on preconditions prior to any negotiations beginning.

    It is the PA’s preconditions that are the true bar to peace – the settlements are not.

  3. It was indeed a good article and a breath of fresh air, but nevertheless, it did erroneously refer to the Green Line as Israel’s 1967 BORDERS!!

  4. It will be interesting to monitor and compare how the BBC covers the current controversy regarding Argentinian claim to the Falkland Islands, as well as the British government. Methinks there will be an inevitable double standard and hypocrisy vis a vis demands made on Israel.

    Already anger has been exhibited by Britain concerning intimidation against cruise ships visiting the Falklands and subsequently wanting to dock in South America.

    Wonder how they’d feel if rockets and mortars were fired at them.

    Falklands: Britain condemns luxury cruise ‘intimidation’ amid fresh protests

    • The Falklands isn’t our only territorial claim, TB.

      If you have a moment to search the internet for ‘disputed territory’, you should come up with an astonishing number of areas and countries engaged in either territory or boundary disputes.

      • That’s a discussion in itself with regard to how many ‘rights’ are called into question since Israel established its state, and those the likes of Britain uses to justify its ongoing colonialism.

        Falklands is the last one that Britain justified in using force to defend, is why I think it will be more pertinent.

  5. Interesting already that following Cameron’s appearance today on the Andrew Marr show the Daily Mail run the headline quite clearly that
    Would we fight for the Falklands again? Of course we would: Cameron says Britain is prepared for another conflict with Argentina if islands are threatened

    Now on the BBC article that covered Cameron’s points on the show very little is made of any reference to the Falklands, In fact, just this little sentence very near the bottom of the article
    The prime minister also said he was “absolutely clear” Britain would defend the Falkland Islands in the face of mounting pressure from Argentina

    Since ‘defend’ can also mean diplomatically, which I’m sure is the meaning the BBC want to imply, they are clearly concealing the threat of force for the time being.

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