Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama supports Palestinian state based on pre-67 borders

NYT: 'Seeking to harness the seismic political change still unfolding in the Arab world, President Obama for the first time on Thursday publicly called for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would create a non-militarized Palestinian state on the basis of Israel’s borders before the 1967 war that led to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

“At a time when the people of the Middle East and North Africa are casting off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims is more urgent that ever,” he said.

Although Mr. Obama said that “the core issues” dividing Israelis and Palestinians remained to be negotiated, including the searing questions of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees, he spoke with striking frustration that efforts to support an agreement had so far failed. “The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome,” he said.'

I knew President Obama would eventually do the right thing and support a Palestinian state based on pre-67 borders. Let's not forget that President Bush also called for a Palestinian state, but he did not say it should be based on pre-67 borders. Obama's speech is courageous and this is a necessary step towards peace. The right wing in America is surely to blast Obama for "betraying" our ally Israel, as if we are supposed to agree with whatever Israel wants.

I don't know if this will lead to peace in Israel/Palestine, but it was a necessary move, at least to show the world that the US is trying to be fair, that the American President can push Israel to do the right thing. Thank you President Obama!

Update: Netanyahu Rejects Obama Call for Palestinian State Based on 1967 Borders <---That was predictable. Republicans will no doubt side with Netanyahu. I wonder how many Democrats will. PS: Mona Eltahawy gives excellent critique of Obama's speech:

Spelling it "Mona" leads to Americans mispronouncing her name. It's pronounced MUna.

11 comments :

Craft For Cash said...

This may get me in trouble with people who otherwise would ordinarily agree with me, but:
I’ll sign off on the Palestinian state (something that’s taken me a while to come around to) and I’ll sign off on the ’67 borders with some exceptions — not for large settlements of right-wing extremists, but if there are a few little bumps on the map here and there that would make Israel more militarily defensible. I would hope to see those as last-minute inclusions in the negotiating process.
Assuming there is going to be a negotiating process, of course.

CMAR II said...

The problem with backing a Palestinian state is that 1) Fatah has formed a government with Hamas which is still at war with Israel. 2) Abbas has recently made speeches that declare that a new state will be a launching point for a continuing struggle with Isreal.

On the issues of settlements, why can't Jews continue to live in the new Palestinian state just as Arabs live in Israel? Oh yeah, I remember, because it would be suicide.

I suggest 95% that all the non-strategic lands in the West Bank be given back to Jordan. Jordan can choose to allow Palestine to be semi-autonomous but SHE is on the hook for keeping the population from carrying on a war with Isreal. Guess what? I bet Jordan doesn't want that job.

Theres absolutely no reason why the new Palestinian state NEEDS to have Jerusalem as part of it. To insist on that is to make the decision that there will never be a Palestinian state.

CMAR II said...

The problem with backing a Palestinian state is that 1) Fatah has formed a government with Hamas which is still at war with Israel. 2) Abbas has recently made speeches that declare that a new state will be a launching point for a continuing struggle with Isreal.

On the issues of settlements, why can't Jews continue to live in the new Palestinian state just as Arabs live in Israel? Oh yeah, I remember, because it would be suicide.

I suggest 95% that all the non-strategic lands in the West Bank be given back to Jordan. Jordan can choose to allow Palestine to be semi-autonomous but SHE is on the hook for keeping the population from carrying on a war with Isreal. Guess what? I bet Jordan doesn't want that job.

Theres absolutely no reason why the new Palestinian state NEEDS to have Jerusalem as part of it. To insist on that is to make the decision that there will never be a Palestinian state.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"Theres absolutely no reason why the new Palestinian state NEEDS to have Jerusalem as part of it."

One reason is that East Jerusalem still has an Arab majority, despite Israel's efforts to make it a Jewish majority.

The other reason is that Jerusalem is very important to the Palestinian Muslims, and also important to the Palestinian Christians.

The other reason is that East Jerusalem was always considered by the UN to be the Palestinian capital. You know the UN, the organization that created the state of Israel.

CMAR II said...

What do you mean "always"? Until 1967, the capital was Amman.

CMAR II said...

Also, most of the Palestinian Christians live in Israel already. So folding Jerusalem into the Palestinian state would do much to benefit them. Meanwhile, the percentage of Christians in West Bank is decreasing all the time.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"Since 1967 Jewish settlements have been multiplying in East Jerusalem for the stated purpose of expanding the Jewish character of the city and guaranteeing its indivisibility. While applications for rezoning of green or unzoned areas are routinely denied to Palestinians, these same applications are regularly granted to settlement companies. Settlements built on the outskirts of Jerusalem also dissect the continuity between the northern and southern West Bank, jeopardizing the feasibility of a future Palestinian State. All settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is illegal under International law, which clearly forbids the transfer of civilian population into occupied territory."

Iraqi Mojo said...

Yes the capital of Jordan is Amman. The capital of Palestine was always Jerusalem, or at least Jerusalem was the biggest city.

What Jordan did in East Jerusalem after 1948 was horrible.

CMAR II said...

What did you think of Netanyahu's argument about returning to the 1967 borders?

Iraqi Mojo said...

He said that going back to 1967 is indefensible. He means the armed Israeli settlers would not be able to get away with what they get away with in the West Bank if the Israeli army is not there to back them up. He's probably right about that.

The more I learn about this conflict, the more I want to see a one state solution. A one state solution is in fact what the right wing Jews and Christians want. Let's give it to them:)

CMAR II said...

Mojo, he said:

"The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refuge problems: Palestinian refugee problem and a Jewish refugee, roughly the same number who were expelled from Arab lands. Now tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refuges but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees. Now, 62 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel, ‘Accept the grandchildren and the great grandchildren of these refugees,’ thereby wiping out Israel’s future as a Jewish state. It’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly, it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to be resolved within the Jewish state.”