Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Once again, Roger Cohen blames Israel and Israel alone for his fearless prediction that current negotiations will fail:

But I am going to make one prediction for 2014. It is that, for all John Kerry’s efforts, this will be another year in which peace is not reached in the Middle East. ...

Plenty of bad things have happened between Israelis and Palestinians of late. There has been a steady uptick in violence. Israel’s freeing of 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners was naturally greeted with joy in Ramallah, and by a wave of Israeli government tweets condemning the celebration of terrorists. Along with the release came word that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government will likely announce plans for 1,400 new housing units in the West Bank, just as Kerry arrives for his 10th peace-seeking visit. This has infuriated Palestinians. So, too, has an Israeli ministerial committee vote advancing legislation to annex settlements in the Jordan Valley. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the vote “finishes all that is called the peace process.” Such contemptuous characterization of a negotiation from a leading protagonist is ill-advised and bodes ill.

Then there is the rebounding Israel-is-a-Jewish-state bugbear: Netanyahu wants Palestinians to recognize his nation as such. He has recently called it “the real key to peace.” His argument is that this is the touchstone by which to judge whether Palestinians will accept “the Jewish state in any border” — whether, in other words, the Palestinian leadership would accept territorial compromise or is still set on reversal of 1948 and mass return to Haifa.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, says no; this “nyet” will endure. For Palestinians, such a form of recognition would amount to explicit acquiescence to second-class citizenship for the 1.6 million Arabs in Israel; undermine the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees; upend a national narrative of mass expulsion from land that was theirs; and demand of them something not demanded from Egypt or Jordan in peace agreements, nor of the Palestine Liberation Organization when, in 1993, Yasir Arafat wrote to Yitzhak Rabin that it “recognizes the right of Israel to live in peace and security.”

This issue is a waste of time, a complicating diversion when none is needed.

...Of course, any two-state peace agreement will have to be final and irreversible; it must ensure there are no further Palestinian claims on a secure Israel. It may well require some form of words saying the two states are the homelands of their respective peoples, a formula used by the Geneva Initiative. But that is for another day.

If Israel looks like a Jewish state and acts like a Jewish state, that is good enough for me — as long as it gets out of the corrosive business of occupation.
Cohen doesn't understand the basics of Israel's insistence that it be recognized as a Jewish state.

First of all, it is not Netanyahu who first came up with this formula - it was the liberal dream negotiating team of Livni and Olmert. As the Palestine Papers showed, the Palestinian Arabs refuse to, on principle even admit the existence of a Jewish people!

During the 2007 negotiations, Livni, rather passionately, argued about why such a formula is essential:

TL (Livni): I just want to say something. ...Our idea is to refer to two states for two peoples. Or two nation states, Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security with each state constituting the homeland for its people and the fulfillment of their national aspirations and self determination...

AH (Akram Haniyeh): This refers to the Israeli people?

TL: [Visibly angered.] I think that we can use another session – about what it means to be a Jew and that it is more than just a religion. But if you want to take us back to 1947 -- it won’t help. Each state constituting the homeland for its people and the fulfillment of their national aspirations and self determination in their own territory. Israel the state of the Jewish people -- and I would like to emphasize the meaning of “its people” is the Jewish people -- with Jerusalem the united and undivided capital of Israel and of the Jewish people for 3007 years... [The Palestinian team protests.] You asked for it. [AA: We said East Jerusalem!] …and Palestine for the Palestinian people. We did not want to say that there is a “Palestinian people” but we’ve accepted your right to self determination.

AA (Abu Alaa) : Why is it different?

TL: I didn’t ask for something that relates to my own self. I didn’t ask for recognizing something that is the internal decision of Israel. Israel can do so, it is a sovereign state. [We want you to recognize it.] The whole idea of the conflict is … the entire point is the establishment of the Jewish state. And yet we still have a conflict between us. We used to think it is because the Jews and the Arabs… but now the Palestinians… we used to say that we have no right to define the Palestinian people as a people. They can define it themselves. In 1947 it was between Jews and Arabs, and then [at that point the purpose] from the Israeli side to [was] say that the Palestinians are Arabs and not [Palestinians – it was an excuse not to create a Palestinian state. We'’ve passed that point in time and I'’m not going to raise it. The whole conflict between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is not the idea of creating a democratic state that is viable etc. It is to divide it into two.] For each state to create its own problem. Then we can ask ourselves is it viable, what is the nature of the two states. In order to end the conflict we have to say that this is the basis. I know that your problem is saying this is problematic because of the refugees. During the final status negotiations we will have an answer to the refugees. You know my position. Even having a Jewish state -- it doesn’t say anything about your demands. …. Without it, why should we create a Palestinian state?

...There is something that is shorter. I can read something with different wording:
That the ultimate goal is constituting the homeland for the Jewish people and the Palestinian people respectively, and the fulfillment of their national aspirations and self determination in their own territory.
Linvi answers Cohen's objections. Cohen ignores this completely, and in all probability is not even aware of it, since his grasp of the Middle East is paper-thin.

Similarly, Cohen glosses over the Palestinian Arab demands of "return" as if that is not really a serious issue. In fact, the "Jewish state" formula is meant to eliminate this bogus "right" to destroy Israel demographically.

I suggest that Cohen read the Palestinian Basic Law of 2003, which describes "return" as the biggest issue: 

The birth of the Palestinian National Authority in the national homeland of Palestine, the land of their forefathers, comes within the context of continuous and vigorous struggle, during which the Palestinian people witnessed thousands of their precious children sacrificed as martyrs, injured persons and prisoners of war, all in order to achieve their people’s clear national rights, the foremost of which are the right of return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish an independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as a capital, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole, legitimate representative of the Arab Palestinian people wherever they exist.
Abbas repeats this practically every day.

Similarly, given that Cohen seems sympathetic to Palestinian arguments against Israel as a Jewish state, he must be unaware that the same Basic Law defines "Palestine" as an Arab state - and Islam is the official religion:
Palestine is part of the larger Arab world, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab nation. Arab unity is an objective that the Palestinian people shall work to achieve.

...Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect for the sanctity of all other divine religions shall be maintained.

The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be a principal source of legislation.
Then again, I shouldn't blame Cohen for his superficial understanding of the issues and his ignorance of the basic texts and words of the Palestinian Arabs. After all, he only gets his news from The New York Times.

See also My Right Word.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive