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November 20, 2009



Israel assumes US Democrats will back down to their demands.
Perhaps it's time to rethink the Israeli reluctance to accept any compromise over settlements.

Robert Sirius

At this point there are a few questions I feel we must seriously consider -

1. Does anyone consider Netanyahu as seriously interested in any peace other than that which comes from total Israeli dominance and conquest of all of the land between the Jordan River and the sea?

2. Can Israel seriously consider any peace plan short of that because of their demographic problem?

I have always thought that Israel cannot expect any kind of peace unless they totally dominate the area. But one must ask why are half-way measures unrealistric, and is this acceptable, and what does this mean in the long run?

I believe this is the raw reality of the situation - Israel must perform criminal actions in order to exist because the basic existence of the state is based on a criminal action - keeping the Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes. Any half way measures will only get the refugees half way there which will not lead to a real peace.

And I don't actually believe that Israel taking over the whole region will lead to a true peace either - because then what do they do with the large and rapidly expanding Arab population that lives there?

I cannot avoid the fact that it seems that Israel's existence and continued existence is based on criminal actions and in perpetuating those criminal actions. And we are not even counting the collective punishment of Arab communities which we see Israel committing since its creation, or the internal discrimination which is one of the defining features of the "Jewish State", or the many illegal features of the military occupation.

Thus, how can you expect Israel to seriously consider any reasonable compromise with the Palestinian people when the whole Zionist enterprise is based on such problematic grounds.

I think that the conservative Israelis are most realistic about this and they either don't care about the legal and moral issues, or they rationalize or distort them to fit their own purposes.

Thus I have come to conclude that Israel must be treated like a criminal state if we truly want peace, because its very existence is dependent on criminal actions.

How else can you treat criminals?

I would think that allowing the Palestinian refugees to return to their home communities and then saturating the area with large amounts of international aid aimed at employment and economic recovery, as well as large amounts of international peace keepers to hold back the extremists would be the way to bring about a peace that in the long run will last.

With the return of the refugees, the Palestinian people will become the large majority population they actually are in their own ancestral homeland, and the Zionists will become what they actually are - a minority population in their own spiritual homeland. The international peace keepers will then make sure that the extremists from both groups are under control, and the aid will bring about economic recovery and eventuall prosperity, which will greatly help seal the peace.

This will return the situation to its true state - where the majority indigenous population enjoys the rights and privileges of their majority status, and the minority populations are what they are, and will work hopefully together to protect their minority rights.

And the world will release a huge sigh of relief.


Netanyahu believes in peace but only upon his own terms. Israeli policy, regardless of its government (Likud, Labor etc) has sought to drag its feet so as to create "facts on the ground", that is, expansion of settlements and evicting Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem.

In so doing,the Israelis are doing their best to destroy the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian entity creating a newfangled "White Paper" territorial arrangement. Israel's policies will backfire as they increasingly lose international support owing to their actions.

Interesting enough, the Palestinians are entertaining the prospect of an early and ultimately successful Zionist strategy: International recognition of the Palestinian Homeland.

The Palestinians cannot remain idle if they seek a nation. They must take the moral high ground and eschew the semblance of violence or extremism. This is an opportunity for true leadership to emerge from the ranks of the Palestinian nation. Otherwise, the situation will become even more complicated for the average Palestinian.

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Checkpoint Jerusalem was written by Dion Nissenbaum, who covered the Middle East as Jerusalem bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers from 2005 to 2009.

Nissenbaum is now McClatchy's bureau chief in Kabul, covering south Asia with an emphasis on Afghanistan. See his new blog at Checkpoint Kabul.

Feel free to send a story suggestion. Read his stories at news.mcclatchy.com.


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