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June 24, 2010

Washington Post exhibits 'core issues' syndrome

Conventional wisdom insists that the “core issues” of the Arab-Israeli conflict are borders, settlements, Jerusalem, and Palestinian Arab refugees. The Washington Post offered a slight variation in “Netanyahu aide questions peace effort, Iran sanctions” in its June 23 edition. Janine Zacharia, Post Jerusalem bureau chief, referred to “core issues such as borders, the future of Jerusalem, security arrangements and the fate of Palestinian refugees.”

Such formulations avoid recognition of the elephant in the room: If those are indeed the key matters to be resolved, why did Palestinian leadership reject Israeli-U.S. offers in 2000 and 2001 and an Israeli proposal in 2008 of peace in exchange for a West Bank and Gaza Strip state, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital? Why were the rejections complete, with no Palestinian counter-proposals on, say, resolution of refugee claims? Why were the 2000 and 2001 refusals supported by the terrorist war called the “al-Aqsa intifada”?

Perhaps, as CAMERA’s public service advertisement in the June 10 edition of the Washington Jewish Week suggests, “borders, refugees, boundaries and Jerusalem [are] symptoms of the core issue — Arab denial of Jewish rights.” The elephant in the room remains Palestinian Arab denial of Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state, entwined with denial of the Jewish people’s profound, 3,000-year-old connection to Jerusalem.

In “Netanyahu aide questions peace effort, Iran sanctions,” The Post reports that Israeli national security adviser Uzi Arad “described the Palestinians as ‘major actors in the delegitimizaiton of Israel.'” The paper cites him as asking, “have you failed to notice that the more we lend legitimacy to a Palestinian state, the more it comes at the expense of our own?” If the core issues were borders, Jerusalem, settlements and refugees — matters for negotiation according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 — that would not be so. But if the core issue is rejection of Jewish sovereignty, it would.

Posted by ER at June 24, 2010 03:07 PM

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