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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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