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December 15, 2016

A Puzzling Omission at Politico

John Bolton

A recent Politico article about the possible nomination of former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton to a top spot in the incoming Trump administration’s State Department (“Trump’s flirtation with Bolton sends shivers through Senate,” Dec. 14, 2016) painTs the diplomat as a man with radical views. The report, by Nahal Toosi and Madeline Conway, omitted crucial history on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Toosi and Conway wrote:

“Bolton is deeply pro-Israel, so much so that that he’s suggested forgetting the idea of creating a Palestinian state. Instead, he’s argued for placing the Gaza Strip under Egyptian control and handing the West Bank to Jordan.”

Politico implied that this is an unreasonable idea. However, the paper failed to inform their readers that Jordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 until 1967 and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip from 1948 until 1967. It is also important to note that neither the Gaza Strip nor the West Bank have ever belonged to a Palestinian state, and that the status of these territories remains disputed. The West Bank, historically called Judea and Samaria until Jordan seized the land during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, was part of the initial Palestine Mandate that allowed for the reestablishment of a Jewish state.

Rather than painting Bolton as a radical, the reporters could have informed readers of some of the history of the territories and note that Bolton was merely offering a different solution than what has been favored for the last 25 years.

For instance, the article could have recounted that the idea of a sovereign Palestinian state only became official U.S. policy under President George W. Bush and that other solutions have long been considered.

Palestinian limited self-rule of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was facilitated by the Oslo process of the 1990s, which, among other things, stipulated that Palestinian leaders must recognize Israel, refrain from terror attacks and inciting anti-Jewish violence, and resolve outstanding issues in bilateral negotiations with Israel. Instead, the Palestinians leaders broke all of these promises.

In other words, it would have been more accurate for Politico to write that Bolton argued for returning the Gaza Strip to Egyptian control and returning the West Bank back to Jordan both of which had previously occupied it.

Similarly, it should have been incumbent upon the paper to note that although Bolton has expressed misgivings about recognizing a Palestinian state due, in part, to Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism, Palestinian leaders themselves have, on numerous occasions, rejected the opportunity to have a state if it meant living side by side, in peace, with a Jewish nation.

Under these circumstances, Bolton’s views are not radical, although they do differ from the model favored over the past 25 years.

Posted by SD at December 15, 2016 10:35 AM


also, it's worth noting that jordan IS palestine, in as much as it was created by the british as the "arab homeland in palestine", and it comprises 78% of the land of british mandate palestine.

in addition, it should be argued that the creation of two more arab states controlled by terrorist groups, will not increase the chances of peace. it would be much smarter to reward the two countries which have already signed peace treaties with israel, than to create a fatahland and a hamastan.

and of course, it would defeat the raison d'etre of the palestinian movement:

Posted by: shloime at December 16, 2016 12:34 AM

Obama is gone and not too soon

Posted by: victor bekker at December 18, 2016 07:40 PM

This is worth sending out on social media as so many do not know the history of the disputed territory.

Posted by: Nancy Hart at December 22, 2016 04:12 PM

Excepting Bolton who has some new ideas and not having a US president who spends time on solutions that have never succeeded may be a positive. Certainly reporters who are trying to create attention to their articles don't tell the entire story.

Posted by: Linda Levine at December 23, 2016 03:44 PM

It is a historical fact that Gaza at one time in history was part of the Egyptian Sultanate many of its residents at one time were also Egyptian. But that changed greatly through Arab migration, one might also ask fairly what is the Bedouin claim on Gaza? If the Sioux and other plains tribes can gather and protest the building of a pipeline off their reservation certainly it is a legitimate question, How did the nomadic behavior of the Sinai Bedouin lead to their exclusion of any claims in Gaza and reduced to smuggling for Hamas?
Why would the Egyptians want to enter into a relationship with Gaza? Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood?
At the very least it is poorly timed. More of a threat than a policy.
The return of the West Bank territory to Jordan also raises flags about the 67 borders and the ill-treatment of all other faiths by the PA.
This is especially sensitive when considering Holy Places in Jerusalem. It would reduce praying and practicing other faiths at any of the Holy Places not Muslim. Christians and Jews being severely restricted after 1948 to 1967.
Why would Jordan want the West Bank?
What happened in 1976 and the West Bank PA and Hamas is more radical now than then.
The fact is until the Palestinians table Islamist agendas and place the possibility of achieving a better life before the eradication of Jews any plan is pure wishful thinking.
There is no easy way around it.
One thing I certainly agree with after 50 years of believing in a two state solution, as long as radical Islamist agendas are in play it will never be possible, a one state solution determined by Israel is the only option that seems responsible.
Even the recent vote on settlements betrays Islamists ends. Where the OIC is pervasive in its bias on the floor of the GA essentially making the UNs decisions moot.
If settlements are not allowable how can the Palestinians expect a right of return? How can Abbas pronounce no Jew will ever be allowed to live in a Palestine that also includes Israel?
The Un is as dead as the League of Nations. Somebody take a pulse.

Posted by: jeb at December 24, 2016 08:33 AM

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