18.9.11

US, Israel on the wrong side of history re: Palestine state & UN votes.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/18/ap/congress/main20107852.shtml

Israel has no more and no less of a right to exist than any other state. The USA, for example, was founded on the notion that snotty arrogant Europeans like me could just walk in and rob the natives blind and take their land. Or force them onto reservations and/or just plain kill them. Or wait til they revolt and then kill them.

Israel has a right to defend itself. It does not have the right to invade Lebanon or Gaza whenever it feels like. It has a right to defensible borders.

So do its neighbours. The Palestinian Arabs have just as much of a right to defensible borders, to not be ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homes, to not be contained within walls and fences set up to cater to religiously/financially motivated settlers.

The US, by threatening to veto a request for Palestine's membership as a full state in the UN - is on the wrong side of history here. This veto will just make things worse - encourage more blank-check-writing, encourage more hatred of the "Evil Empire" that Israel and its diehard extremist US backers set us all up to look like. You're making the recruiting efforts of terrorists and militant fanatics way too easy.

1967 borders. You got the settlers into the West Bank, you can get them out. You drove the refugees away from their property inside what is now Israel - you can let them back. If you want to hold on to settlements, go right ahead - subject to negotiations and Palestinian compensation via land or money or whatever.

If you think those borders are indefensible, I sympathize. I also sympathize with Palestinian desires for their state to have defensible borders.

Let's get on the right side of history and support the Arab Spring here, and people's desire for self-determination and freedom from tyranny.

That said, Israel is still a shining light in the darkness of the Middle East. Minorities inside Israel proper are more protected than anywhere else in the Middle East. The continuing occupation and control of non-Jewish religion/ethnicity in West Bank and Gaza notwithstanding.

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