Talk about a diplomatic way to say something. The quotation is from Effie Eitam, an outspoken legislator from the National Union-Israel Beteinu. Eitam was recently taken to task by the Anti-Defamation League (unofficial motto: “You can have all of Israel, just don’t call us names…”).
The full quotation is from a front page (!) article in today’s Washington Post about those nasty Israeli settlements and how they are an impediment to peace. Assuming, of course, as the WaPo usually will, that “peace” can come from an externally-imposed “road map.” The bias in the Post’s reporting is obvious, from simply considering these extracts:
A state commission last year identified more than 100 unauthorized outposts in the West Bank and Gaza before its evacuation. Unlike larger Jewish settlements in the territories — all of which are deemed illegal under international law — the outposts were built without the explicit approval of the Israeli government.
In addition to the new housing, a large Israeli police headquarters has been nearly completed on a parcel of land east of Jerusalem where the Bush administration has long opposed any Israeli construction. Senior U.S. officials have warned that building in the so-called E-1 area would cut off the southern West Bank from economic centers in the north and further complicate the creation of a coherent Palestinian state. (emphasis added)
The clear thrust is that, somehow, the overarching objective for Israel is not its security, but the establishment of a “coherent Palestinian state.” Getting back to Effie Eitam and National Union, what she said indeed sounds diplomatic:
…most Israelis understand it is time to rethink the whole paradigm of giving up land for things less certain.
But context counts for a lot. The National Union’s statement on the notion of a Palestinian state? Pretty clear:
[National Union] Absolutely rejects the idea of a Palestinian state between Israel and the Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan on ideological, historic and security grounds.
Which is absolutely correct, but I would also throw in “according to the Covenant with God.” But Mational Union is a secular party, and they don’t need to invoke HaShem to be correct.
The point is that the latest example of Arab rejectionism, in the form of the unprovoked attacks by Hamas and Hizbullah, should have demonstrated to even the most secular and liberal Israeli (or American, for that matter) that giving up land does not buy peace. Never has. Never will.
Most importantly, giving up land for peace can not possibly work when those to whom the land is given deny that Israel has the right to exist in any form. It’s time for those who are friends of Israel to understand this fundamental truth, and stop pretending that Arabs will ever accept a viable Jewish state in the Middle East.
The pretense costs lives.