Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Problem In The Middle-East Is Not That Israel Has Too Much Land


I’ll be looking for a new blogging home with a wider built-in audience, so this will be my last extended post at this blog site. In the meantime, I invite you to check out this short YouTube video about Israel, Palestinian Arabs, History and Common Sense at

Let me leave you with this thought.

The problem in the Middle-East is not that Israel has too much land.

The intermediate goal of my book, The Case for a Larger Israel, and this blog, is to ever-so-slightly change the allowable parameters of the international debate regarding the two-state solution. In my opinion, the obsessive international focus on the question: "how do we create a two-state solution within the confines of Israel and the territories?" is wrongheaded. People who do not share the conviction of the necessity of a two-state solution are shunned, and thereby politically silenced.

Perhaps humanity will outgrow the current way in which we divide Earth.
But, given the zero-sum international model of dividing the planet into countries, the important question to ask is this: how much territory should be allocated to the sole Jewish majority state?

The arguments I offer for a larger Israel are rational, not faith based.
Using the Bible or reference to God to convince a believer is unnecessary. Using the Bible or reference to God to convince any non-believer is a non-starter.

Conventional wisdom has it that making Israel smaller is the path to peace. Of course, this wisdom is contradicted by both concrete historical evidence and the general principles of game theory.

One can expect duplicity from the leaders of predator and anti-Semitic nations. But it is hard to fathom the hopeful ignorance of the Western political elites, including President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and envoys George Mitchell and Dennis Ross.

This hopeful ignorance extended into the previous Republican administration as well. Neither President Bush nor Condoleezza Rice deserves a medal. They failed to side with pursuers of freedom and liberty when facing off against dictators and thugs.

The moment President Bush cut a deal with Lybia’s Gaddafi, the war on terror was bound to lose popular support among liberty-seeking Arabs. How could any pro-liberty Arab trust the U.S. to stand by a liberty movement? Most people don’t fear siding against the U.S., but there is great fear in siding against a dictatorship that may survive. Non-fanatical Arabs and Muslims who side with terrorists, or remain silent, are making a rational choice – a choice to survive.

Though it does not sit well in the American Jewish community, one must look to Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin to find U.S. politicians who appreciate the dangers of appeasing dictators, petty tyrants and perpetual haters.

As for Israel, one either sees or does not see that Israel is on the front line of a war that pits the advancement of humankind against barbarism. One either sees or does not see that the fight in Afghanistan is the same as the fight in Iraq, and the same as the fight in Yemen and Somalia. The Jihadists are using the whole global boxing ring. They are not confining the fight to the battlegrounds we dictate. Like the game whack-a-mole, if the seekers of liberty and human advancement seem to be gaining the upper hand in one part of the world, Jihadists will simply fold their tents at night and surface in another part of the world in the morning.

Without a certain degree of study on the matter, one either instinctively sees this or does not.

I could be wrong about the need for Israel to be larger. I acknowledge the possibility that one day the size of a country may not matter at all. Advances in both civility and technology may simply make the horizontal physical size of a country irrelevant. But then again, perhaps technological advances that eliminate the need for physical land only reduce the need for land in a world where free trade and peace are permanent.

Until we outlaw economic boycotts and boot predator nations out of the U.N., it seems to me that both military strategic depth and self-sufficiency with regard to food, water and energy do matter. Perhaps one day they won’t matter. Today they do.

Few countries are more deprived of military strategic depth and natural resources than Israel.

Why should anyone in the world care? Beyond the morality of allowing Jews to live in peace in their ancestral homeland, it is in the enlightened self-interest of humanity to allow Israel to become a reasonably sized country. There is plenty of land for everyone in this region.

Few communities have contributed more to humanity’s well-being on a per capita basis. The world greatly benefits from Jewish Israeli technology and innovation – from Intel’s Nehalem Processor, to the medical breakthrough of a swallowable camera that can help doctors scope out disease in a person’s body, Israeli companies are changing the world for the better.

Israel is a marvel. If Israel isn’t destroyed, and can avoid a massive brain drain its enemies hope to facilitate through terror, Israel is likely to become an economic powerhouse in the next ten years.

But without a good quality of life, leading entrepreneurs will not stay in Israel, and much good that can be done for the world will be lost. It is morally repugnant that world leaders stand by and do nothing to prevent backwards-looking, hateful people from harassing Israeli global contributors. It is every bit as shameful as their inaction in Darfur.

When I speak of the case for a larger Israel, I frame the issue as an Arab/Muslim-Israel problem, not an Israel-Palestinian problem. I am correct in doing so. For Israel-hating Arabs or Muslims, the problem may be rooted in the Quran, in Israel envy, or even in a misguided sense of justice that precludes Arabs and Muslims from sharing even 1% of the Middle-East with Israel. Israel can win a debate on the international stage if the issue is properly and correctly framed.

But when others are allowed to frame the issue as a conflict between Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Israel will lose the debate in the court of international opinion. This is so notwithstanding the general disgust at Palestinian politics, corruption, and hate. When the debate is mischaracterized as a dispute over a small patch of land between two parties, the natural reaction of most people is to simply call on both parties to share the land.

There is land enough in the Middle-East for Palestinians and Israelis. Israeli withdrawal from the territories will not help the average Palestinian Arab – almost certainly, a withdrawal would lead to chaos in the territories. Per capita income will go down, not accounting for international bailout money. A look at normalized per capita incomes during different periods of Ottoman, British, Jordanian and Israeli rule bear this out.

And returning Israel to the pre-1967 Auschwitz borders may cripple Israel. Israeli withdrawal to these borders will likely make Israel too tempting a target for a predatory enemy.

Further, as in Lebanon and Gaza, terrorists will view Israeli withdrawal as a victory for practicing terror. This tactic must never be rewarded because doing so increases its frequency.

Indeed, weakness is a prime cause of war. Predators look to take on the weak, not the strong. If you have any doubt about this, look to the animal kingdom. Lions attack the weakest animals in a herd, not the strongest.

The well-meaning peace seeking people on the political left do not appreciate that they are the biggest impediment to peace.

By seeking peace in the face of terror, they communicate that terror works. Bad behavior must be punished, not rewarded. The Israeli pursuit of peace over victory paradoxically prevents peace. Only by preparing for victory is peace achievable with predator nations.

Not only does Israel have a full moral right to use force to end violence against it, the U.N., by the terms of its charter, should join Israel in ending violence directed against Jews once and for all. Israel should not be accused of a disproportionate use of force because of the harm done to the perpetrators and instigators of violence. Whether retaliation against evil is proportional should be judged by whether the amount of force used is the necessary force to end the instigator’s violence.

Finally, I encourage all who believe that Palestinian Arabs truly want land for peaceful purposes, to ask: why must the land come from too-small Israel? Most Palestinian Arabs have roots in Israel and the territories of less than 100 years. They came to live in British Mandate Palestine for economic reasons, not ideological ones. Why doesn’t the international community reallocate land to Palestinians from Arab neighbors? After all, the creation of Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian borders are recent. A Palestinian entity could likewise be created.

While I believe that a larger Israel is in the world’s interest, the size that will produce a permanently viable, self-sustaining Israel is hard to quantify. That being so, perhaps the most fair, face-saving bargain ever attainable will be the one generally agreed to between Jewish and Arab leaders at the 1919 Paris Peace conference. The map showing these bargained for borders can be seen on the YouTube Video mentioned above, at, or in my book.

Clearly, such a bargain is not within reach today.

With pride in the Zionist movement, and deep respect for peace-seeking Arabs and Muslims,

I am yours,

David Naggar

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Secretary Clinton Is Wrong To Pursue The Two-State Solution


H.L. Mencken famously said “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.”

In Morocco last month, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said she “was the first American associated with any administration to call for the establishment of a Palestinian state” 10 years ago. “A lot of people thought that was very radical; now there is consensus.”

Her view WAS radical then. Yet it is consensus now. Her solution is neat, plausible and wrong.

Fast forward ten years from Secretary Clinton’s radical pronouncement, and now, my view that Secretary Clinton’s “two state solution” is folly, is the new radical. The sea change in Ms. Clinton’s direction occurred quickly. The sea change in a completely new direction can occur quickly as well, but only if people stand up and aren’t afraid to be counted.

Consider Switzerland and Denmark, home of tolerant Western societies. This week, the Swiss people unexpectedly voted to keep Switzerland, well, Swiss. They backed a ban on new minarets. And in Denmark, the government has offered ‘anti-social’ immigrants $20,000 to leave Denmark because, well, the Danes would like Denmark to remain Danish. Now there’s sea change!

Secretary Clinton’s once radical view regarding Israel and the territories became consensus only because people stood up and supported this view. My view, that pursuing the goal of creating a Palestinian state in Israel’s very tiny heartland is causing immense harm to Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs alike, is ignored, dismissed and considered radical fringe. Until more people who actually share this view have the courage to stand up against convention, things won’t change. Changing the goal of creating two-states in this too-small geography will not become consensus if people stay silent.

So forget that Israel is on the fault line of jihad. Ignore Kashmir, Kosovo, Sudan, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, and so forth. But recognize that the concept of ‘live and let live’ is not in short supply in Denmark, Switzerland, or Israel. It is in short supply in the Palestinian territories and the Islamic world.

The lives of Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews would be vastly improved if the Obama administration would take the lead and recognize that carving Israel and the territories into two pieces cannot solve the dispute between Arabs/Muslims and Israel.

It is time to stop pursuing an ill conceived and wrong-headed two-state solution. It is time for a sea change. There is plenty of room for everyone in the Middle East.

--David Naggar

Monday, November 02, 2009

Time for President Obama and Secretary Clinton to Hit the “Reset” Button on Israel and the Territories


Expectations were low for this past weekend’s visit by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to Israel and the territories. Diplomats understand that no negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will occur until after January 24, 2010, the date set for Palestinian “elections.” The Secretary’s visit was a non-event, with one exception.

Secretary Clinton’s statements did affirm the Obama administration’s foreign policy mantra: Talk to your enemies.

If the United States is willing to negotiate with Iran and North Korea without preconditions, the United States expects the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel regardless of ongoing Israeli settlement activity.

Secretary Clinton’s message sent Palestinian “leadership” into a tizzy.

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, thought he had a better friend in President Obama. In the past, Israel’s settlement activity had never caused Mr. Abbas to refuse to negotiate with Israel, but President Obama’s strong stance on Israeli settlements had a predictable effect on Mr. Abbas. He decided to halt any negotiation with Israel until Israel ceased all settlement activity.

What did Mr. Abbas do in response to Secretary Clinton’s statements now urging him to negotiate with Israel? He immediately sought public backing to refuse to negotiate from the League of Arab States. Amr Mussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, obliged. He called Mr. Abbas’ refusal to negotiate with Israel, sensible. He said Mr. Abbas’ position had Arab backing.

Well, off course Mr. Abbas’ position has Arab backing. Arabs and Muslims, whether or not they call themselves Palestinian, have been taught to hate Israel and Jews.

Peace cannot be made between Palestinian Arabs and Israel alone. It must be made on a regional basis between all Arabs/Muslims and Israel. Otherwise, there will be no peace.

Permanent peace will come when Arabs/Muslims in the region accept Israel as Jewish state (and that means finding the answer inside of the Quran). Permanent peace will come when Israel is independently viable (and for the many reasons identified in my book, in all likelihood, that means Israel must be larger than it is today).

There is plenty of room for everyone to peacefully thrive in the Middle-East. The current tragedy can be abated. This human problem is solvable. But the problem cannot peacefully and permanently solved by forcing the creation of a twenty-second Arab state within the borders of Israel and the territories.

When January 24, 2010 comes and goes, President Obama will have been in office for more than a year. It is my hope that President Obama and Secretary Clinton will have learned from year one of their administration that the current two-state solution is not workable. They need a new course of action if they are to bring real peace. It is time to hit the “reset” button on this one, too.

--David Naggar

Thursday, October 01, 2009

President Obama at the U.N. He Says Much And Nothing, But Is Still Following The Wrong Path


In his recent speech to the United Nations, President Obama laid out, once again, the much rehashed and unworkable vision for a two state solution West of the Jordan River:

He said: “We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements…the goal is clear: Two states living side by side in peace and security — a Jewish state of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.”

Because the President is a master wordsmith his words require parsing.

The President “does not accept the legitimacy of CONTINUED Israeli settlements.” Notice that the President is no longer focused on preventing future settlement activity. The words above articulate a position that NO Israeli settlement is acceptable.

This statement is not useful. If the President expects Israel to return to the 1967 borders, Israel won’t do this without being defeated in a war. In fact, the President’s focus on settlements in the past few months has led the Palestinians to make the cessation of ALL Jewish settlement activity a precondition to further negotiation. This was not the President’s objective.

President Obama calls for “a JEWISH state of Israel.” This is a nod to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who wants Palestinians to recognize the “Jewishness” of Israel. Palestinian Arabs (and their Arab brethren) are highly unlikely to make such a statement. Given that Prime Minister Netanyahu is a master wordsmith himself, it is likely that he demanded Palestinians made a statement accepting Israel’s “Jewishness” because he knows they will not agree to make it. It is a request made to embarrass the Palestinians and the Arab world.

The Prime Minister’s request of the Arab world is just like the Saudi offer of normalization with Israel, an offer contingent on Israel accepting Arab refugees. The Saudi offer is an offer meant to embarrass Israel. It sounds reasonable at first blush, but the offer is made knowing that Israel cannot accept this term of peace and still maintain its identity as a Jewish state.

President Obama also calls for “a viable, independent Palestinian state with CONTIGUOUS territory that ENDS THE OCCUPATION that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.”

No one can make Gaza and the West Bank contiguous without cutting Israel in two. Maybe the President is only speaking of a contiguous West Bank. Maybe he’s speaking of a subway or an “Arabs only road” cutting across Israel. Part of careful wordsmithing is knowing when to be ambiguous. Ambiguity allows trusting people to find meaning they wish to find. But the President’s ambiguity is not constructive. In a recent poll, only 4% of Jewish Israelis think he is pro-Israel.

Also, the President’s words indicate that the “occupation” can’t end unless there is full withdrawal to the 1967 border. Again, this will not happen peacefully. No Israeli government has been willing to withdraw to the armistice lines that existed between 1949 and 1967.

Further, the President links Israeli withdrawal to Palestinian people realizing their full potential. There are better ways for Palestinian Arabs to realize their full potential than to force Israel to withdraw to borders that are extremely difficult to defend, and invite aggression.

The President said a lot, and at the same time, he has said nothing. Former Ambassador Josh Bolton describes the President’s recent speech as the most anti-Israeli speech he’s ever heard a U.S. President utter. I don’t think the President sees it that way.

I don’t know if the President, famous for voting present in the Illinois Senate, but not yet famous for being decisive in matters of foreign policy, is saying anything at all.

I do know he has not advanced the ball of peace. His public speeches remind me of Dennis Ross who confessed that he did his best to say nothing meaningful during in his public interviews while he was serving in the Bush-Clinton administrations.

When the President wants to take a meaningful stand, he should stand by America’s natural ally; the ally that advances humanity on scientific, medical and technological fronts; the ally that advance the human rights of minorities and women. There are 21 Arab majority countries. There is plenty of room for everyone to live peacefully in the Middle East, should they choose to do so. Though there is no need for a twenty second Arab majority State, should the Palestinian Arabs want a twenty second Arab state, and should the other Arab states agree, there is plenty of room in the vast Arab majority lands to create one for them.

The President should concentrate on Israel, the American ally. Let’s make sure Israel is viable and independent, and take it from there. There is room for Palestinian Arabs to prosper and thrive. Surely there can be room enough for the sole Jewish majority state to have a plot of land large enough for it to independently prosper and thrive.

-- David Naggar

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Common Sense for Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Courtesy of Governor Mike Huckabee


While in Israel this past month, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a potential United States presidential candidate in 2012, spoke to the issue of peace in the Middle East, and a Palestinian State.

Governor Huckabee said, "The question is, should the Palestinians have a place to call their own? Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That's what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic."

Governor Huckabee may be the highest-profile politician in the United States to understand that the tiny geographic area west of the Jordan River is not large enough to host two independent states, especially when one of the those states is the sole Jewish majority state in the region and the world.

Obviously, the Governor is not looking for a plum assignment from the Obama administration.

Too bad Israel is looking for something for the Obama administration. Too bad Israel is dependent on the United States. Because of this dependency, Prime Minister Netanyahu pays lip service to the establishment of a Palestinian State west of the Jordan River, an Obama requirement, but at the same time espouses terms that could not possible be acceptable to Palestinian Arab leaders.

It is difficult for any politician to be more pro-Israel than the sitting Prime Minister of Israel, and Governor Huckabee is out on a limb. People in the mainstream media point out that he is a Southern Baptist preacher and based on that, deride his view. This is both shameful and ignorant.

Governor Huckabee should be applauded. If more knowledgeable people vocalized their true assessment of the situation, the debate on how to bring peace to the region would change. Rather than trying to figure out how to divide a piece of land too small to divide, world leaders could focus on making Israel truly viable. They could focus on bringing an end to the Palestinian Arab humanitarian crises—a crisis the international community and the Arab/Muslim community have exacerbated for over sixty years.

Supporters of the idea that the world is large enough to house one independently viable Jewish majority state must encourage politicians besides governor Huckabee to take a stand for Israel—not just a stand that offers vague support for Israel’s right to exist, but rather a real stand for an independently viable Israel. This stand, not coincidentally, will further Palestinian Arab dignity and prosperity, and peace.

Failure to encourage more political leaders to take a real stand for Israel will mean the currently proposed international solution—two states west of the River Jordan—will not change. Sooner or later, Israel will be forced to cede land needed to independently survive and thrive in the Middle East. And Palestinian Arabs will continue to be treated as second class Arabs by their Arab brethren.

There is plenty of room in the Middle-East for everyone. Governor Huckabee recognizes this and publicly says so. Most politicians won’t say so because saying so is out of favor.

I, for one, thank Governor Huckabee for his common sense. I thank him for not being cowardly. And I thank him for putting the welfare of people above political expediency.

--David Naggar

Monday, August 03, 2009

In A Busy World, Names Matter. The Tale of Macedonia, Palestine and Israel.


Greece is currently feuding with Macedonia over, of all things, the use of the name Macedonia. Greece insists that Macedonia change its name because the Greeks fear that Macedonia is stealing the Greek National identity, and may one day lay claim to an area of Greece known as Greek Macedonia.

How did this come about? If you open a history book, you will find that Greece's national hero, Alexander the Great, hailed from “Macedonia.” Greece argues present-day Macedonia consists mostly of Slavs and others who invaded the region a millennium after Alexander died. Greece claims Alexander as its own, from the city of Pella, located in present-day Greece.

Because Macedonia refuses to change its name, Greece vetoed Macedonia’s bid to join NATO, and is blocking Macedonia’s admission to the European Union.

Names matter. Names influence politics and policy. In a busy world, public opinion forms quickly, and is often based on information that is untrue, or that lacks context. World public opinion can drive outcomes, whether or not the opinion is fact based.

People throughout the world haven’t focused much attention on the Greek-Macedonian dispute, but the governments of Greece and Macedonia are at loggerheads. Because it is not a hot button issue for many people outside of Greece and Macedonia, I can tell you this story without sounding provocative.

The name “Palestine” is also a name that matters. This name is central to one aspect of the Israeli/Arab-Islamic dispute.

In the early part of the 20th century, “Palestine” was the name given by the international community to a geographic region slated to be a Jewish homeland. The indigenous people of the area, Jews, were returning to their homeland.

Part of Palestine was taken away from the slated Jewish homeland and given by the British to the son of an Arab ruler who lost control of what became Saudi Arabia. Thus nearly 80% of Palestine became the present-day Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In 1948, the Jews of the now smaller “Palestine” decided not to call itself Palestine, but rather to call its country Israel. This was a fateful decision. The Arabs who lived in areas of the smaller Palestine—most of them, like the returning Jews, lived there for a generation or two at most—associated themselves with other Arabs who lived in “Jordan” and other Arab nations that attacked Israel to drive Jews into the sea.

In 1950, Jordan “annexed” what the United Nations then called Judea and Samaria, and called the area the West Bank, since the area was on the West Bank of the River Jordan. The people who lived there became Jordanian citizens (Jews were not allowed to stay).

In the 1960’s, a movement formed in Egypt, Yasser Arafat's PLO, set about to re-brand local Arabs with a new name their fathers loathed, a named once associated with Jews—Palestinians. The PLO's aim in adopting the name was to start the process of destroying Israel. They made no claim to the “West Bank,” then controlled by Jordan, or Gaza, then controlled by Egypt. The movement was not then powerful enough to challenge this status quo.

But something changed along the way.

The current crisis for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is that the majority of its population now calls itself Palestinian too. King Abdullah of Jordan fears “Palestinians” will reference the map that once showed a “Palestine,” that included both Jordan and Israel, and attempt to seize control of Jordan.

The “Palestinian” national identity created in the 1960’s to destroy Israel, now threatens the Jordanian monarchy.

That is why this past month, Jordanian authorities have started revoking the citizenship of thousands of “Palestinians” living in Jordan. Tensions are rising. Violence is occurring.

The Jordanians claim their latest measures are aimed only to ensure that “Palestinians” are not prevented from returning to their original homes inside Israel. In truth, the actions are meant to preserve the Hashemite Kingdom.

Jordan's Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi said, "We insist that Jordan is not Palestine, just as Palestine is not Jordan.” Compare Kadi’s words to the words of King Abullah’s father, King Hussein. He said this of Palestinians and Jordanians. “The two peoples are actually one. This is a fact.”

In a busy world, names matter. If Jordan were called “Palestine,” world sympathy would quickly turn from support for a homeland for Palestinians, to support for solving a border dispute between countries.

The upshot is this. There is plenty of room for everyone to live peacefully and prosper in the Middle-East. Israel, the sole Jewish majority state, should be large enough to be independently viable in all respects. Simultaneously, the world should help facilitate better lives for Palestinians and Jordanians. This is doable, but in a busy world, names matter, and they often get in the way.

--David Naggar

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dear President Obama, Saying You are Speaking the Truth, and Actually Speaking the Truth, are Two Different Things.


Many Arab Muslims opine that Israel exists because of European atrocities committed in World War II. In Cairo last month, President Obama, in essence, agreed with this presumption regarding the existence of Israel. He stated, "The aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.”

President Obama’s statement is ignorant, untruthful, and disconcerting—disconcerting because many Muslims will simply never accept a Jewish homeland on “holy Islamic territory.” They feel Israel was imposed on them by outside colonial powers.

One can say the Romans came to Judea (present day Israel and environs) as a colonial power. One can say Arabs from present day Saudi Arabia came to present day Israel as a colonial power. But one cannot truthfully say Israel is a colonial power. This is the Jewish homeland. There is no other. In this land, the Jewish identity was forged.

President Obama needs to be more truthful in his rhetoric.

The truth President Obama should speak to Arabs across the Middle East is this: Israel is not a colonial power. Israel does not owe its existence to the hate and misery the world has heaped on Jews. The root of Israel’s existence is not tragedy. And finally, Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people.

Of course, I’m not holding my breath waiting for this President to be truthful with regard to Israel.

President Obama compounded his well crafted but egregious Cairo speech by pressuring Prime Minister Netanyahu to recognize a future Palestinian state in the West Bank.

The President can do this because Israel is not independently viable, and Prime Minister Netanyahu knows this. Reluctantly then, the Prime Minister agreed to accept a Palestinian state on the West Bank. Of course, Netanyahu made this concession contingent on many conditions, conditions that no Palestinian leader could ever accept.

As I’ve written previously, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s list of conditions are disrespectful to Palestinian Arabs. Though disrespectful, Netanyahu’s concession is also disheartening for the future of Israel. Here’s the reason why, in Netanyahu’s own words (December, 2002). It’s worth reading.

“The question is whether in a future settlement, the Palestinians would indeed enjoy self-rule. I, for one, have no desire whatever to rule over even a single Palestinian.

The question is whether we can agree that they have sovereign authority, power that goes beyond self-rule, which every country has. This power would include:

The right to have full control over borders, through which they could import unlimited arms and solders. States control their own air space – a Palestinian state would have the right to shoot down any Israeli plane overflying it without permission. States have the right to make military alliances with other countries – a Palestinian state would have the right to make such alliances with Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc. States control the water sources underground – a Palestinian state would have the right to control the mountain aquifer which supplies about 30 percent of Israel’s water and most of our drinking water. Even those who support the establishment of a Palestinian state are unwilling under any circumstances to give this power to the Palestinians. But the moment we agree to give them a state, that is exactly what we would be giving them!

It must be understood that sovereignty has its own power. Even if an agreement limiting certain sovereign rights were signed, within a short time, this Palestinian state would demand to have all these rights and would realize them, whether we agreed or not.

The world would not stand in the way of allowing the Palestinian state to appropriate all this authority, which would give it the power to destroy the State of Israel, but it would stand in our way if we tried to prevent it from realizing these rights.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu knows his words put Israel in peril. He knows that a Palestinian state on the West Bank makes Israel more vulnerable, and less viable, in many ways. He obviously felt he had no choice given the Obama presidency.

So what happens next? Netanyahu will stall for time and hope world events radically change the political situation. President Obama will continue to pressure Israel.

No doubt, Israel and Palestinian Arabs will be hurt. Only if President Obama recalibrates his thinking—for instance, because of recent events in Iran—can a future calamity be avoided.

President Obama saying he is speaking the truth, and actually speaking the truth, are two different things.

Here are some truths I wish would be at the center of future “peace” efforts.

1. Israeli Jews do not want to govern over Arabs.
2. Few, if any Arabs would choose to live under Jewish sovereignty if they could live in a democratic Arab state. (Not a possibility today).
3. There is plenty of room in the Middle East for everyone.
4. There is room for a Palestinian state somewhere (if Palestinian Arabs really want a separate state).
5. Israeli Jews want to live in a country that is self-sustaining.
6. Neither Israel nor a Palestinian state is viable in the territory world leaders are determined to allocate to each.

It is in the world’s best interest that Israel becomes larger, and that Palestinian Arabs be afforded the opportunity to live better lives. The formation of a feckless, non-viable mini-state won’t help better the lives of Palestinian Arabs (read my book!)

David Naggar