Headline, May 20, 2011: Mideast Bristles at U.S. Stance
This is the most interesting headline I read in today’s news. Both Israel’s and the Palestinians’ reactions were in response to President Obama’s speech yesterday calling for the creation of a Palestinian homeland based on the borders after the 1967 war. I have spent today discussing this with one of my friends and we agree that President Obama must take a leadership role in dealing with the Mideast situation, which he did yesterday.
Predictably, Mr. Netanyahu outrightly rejected President Obama’s suggestion, saying that it was indefensible.The Palestinians, in turn, reacted to Mr. Netanyahu’s opinion. The problem is that as things stand now, Israel and the Palestinians have no common ground on which even begin negotiating. The Palestinians demand a homeland for their over a million people displaced in the 1940s when Israel was created. The Arab nations, excluding Egypt, have refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist and Hamas, which has promoted terrorism, has fought continually to keep Israel off-balance and hope to demoralize Israel. This approach has not worked in the past and will not work in the future.
Israel’s segregation of the Palestinians into overcrowded ghettoes has only served to alienate the Palestinians and made them more determined to wreak havoc on Israel. With clandestine help from Arab nations, they resort to terrorism, which never solves anything.
President Obama has taken the reins of leadership instead of standing back and backing Israel no matter what they do. The Israelis have violated U.N. mandates and continued to build settlements, now totaling 300,000 people, in lands set aside for the Palestinians. With the Palestinians overcrowded and lacking basic necessities, resentment of Israel grows and grows, and Israel becomes harsher and more restrictive of the Palestinians.
President Obama’s remarks yesterday were timed to coincide with Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to the United States today, perhaps with the hopes of starting a dialogue with Israel. Unfortunately, Mr. Netanyahu was unwilling to even consider President Obama’s suggestion. With this attitude, Israel will continue to do the same things it has been doing which have not worked in the past (Einstein’s definition of insanity) and the Palestinians have responded in their predictably same way.
Something must be done differently to resolve this 60-plus year old dispute, and the United States, as the world’s superpower needs to take a role by refusing to back Israel no matter what they do. Part of the problem is the large pro-Israel lobby in the United States, who back whatever Israel does. The Palestinians in general suffer in their ghettoes. This is why this headline is the most interesting headline in the news today, and the most important.