The one clear truth that came out of Annapolis was that Israel is still waging a war of survival, and of it's independence.
Cut away the pomp and circumstance of the occasion, cut away the ranks of dignitaries, cut away the official statements of good intent, and you are left with one undeniable truth.
The Palestinians, backed by the Arab world, refuse to accept Israel as the Jewish state.
Ehud Olmert raised this issue prior to Annapolis. It was the right thing to do.
An unremoveable cornerstone of Israel's existence, for which there is no negotiation,is the recognition that Israel is the eternal home of the Jewih people.
Yet, this statement somehow got lost in the fine words and promises for a better future that disappeared in the thin winter air of Maryland.
Not the Palestinian President, nor any of the distinguished leaders, could bring themselves to accept the Jewish nature of the state of Israel.
In fact, Mahmoud Abbas, his fellow Palestinian leaders, and the Arab leadership, have gone so far as to deny any Jewish historic rights to Israel.
So, I echo the question raised by the learned scholar, Bernard Lewis.
What is this conflict about?
Is it merely about borders? Is it about the reduced size of Israel? Reduced to allow the creation of yet another Arab nation - Palestine?
Or is it really about the existence of Israel itself?
If it is about a border dispute with relating issues to be solved, then it is possible that a solution will be found.
If, on the other hand, the issue is about the existence of Israel, or the acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state, then this is clearly not negotiable.
There can be no compromise between existing and not existing. No Israeli Government can negotiate whether Israel can, or cannot, exist as the Jewish state.
Friday, 7 December 2007
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