The New York Jewish Week, the main Jewish community weekly in the New York area, may be very representative of the majority of the organized American Jewish community’s cultural and political sensitivities. It is both liberal (at least moderately so) and very Jewish-focused, while also providing a platform for elements on the political right of the community. Regarding Israel, it editorially supports direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for a two-state solution.
In the new issue this week, its Washington correspondent, James Besser, reports on Palestinian efforts to gain international support for statehood while bypassing negotiations with Israel. Both his analysis and the editorial on this subject mostly blame the Palestinians for not engaging forthrightly with an Israeli government that has welcomed direct talks.
But in understandably rejecting “unilateralism,” neither piece emphasizes that pursuing ambitious settlement expansion plans in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is a form of unilateralism on Israel’s part. It’s this that has prompted the Palestinians to look for a diplomatic alternative to bilateral negotiations.
In some ways I believe we await the tide of history to wash away the follies of all the participants in the tragi-comedy “the Palestinian/ Israeli quest for peace”.
For so long have the leadership of both sides engaged in double speak, rhetoric, polemic and propaganda that neither side is capable of recognising the truth even if they passed it by in Ramallah or Jerusalem respectively.
To put it simply and unvarnished, we both need each other for different reasons and at different times.
In a metaphysical sense our “War of Independence” in 1948 was also thiers. Their “Naqba” was also ours.
My view is that wheras Israel gained international recognition very shortly after 1948, it has so far taken our Palestinian counterparts 62 years of further humiliation and trial.
Our Naqba was the failure to recognise the plight of our fellow human beings living across a frontier but also amongst us (the Israeli Arabs). We should have and now MUST do more to establish their state. So I welcome the recognition of Palestine by Brazil, Argentinia etc., and the upgrading of the Palestinian Legation in London as catalysts which will focus the mind of Netanyahu, and remind him that the clock stands at 11.59 to midnight, and further delays in allowing the train to reach the platform of Palestinian statehood will mean more lives lost which could have been saved. I mean Palestinian lives as well as Israeli Jewish lives.