Monday, November 9, 2009

"... the peace they favor is defined as requiring Palestinians to accept the status quo, that is not a choice of peace over territory..."

Henry Siegman in Haaretz, here
"Bradley Burston is offended by my characterization of Israel's inability to let go of the occupied territories as a pathology, a characterization he says can only be made by someone who hates Israelis.......
I challenge Burston to cite a single instance of my having touched on the subject of the "venality" of Israel's leaders (i.e. that they can be bought with money) in any of the hundreds of columns I have written over the past forty years, although it is a subject that Israeli columnists have had a field day with. I have avoided it entirely, because my concern has been the damage that Israel's occupation policies and its denial of the human rights and national rights of the Palestinian people are doing to Israel's ability to survive as a Jewish and democratic state.
It is not true, as Burston claims, that I said Israelis lie when they tell pollsters they favor peace. I said that when the peace they favor is for all practical purposes defined as requiring Palestinians to accept the status quo, that is not a choice of peace over territory.
Yes, I have repeatedly written about the deceitfulness of proclamations by Israeli governments about their commitment to a two-state solution. The relentless pursuit by these governments of the settlement enterprise can only be understood as a commitment to prevent such an outcome.
...... Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claimed that he removed the settlements in Gaza as a prelude to further withdrawals from the West Bank and a peace agreement with the Palestinians. But the man who negotiated the deal for President Bush's letter of April 2004 to Sharon on the subject of settlements, Dov Weisglass, told Ari Shavit of Haaretz that Sharon's real purpose was to "effectively remove this whole package that is called the Palestinian state from our agenda indefinitely." .....
To blame Palestinians, rather than their occupiers, for their responsibility for remaining under a forty-year, oppressive military occupation when Netanyahu's government refuses to consider anything resembling a viable or sovereign Palestinian state, insists on retaining far more Palestinian land than was demanded by previous Israeli governments, rejects the idea of equal land exchanges, and has taken Jerusalem entirely off the table, is to add insult to injury. ...."

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