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On Sunday June 14th, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his long awaited speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Of the many controversial statements in his address, I wanted to focus on the idea of the need for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the State of the Jewish people.

From Netanyahu's 6/14/09 Speech:

* Palestinian moderates are not yet ready to say the simple words: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and it will stay that way.

* The Palestinian leadership must arise and say: "Enough of this conflict. We recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in this land, and we are prepared to live beside you in true peace."

I am yearning for that moment, for when Palestinian leaders say those words to our people and to their people, then a path will be opened to resolving all the problems between our peoples, no matter how complex they may be.

* Therefore, a fundamental prerequisite for ending the conflict is a public, binding and unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

* I have already stressed the first principle - recognition. Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

In peace agreements between Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, there was official recognition of the State of Israel.  The September 1993 letter from PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stated "The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security".  None of the parties had to recognize Israel as the official state of the Jewish people, and recognition was not a pre-condition to negotiations.

From The Camp David Accords of 1978:
C. Associated Principles
    2. Signatories shall establish among themselves relationships
         normal to states at peace with one another.  To this end,
         they should undertake to abide by all the provisions of
         U.N. Charter.  Steps to be taken in this respect include:
         A. Full Recognition;

From The Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979:
Article III
    1. The Parties will apply between them the provisions of the
         Charter of the United Nations and the principles of
         international law governing relations among the states in
         times of peace.  In particular:
         a. They recognize and will respect each other's sovereignty,
              territorial integrity and political independence
         b. They recongnize and will respect each other's right to
              live in peace within their secure and recognized
              boundaries;

From the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace 1994:
Article 2: General Principles
    The Parties will apply between them the provisions of the
      Charter of the United Nations and the principles of
      international law governing relations among states in
      times of peace. In particular:
         1. They recognise and will respect each other's
              sovereignty, territorial integrity and political
              independence;
         2. They recognise and will respect each other's right
              to live in peace within secure and recognised
              boundaries;

However, after Hamas won a majority of seats in the January 2006 Palestinian Legislative elections, there was the beginning of changes to this dynamic.  The Quartet (U.S, E.U.,Russia, and the U.N.) established recognition of Israel as one of the pre-conditions to the resumption of negotiations.

From Quartet Statement January 30, 2006

It is the view of the Quartet that all members of a future Palestinian government must be committed to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap.

Later in 2006, two Congressional Bills, H.R. 4681 (sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R,FL-18)) and S. 2370 (sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R,KY)) added the concept of "recognition plus" to the equation.  Now, not only was there to be recognition of the state of Israel prior to any resumption of U.S. assistance, but the recongition had to include Israel as a Jewish state.

From H.R. 4681 (Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006):
Sec. 2: Limitation on Assistance to the Palestinian Authority
    (a) Declaration of policy- It shall be the policy of the
         United States--
         (4) To promote the emergence of a democratic Palestinian
              governing authority that--
              (H)has agreed to recognize the State of Israel as an
                   independent, sovereign, Jewish, democratic state

From S. 2370 (Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006):
Sec. 2: Limitation on Assistance to the Palestian Authority (PA)
    Sec. 620K. Limitation On Assistance To The PA
         (b) Certification- A certification described in this
              subsection is a certification transmitted by the
              President to Congress that contains a determination
              of the President that--
              (1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the
                   Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled
                   by Hamas, unless Hamas has--
                       (A) publicly acknowledged Israel's right to
                            exist as a Jewish state;

Note: The final reconciled Bill changed subsection (A) to "publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel's right to exist"

In the fall of 2007, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert then introduced this idea of pre-conditional "recognition plus" to the Palestinians during the final negotiations prior to the Annapolis Conference.

From Jerusalem Post 11/15/07:

Opposition from Palestinian leaders to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the "state of the Jews" intensified on Wednesday, threatening to derail the planned post-Annapolis attempt to renew substantive peace negotiations.

Nonetheless, Olmert - who reiterated on Wednesday that there could be no such talks without explicit Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state

Olmert has stressed repeatedly in recent days that there can be no negotiations whatsoever between Israel and the Palestinians until they acknowledge that Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and that he has made this clear to both the Palestinians and the Americans in the run-up to the Annapolis summit scheduled for the end of the month.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday, following Olmert's meeting with visiting European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Olmert "referred to Israel's insistence that the foundation for the post-Annapolis negotiations with the Palestinians be recognition of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people."

Olmert, the statement went on, "made it clear that from Israel's point of view, this issue is not subject to either negotiations or discussion."

Earlier this week, Olmert declared that "Israel is a state of the Jewish people. Whoever does not accept this cannot hold any negotiations with me."

In February 2008, The Jewish Council Of Public Affairs (JCPA), an umbrella organization of more than 100 Jewish Community Relation Councils and fourteen national Jewish organizations, passed a resolution on the Middle East peace process and took up this idea of special recognition.

From the Resolution:

The JCPA believes that:

* In fulfillment of its obligations under Phase I of the Roadmap, and to help build Israeli confidence, the Palestinian Authority should immediately end all its official media messages denying Israel's right to exist and should instead begin preparing its people for peaceful coexistence with its neighbor Israel as the Homeland of the Jewish people.

* The organized American Jewish community should support the Government of Israel's insistence that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

In April 2009, newly sworn-in Prime Minister Netanyahu, at a meeting with U.S. Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, mentioned that his government would condition talks over Palestinian statehood on the Paletinians first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

From Haaretz 4/16/09:

"Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples," a senior official in Netanyahu's office quoted the new prime minister as telling Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East.

Another Israeli official said Netanyahu saw Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state as "a crucial element in moving forward with the political dialogue".

The Palestinian perspective reveals that there is much anguish and anger over recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and using that as a pre-requisite for resumption of the peace process.

From the May 5, 2009, Bitterlemons article by Ghassan Khatib:

Palestinians and Arabs have three major problems with the Israeli demand to be recognized as a Jewish state. The first is that such recognition will undermine and further marginalize the position of the non-Jewish minorities in Israel, especially the Palestinian minority, which constitutes 20 percent of the population, but also of what appears to be a significant Christian minority among recent Russian immigrants.

The second problem is that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state will augment the Israeli position against Palestinian refugees' right of return to the lands and homes from which they were systematically and violently ejected in 1948.

The third problem with the concept of the Jewish state is that it's seen by many people, including Palestinians and Arabs, to be a racist concept that contradicts the modern notion of democratic political systems based on the equal and basic rights of all citizens of the state, regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliations.

From Sabbahblog of June 15, 2009:

Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and member of the Israeli Knesset representing the United Arab List-Ta'al party, which was nearly barred from running in Israel's last election:

Netanyahu's speech is a deceptive attempt to bypass Obama's call for a complete settlement freeze. He said nothing new, but instead reiterated the racist demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This is not only racist, but will give Israel the excuse to discriminate against more than 20 percent of its population. I hope the Americans see the speech for the deception that it is.

Hassan Jabareen, founder and general director of Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel:

"In his speech, Netanyahu put forth all the obstacles for reaching any reconciliation. First, when he spoke of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state he neglected the status of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel as equal citizens of the state, and therefore, he relegated them to second-class citizenship status.

From Laila El-Haddad's June 16, 2009 post at Raising Yousuf and Noor:

The demands to recognize Israel as a Jewish state- annuls the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were systemically and violently expelled in 1948 in what is now Israel-a right enshrined in international law and at the heart of the Palestinian struggle.

Such a state one would promote, subsidize, and allow Jewish only immigration and rights as it does now while denying native inhabitants this same right.

Nations are quick to dismiss the Palestinian right of return as Israel’s end, but equally quick to facilitate the return of Darfur, Kosovar, or East Timor refugees in recent years.

This demand also consolidates Israel’s racist Apartheid like policies, and would dismiss in one fell swoop the rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel, who make up 20% of the population.

It is effectively saying: we have the right to discriminate against you, to take any measures we deem necessary in order to sustain the Jewish majority. Measures that have already been suggested in the Knesset, like a loyalty oath, even population transfer.

From a June 15, 2009 Haaretz article:

From the PA's perspective, Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is almost humiliating, and it is highly unlikely to be realized. For the Palestinians, the repetition of this demand is an excuse on Netanyahu's part to avoid a peace agreement.

From the information mentioned earlier, Israel did not need this special recognition to start or complete negotiations with Egypt, Jordan, and the PLO.  This concept of pre-conditional "recognition plus" appears to have been crafted by certain U.S. and Israeli officials after the electoral victory of Hamas in January 2006.  Knowing any Palestinian government would not accept these demands, it was a sure way of preventing the continuation of the peace process in case the members of the Quartet perceived any positive change in the Palestinian's military or political behavior.  Since then, the demand has come up whenever Israeli officials, or their American supporters, are aware of a large and sustained international push for the resumption of negotiations.

Presently, Prime Minister Netanyahu is claiming to have no pre-conditions to resuming talks with the Palestinians.  However, the requirements mentioned in his speech, which are offensive to Palestinian citizens and officials, appear to contradict his willingness to resume negotiations unconditionally.  These ideas will certainly make it much more difficult for President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Special Envoy Mitchell to get Palestinian and Israeli officials together.  

For the security of the peoples of many nations, inside and outside of the Middle East, Americans need to find ways to remove this ill-conceived idea of pre-conditonal "recognition plus".

  1. If you are a member of any of the organizations within the JCPA, e-mail or call.  Here is a list of members and their contact information for National Agencies and local JCRCs.
  1. Contact your elected officials by calling the Toll-Free Capital Switchboard, (800)828-0498 or (877)762-8762, or by finding their e-mail information at the House and Senate websites.
  1. Contact, learn about, join, and support the various D.C. organizations that are actively working on this issue and many others in order to help create a just peace for the peoples of Israel and Palestine:

Americans For Peace Now
J Street
Israel Policy Forum
Arab American Institute
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Churches For Middle East Peace
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Voice For Peace
American Task Force On Palestine
U.S. Campaign To End The Occupation

Hat Tip: Lara Friedman at Americans For Peace Now Blog

Originally posted to rbguy on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 07:11 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for sticking through the lengthy post (16+ / 0-)

    And thanks for the support.  Please contact any appropriate officials to help with the push for a true unconditional resumption of negotiations.

  •  Bibi is always offensive to me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, Notus, GeeBee, rbguy

    I don't like anybody's version of racism.

    What a coincidence that Israel's "we'll make all our demands first so all there is to negotiate is how quickly you'll agree to them" approach evolved when america was using the same tools under Bush, Rice, and Cheney.  

    Fascist bastards aren't very different from one another.

  •  Bibi wants to add stumbling blocks to peace (5+ / 0-)

    Netanyahu has made a career out of undermining and sabotaging peace initiatives.

    Insurance, Oil, Bank, and Defense corporations all have a substantial equity positions in what's supposed to be our Congress.

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 07:52:08 PM PDT

    •  oh yea, because the Palestinian Authority (0+ / 0-)

      does, with the suicide bombings, rocket attacks, etc. that they never can seem to stop or truly condemn, or demanding Israel change its immigration policy in a way no sovereign nation would.

      "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

      by deaniac20 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 11:57:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You seem to want suumbling blocks too peace too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Christopher Day, csquared

        but then you back everything Nitwityahu says 1,000%

        Insurance, Oil, Bank, and Defense corporations all have a substantial equity positions in what's supposed to be our Congress.

        by Lefty Coaster on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:16:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They did virtually stop, and then Israel (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Christopher Day, MrJayTee, csquared

        bombed the hell out of Gaza. You do have a short memory.

        Nothing has changed for the setters. They continue to do whatever they want supported by the IDF. Kill farmers, arrest peace activists and take land.

        Can you explain to me how taking other people's land promotes peace. The crazy settlers with the military's support think they are fighting a holy war right out of the Torah. Yet, mum's the word on the Sunday news shows.

  •  It is not up to the Palestinians to determine... (8+ / 0-)

    ...for Israelis what the nature of their state will be, and it is inappropriate for current Israeli officials to insist that they choose sides between different domestic constituencies within Israel.

    That is something for the Israelis to hash out amoungst themselves.

    Palestine has no reason to take sides against or to insult Israeli minorities.

    I certainly wouldn't apreciate foreign governments taking sides in this country and declaring the USA a Christian nation. It is up to Christians here in the USA to assert their own supremacy over religious minorities without foreign assistence. That is not the job of those foreign nations.

    How would Palestinian Christians feel if Israel were to intrervene and declare Palestine an Islamic nation?

    That also would be innapropriate.

    illegal, n. A term used by descendents of European immigrants to refer to descendants of Indigenous Americans

    by ricardomath on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 08:22:26 PM PDT

    •  No one ever said it was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deaniac20, yaque

      Israel has already determined her character as the Jewish State.  It is up to the Palestinians to accept that self-characterization made by Israel.  The same way Israel accepts oh, say, Jordan as the "Hashemite Kingdom."

      •  Does the US (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, Terra Mystica

        really recognize that China is truly a Peoples Republic, or do we just recognize that's what China chooses to call itself?

        •  Comparing a political system to an ethnic group (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CN, Karmafish, deaniac20, yaque

          is more difficult than you seem to believe.  The United States recognizes Israel as the Jewish State.  The same way it recognizes China as the Chinese State. or Italy as the Italian State, etc., etc.

          Your comparison is fundamentally flawed because a political system and an ethnicity are not even in the same ballpark.  One is fluid, the other is relatively stable barring cataclysmic events.

          •  Then the appropriate analogy would be that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lefty Coaster, Terra Mystica

            Israel is the Israeli state. Otherwise, Italy would have to be the Catholic State, and god knows what China would be.

            I never liked you and I always will.

            by Ray Blake on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 11:42:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  actually, the term Israel in itself (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CN, AbnLefty, yaque

              is just the biblical name of where the Jewish people lived, like Germany is where the Germans lived, Russia is where the Russians lived, and so on.

              Jewish is not just a religion: it is ethnicity as well, especially as how Jews are always seen as "Jews" wherever they go, and less as the country in which they actually live.

              "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

              by deaniac20 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 11:53:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That is exactly the point. (4+ / 0-)

              The various Arab nations and the Palestinians can agree to the recognition of the State of Israel with all the rights and privelliges that brings.

              They are never going to agree to recognition as the state of the Jewish people.

              It undermines the status of the non-Jewish communities which live and have always lived there.

              It undermines their claim for the right of return of other Palestinians, (on this one I assume the right of return will never happen and any final settelment will mean some form of finnacial compensation and re-settelment, but that comes at the end of the agreement not as a pre-condition for starting discussion).

              The state of the Jewish people also actually causes a potential problem for the Jewish citizens of other nations as well. It reinforces the old meme about dual loyalty. If there is an Israeli state and most of the people in it are Jews but some are Christians and some are Muslims then that is a concept we can understand. If there is a Jewsish state and the minorities are by definition condemmed to be a minority and the state is duty bound to maintain their minority status that is troubling. If the Jewish population of other states are co-opted whether they want to be or not as somehow citizens of this state then why should they be accepted as citizens of the states were they were born and brought up be that US, France, UK, Russia or anywhere else.

            •  Its like asking black Africans (0+ / 0-)

              to recognize South Africa as a "white state." Any willing to do so would immediately sacrifice any claim to moral leadership among their people. And rightly so. It would be to acquiesce to the permanent subordination of Israel's non-Jewish population.

              The purpose of this demand of course is to move the goalposts once more in order to sabotage any prospects for real negotiations. In the end of course this Israeli rejectionism will come back to bite them in the ass when the Palestinian majority starts to demand not a state of their own but the vote within the one they have lived under for over 40 years.

          •  all asian people look the same to you? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lefty Coaster

            I guess they do.. Your bringing canned hot air to a good diary.  Thanks for nothing.

            I'm a thief; see! I steal the words right out of your mouth.

            by ArthurCrandall on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 02:16:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How exactly did I say that? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Karmafish

              Now you're not stealing my words, you're putting them in my mouth.  Where did I even remotely indicate that was the case?

              Go read what I said morAn.  China = Chinese state, Italy = Italian state.  These are ethnic nationalities.  Titular nations.  As far back in history as can be recorded Jews and Israelis have been recognized as Jews above anything else.  Because of this recognition as an ethnic group, the State of Israel is the Jewish State.  For 3500 years Israel has been "the land of the Jews", not "the land of the Israelis."  Pull your head out of your fourth point of contact you fkn idiot.

      •  Who is an "Israeli"? (0+ / 0-)

        Who gets to make the characterization? Presently a majority of the people living under Israeli sovereignty are Palestinians the majority of whom have no voice at all in the nature of the state that rules them. Even within the Green Line Palestinians are over 20% of the population and will, if present demographic trends continue, eventually constitute a majority. Defining such a state as "Jewish" is to define that population as second-class.

    •  Maybe this is the cover needed to revoke (0+ / 0-)

      Arab Israeli citizenships?

  •  Excellent diary (13+ / 0-)

    The demand that Palestinians recognise Israel's "legitimacy", or its "right to exist as a Jewish state", has no legal or moral basis. Under international law states have no "right" to exist, far less to exist as a 'Jewish' or 'capitalist' or any other type of state.

    As your diary illustrates, the "recognition plus" demand was invented as a pretext to justify the US/Israeli refusal to negotiate with Hamas. It is, in the words of a former head of Israel's military intelligence, "ridiculous, or an excuse not to negotiate". Even Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to Ariel Sharon, has derided the demand as neither "dignified or believable".

  •  Intelligent, well-organized, calmly reasoned. (8+ / 0-)

    In short: nice work.

    Thank you.

  •  I understand a lot more now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heathlander, rbguy

    Thanks for enlightening this dim old bulb.  Great diary!

    I'm a thief; see! I steal the words right out of your mouth.

    by ArthurCrandall on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 09:34:22 PM PDT

  •  As per usual you guys are wrong again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deaniac20

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Read What Dermer said.  So much Israel hate here.  Every one of you ignores the obstructionist role played by the PA for the last 14 years.  Come to the table, make outrageous demands of Israel, when the process starts moving somewhere they walk away.

    As the article in your beloved New York Times says, recognition of Israel as the Jewish State is not a precondition to talks, but it is a condition that must be met before anything is inked.

  •  By the way, if you want (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish, deaniac20

    them to abide by international law, and recognize Israel according to that...

    http://www.yale.edu/...

    This is UN General Assembly Resolution 181.  Part II, Section B explicitly states that Israel is to be "The Jewish State."  There's international law for ya, backing up the characterization of Israel as "The Jewish State."  Ain't history a bitch?

    •  The US did not recognize (6+ / 0-)

      Israel as the "Jewish State".

      The document recognizing Israel and signed by Truman explicitly has the words "Jewish State" crossed out and the "State of Israel" written in.

        •  I don't particularly care for Truman. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deaniac20

          Although I will say that it takes a monumental set of brass ones for someone that disliked Jews as much as him to be the first to recognize Israel.  And while I didn't say that the US recognized it as the Jewish State at the time, I did say the UN recognized it as the Jewish State.

          •  UN recognition (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            csquared

            Was in the context of 1947-8 prior to the existence of a state of Israel and so it was logical to discuss 2 states in Palestine as being a Jewish state and an Arab state.

            That state if that is what you want was considerably smaller than the state which emerged after the fighting and became the state of Israel.

            There was other language at the time re protection of the rights of minority communities in either state. i.e. Jews should be allowed to live and work in the Arab state and vice versa, and protection of private property, both sides have breached these on many occasions since.

            •  see, you just proved Israel IS the Jewish State (0+ / 0-)

              as there was no other way to identify the Jews who lived in Mandatory Palestine.

              Being the Jewish state does not mean anything bad for Arab-Israelis, who get full rights in Israel.

              "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

              by deaniac20 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 11:56:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Full rights (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                csquared, ArthurCrandall

                for arab-Israelis ....like they have now?

                Question: what does "full rights" mean to you? is it like the rights that, say, American blacks have in the US? such as freedom of association, freedom of residence, freedom of marriage, right to education, right to representation, etc?

                Because right now, it's kind of hard for a young arabic couple to just buy or rent a place in certain towns in Israel. Say Tel Aviv, or carmiel, or west jerusalem. There are also laws that discriminate against university entry for arabic people in Israel, forcing many young people to study abroad. What about arabic and jewish people intermarrying? would the 'democratic" state of israel extend full rights and recognition to such mixed couple? would they have the right to choose where to live?

                Me thinks you have a bit more thinking to do on the subject. You should especially look at the extremely unequal treatment received by Arab villages vs those received by those who declare themselves jewish ( quite arbitrarily for a good many of them in Israel.)

                •  you don't know what you are talking about (0+ / 0-)

                  there is fucking affirmative action for Arab citizens of Israel today for colleges! There are spots reserved on corporate boards for them. Arabs and Jews do intermarry, and they are recognized. While some of the marriage laws are odd, many people go abroad to Cyprus, marry, and come back and it is recognized.

                  Is there discrimination against Arabs in Israel? OF COURSE, just like in every democracy, while just like in Israel there isn't official discrimination, minorities do have it tough. This is no different in any democracy: blacks have it hard here, same in Europe, etc.

                  "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

                  by deaniac20 on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 11:32:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I did not expect (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    csquared, ArthurCrandall

                    you to personally fix everything in israel, since you are not there and it's an undertaking beyond any one person's ability. However, you may need to look further into what the actual situation is for Arabs in Israel is vs what some may want it to be.

                    Examples (I'll supply the links later):

                    1. there's a minimum age entry into medical and other university programs in Israel, which is set at 20. The law mandating this was recently introduced (2 years) and it is well known that the idea was to discriminate against Arab applicants who do not serve in the military. Furthermore, the affirmative action of which you speak is highly limited to certain locales (doesn't apply to the hebrew univ of jerusalem or tel aviv university or to any number of private colleges). In addition, there's considerable and well documented discrimination on which dormitories arabs can live in.

                    2.the town of misgav in the gallilei has changed its by laws to speciffically prohibit a young arab couple from buying a home there - that after they lost the case in the supreme court.

                    1. demolitions of the bedouin houses and kicking them off the land they have been on for centuries. Why? for the same reason the Roma in Kosovo are being persecuted. Inconvenient presence, I suppose. And no recourse from the law either (please don't bring up eminent domain. israel is far from the US in terms of values)
                    •  Its absolutely preposterous (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      deaniac20

                      that some of Israel's citizens have to serve in the military and some don't.  Its a racist law that benefits Palestinians and ultra-Orthodox to the detriment of the secular and moderately religious Jews, Druze, and Circassians who make Israel great.  If it were up to me, people who don't serve the country (either in the military or community service) should be completely denied any benefit of the country.

                      "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                      by oldskooldem on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 05:57:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  if Arabs did have to serve in the military, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        oldskooldem

                        Israel's enemies would accuse it of making Arab's fight their own. Not to mention, Arab militaries and terror groups could force them to turn coats, after threatening their families.

                        I think Arab-Israelis should have to serve. Also, it would make them love their country more, would also improve their image in Israel. Why don't more of them volunteer? That's a good question.

                        "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

                        by deaniac20 on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 08:08:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Army service makes you love the country? (0+ / 0-)

                          I can think of many many israelis whom I personally know to have come to despise their country after serving in the military. Not everyone likes to obey orders given by some callous idiot, especially when the orders involve actions that run counter to ones' conscience. Quite a few people in israel right now are fighting for their right to not serve in a military whose primary function is to enforce a brutal occupation. And many ex-soldiers have joined yesh gvul to tell their tales of woe. They may still love israel, but DESPITE serving in the IDF, not because of it.

                          I think you should rethink the statement you made about "loving their country". They [arabs] would like the country just fine were they treated more as human beings with rights and obligations rather than as second class, barely tolerated, indigenous barbarians, who can't be trusted to mix with the more civilized newcomers .

                      •  I assume you mean (0+ / 0-)

                        the ultra-orthodox (now well over 15%), girls who claim to be orthodox though they are not so (draft down by 20% for girls in the past 10 years), as well as the arabs, right? that alone makes about 40% of israel's eligible population that according to you should be denied any benefit of the country. fair enough - think this will have a chance of success?

                        Besides, many  arabs will go along with another form of national service, as would many israelis. And that should be an option for everyone, IMO.

                        Besides, surely you don't expect arabs to sign up to commit atrocities and persecute and mistreat other arabs in the west bank and gaza in the name of some preposterous claim to a land by an informercial known as the bible? maybe they don't believe in those fairy tales? or maybe, unlike many who serve in the IDF they have not been indocrinated to regard arabs as sub-human?

                    •  are you gonna peddle me with the same (0+ / 0-)

                      ideas that call the SAT tests "racist?" The minimum age for schools was not meant to discriminate against Arabs at all. They get affirmative action for God's sake.

                      Also, towns have their problems. This happens everywhere. I assure you non-Muslims have it far worse in Muslim and Arab countries. Stop singling out Israel while ignoring all the misdeeds of their neighbors. Assuming what you claim about that town is true.

                      "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

                      by deaniac20 on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 08:11:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'll repeat (0+ / 0-)

                        the topic here was israel not other countries. last I saw, no one in the known universe has been using saudi arabia as a shining light beacon, why should arabs in israel?

                        The reasons for singling out israel are simple:

                        1. They claim to have similar values to those in the US (which is proven to be false - and increasingly so - by their actions)
                        1. they receive a substantial bounty from the US - not just the 3 M per year but numerous other goodies
                        1. americans have been funding some of the most discriminatory enterprises in israel such as the Jewish land foundation.
                        1. US government has been casting vetos in the UN on numerous resolutions that seek to improve israel's behavior through admonition and sanction.

                        So,here you go - americans HAVE a dog in this fight, and that's why we all care.

                •  and Israel is working to fix (0+ / 0-)

                  the situation for minorities, unlike in other Arab/Islamic countries. minorities in Israel have it far better than minorities in Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                  "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

                  by deaniac20 on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 11:37:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  what you are seeing is simply (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    csquared

                    not true. The situation for minorities in israel is deteriorating not improving. You should really consult internal israeli sources not sugar coated material handed out by the hasbara and their willing distributors in the US.

                    Check out some material on the plight of the ethiopians in Israel, for example.

                    Significantly, the Arabs in israel ARE NOT comparing thier situation to arabs anywhere else. As israeli citizens they are comparing their situation to that of other israeli citizens and find that they get an extremly raw deal, indeed, as one poster above has documented well.

                    •  I'm not saying that (0+ / 0-)

                      minorities have it perfect in Israel, but where do they have it perfect? Also, who are the Arab/Muslim states to talk about minority rights? Every country has some discrimination in it, but Israel's situation is more comparable to blacks in western countries than minorities like Jews and Christians in other countries. how about the Coptic Christians in Egypt who are being killed by the Brotherhood, how about the Christians in the Territories who face violence from Islamists, how about the rights of Jews in countries in the Middle East?

                      Not to mention today, Netanyahu has agreed to more assistance to the Druze community.

                      "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

                      by deaniac20 on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 04:27:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Back from a brief sojourn (0+ / 0-)

                        to take you on. I see you are engaging in what I call 'standard deflection tactics 101". We were talking about the situation of arabic minorities in israel, and you bring up minorites in other arab countries, and even non arab countries, as if that has any relevance. The topic here was israel. maybe at some point we'll address another country, like peru or kosovo, or mauritania, where minorities have a hard time of it. But for this diary we should stay on topic. The issue was NOT whether arab israelis are the most discriminated against ever. no one said that from what I saw. I sure didn't and wouldn't, because that would be a silly hyperbole (and I do the former but rarely the latter). The israeli arabs sure are not comparing themselves to the Roma in italy or the coptic christians in Egypt. Why should they? they may compare themselves to blacks in the US but that's because the civil rights movement in the US was a shining light for other oppressed groups everywhere, and they would naturally like to partake of that success in Israel.

                        Now, the druze comment you made IS relevant as is the treatment of other monorities in Israel. I'll be happy to discuss that though perhaps we should defer to the next diary on a similar subject? You tell me, i'm game - even if intermittently so.

          •  Truman disliked Jews? (0+ / 0-)

            Oh please.

            And it doesn't change the point:  the Truman administration recognized the State of Israel, and thus the counter to your initial point, that international law requirements are met WITHOUT Bibis condiditons, is spot on.

      •  No, that's because, up until the last minute (0+ / 0-)

        nobody had thought about what to call the new state.(really!)
        "Israel" was only named at the declaration of independence.

  •  the Jewish State of Israel will live on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    and the Palestinians need to accept it as that. the term "Jewish State" does not refer to the religion: Jews have always been an ethno-religious people: an ethnicity of which most of its members practice the religion, and tho they're not common, they do exist. This ensures that Palestine always sees Israel for what it is: the Jewish State, and not just European immigrants, and if Palestine is allowed to have that, some could think they have further right to attack it. It would not, however, mean anything bad for non-Jews in Israel. Non-Jews in Israel have full rights, voting, status under the law, speech, etc. Also, who are the Arab states to complain against discrimination of minorities anyway?

    Why didn't Israel impose this on Egypt and Jordan? Because they never claimed to be indigenous to Israel, which Palestinians do, which is extremely debatable. Many immigrated to Ottoman and British Palestine for job opportunities Jews were creating. Also, the refugee problem is also highly disputed. We could argue about that, but none the less, if the Palestinians were always able to claim "indigenous," they'd have reasons to continue to see Israel as illegitimate, which they could use to justify hitting Israel. Forcing Palestinians to see Israel for what it is, the Jewish State will put them in a corner, politically and thus militarily if militants try to attack, and ensure that the P government cannot justify it.

    Also, why is Jordan the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan?

    But if the Palestinians would agree to allow to have Israel reasonable defensible borders, be demilitarized, and give up a "right of return," and were to only say no to Jewish State, I'd hope Bibi would accept.

    "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

    by deaniac20 on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 12:11:03 AM PDT

  •  The 'recognition plus' demand (8+ / 0-)

    is really beyond the bounds of normal diplomatic discourse. But it is useful in preventing or delaying talks and the inevitable concessions that Israel will have to make. That's why this demand is being made. To delay.

    •  Well, of course it's about delay (0+ / 0-)

      That's Bibbi's whole reason to exist.

      But the problem is real. It's tied up with the 2 state solution and the right of return.
      Here's a link to a comment I made in another diary about this point.

      But trying to get it declared now is putting the cart before the horse. It has to be negotiated together with the right of return, refugee settlement and compensation, and protection for minorities.

      •  Why is the problem real? (7+ / 0-)

        It's a pure fabrication. Israel can be a Jewish state, a Mormon state, a democratic state, whatever it wants, but Palestinians don't have to 'recognise' any of it. In the nation-state system states are accorded certain rights, chief among them the right to have their borders respected. Diplomatic recognition, which would naturally have to be part of a two-state settlement, involves recognising a state's sovereignty within a certain area, and all the rights to go along with that. But there is no "right to exist", or "right to exist as an x state", and there never has been. It's a totally unprecedented demand. The US never recognised the Soviet Union's "right to exist", far less its "right to exist as a Communist state". Similarly Mexicans have never recognised the "right" of the US to exist on half of Mexico.

        This is a complete red herring that was, as I say, fabricated in order to provide a pretext to justify US/Israeli rejectionism. There is no legitimacy in the demand whatsoever.

        •  The problem comes up (0+ / 0-)

          because

          Diplomatic recognition, which would naturally have to be part of a two-state settlement, involves recognising a state's sovereignty within a certain area, and all the rights to go along with that.

          is in dispute as regards the demand for "the right of return" of large numbers of descendants of Palestinian refugees. Along with this is the demand that Israel become a bi- or non-national state. Alongside an explicit Palestinian nation-state.

          And AFAIK Mexico fully recognizes the present border with the US and US sovereignty over the Southwest, despite past injustices.

          •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

            "...as regards the demand for "the right of return" of large numbers of descendants of Palestinian refugees"

            The PA has agreed for some time to compromise on that issue - to the return of a token number of refugees rather than all 4-5 million of them. But Palestinians can compromise over the implementation of the right of return without recognising the "legitimacy" of Israel or its "right to exist as a Jewish state". Those are separate issues.

            "Along with this is the demand that Israel become a bi- or non-national state. Alongside an explicit Palestinian nation-state."

            Firstly, a one-state or binational solution is only favoured by a minority of Palestinians, and none of the main parties advocate it.

            "And AFAIK Mexico fully recognizes the present border with the US and US sovereignty over the Southwest"

            Mexico recognises the US and its present borders, but it doesn't recognise the right of the US to exist on half its territory. This is the distinction I was trying to illustrate: there's ordinary diplomatic recognition, which entails recognition of borders etc. and would have to be part of a final settlement, and then there's the demand that Palestinians recognise Israel's "right to exist", which has no basis in international law and serves simply to justify US/Israeli rejectionism.

            •  I always thought that "right to exist" (0+ / 0-)

              was diplomatic recognition. I don't really understand the fine distinction.

              But there is a real dispute on the right of return.

              The PA has agreed for some time to compromise on that issue - to the return of a token number of refugees rather than all 4-5 million of them.

              Do you have any sources on that? That is not what I understand (I hope you are right, and that I'm mistaken).
              Ordinary Palestinians certainly have not been told.
              Comment threads in other diaries on this site discuss this demand.

              •  That the PA (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lefty Coaster, cylonbabe, Gracian

                has been and remains willing to compromise heavily on the right of return is widely recognised, but I don't have time to find links now, sorry. It is in any case a separate issue from the one under discussion here.

                Diplomatic recognition can be bestowed upon a state by another state. It involves recognising that state's sovereign existence within recognised borders. It does not involve recognising the right of a state to exist, or recognising it as specifically 'Jewish' or 'capitalist' or 'Communist' or whatever. The question of legitimacy doesn't arise. It's simply a recognition of a state's existence as a soveriegn body within certain borders.

                For Palestinians, the difference between recognising Israel's existence and recognising Israel's right to exist is huge. It amounts to the difference between accepting the fact of their expulsion and accepting its legitimacy.

                •  So long as they do in fact (0+ / 0-)

                  recognise Israel's existence

                  as a sovereign body within certain borders.

                  I have no problems.
                  I agree, as I said earlier, that it's a matter for the negotiating table.

                  The right of return is still a problem and touches precisely on this point. Palestinian public opinion, while accepting 2 states, seems to be in denial about it. I hope that the PA accepts it.
                  The unofficial "Geneva Accord" accepts it.

                  I'm presently in a discussion about this in another diary here.

    •  Aw, c'mon (0+ / 0-)

      It is well known that Japan can abrogate the San Fran Peace treaty because the absence of language referring to  to the US as "the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."

      Your ignorance is astounding!

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