Israel Does Not Want Peace

by

Joe Biden: At a loss for meaningful words.

UPDATE:

Behind close doors, it appears Biden was not so placating. People heard Biden say to Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu: From Politico:

This is starting to get dangerous for us…What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.”

Biden is right, and hopefully Israel takes note and cancels all further settlement plans in disputed land.

Joseph Biden recently made a trip to Israel to promote peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. His trip was the opposite of success.

As soon as Biden arrived, Israel announced plans to build 740 new homes in settlements in disputed East Jerusalem. This plan directly contradicts one of the main tenets of any possible peace between Israel and Palestine: the promise of the former not to expand settlements and the promise of the latter to stop militants attacking Israel. Both sides, over the years, have gone back on many of their earlier promises made during peace negotiations. Perhaps that is why there has yet to be peace. Now, the Palestinian authority has recommended withdrawal from any sort of peace negotiation and one should not be surprised if a new wave of violence between Israel and Palestine comes with the next daybreak.

Israel’s Rationale

Israeli minister of Jerusalem affairs made a shallow justification to the new settlement plans:

“Har Homa is an integral part of Jerusalem and Israel will not stop building there,” Mr Eitan said on Israeli Army Radio on Sunday…It is Israel’s duty to provide its citizens with a place to live.”

The Israeli government also claimed that the area in which the settlement is planned was not part of any peace agreements signed by them in the past. Whichever way they want to splice the facts, one thing is indisputable: these actions has negatively impacted the chances for peace. The U.S.’s response was unabashedly contradictory.

U.S. Response

In response to the new settlement plans, Biden said:

“I, and at the request of President Obama, condemned it immediately and unequivocally…Quite frankly, folks, sometimes only a friend can deliver the hardest truth,”

Words only go so far, and the manner in which Biden’s words are designed suggest the U.S. will not exert any serious pressure on Israel.

I speak of the Biden’s accompanying praise-filled statements of Israel:

Biden started by reaffirming the “unbreakable bond” between Israel and the United States, as he had following his arrival earlier this week. The bond was “impervious to any shifts in either country and in either country’s partisan politics,” he said to applause

There is something curious about a condemnation of Israel accompanied with the statement that the U.S. will support Israel regardless of what conduct they engage in. That means that the condemnation is quite meaningless, unless of course Israel revokes the settlement plans.

There is more underlying that statement than just this recent settlement dispute. It reveals that there is an unnatural(by that I mean support a country regardless of its positive impact on one’s own country) force pushing the U.S. to lend unflinching to support to one country and one country alone. This is bad policy for the United States and the Globe as a whole. What if, for example, Israel became antsy about the Iran Nuclear Program and unilaterally undertook a nuclear attack on Iran and a catastrophic war breaks out in which millions upon millions are killed(the two most affected first would be Iranians,Israelis and Palestinians.) The U.S. needs to reevaluate its whole-hearted support of Israel if it is serious about promoting peace there and everywhere.

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5 Responses to “Israel Does Not Want Peace”

  1. Taylor Beaumont Says:

    Israeli policy is reckless not just for the U.S. and for the rest of the international but particularly for themselves. The Palestinian birthrate has skyrocketed past the Israeli rate and in the not-too-distant future, Israelis will be in the scenario of having to either deny Palestinian or other Arab-Israeli votes (a la apartheid) or face a democracy where the Arab vote will outnumber the Israeli one. Obviously, hard-right (and probably most Israelis for that matter) would prefer to keep Israel a jewish state as opposed to an Arab one by virtue of the electorate. That’s understandable and I don’t think that that goal in and of itself is a problem. The problem will arise when they are forced to create classes of citizens to protect the sanctity of their religious state. Of course, the obvious result would be to stop settlement expansion (onto land which they know will be harder to take from them if they occupy it were any 2 state boundaries to be made official) and create a sovereign state for the Palestinians where they can exercise their fundamental human rights. Basically, the continued failure of hard right Israeli politics is driving the country into a lose-lose scenario even as more and more of the country begins to recognize the realities of this.

    The recent settlement announcement only goes to show how much the current Likud led coalition intends on avoiding any American push to act differently. It’s no secret that the pro-Israeli lobby (AIPAC, etc.) is one of the most powerful in the U.S. It’s just ironic that their misguided policies is, ultimately, forcing them down a much worse path than granting the Palestinians contiguous borders to make a sovereign state.

  2. bjohns15 Says:

    Thanks for the added details(I don’t follow Israel politics as closely). You may be right, but I think the hard-right will ultimately want to exterminate Palestinians.

  3. rogerhollander Says:

    Regardless of nationhood or boundaries, two peoples living in enmity on virtually common soil is a recipe for disaster. In the long run the only viable solution is a single secular democratic state. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. The current neo-fascist Israeli government and AIPAC guided US foreign policy, be it Bush or Obama, are doomed to failure. It’s not a pretty picture, but like a Greek tragedy, the dye was cast in ’48.

  4. Fresh Violence In Jerusalem « Life Through the Lens of Bryan Says:

    […] March 11th, I wrote on the dangerousness and foolhardiness of Israel’s plans of building new settlements in […]

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