So, Bibi, Let Me Get This Straight...
...All Mahmoud has to do is say 6 words and you will uproot hundreds of thousands of Jews?
Netanyahu's speech to the US Congress had a whole lot of good and a whole lot of bad mixed together. It was אור וחשך משתמשים בערבוביא (light and darkness serving in a mixture - see Rashi on Bereishit 1:4).
YWN has the full text of the speech.
The peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan are vital. But they’re not enough. We must also find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians.The bad:
Two years ago, I publicly committed to a solution of two states for two peoples: A Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.In the same breath where Netanyahu is about to say the best part of his speech (about it being the land of our forefathers), he claims that he's "required" to give up parts of it. Not only is he not required to do so, but a genuine peace will not tolerate giving up our homeland. Only by insisting that our homeland is ours - never to be given up - can we possibly have genuine peace. You don't tempt the insatiable Arab appetite by showing weakness.
I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace. As the leader of Israel, it is my responsibility to lead my people to peace.
This is not easy for me. I recognize that in a genuine peace, we will be required to give up parts of the Jewish homeland.
In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo.The bad:
This is the land of our forefathers, the Land of Israel, to which Abraham brought the idea of one God, where David set out to confront Goliath, and where Isaiah saw a vision of eternal peace. No distortion of history can deny the four thousand year old bond, between the Jewish people and the Jewish land.
But there is another truth: The Palestinians share this small land with us. We seek a peace in which they will be neither Israel’s subjects nor its citizens. They should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people in their own state. They should enjoy a prosperous economy, where their creativity and initiative can flourishOn what basis do they deserve to live as an independent people? Who are they and where did they come from? Were they ever an independent people? There was never any such people as "Palestinians" so why does Netanyahu insist on creating a state for them?
So why has peace not been achieved? Because so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state, if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it.The bad:
You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about. In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews said yes. The Palestinians said no. In recent years, the Palestinians twice refused generous offers by Israeli Prime Ministers, to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by Israel in the Six Day War.
They were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.
My friends, this must come to an end. President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said… “I will accept a Palestinian state.” It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say… “I will accept a Jewish state.”These last 2 paragraphs sound very good, but are really too naive. It's a drop-in-the-bucket of a starting-point. If President Abbas would accept a Jewish state, it will not change history. It will not make it clear to the Palestinians that the confict should end. Instead, it will be understood by the Palestinian people as a trick.
Those six words will change history. They will make clear to the Palestinians that this conflict must come to an end. That they are not building a state to continue the conflict with Israel, but to end it. They will convince the people of Israel that they have a true partner for peace. With such a partner, the people of Israel will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise. I will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise.
And it will be way too easy. The father who gives his teenage son the car keys after misbehaving badly for years just because the son recognizes him as his father is not good parenting. A steady pattern of good behavior is the only chance at him getting the car keys. A steady pattern of good behavior does not include making deals with the kid down the block who constantly pelts the family house with rotten eggs. It certainly does not include occasionally throwing those eggs himself.
So, as I said, in some ways, I really liked Bibi's monumental speech. But in others, I found it extremely dangerous. אור וחשך משתמשים בערבוביא.
Now, the one mitigating factor of all this is that it could be that he's just playing the game, knowing that even his far-reaching compromise is still too much for the Palestinians to accept. (In fact, Nabil Shaath called the speech a "declaration of war". Totally expected. It happened 11 years ago too. They now have an "excuse" to start violence. Again.) It could be that he's totally calling their bluff.
So, the verdict is still not yet out on Bibi and his role in the future of the Jewish people.