Marc Schulman


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March 17, 2014 Why Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is Important

Usually, I tend to be critical of the Israeli government. I am not a fan of Prime Minister Netanyahu's government. However, this time I must say, it seems the Palestinians are once again missing the boat. It really comes down to the same basic problem that had dogged the Arab-Israeli dispute since the beginning. When Prime Minister Netanyahu first brought up the question of recognizing a Jewish State, I thought it was only a ploy on his part. Then I read the text of the initial partition resolution, which clearly calls for “partitioning Palestine into an Arab State and a Jewish State”. The creation of a Jewish State was a distinct statement in the original Partition Plan that was rejected by the Palestinians. Accepting that statement is consenting to the basis of the Partition Plan, and what it means … the end of conflict. The unwillingness of President Abbas to take that step to accept the Jewish State, despite pressure from the White House at the meeting today between himself and President Obama is not a hopeful sign. The failure of many on the Israeli Left not to see this as a warning sign shows that as much as the Israel Right does not get the world, the Left does not understand the average Israeli.

In the meantime, I cannot completely let the government off the hook. Defense Minister Ya’alon’s repeated statement that he does not believe we can reach peace, and that Abbas is not a good partner is not helpful – to say the least. One final thought. Abbas has been hinting that if Israel wants him to agree to continue the talks, Israel needs to let a high visibility prisoner go free. If the U.S. really wants to help, they can free Jonathan Pollard in return for Israel freeing Marwan Barghouti.


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