Former Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington Yoram Ettinger spoke brilliantly at the Jerusalem Conference yesterday. He explained that Israel has dug itself into a very deep messy hole – one that it unfortunately continues to dig - Oslo, Hebron, Wye, Camp David 2, Disengagement, Annapolis, Lebanon 2000, the Road Map.
Israeli public has gone from being adamantly against a Palestinian State to being in favor of a two-state solution to the non-peace in the Middle East. But he warned that for 1400 there hasn’t been “inter-Arab peace or inter-Arab compliance with international agreements,” so how can we expect the “infidel” Israelis to be able to make an agreement with the Arabs?
Ettinger added that it is not the size of Israel that is the crux of the problems with the Arabs, but the very existence of Israel. Therefore, he asked, why is Israel continuing to look for a territorial compromise with the Arabs, when the problem is NOT territory?
“Since a two or three state solution is a territorial driven kind of solution, so why are we discussing it…especially since every territory ceded to the Arabs since 1993 has become an additional platform for hate education and therefore for terrorism.”
Ettinger also cautioned Israel against jumping at American pressure. He explained many ways in which American President Barak Hussein Obama is considered weak, and even a detriment to his own Democratic Party.
Ettinger said, “American pressure wasn’t enough to deter [Israel’s first PM] David Ben Gurion from declaring Israel’s independence, or enough to deter Ben Gurion from declaring Jerusalem the capital. In fact, American pressure was an inducement for Golda to build Gilo, Neve Yaakov and Ramot.”
Ettinger quoted Bashad Assad on the subject of territorial compromise. When asked if he would negotiate with Israel on allowing Israel to keep a 100-meter sliver along the Kineret, Syria’s Assad responded, “Anyone who gives away a square inch of his own land does not deserve to be respected. Certainly, you cannot expect any Arab to sign a peace agreement with Israel when we don’t respect Israel.”
The Jerusalem Conference is still underway. Actually, I’m on my way there now…zoom. If you can’t make it to the Regency in Jerusalem today (which you should really try to do), you can watch the conference on line at http://www.jerusalemconference.com/eng/ .
You can see a clip from Yoram Ettinger’s address here: http://voices-magazine.com/voices-videos.php?id=109