My very good friend Whaleoil and some of my co-bloggers here have taken upon themselves to shill for Israel following the NZL led 14-0 zip vote in the Security Council condemning the creation of new Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank.
That initiative, that vote, has my support in trying to broker a solution to the Palestinian question. It's a problem that has to be solved because, until it is, both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples will never live in peace.
Too much of the debate is about slogans. Too much of the debate is argued in terms of black and white. You're either for Israel or against it. You're either for the Palestinians or against them. There is no middle ground. To that I say crap because the alternative is perpetual war or near war. Is that the way 'you' want it to be? I'm not interested in slogans. I'm only interested in solutions
Now, unless my right wing colleagues think I've gone soft in the head, can I state unequivocally my support for the Jewish State. Indeed, I have just finished reading David Cesarani's book 'The Final Solution ... The fate of the Jews 1933-1949'. No-one can read that book and not fail to understand the mantra that underpins Israel and Israeli politics ... 'Never Again'. But in saying that you cannot ignore the simple fact that 4.50 million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
First, let's get the history right. In the 1993 Olso Accords Israel (yes Israel) acknowledged the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as representing the Palestinian people. In return, the PLO recognised the right of Israel to exist in 'peace'. The region has been short on peace ever since. In 1994 the Palestine National Authority was established. It exercises governance (of a sort) over Gaza and parts of the Occupied West Bank.
Subsequent to that Palestine has been accorded the status of a de jure sovereign state recognised by 136 countries.
Having said that we need to acknowledge there are elements in Israeli society that view the Palestinians as 'unterminch' (and I use that term deliberately) while in Palestinian society too there are elements, led by HAMAS and supported by Iran, dedicated to the destruction of the Israeli state. Both the Israeli and Palestinian governments include what might be termed 'extremist' elements who view concessions of any sort as selling out to the other side. Indeed, the Israeli PM, Netanyahu, is under particular pressure to hang tough given that he is the subject of a criminal investigation launched by his own Attorney-General into allegations of corruption.
Put all that to one side and it is accepted there are two and two only possible solutions to the problem ... the one state and two state solutions. I hold the view that the one state solution is a no-goer. The enmity alone between the Israelis and the Palestinians would tend to rule that out. It is predicated on (for the time being) a Jewish dominated state (8.5 million Israelis vs 4.5 million Palestinians ... 2.7m in the West Bank and 1.8m in the Gaza Strip). Even assuming the Palestinians were to be accorded full citizenship rights (and I doubt whether Israel is prepared to go that far) the reality is that the birth rate among Palestinians (26.5 births per 1,000 in the West Bank and 39.4 in the Gaza Strip) far outstrips that of Israel (21.3). In time Palestinians would outnumber Israelis. Israel would be mad to agree to a one state solution.
That leaves us with the two state solution endorsed by most countries in the world. The sticking point is boundaries particularly those in respect of the West Bank. And that leads us back to the UN resolution because the continued encroachment of new Israeli settlements on disputed West Bank land pushes back attempts to resolve the boundary dispute. Put simply, new settlements are adding to and perpetuating the problem and Trump and Julie Bishop (Oz Foreign Minister) in criticising the UN resolution are associating themselves and their respective administrations with the problem rather than the solution.
The one issue I have with the two state solution relates to the status of Jerusalem. Israel holds that Jerusalem is their capital city. That notwithstanding, many countries treat Tel Aviv as such and have their embassys there. Jerusalem has holy sites of significance to the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions. There is underlying tension between the faiths over the treatment of the holy places. It seems to me a possible way round that might be to designate Jerusalem as a city state in its own right under a UN mandate and protection with free access to all peoples.
Some will disagree with this post. That is your right and privilege. But if you're going to have a go at me don't resort to slogans. Spell out precisely your alternative to the two state solution and how it is to be achieved in a way that is fair to both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples.
And BTW. I don't appreciate some dipstick Oz senator from the One Nation Party calling for sanctions against NZL over its co-sponsoring of the resolution. Senator Roberts is hardly justified to in making such a call which is at odds with the ONP policy which calls for it to be easier for New Zealanders to gain Australian citizenship and access to social security benefits. He would be better explaining why he attempted to rort the Oz taxpayer of $30,000 wrongly claimed as a tax deduction and why he thinks that international bankers (the Rothchilds, Goldman Sachs, the Rockefellers and the Warburg family) supported by the US Federal Reserve, are part of a Jewish conspiracy to introduce global socialism. In short, he's a nutter in a Party that's had its fair share of nutters.