Count the silver

Count the silver

I must take exception to your editorial “Summer of ‘1967’” (Aug. 4). Your statement that the Israeli Right had mischaracterized President Obama’s position that negotiations should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually-agreed-upon swaps was incorrect, and your statement that Prime Minister Netanyahu had accepted this “centrist” approach was incomplete.

The fact that the Palestinians immediately accepted this approach and the Israelis did not tells you all you need to know as to whose “narrative” the president had accepted. You also neglected to point out that the administration refused to accept President George W. Bush’s written assurance to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2004 that Israel’s retention of the larger settlements would be part of the deal.

In a previous letter, I pointed out some of the problems with accepting the 1949 armistice lines (which is what Mr. Obama meant). These objections haven’t changed. There is still the problem of ceding half of Jerusalem (which was ethnically cleansed by the Jordan Legion from 1949 to 1967) and all the settlements for nothing, and then trying to get it all back by bargaining amid the very real prospect that the Palestinians could simply refuse to swap any thing for either or make the “Right of Return” the price. Can’t you just see the European Union, the United Nations, J Street, and a whole host of leftist NGOs bleating that this is a fair price and Israel is undermining peace by refusing?

As to Mr. Obama’s making a “nuanced and reassuring” speech to AIPAC, Mr. Obama has made numerous speeches, some having nothing to do with the facts or with actions he has subsequently taken.

Further, saying that it appears Mr. Netanyahu is ready to accept this deal left out the important provision he attached to it: to wit, the Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish state, thereby taking the “Right of Return” off the table. Kind of changes the “Mr. Netanyahu accepts,” doesn’t it?

Mark Twain might have been referring to Mr. Obama when he said, “The more he proclaimed his honesty, the faster we counted the silver.”

Martin Cotler

read more: