Monday, April 05, 2010

Palestinian aspirations are clear, but what does Israel want?

Gideon Levy, in today's Ha'aretz newspaper brings up a very valid question:

Does anybody know what Benjamin Netanyahu wants? Has anybody ever understood what his predecessors wanted? Where are they headed? And where are they leading us? One after another, Israeli politicians have been asked these questions, only to reply with the standard rejoinders: "You don't expect me to answer this question" or "Let's leave this for the negotiations." Vague answers, obfuscations, evasive and noncommittal cliches - promises, promises. There was one clear, unequivocal answer - none. There is no other country whose citizens, friends and enemies have not the slightest clue about which direction it is facing. For our enemies not to know is understandable, but don't we deserve to know more? Don't we at least deserve to know the ultimate goal?

While the Arabs have always declared their aspirations - and did so with clarity, precision, sharpness and at times extremism, the Israelis have donned masks.
Israel is the only country in the world who refuses to define her borders, indeed, she refuses to even say where she would like them to be.
Forty-three years after the start of the occupation, no one, either here in Israel or anywhere in the world, knows what we really want and in which direction we are heading. Thus, we have not only become the only country in the world without clearly defined borders, we are also the only country without clearly defined national goals.
That ambiguity, which Levy rightly identifies, leads some of us to come to a conclusion based on the settlements themselves. If a country continues expanding illegal settlements in breach of international law and within territory which most of the planet have stated should be the possession of a yet to be formed nation, one doesn't have to be a genius to work out what we are watching.

And that ambiguity begins to look as if politicians are not stating their true intentions because they know what the rest of the world would say if they were to do so. People are rarely ambiguous because they think others will agree with them.

Click here for full article.

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