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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ROUND AND ROUND


Frankly, as a young boy I found the childhood song and game “The Mulberry Bush” quite entertaining. It dealt with many of the major issues of my life at that time…how we do our chores, wash our clothes, wash our face, get dressed up, etc.

Now that I am an adult it is time to stop playing this game, yet World Leaders seem intent on sticking with it. We are dealing with incredibly complicated issues as if they were child’s play.

One of huge issues that is at the epicenter of world conflict is the Jewish settlement issue in what is described by the World Community as “disputed territory”. This is the area of Israel also referred to as the West Bank.

In a March 2013 speech delivered in Jerusalem, President Obama urged Israelis to “recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace.” I could not disagree more. This statement presumes that stopping settlements is the solution to lasting peace. Where is the evidence that keeping Jews from settling in their biblically Promised Land brings peace? After so many land concessions that Israel has already granted where is the promised peace?

The foregone conclusion of the majority of the United Nations leadership is that Israel must concede land for peace. The so-called “Two-State Solution” is bantered about as if it is the ONLY solution, yet this discredited approach ignores 65 years of well-documented history. Many land concessions have produced only temporary peace. The world community simply pretends that the prevailing view among Arabs and Persians of the Middle East does not exist. The simple fact is that until now the only acceptable Palestine is one where there is no Jewish State. While calling for a two-state solution, Islamists believe in a “One-State Solution”, a Palestine free of any Judeo/Christian presence.

Secretary of State John Kerry recently stated: “I can guarantee you that I am committed to this because I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting, I think we have some period of time over the next year or two years or it’s over.” From his mouth to God’s ears. I hope he is right. This kind of “Divide the Land” approach will never work. There is simple no way for Israel to have secure borders with the plans now on the table.

The Times of Israel revealed that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his aide Yitzhak Molcho recently held a series of secret talks with senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official Yasser Abed Rabbo designed to restart peace talks.  These talks, like so many others failed, with the Palestinian negotiator demanding that Israel commit to negotiating on the basis of the pre-1967 lines and that Israel halt all settlement activity as a precondition for resuming peace talks. PM Netanyahu has rightly maintained that settlement construction is among the issues to be discussed at the negotiating table, not a as pre-condition to negotiations.  Several other final-status issues such as Jerusalem, Palestinian refugee “right-of-return”, borders and security must also be negotiated at the table, but heretofore, the Palestinian representatives steadfastly demand that these issues be pre-conditions to any negotiations. So here we go again…round and round.

It is time for “grown up” negotiations. No more trips round and round.

I have little hope “the powers that be” will change their approach, but I can always hope in God’s divine intervention.

So I pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

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