Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s gave a speech to the Knesset yesterday, seen by many as a precursor to his Congressional address next week. The PM outlined his parameters for a peace plan with the Palestinians. However, if you went by the press reports you would think that peace was the last thing on Netanyahu's mind.
The AP story carried by most US papers said,
"Israel's Netanyahu takes tough line toward Palestinians, Hamas ahead of trip to White House." The NY Times
called it "hawkish."
Both sources reflect their bias against Israel in general and more specifically Netanyahu, who they see as a right-winger (and you know how the mainstream media feels about right-wingers). The Wall Street Journal
called the speech a "stark assessment," and the Los Angeles Times
piled on with
In a speech Monday before Israel's Knesset, or parliament, that some saw as a preview of his planned May 24 address before the U.S. Congress, Netanyahu offered no new peace initiative and faulted Palestinians for the collapse of U.S.-mediated talks.
Wow, you would have thought, Netenyahu came out in a Patton costume, stood in front of a giant Israeli Flag and opened with something such as:
Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
The truth is if they fairly reported the Prime Minister's words, they would have reported that not only were they reasonable, but they included more concessions than the supposedly moderate Palestinian President Abbas had ever offered to Israel.
In the speech, Netanyahu agreed to give back all of Judea and Samaria except for Jerusalem and the major settlement blocks, this represents a tiny portion of the West Bank (and President Bush agreed in 2004 they will remain part of Israel). Previously Bibi has stated that he would agree to "land swaps" for any territory retained by Israel.
Most of Netanyahu's peace outline consisted of things any reasonable person, even a liberal would consider fair. All of these "fair" things have never been agreed to by the Palestinians .
- Any peace agreement must mean the end of the conflict, not a hudna (temporary truce).
- Israel must be recognized as a Jewish State. This is also in accordance with the original UN Partition plan which recognized Israel as a Jewish State. Even President Obama, no great friend of Israel recognizes her as a Jewish State.
- Descendants of the 1948 Palestinian Arab refugees must be resettled inside a Palestinian state and not on Israeli territory. The Palestinian call for a "right of return" is simply a veiled attempt at destroying Israel's Jewish character, destroying Israel "peacefully."
On the other hand Palestinian President Abbas said
that Bibi's speech proves that Israel does not want peace. He insists on half of Jerusalem, never to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, that Israel must be overrun by Palestinian "refugees" and before serious negotiations begin, Israel must agree to give up every inch of land outside the 1949 Armistice lines.
So allow me to ask, which one is really
The facts regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are an inconvenient thing. Just as the progressives in the United States tend to be anti-Israel, so are the progressive-dominated mainstream media. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is a double target for the media, not only is he the leader of Israel, but when he was the Finance Minster he oversaw Israel's transition from a mostly socialist, to a mostly capitalist economy. For the mainstream media, that it a mortal sin.
If you would like to read the Prime Minister's entire speech click here.