First, the history lesson. That part can't be effectively excerpted (especially the excellent maps) but it starts with the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan and works its way on up to the present.
Then comes the argument.
But anyone with a third grade education can read for themselves that the '49 Armistice Agreements (there were individual agreements between Israel and each of the enemy states that attacked it) clearly state that the final borders must be negotiated between the parties, and that the so-called Green Line (the lines when the fighting ended) was never intended to be viewed by anyone as a permanent border.
So again, I ask what is so magical about the 1949 Armistice Lines? If the Arabs feel they are entitled to a do-over for any and all of the military fiascoes they perpetrated, why not demand a return to the original Partition Plan lines???
And, finally, the punch line.
This may sound like a somewhat strange position for an Israeli to be taking, but if you think about it... it is the only logical place to begin the process of making everyone understand the real situation; that no country is allowed a do-over after losing a war... and that no country that wins a war is required to offer up land in order to sue for peace.
Yet, we've had to fight for our very survival on so many occasions that the world has gotten into the habit of thinking of Israel as temporary... negotiable.
Well, enough already!
Personally, I couldn't possible care less what the world wants Israel to do. If we've learned only one thing during the short history of our country, it is that we are the only ones who will ever have our best interest at heart.
But more importantly, I honestly feel that the only thing that has a prayer of unifying the Jewish people (or at least unifying those living in Israel) is for nearly all of us to be labeled illegitimate by the international community.
I'm deliberately leaving out a lot of the good parts. The launching point for this essay is the sudden, unwelcome and inappropriate interest of the Obama in Gilo, but it could easily apply to any other Jewish community on the "wrong" side of the Green Line. Please go read it all. Now would be a good time.
And speaking of the Green Line, Barry Rubin is seeing a glass half full in the response of the Obama administration to Israel's ten-month settlement freeze. He makes a strong case (as always) and I wouldn't bet against any of his analyses on this subject but I'm not feeling the warm fuzzies on this one yet myself. I'm pretty sure I've heard this song before, so I'll wait for the next verse.