Clinton: Occupation robs Palestinians of dignity and self-determination and is radicalizing the Middle East

Israel/Palestine
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Mark Wauck tells me I am missing the forest for the trees. There has been great progress in the American discourse, and Tom Friedman’s latest and Hillary Clinton’s speech to the Saban Center at Brookings last week reflect it. “Most will
come away from Friedman’s column remembering the strong critique of Netanyahu, 
especially re stiffing the US. Beinart’s piece, Hillary’s address at the Haim Saban institute, etc. While they’re all obviously flawed from your perspective, they all (and especially cumulatively) represent movement that was unthinkable only a few years ago.”

I try and step back now and then, and so I went over Hillary’s speech and stripped out some of Clinton’s fairer statements, supporting the Arab Peace Initiative, implicitly recognizing that Israel is destroying itself (the Jewish democracy stuff), opposing settlements, and stating that crushing Palestinian self-determination is hurting the U.S. Also note her impatience for that goddamn economic peace in the West Bank. It’s not about prosperity, it’s about political freedom. Myself I believe the horse is out of the barn for two states, but it sure looks like that Hillary is listening to liberal Zionists and Realists too, Beinarts and Mearsheimers, to try and rebuild the Establishment Israel lobby to put some pressure on Israel, a little anyway. Clinton:

But Iran and its proxies are not the only threat to regional stability or to Israel’s long-term security. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and Arab neighbors is a source of tension and an obstacle to prosperity and opportunity for all the people of the region. It denies the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and it poses a threat to Israel’s future security. It is at odds also with the interests of the United States.

I know that improvements in security and growing prosperity have convinced some that this conflict can be waited out or largely ignored. This view is wrong and it is dangerous. The long-term population trends that result from the occupation are endangering the Zionist vision of a Jewish and democratic state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people. Israelis should not have to choose between preserving both elements of their dream. But that day is approaching.

At the same time, the ever-evolving technology of war, especially the expanding reach of the rockets amassed on Israel’s borders means that it will be increasingly difficult to guarantee the security of Israeli families throughout the country without implementing peace agreements that answer these threats.

Continuing conflict also strengthens the hands of extremists and rejectionists across the region while sapping the support of those open to coexistence and cooperation. Radicalization of the region’s young people and growing support for violent ideologies undermine the stability and prosperity of the Middle East. The United States looks at these trends. We reflect on our deep and unwavering support of the state of Israel and we conclude without a shadow of a doubt that ending this conflict once and for all and achieving a comprehensive regional peace is imperative for safeguarding Israelis’ future.

We also look at our friends the Palestinians, and we remember the painful history of a people who have never had a state of their own, and we are renewed in our determination to help them finally realize their legitimate aspirations. The lack of peace and the occupation that began in 1967 continue to deprive the Palestinian people of dignity and self-determination. This is unacceptable, and, ultimately, it too is unsustainable….

But let me be clear: The position of the United States on settlements has not changed and will not change. Like every American administration for decades, we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity. We believe their continued expansion is corrosive not only to peace efforts and two-state solution, but to Israel’s future itself.

And finally, on Jerusalem which is profoundly important for Jews, Muslims, and Christians everywhere. There will surely be no peace without an agreement on this, the most sensitive of all the issues. The religious interests of people of all faiths around the world must be respected and protected. We believe that through good faith negotiations, the parties should mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations for both parties, for Jerusalem, and safeguard its status for people around the world…

we hope to see a significant curtailment of incursions by Israeli troops into Palestinian areas.

But for all the progress on the ground and all that the Palestinian Authority has accomplished, a stubborn truth remains: While economic and institutional progress is important, indeed necessary, it is not a substitute for a political resolution. The legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people will never be satisfied, and Israel will never enjoy secure and recognized borders until there is a two-state solution that ensures dignity, justice, and security for all.

…We continue to support the vision of the Arab Peace Initiative, a vision of a better future for all the people of the Middle East.

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