All the Obama administration’s talk about the Palestinians needing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state? Well, last week John Kerry tacked sharply, saying that the demand was a “mistake” and seemed to blame Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for putting his spoke in the wheels.
And three days ago, Barack Obama had a White House press appearance with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and there was none of that hokum. Obama spoke first, addressing the issue, “how do we achieve a comprehensive peace.” But his concern re Israel was secure borders:
I have to commend President Abbas. He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security; a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.
No mention of a Jewish state.
The Israel lobby isn’t getting the message, though. When Obama’s Jewish liaison officer, Matt Nosanchuk, spoke at a J Street event last week in New York, video below, (at 33:00) he goes all in for the Jewish state recognition nostrum. Nosanchuk quotes John Kerry speaking to the rightwing Israel lobby group AIPAC the week before:
[W]hat the end-game should look like is straightforward: security arrangements that leave Israelis more secure, not less; mutual recognition of the nation-state of the Jewish people and the nation-state of the Palestinian people; an end to the conflict and to all claims; a just and agreed solution for Palestinian refugees, one that does not diminish the Jewish character of the state of Israel; and a resolution that finally allows Jerusalem to live up to its name as the City of Peace
Of course, after that AIPAC speech, Kerry backtracked.
At the J Street appearance, Nosanchuk wasn’t the only one. Congressman Jerrold Nadler at 1:01 or so says, he’d prefer the Palestinians to make “de jure” recognition of a Jewish state, but de facto is good enough for him; Israel doesn’t need that recognition if it has a Jewish majority and limited right of return. (Note the air of grave concern throughout Nadler’s remarks about how important it is for Jews to have a safe state of our own in the Middle East; very retro-Zionist.)
And former Israeli admiral and security official Ami Ayalon (at 59 or so) says, “I’m not sure I can give you a good reason why it [the demand for recognition as a Jewish state] is important, but it is important. Because this is my identity.” Though then Ayalon says that some of Israel’s problems are internal: “We shall have to live with more than 20 percent of non-Jews.” Imagine a liberal organization hosting a white American talking about what we do with our non-white minority…