For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
(While being on board with Dr. Lerner's assessments most of the time, I will take exception here to his basic premise. Even if we were to assume this position, and require that all conditions be met as a prerequisite to a map being drawn, the U.S. has proven itself consistently as a unreliable guarantor to agreements it is party to. In the case of the current Secretary of State this can extend to serious amnesia regarding oral understandings, and of course the more classic case with LBJ regarding the Straits of Tiran. The enforceability of any stated conditions which are violated, is known beforehand to be almost nil, as opposed to the map, which once fixed, will stand.Y.)
When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explains that he can’t draw a map before first reaching an understanding regarding conditions on the ground he isn’t engaging in delaying tactics.
He is being responsible.
That’s because the lines on that map are very much a function of the conditions on the ground.
Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) is calling for Netanyahu to provide him with Israel’s map and security arrangement requirements before he enters into direct talks.
At first glance this demand doesn’t necessarily conflict with Netanyahu’s stand since, after all, the map would be explicitly predicated on the acceptance of the security arrangement requirements Netanyahu presents along with the map.
But only at first glance.
Because we all know what would happen the millisecond after Israel presented a binder that included a map.
The map would be pulled out of the binder and take on a life of its own.
A life independent of the security arrangement requirements that accompanied the map.
All the verbiage, graphics, etc., can’t prevent this from happening.
And in the absence of the security arrangements associated with it, the map can’t possibly delineate anything coming close to being either secure or stable lines.
Netanyahu knows this. And Abbas certainly knows this.
So it comes down to this:
If President Obama is serious about reaching a secure and stable arrangement on the ground and not just a photo op signing ceremony he will support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that the map is derived from direct talks rather than presented as a prerequisite to talks.
Any other position will only serve to demonstrate that achieving a secure and stable arrangement is, at best, only a secondary or tertiary goal for the White House.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"