Topics West Bank
On April 11, 2010, I was on a standard patrol in the southern Hebron hills of the West Bank. While on patrol, my team was notified of a Palestinian herder whose sheep had wandered into a Jewish settlement.
This week marks the third-annual Palestinian Solidarity Week at our university. The numerous provocative events that are part of the week do something far different than achieve its stated goals. The solidarity week’s events and the speakers the group brings to the university present distorted facts and extreme biases that ultimately seek to vilify and isolate Israel.
This past spring break, I participated in a service trip to Israel through the Hillel Jewish Center and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. I, along with seventeen other University students, spent the week volunteering in the northern city of Nahariyya, a beautiful coastal city that is a mere six miles from Israel’s border with Lebanon.
And the pendulum swings from one end to the other: In the name of fighting extremism and inaccuracy, the guest column “False Assertions” has provided a deluge of spurious clichés and platitudes notoriously used by anti-Israel advocates. Israel is not an occupying foreign power — international law and years of Jewish presence in the land vouch for Israel’s legitimacy.
Middle East negotiators can adjust Israel’s borders to include the large majority of West Bank settlers and still meet Palestinian Authority territorial demands. This proposition may guide leaders and diplomats in the coming months as they seek to advance the peace process.
The Middle East peace process has reached something of an impasse. Israel, with the US, has called for direct negotiations, without preconditions, but the Palestinians refuse to join us. Still, Israel remains committed to attaining a genuine peace grounded on the principle of two states for two peoples living side-by-side in security, prosperity and mutual acceptance.
Recently, the GW Students for Justice in Palestine sponsored an event honoring the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. As it turned out, some of the panelists seemed to be speaking less from pro-Palestinian positions and more from solely anti-Israel ones.
Imagine a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict: a Jewish state living alongside a Palestinian state in permanent peace, with open borders, and even economic union. Sound like fantasy? It wasn’t when the U.N. General Assembly voted in favor of Resolution 181, dividing what was then known as Palestine into independent Jewish and Arab states.
As peace talks in the Middle East continue for yet another week with little progress, a central question looms large in the minds of many: Why should we care about Israel? It seems like a fair question. Why should we bother learning about Israeli history?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s candidate for Israeli ambassador to Washington, Dr. Michael Oren, supports a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and an evacuation of most of the settlements.