Friday, May 20, 2011
An International Game of Dreidel
President Obama announced with great fanfare yesterday his solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict: just rewind the clock to 1967 and everybody will be happy!
There's one big problem with this solution though. Prior to the 1967 six-day war, the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that now constitute the Palestinian Authority were controlled by Jordan and Egypt respectively. Thus, prior to 1967, the sum total of Palestinian lands was exactly zilch, zero, nothing, nada, etc.
In essence, Obama is telling one of our closest allies to give up more land to an entity that was created from Israeli territory under the 1993 Oslo Accords. In return, Israel will get...nothing. Even after previous Israeli concessions in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, terrorist attacks have continued unabated. Obama's rhetoric may win points with his UN admirers, but it is not a serious path to peace.
This is reminscent of the old Jewish folktale about Herschel of Ostropol who was fond of playing practical jokes. In one popular re-telling for children, Herschel uses a dreidel and the false logic of "heads I win, tails you lose" to outsmart one of the Hannukah goblins that has been terrorizing a small town. It's a safe bet that the Israelis will not fall for the same trick.