)Today was the 16th anniversary of the death of Yitzchak Rabin. While the observances today were much quieter than they have been in the past (another issue for another post), Evelyn Gordon used the occasion to refute the mantra that Israelis have moved to the Right since Rabin’s death. Comparing Rabin’sfinal Knesset speech(which the Left systematically ignores – it has never been included in the package of materials given to journalists to mark Rabin’s death) to today’s seeming Israeli consensus, Gordon argues convincingly thatIsrael has moved dramatically to the Left.
For instance, Rabin envisioned a final-status solution in which Israel lived alongside a Palestinian “entity which is less than a state.” Today, even the “right-wing” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly advocates a Palestinian state.
Rabin envisioned “united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev [two nearby settlements],” as “the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.” Since then, two Israeli prime ministers have offered to give the Palestinians East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and most of the Old City.
Rabin declared that Israel’s “security border … will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.” Since then, two Israeli premiers have offered to give the Palestinians almost all the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley; even the “right-wing” Netanyahu reportedlyagreed to negotiateborders based on the 1967 lines.
Rabin listed Gaza’s Gush Katif as one of the settlement blocs Israel would retain. Since then, Israel has withdrawn from every inch of Gaza.
Rabin pledged “not to uproot a single settlement in the framework of the interim agreement, and not to hinder building for natural growth.” Since then, Israel
has uprooted 25 settlements (21 in Gaza and four in the West Bank) without a final-status agreement, while the “right-wing” Netanyahu instituted Israel’s first-ever moratorium on settlement construction (for 10 months), including “building for natural growth.”
Read the whole thing.
Rick Richman looks at the flip side of the equation and finds thatthe ‘Palestinians’ are more intransigent than ever.
What about the Palestinians? In the last 11 years — after they rejected the Clinton parameters that would have given them a state on 97 percent of the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in Jerusalem and a “right of return” to the new Palestinian state — they have not moved at all.
In a July 2000polltaken by the Palestinian Center for Policy & Survey Research (PCPSR), large majorities opposed Israeli retention of even the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, or security arrangements prohibiting a Palestinian air force or heavy weapons systems. A total of 87 percent opposed adopting a school curriculum in the Palestinian state that would “recognize Israel and teach school children not to demand return of all Palestine to the Palestinians.” Flash forward a decade: a December 2010 PCPSRpollshowed a lopsided majority (58-40) opposed to what “everyone knows” is the solution: a Palestinian state on roughly the 1967 lines, with land swaps for the major Israeli settlement blocs, a shared Jerusalem, international compensation for Palestinian refugees, and a “right of return” to the new Palestinian state.
I suppose that there are those who will argue that President Obama’s pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu was worthwhile. After all, it has yielded Netanyahu’s acceptance of a ‘Palestinian state,’ Netanyahu’s alleged agreement to negotiate based on the ‘1967 borders’ and a 10-month ‘settlement freeze.’ One is left to wonder what similar pressure on the ‘Palestinians’ might have yielded.