Sharin Berman–I’m going to have to disagree, Mr.President

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Sharin Berman–I’m going to have to disagree, Mr.President

Sharin Berman

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Editor’s Note:

Sharin Berman has been our correspondent in Israel as she spends the spring semester there. It struck us that this report was more worthy of a column.

I don’t know how big of a deal it was in America, but a recent statement from President Obama has almost literally set of some bombs here. The first issue was the timing of the statement. It stated a number of controversial things right before the a visit to Washington from Benyamin Natanyahu (Bibi) the Israeli prime minister, which was just stupid on his part. However, the biggest issue with this statement was that Obama asserted that Israel open negotiations with the pre-1967 boarders as a starting point.
In 1967, during the 6 day war, Israel attained a great deal of land: the Sinai Desert, the West Bank (as well as the Gaza strip, but that was part of Sinai, I believe) and the Golan. Since then, Israel has given back the Sinai to Egypt in return for peace (at this point that might be shattered because of the revolution, but we’re watching and waiting).
More recently, the West bank has been given tot he Palestinians. This has proven to be a problematic because there are bombs and attacks coming out of Gaza almost daily. Cities like Sderot get bombed almost daily. Granted,  not nuked or anything but enough to do significant damage to a house or person.
Anyway, the big deal about Obama’s statement is that he implied that we not only give back the West Bank and the Golan, but Jerusalem as well. Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel. You don’t just say that a country with some amount of political unrest give up it’s capitol; that’s just stupid.
Another thing that’s an issue is that there are actual cities and mass amounts of Israeli citizens in the West bank. I’m not talking live-in-a-trailor ultra-orthodox settlers, but full blown cities! You can’t just uproot these people and tell them to live somewhere else. (Also, if that part of the country became a Palestinian state tomorrow, why couldn’t the Jews live there?) So Mr President, please consider the situation of those to whom you aim your speech.

Let’s put this into perspective. It’s kind of like suggesting that the US give Texas, New Mexico, California, and Arizona back to Mexico. If we’re going that route then we might as well give the Louisiana Purchase back to France and all 13 colonies back to England. This is how a country is built;  land is taken during conflict and settled. Didn’t the US essentially kill off thousands of Indians in buidling what is now America?

The US teaches it’s young citizens about Manifest Destiny as if it was a good thing, but when another country is simply trying to defend its borders that it won fair and square it’s not ok?

Apologies for ranting in a more than slightly biased manner…
There are some things that people don’t know and I think they should.


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