PM Bibi Netanyahu needs to change the conversation. I’m sick and tired of listening to him defending Israeli built settlements in Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank). The latest argument between him and secretary Kerry about whether or not the ‘settlements’ are an obstacle to peace is itself an obstacle to peace.

 

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Although there are people like me who understand the deep hatred that the PA leadership harbours toward Israel and the Jews, I can see that most of the world might side with Kerry.



 

Bibi recounted correctly that for 50 years the Palestinians (I hate that word since there is no such people but am quoting Bibi here) have fought for the destruction of Israel, well before the 1967 Six Day War where Israel recaptured the land known today by some as the West Bank. So his defence is that since they hated us well before there were any Jewish settlements why would Jewish settlements today be an obstacle to peace?

 

Kerry agreed with Bibi’s history lesson. But still cried that despite the history, if Israel really wanted to make peace, they should stop antagonizing the Palestinians by building Jewish settlements in land that will one day be part of a Palestinian state and further more make that land non-contiguous -making any future state difficult to demarcate. 

 

As you can see, Bibi’s defensive arguments will ultimately fail as do all arguments which avoid the real truth, the real issue or as aptly known as the elephant in the room.

 

So what is the real truth? Simple: Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank) belongs to Israel. Period. 

Through the Mandate for Palestine, Israel has legal title to this land. If you believe in the Bible, she’s had it for thousands of years. If you don’t, it started no later than 1917 with the Balfour declaration and was completed in 1948 when Israel became a modern day Jewish State. 

There are many fantastic organizations, some Jewish, some not, who defend Israel’s right to the disputed territories. Check this excellent one out: http://israelrights.com/en/

 

Don’t get me wrong. I have much respect and admiration of Bibi as Israel’s democratically elected PM. I’m sure there are many mitigating factors for him and some of his colleagues and predecessors going down the 2 state solution, road. But enough is enough. 

 

It’s way past time to change the conversation. Stop defending your settlements that are built on your own land. Stop appeasing the haters. Tell the world that the land is ours as per our legal title. If and when we decide to give it away for any reason, it’s up to us and only to us. 

 

As you might have figured out, I’m a Jewish activist. In Toronto, Canada we host a Gay Pride Parade every summer. Unfortunately, it was soon hijacked by an antisemitic group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (Quaia). There were quite a few citizens who didn’t like the group participating in the parade for various reasons. I didn’t like it because they were falsely condemning Israel of apartheid and doing so in someone else’s parade. The city created a tribunal to deal with complaints about the parade. I filled out the application and attended the tribunal to make my case against allowing Quaia to participate in the parade. The panel was composed of the former president of the Canadian Muslim Association, a lawyer who was part of Peace Now (an anti-Israel left wing ‘Jewish’ group) and someone else. I realized very quickly that this tribunal was a sham. They wanted me to defend Israel as not being an apartheid state. I refused to argue this point (I think I said that’s as silly as arguing that water is wet). My argument was simple. The large, expensive parade, in part paid for by my taxes, was to celebrate gay rights. It had nothing to do with Israel or any other country or political issue. I told them that thankfully we live in a democratic society. Quaia is free to organize their own parade on their own dime but should not be allowed to hijack our world famous Gay Pride Parade. 

It took a couple more years but we eventually won this battle. Quaia is no longer welcome to participate in our parade. I’m pretty sure that had I and others tried to defend our cause by attempting to prove that Israel is not an apartheid state, Quaia would still be participating in the parade.

 

When Bibi avoids the elephant, he makes it very difficult for people like me who try to defend Israel. He makes it easier for her enemies to attack Israel. Case in point is the PA’s latest efforts to insist that the UK apologize for the Balfour Declaration. 

I just wrote a letter to a British MP asking her to support the Balfour Declaration. But why should she listen to me when Israel’s own PM doesn’t seem to ever mention it?

 

I love Bibi, but if he won’t stand up for the Truth right now, it’s time for him to step down.


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