Tom Friedman is at it again with his What to Do With Lemons - squeeze Israel. Really, squeeze Israel like a lemon:
...the actors they’ve had to work with were both lemons — a Palestinian government that was too divided to make any big decisions and an elusive right-wing Israeli government that was strong enough to make big decisions but had no will to do so. But you know what they say to do with lemons? Make lemonade.
What''s the problem? He explains:
...The Obama team is in a fix...the U.S. is trying to get the parties to resume peace talks on a comprehensive agreement based on terms laid out by the president in mid-May — two states for two peoples, with the 1967 lines as the starting point, and then whatever land swaps Israelis and Palestinians mutually agree to beyond that...How about a different approach?
...why don’t we just update Resolution 181 and take it through the more prestigious Security Council? It could be a simple new U.N. resolution: “This body reaffirms that the area of historic Palestine should be divided into two homes for two peoples — a Palestinian Arab state and a Jewish state. The dividing line should be based on the 1967 borders — with mutually agreed border adjustments and security arrangements for both sides. This body recognizes the Palestinian state as a member of the General Assembly and urges both sides to enter into negotiations to resolve all the other outstanding issues.” Very simple.
Well, yes, it is "simple" in a way. Even simplistic. But very unjust. And quite obtuse. For example, Friedman notes:
...the Palestinians would get negotiations based on the 1967 borders
That is quite not fair.
They had those borders for 19 years but terrorized Israel, killed and maimed over 1000 Jewish civilians and triggered the Six Days War. Don''t they have to compromise on territory? They were the aggressors. Why do they get the ''67 lines as a starting point? And yes, I know there are "land swaps" but still, the principle, à la Friedman, is that the cease-fire lines are sacrosanct - and that won''t do. The Arabs have actually to lose territory, not gain it all back.
All throughout the Mandate period, I argue, they wanted us to get nothing - and in 1923, they got all of Trans-Jordan removed from the Jewish national home which was some 75% of the total area. Israel with Judea, Samaria and Gaza is less than 25% of what the international law decision of the League of Nations decided would be the Jewish national home.
In 1967 they dreamed of another war of extinction. To hand them back the 1967 lines is immoral, not to mention inviting another war as the borders provide little security (and after all, those lines led the Arabs to believe it was possible to conquer Israel in the first place; with updated shoulder missiles, Tom won''t be able to land at Ben-Gurion Airport to see how we are doing all squeezed out). The 1967 war broke out mainly because Arabs thought they were indefensible and actually they are not defensible (see here and here).And you''ll notice, if you read carefully, that Friedman doesn''t even mention Hamas. Hamas not mentioned?
Friedman suggests Israel be squeezed as a lemon. Tom, that''s no way to negotiate and that''s not quite diplomatic language.
How would he like it if his lemons were squeezed?