Murray Beaver's response to Obama’s speech May 19, 2011 on the Palestine-Israel Impasse


I have issues with his address:


1) Although it was refreshing to hear his suggestion for the return to the borders prior to the 1967 war, Obama makes the stipulation of territory trade-offs that would allow some settlements to remain. Doesn’t this contradict a return to the borders before 1967?


2) Obama supports a 2-state solution with viable borders, but sets Palestine as a “non-militarized” country. However Israel remains as the most militarized state in the Middle-East with nuclear weapon capability. What security has Palestine bordering Israel ’s military power? Sovereignty implies the right of a state to provide for its own defense.


3) Obama stresses that the Palestinian leaders need to recognize the existence of the state of Israel . Israel has invaded and occupied Palestinian land, and the Palestinians hold this occupation illegitimate. Recognizing Israel before a peace treaty is agreed legitimizes this unlawful occupation. When peace is agreed upon by the two parties, then recognition between both states becomes de-facto.


4) No mention is made of the “right of return” for the Palestinians displaced from their homes due to war and occupation. Palestinians need have that right, just as Israel has proclaimed the right of all Jews in the world (wherever born) to have that right in immigrating to Israel .


5) Obama reiterates the bond between Israel and the U.S. , stating that Israel and the U.S. have security ties, and the U.S. will always defend the security of Israel . It is known that the U.S. gives Israel $3 billion dollars in aid per year that is used primarily for military means.


6) Obama demands the Palestinians to refrain from terror against Israel , but does not mention that reciprocally Israel need open the borders for materials and needed food and medical supplies to Gaza in particular, and end terrorizing the Palestinians who demonstrate against the occupation.


7) The strong partnership of the U.S. with Israel disqualifies the U.S. to be an impartial broker for peace between Israel and Palestine . The U.S. has unsuccessfully attempted to broker a peace between the two states for several decades. It would be best that another non-involved country act as the go-between.