When the mainstream Western media purveys Israel’s insistence on being recognized as the Jewish state as some “new stumbling block” interjected by Israel into Mideast peace talks, it is misstating what the Arab-Israeli conflict is, and has always been, all about.
*** The L.A. Times (10/24/10) suggested, using the media ventriloquism dummy “some see,” that P.M. Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinian Arabs recognize Israel as a Jewish state served only as a distraction from ‘settlements’:
Some see Netanyahu’s actions as a tactical move designed to put Palestinians on the defensive, paint them as rejectionists and divert attention from Israel’s controversial settlement construction in the West Bank, which has thrown peace talks into crisis. [emphasis added]
The Inquirer’s headline left off the fig-leaf qualifier “some see”:
A New Stumbling Block to Mideast Peace Talks; Israel Presses Palestinians to Recognize “Jewish” State. [emphasis added]
*** Philadelphia Inquirer headline 10/24/14:
“A New Stumbling Block to Mideast Peace Talks; Israel Presses Palestinians to Recognize ‘Jewish’ State”
*** AP, 11/17/14: “Also Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he’s pushing forward a bill that enshrines in law that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, adding a complication to tense relations with Arab-Israelis and Palestinians.” (emphasis added)
*** LA Times, 12/3/14: “… controversial nationality bill declaring Israel to be Jewish state” stated as having “sparked” the “latest deadlock” in peace talks.
Compare Wikipedia statement of Article 4 of “Palestine Basic Law”: “According to Article 4:
Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.
Arabic shall be the official language.”
How “New,” Really, is Jewish Claim to Israel as Jewish State?
*** President Bush at 2003 Aqaba Two-States “Road Map” summit:
America is strongly committed and I am strongly committed to Israel’s security as a vibrant Jewish state.
Here’s how one Western media source misreported it. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/5/03, didn’t quote that statement of President Bush or convey its strong-commitment intensity, but reported the U.S. President as “describing” Israel as Jewish:
Bush surprised some yesterday by describing Israel as a ‘Jewish state.’ Israeli and Palestinian officials said they had not expected that term to be used because it can be interpreted as putting the United States firmly on Israel’s side on one of the most contentious issues to be resolved – whether Palestinian Arabs have a right to return to their family homes in what is now Israel.
*** U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell (A.P., 4/17/09):
“U.S. policy favors…a two-state solution, which would have a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel,” Mitchell said.
*** Excerpt from U.S. State Department “On-The-Record Briefing” by United States Special Envoy Mitchell, Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt September 14, 2010:
We have said many times that our vision is for a two-state solution that includes a Jewish democratic state of Israel.
*** “Two states for two peoples” was reiterated by U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Susan E. Rice in her address to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on December 14, 2011:
There is no substitute for direct, face-to-face negotiations. The goal remains a lasting peace: two states for two peoples, Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland of the Palestinian people ….
*** Israeli P.M. Netanyahu’s statement to the Cabinet meeting on April 20, 2009:
We insist that the Palestinians — in any diplomatic settlement with us – will recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. The entire international community demands that we recognize the principle of two states for two peoples and we are discovering that this is two states but not for two peoples but two states for one people, or two states for a people-and-a-half.
*** Excerpt from Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor’s address to the U.N. Security Council, July 26, 2011, (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs):
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated openly and repeatedly that we will accept a Palestinian state, alongside a Jewish state. Yet, the Palestinian leadership has not done the same. They will not tell their own people that they accept a Jewish State….
As for media portrayal of Israel this week “adding a complication amid tension,” earlier injecting “a new stumbling block to divert attention” from post-1967 “settlements,” it was British Foreign Secretary Bevin, no friend of the Jews, who, in addressing Parliament in 1947, stated as clearly as anyone that Jews re-establishing our Jewish State is not some new Israeli ploy, but what the Arab-Jewish Palestine conflict has always been about. Bevin:
There are in Palestine about 1,200,000 Arabs [Katz and others say too high] and 600,000 Jews. For the Jews, the essential point of principle is the creation of a sovereign Jewish state. For the Arabs the essential point of principle is to resist to the last the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine.” (Great Britain, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 433, col. 988, quoted in Bell, Terror Out of Zion, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1977, p. 188)
No Palestinian Arab leader has ever stated that they are willing to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, despite Israeli leaders stating reciprocity, that they are willing to recognize a state for the Palestinian Arab people, living side-by-side next to Israel.