Much also has been said about Obama's mention of Israel, focusing on the President's emphasis "that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." I think Obama overstates the case, particularly by failing to realize that "land for peace" has failed, so far. Still, a compromise remains possible--but only were there a moderate, moral and trustworthy leader who could negotiate for Palestinians, a potential I rate just south of the Easter Bunny and tooth fairy.
But this post is about the very next paragraph of Obama's UN speech, quoted here in full:
The time has come -- the time has come to re-launch negotiations without preconditions that address the permanent status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees, and Jerusalem. And the goal is clear: Two states living side by side in peace and security -- a Jewish state of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.Obama's position propounds a false premise pointing to a flat contradiction: on the one hand, the President seeks the status quo ante prior to the Six Day War; on the other hand, he casually describes the resulting Palestinian state as "contiguous." The problem is that Arab lands -- they were not Palestinian, but Jordanian and Egyptian controlled -- during the time from the 1949 Armistice to the 1967 War were not contiguous:
source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Gaza and the West Bank are geographically separate today. As ex-UN Ambassador John Bolton confirms, "Gaza and the West Bank were never contiguous Palestinian areas before." And, perhaps stating the obvious, connecting those regions would require slicing Israel in half. As even Palestine supporters acknowledge, this is a profound pro-Palestinian posture.
Yes, Obama previously mentioned a "contiguous" Palestine. It remains radical, a-historical and wrong--and a rebuff of Israel only barely better than Zbigniew Brzezinski's.