Stop scapegoating Israeli settlements
Jewish apartment complexes aren't preventing peace — Palestinians' refusal to negotiate is
Israel, for its part, recognizes the Palestinians as a people who could have a state if their leaders agreed to sit with ours and work out the complex issues between us. One of those issues is borders, and it includes the settlements, which have created — to use President Obama’s words — “new demographic realities on the ground.”
...Successive Israeli governments have insisted that Jerusalem remain Israel’s united capital...Then there are the West Bank settlements. These communities provide strategic depth to our borders which, before 1967, were as narrow as 8 miles across. But the West Bank — Judea and Samaria — is also the birthplace of our people, our tribal lands. The West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho appear in the Bible, but Haifa in modern Israel does not.
The settlements reflect the right of a people to live in its homeland. We are willing to qualify that right — painfully — if the Palestinians agree to live with us in peace.
Still, all of the settlements account for a very small percentage of the West Bank. Most of them are concentrated in blocs that have become suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Everyone — Americans, Israelis and Palestinians — understands that these blocs will always remain part of Israel, even if a Palestinian state is negotiated.
Of course, I would have used "tribal lands" but rather our historical homeland.
I added there this comment:
What needs be added to this very good piece is that:-
a) the only reason why Jews were not residing in Judea and Samaria between 1948-1967 was an ethnic cleasning operation by Arabs, during the Mandat period and also during the War of Independence in 1948. As a result of the 1929 anti-Jewish riots by Arabs, Jews were expelled from Hebron, Gaza and Nablus/Shchem and later from the Old City of Jerusalem, the four kibbutzim of Gush Etzion, the agricultural communities of Bet HaAravah, Neveh Yaakov, Atarot and others.
b) since many hundreds of thousands of Arabs, mostly Muslim as well as Christian, live in Israel, why can't Jews similarly live in a possible future Palestine?
c) why create a uni-ethnic state? isn't that against liberal, progressive, humanist views of many of those who oppose Jews living in Judea and Samaria? wouldn't that be the real apartheid?