President Obama is whistling in the dark when he embraces Israel’s pre-1967 borders as the starting point for establishing a Palestinian state. These borders (referred to as the “Auschwitz borders” by former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban) are indefensible and were a major factor in the occurrence of the Six Day War in June 1967. It can be recalled that Israel’s neighbors at that time mobilized their armies at these borders in order to destroy her. The distance from the west bank to the sea was a mere 8 kilometers, making the slicing of Israel in half a certainty if she had failed to take pre-emptive defensive action. The return to those intolerable conditions cannot be justified, especially in light of the fact that the Palestinian government now will include the terrorist Hamas, whose charter denies Israel’s right to exist and calls for her destruction by any and all means. There is little doubt among many analysts that the “moderate” Fatah will soon be overwhelmed by Hamas, as was the case in the Gaza Strip.
For peace to be realistically pursued, the following factors must be in place:
1. The Palestinians must formally (sincerely) recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East with defensible borders.
2. They must renounce and effectively put an end to violence (terrorism) and incitement against Israel and her citizens in their media, schools, etc., along with celebration and encouragement of known terrorists past and present.
3. Formal, direct (face-to-face) negotiations without any preconditions regarding issues such as borders, Jerusalem, refugees, etc. may then be undertaken.