A Palestinian State…If

The @TAC blog links today to a New York Times article on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent speech which he declared his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So far, so good, right?

Well, kind of. While Netanyahu said he supported the creation of a Palestinian state, he did so in a way which is (probably) calculated to result in Palestinian rejection of the terms:

…on condition that the state was demilitarized and that the Palestinians recognized Israel as the state of the Jewish people…

…he firmly rejected American demands for a complete freeze on Israeli settlements in the West Bank…

He referred repeatedly to the West Bank, the territory presumed to comprise the bulk of a future Palestinian state, by its biblical name of Judea and Samaria, declaring it “the land of our forefathers.” …

He did not address the geographical area a Palestinian state might cover, and he said that the Palestinian refugee problem must be resolved outside Israel’s borders, negating the Palestinian demand for a right of return for refugees of the 1948 war and for their millions of descendants.

He insisted that Jerusalem remain united as the Israeli capital. The Palestinians demand the eastern part of the city as a future capital.

The @TAC blog very aptly compared the situation to this story about Wittgenstein:

When in very good spirits he would jest in a delightful manner. This took the form of deliberately absurd or extravagant remarks uttered in a tone, and with the mien, of affected seriousness. On one walk he “gave” me each tree that we passed, with the reservation that I was not to cut it down or do anything to it, or prevent the previous owners from doing anything to it: with those reservations they were henceforth mine.

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