Interviewed on NPR [National Public Radio] on 23 May 2011, Danny Ayalon, Israeli deputy foreign minister, member of Avigdor Lieberman’s right wing ‘Yisrael Beiteinu’ and former ambassador the US, spoke in measured, condescending tones. He did not break any new ground but pointed to the direction of what Likud led coalition ‘Bibi’ Netenyahu would, grosso modo, say when he addresses the American Congress.
For him, president Obama’s call for basing any two state solution on the 1967 borders, badly shuffles Israeli’s winning cards on the diplomatic playing table. In fact, these borders, recognised by the International Court of Justice, and which includes Arab east Jerusalem, has become a nightmare for Israel.
According to smooth talking Ayalon, they do not and should not exist since the ground rules, set by Israel, have changed the geopolitical reality through occupation, illegal land grabs and Jewish settlers since 1967, the year of the Six Day War. Reciting the endless mantra that any peace with the Palestinians requires, nay demands, ‘secure borders for Israel, it is, he implies, a ‘sine qua non‘ for any agreement.
Forced to admit that the peace process is a dead letter, owing to Israel’s inflexibility, he stressed that Israel will not swap a millemetre of land of Jewish illegal settlement. And without missing a beat, he did acknowledge that there are no discussions under way…until the Palestinian Authority falls into step to Israel’s tune.
So when you scrap all Ayalon’s remarks, and remember he belongs to a party that revindicates all the land on the West Bank comprising what the Revisionist Zionists claim as ‘Judea and Sumaria: in other words the establishment as a God given right for Israel to occupy the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, based on the Bible, and with a few islands of Palestinians which they can call ‘Palestine’. Translation: Israel is willing only to accept a Palestine, a nonmilitarised patches of land surrounded by a heavily armed neighbour who will dominate its foreign affairs and economic life.
Now, no state worthy to be called ‘sovereign’ can and will accept such conditions.
Obama’s call for a return to the 1967 borders opens the dreaded Pandora’s box for the Israelis. And reading between Ayalon’s comments, Israel can continue putting forth unacceptable demands or as its isolation grows, rev up for war, unless other members of the Israeli elite more willing to accept the 1967 borders come to the fore. That is possible, but is it probable?
Before ending his interview, Ayalon, clever by half, struck out by asking why does not NPR ask the Palestinian Authority what they want? The answer is right there at the lip of his nose: an independent Palestine based on the 1967 borders which includes Arab east Jerusalem as its capitol, no more, no less.