Forgive and forget it

From today’s news:

In his speech to the state department on Thursday, Mr Obama stated overtly for the first time that the peace talks should be based on a future Palestinian state within the borders in place before the 1967 Middle East War. “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognised borders are established for both states,” he said.

But speaking in the Oval Office after their meeting, Mr Netanyahu flatly rejected this proposal, saying Israel wanted “a peace that will be genuine”.

Israel was “prepared to make generous compromises for peace”, he said, but could not go back to the 1967 borders “because these lines are indefensible”. He said the old borders did not take into account the “demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years”.

Quoth Wikipedia:

Leo Rosten in The Joys of Yiddish defines chutzpah as “gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible ‘guts,’ presumption plus arrogance such as no other word and no other language can do justice to.” In this sense, chutzpah expresses both strong disapproval and a grudging admiration. In the same work, Rosten also defined the term as “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.”

Or the man who, having kicked his neighbours out of their house and moved his brother in, admits to stealing the house but explains that he can’t possibly give it back, because then his brother would have nowhere to live.

This, also from the BBC story, struck me as a particularly resonant one-liner:

The settlements are illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

PS I will get back to Norm and bin Laden, if anyone’s wondering. I’ll admit that I was under a slight misapprehension, inasmuch as I assumed that the reference to the September 11th attacks as “an act of war” wasn’t intended literally; I still don’t believe that the literal interpretation can be sustained without a great deal of effort, or that trying to sustain it is a good idea. However, that clearly is how Norm has been thinking, so I’ll have to give it some consideration.


  1. skidmarx
    Posted 23 May 2011 at 15:16 | Permalink | Reply

    Obama’s original comment seemed clear: mutually agreed means you start with the ’67 borders and only if both sides agree is the final line any different. To AIPAC he said something more ambiguous: that any settlemn would have to respect demographic changes. And if the Palestinians weren’t happy with that? “Tough” is the implication, but he was careful not to spell it out.

    Why not Syria, Why not Tibet? doesn’t require much Watching, if the good professor is Watching, imperialist adventures aren’t just selective, they also almost never achieve their stated aims.

    Lawyers Guns and Money has had a series ofposts partially covering the legality of bin Laden’s termination(though it sudnly occurs to me that the dumping of the body hasn’t been considered from a legal standpoint as far as I know, a minor question,though as a political own-goal seemed more up there with the offing itself), though the first article found may be somewhat tangetial, it does have a cute cat photo.

    • Posted 23 May 2011 at 15:40 | Permalink | Reply

      Largely a tautology, that. (And no, I do not wish to see any exceptions.)

    • skidmarx
      Posted 23 May 2011 at 16:52 | Permalink | Reply

      But also a cute use of a cat photo, which isn’t always the case in the same sense.

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