It is gratifying that, unlike Harper and Netanyahu, Obama and European leaders agree with my long-time stance that Israel will only know peace if it withdraws to its original borders or gives up equally-valuable land to keep a few of its West Bank illegal settlements. And Jerusalem, sacred to 3 religions, must be an international city. Failure to do this will repeat what the Middle East has known for 5,000 years and, by association, destroy US interests in the area. Netanyahu's militarily-defensible borders do not exist short of the English Channel and the Urals.
Just since WWII, we have endured much bloodshed and suffering with borders in Germany, Poland, the USSR, Jugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Eritrea, Kashmir, Pakistan, India, etc. Enough already!
To understand, if that is possible, the current problems in Palestine, we need some history. As most N&S Americans are Caucasians, most outside of Egypt, Turkey, and Iran in the Middle East are Semites who emigrated with female gods in groups over centuries from Arabia. By 2000 BC the first were in firm control in the Babylon of the older Sumerian culture. Hebrews were one of the later groups and the Israelis an offshoot.
Now, there is much myth and the deliberate creation of altered Hebrew history for political purposes mixed in here and archaeologists have yet to confirm all that is written. Israeli archaeaologists are also digging for the truth. The many discrepancies in the stories of Abraham, Sarah, David, and Solomon now indicate that at least Abraham was fabricated about 600BC in order to justify Jewish claims and the forceful introduction of the Aryan male god Yahweh who ordered the destruction of all other gods including the goddess Ashtoreth (she had many names). This was not without strong opposition just as in 632AD when Islam moved in.
Over the centuries, scores of villages and city states took turns in prospering, attaining dominance, and grabbing more land from neighbours which eventually led to all of their downfalls, some to rise again only to fall again. During all this, the Jews, who were just as quarrelsome as all the rest, faced expulsions and captivity from Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, Turks, and Crusaders, not to mention the plagues of the 14th and 15th centuries BC. But page room dictates we jump to 1831 when the Ottoman Palestine ruler opened the area to Western interests permitting Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a Jew who made a fortune financing the British victory over Napoleon, to buy up housing complexes from landlords, evict the Palestinians, and import Jews who had a big advantage as they had western skills, money, and backing while the Palestinians were emerging from 400 years of Ottoman-Turk rule with little outside help.
For considerble Arab and some Jewish assistance in defeating the Ottoman Empire in WWI, the UK promised both a homeland. The UK did try to allot land fairly. As Jewish refugees multiplied with the rise of Hitler so did frictions which really erupted in 1937 when 5,000 Palestinians, 1,200 Jews, and 500 British were killed. Jewish terrorists, led by Menachem Begin, massacred some 91 more in 1946 at the British headquarters in the King David Hotel, then their Irgun and Stern Gang went on to massacre 250 Palestinians in Deir Yassim in 1948.
Due to this terror, increasing streams of Jewish refugees, and sympathy over the holocaust, we kept our promise only to the Jews. With more Jews in North America than Palestine, and with far more room, we declined to offer them Nova Scotia or California for a Jewish state but placed the entire burden on tiny Palestine, ousting 800,000 to make room, resulting in enormous problems for Jordan and Lebanon. Yes, the Jews have done an amazingly good job in creating modern Israel, albeit with much help in money, weapons, and people from other nations. Understandably, they wanted, and took, more, all at the expense of Palestine whose protests went unheeded, forcing the creation of Hamas and Hezbollah whose terror tactics we deplore while tolerating Israeli crimes. The delayed, feeble, and ineffective rocket attacks by Hamas brought massive and bloody retaliations that the Jews learned from the Nazis.
Fair play has been in short supply in the Middle East. The Arab Spring is long overdue and we do need to support it with all the help and guidance we can give.
Had the Germans entered the Ukraine as liberators rather than oppressors they might have won WWII. The Israelis have the talent, wealth, and backing to be the spark that can change their area, starting with Palestine and Lebanon, into a bastion of tolerance, equality, and dignity for all - and an economic common market.
Please, Israel, do not blow it again. And insulting, boorish behaviour towards your benefactor, the President of the United States, in his home is no way to ensure your future, let alone any respect.