Netanyahu’s Choice

The only question that Barack Obama should ask Netanyahu at their upcoming summit is, When will Israel quit the occupied Palestinian territories? Attempts at obfuscation – whether by talking about an “economic peace,” or insisting that Arabs recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel – should not be allowed to derail the goal of ending the inadmissible occupation.

Ramallah – As the summit between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approaches, most of the discussion has focused on whether or not the newly elected Israeli leader will finally say that he backs a two-state solution. This is the wrong approach. Israelis should not determine the status of the Palestinian entity, nor should Palestinians have a say in what Israelis call their own state.

The only question that Obama should ask Netanyahu is, When will Israel quit the occupied Palestinian territories? Attempts at obfuscation – whether by talking about an “economic peace,” or insisting that Arabs recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel – should not be allowed to derail the goal of ending the inadmissible occupation.

During Obama’s first meeting with a Middle East leader, a simple and courageous Arab plan was outlined. Empowered by Arab leaders, Jordan’s King Abdullah II officially presented the peace plan devised by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic States. Despite the Israeli wars on Lebanon and Gaza, Arabs offered  normal relations with Israel once it quits the lands that it occupied in 1967.

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