Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Missing Side Of The Two-State Story

While it's good news that Israel and the U.S. are nearing agreement on a plan to limit West Bank settlements, it's passing strange how little we hear in mainstream outlets about corresponding Israeli and American expectations of concessions from the Palestinian side. The issue makes the 12th paragraph of this BBC story and gets one pro forma sentence:

[Israeli PM Netanyahu] reiterated his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
As if there's been any uncertainty about that since 1948. I can understand why the explicit concession of Israel's Jewishness is problematical for the Palestinians. There are 1.5 million Arabs in Israel, and the demographic trend is on their side. But I can't figure out why the two issues, settlements and Israel's Jewishness, don't get equal play from U.S. and British reporters, especially because they're two sides of the same coin. After all, from the Palestinian perspective, the settlements are an intrusion on the West Bank's essential Arabness.

Ironic that Arabs in the Holy Land will tell you that the U.S. media is endemically pro-Israel.

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