COMMENTARY | If State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki is to be believed it is not the position of the United States government that the Palestinians actually recognize Israel as a Jewish state for there to be a final peace agreement.
The statement, if it really does reflect the position of the Obama administration, is breathtaking in its implications. The entire point of there being an Israel is that it be a Jewish state, a homeland where Jews can determine their own destiny while not being subjected to the dangers of being an ethnic minority in other countries. The Israelis are quite adamant that the Palestinians recognize this fact before there can be a peace agreement. Otherwise they have not actually foresworn their desire to see Israel destroyed.
One can only conclude that by agreeing with the Palestinians, the Obama administration, while claiming to regard Israel as a Jewish state itself, is agreeable to the desire to see that change. One can only conclude that the motive behind this policy is a desire to ram through a peace agreement no matter what.
Israel has always seemed to be a problem to the State Department bureaucracy, even since President Truman recognized its existence as it was being born in the fires and turmoil of the 1948 War of Independence. If Israel did not exist, the theory goes, the Arabs would not be quite as angry and contentious. This kind of counterfactual theorizing is flimsy at best. Israel may be the excuse for Arab rage. The reason was articulated in a book written by Bernard Lewis called “What Went Wrong.” That is a question often asked by Muslin Arab intellectuals.
It goes like this. How is it that the Dar-es-Islam, a center of civilization for hundreds of years while Europe was shrouded in the Dark Ages, got to be relegated to third world status in the modern era? If Israel never existed, this question would still haunt. The Middle East would still be a problem. Knifing Israel in the back is not going to solve it.