Netanyahu Dismisses Land-Swap: Conflict Never Over Territory

Analysts See New Talks as Unlikely

by Jason Ditz, May 01, 2013

While it didn’t come as any particular surprise that he would do so, yesterday’s Arab League land-swap offer has been dismissed today by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who says the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians isn’t really about land in the first place.

This might come as a surprise to Palestinians living under occupation, and those who have been living in refugee camps for generations, but Netanyahu maintains that their 1967 conquest and subsequent dispossession in violation of international laws is just one of those things that happen, while the “root” of the conflict is that the people in those refugee camps haven’t been willing to accept that Israel will be “Jewish” forever.

Of course buried in Netanyahu’s comments, which really boil down to “it’s not our fault,” is the dismissal of setting borders on general principle, and by extension the continuation of the occupation.

Israel has, of course, had a long-standing interest in making any peace deal with the Palestinians a “final settlement,” answer all questions going forward. Yet Netanyahu appears to want the Palestinians to unilaterally accept everything Israel wants out of the deal, while dismissing everything the Palestinians want (land) as unimportant, then expects them to simply wait for Israel to get around to deciding what scraps, if any, to give them.

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