Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Czechs, of all people

We've officially entered The Twilight Zone (a/k/a Chelm) here:

The Israeli government has not offered a clear picture of its demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a precondition for resuming stalled peace talks between the two sides, visiting Czech Republic Foreign Minister Jan Kohout said in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post.

"First we have to understand what is meant by this [demand]," said Kohout, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, but will pass it on to Sweden at the beginning of July. "So far, I can say that I don't have a clear picture on that."

Perhaps Minister Kohout would like to explain what, exactly, is meant by the acknowledgement of Czechoslavakia as a state of the Czech people. I must confess I don't have a clear picture on that. Thankfully, he clarifies his understanding of Israel as a Jewish state.

The minister did say that a demand the European Union deemed acceptable regarding the recognition of Israel's Jewish character in a future peace agreement, was UN Resolution 181, also called the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which calls for two states to be established within the Mandate of Palestine - one Jewish and one Arab - with equal rights for all peoples in both states.

"Resolution 181 calls for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state," Kohout said. "But at the same time it gives equal rights to all of its citizens, and we think that now is the time to use this approach. Now we have an opportunity to relaunch direct negotiations without preconditions and serious concerns must be dealt with during these negotiations."

In other words, Israel should be a Jewish state in name only, and "now is the time to use this approach," as opposed to the approach Israel has used for the past 61 years of its existence in which it has in fact been both a Jewish state and a state for all of its citizens; a state for the Jews, the only state for the Jews, even for those Jews who deride and denigrate her, even for those Jews who violently riot in the streets over the opening of a parking lot on Shabbat so that secular and non-Jewish visitors to Jerusalem don't block major intersections with the cars they have nowhere else to park.

Where is Rod Serling when we need him?