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An Associated Press report on Sunday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to negotiate the borders of a Palestinian state based on the 1948 Armistice lines understandably created quite a stir. Mr. Netanyahu's public confrontation with President Obama over this very issue remains vivid in everyone's memory, as does the enthusiastic and virtually unanimous bipartisan support for Mr. Netanyahu's position expressed by Congress.
Behind "the news" there's almost always a story that isn't being reported, and certain kinds of phenomenon occur almost simultaneously all over the world in almost every era.
As Israel's leadership digs in its heels in the face of escalating Palestinian demands for statehood, the Jewish state faces a new, rapidly changing dynamic. The Palestinian Authority's intent to seek United Nations recognition of a new Arab state based on pre-1967 borders, coupled with reconciliation between the PA and Hamas, further complicates the issue.
I have never used my column to eulogize friends who have passed away, as their loss affected me and an inner circle of people who knew them - but not necessarily the community at large. But that is not the case for Shimie Silver, a"h, for without exaggerating, his circle of friends numbered in the thousands and transcended borders.
President Obama's speech at AIPAC straddled the line of a Jackie Masonstandup routine. It turns out that when the president said last Thursday that Israel should return to its '67 borders, it wasn't exactly what he meant. Who said I was referring to 1967? I meant 1867. I didn't mean CE, I meant BCE. And why did you assume I was talking about Israel's border? I was talking about French Guyana's borders.
Per Deuteronomy 21, when a corpse is found in the wilderness, an elaborate ceremony ensues that is clearly intended to disrupt the regular routines of the townspeople living nearby. The judges and elders determine which city is closest to the crime scene, and the elders of that city take a young calf, which has never been yoked, to a dismal valley, which could never sustain agricultural life, where they break the calf's neck. The Levites then arrive to observe the elders washing their hands over the bloody calf and declaring, "Our hands did not spill this blood, nor did our eyes perceive it. Therefore, God, forgive your people Israel, whom You redeemed, and do not allow innocent blood to flow amongst your nation, and let this blood atone for them."
Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (1972) imagines a dialogue between the explorer Marco Polo and the emperor Kublai Khan.
JERUSALEM - If acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima party wins next month's elections, members of Israel's Knesset will be asked to determine Israel's "permanent borders" in a vote on West Bank withdrawal, Olmert said.
In principle, we disagree with the notion of U.S. public support for a Palestinian state. The record is clear that, whatever Yasir Arafat and his crowd may claim to the Bush Administration, the Palestinians have no present intention of living as a peaceful neighbor with Israel.
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