But Crowley did come up with some interesting alternatives to "Israel is a Jewish State" along the way:
QUESTION: P.J., do you recognize Israel as a Jewish state and will you try to convince the Palestinians to recognize it?But there is only one thing more difficult to answer than whether Israel is a Jewish state--answering whether the US wants Abbas and his people to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. And again, Crowley hems and haws about Israel being a Jewish state:
MR. CROWLEY: We will continue our discussions with the parties. I would expect, following up on the Arab League meetings of late last week that George Mitchell will go to the region at some point. I’m not announcing anything, but I – it would be logical for us to follow up directly with the parties, see where they are. We will offer our ideas on – based on our conversations what our assessment is that – of what each side needs to be able to make the political commitment to remain in these direct negotiations.
QUESTION: And do you recognize Israel as a Jewish state?
MR. CROWLEY: We recognize the aspiration of the people of Israel. It has – it’s a democracy. In that democracy, there’s a guarantee of freedom and liberties to all of its citizens. But as the Secretary has said, we understand that – the special character of the state of Israel.
QUESTION: Is that a yes or no?
QUESTION: P.J., it’s – do you want to answer his question or --
QUESTION: Did you say yes or no to that question from Michel?
MR. CROWLEY: Hmm?
QUESTION: Michel’s question was a yes or no sort of question. I was wondering whether that was a yes or no.
MR. CROWLEY: We recognize that Israel is a– as it says itself, is a Jewish state, yes.
QUESTION: Because Abbas said they recognize the state of Israel. Does the U.S. want the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state?That's fine--recognizing Israel as a Jewish state should be a negotiated point, but what is with that last paragraph:
MR. CROWLEY: Look, I will be happy to go back over and offer some – I’m trying – I’m not making any news here. We have recognized the special nature of the Israeli state. It is a state for the Jewish people. It is a state for other citizens of other faiths as well. But this is the aspiration of the – what Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday is, in essence, the – a core demand of the Israeli Government, which we support, is a recognition that Israel is a part of the region, acceptance by the region of the existence of the state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and that is what they want to see through this negotiation. We understand this aspiration and the prime minister was talking yesterday about the fact that just as they aspire to a state for the Jewish people in the Middle East, they understand the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.
Now, so the prime minister has put forward his ideas and what he believes his people need to hear so that they can make the commitment that we’re seeking to stay in this process and to reach a successful conclusion. This is not a one-way street. It is a two-way street. The prime minister is offering something and asking for something. It is perfectly within the rights of the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas to say there’s something I need and there’s something I’m willing to give. This is the essence of the negotiation that is ongoing and the essence of the negotiation that we want to see continue.
It is perfectly within the rights of the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas to say there’s something I need and there’s something I’m willing to give.Has Abbas offered recently--has he ever offered--to give anything, to concede anything? I mean we are talking about the same Abbas who made very clear:
I can’t allow myself to make even one concession.So when Crowley continues, "This is the essence of the negotiation that is ongoing and the essence of the negotiation that we want to see continue"--is that really the kind of negotiation that has been going on till now and the White House wants to see continued?
Looks like the Obama has bigger issues than its inability to to say the J-word.
[Hat tip: NB]
Technorati Tag: Israel Is A Jewish State and Philip J. Crowley.