Amidst the most recent news that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres couldn’t convince the European Union to freeze the imminent publication of guidelines restricting interaction with Israeli entities beyond the 1967 guidelines, one wonders what is the big surprise? President Peres has long spoken of so-called “occupied settlements”, and returning the land. Did Peres really fight and advocate on behalf of the settlements now in summer of 2013?
Can Peres really be regarded as someone who can be listened to on issues like this by foreigners. Wouldn’t they ask, “Mr. President: Don’t you agree these lands don’t belong to you?” Peres is wrong on the issue of settlements, and can’t be a honest broker on this issue.
In 1937, Ze’ev Jabotinsky said: “Do not underestimate the power of giving up. How did the miracle happen 20 years ago that the nations of the world recognized our right to the Land of Israel? They did not even know whether we were at all interested in the land. But there was one thing that everyone knew — we hadn’t given up in 2,000 years. That was the deciding factor.”
On the power of rights, he said: “Do not underestimate the power of a right, and do not exaggerate the value of a building that is being constructed. I, too, respect the construction of a building, but woe upon us if we extract the basis of our right to exist from it … A right is worth more than what we have. We mustn’t allow a Christian hand to touch our rights, but first, we must not allow a Hebrew hand to touch our rights, which are eternal and complete and shall not be relinquished. There is no shortcut to Zion, and Zion is ours in its entirety.”
As a PR firm CEO, I am well aware of the power of words. Indeed, it is Israel’s right to these lands. One cannot be more Catholic than the Pope, and surely less Israeli politicians speaking publicly about returning settlements will ensure less foreign governments seek to influence Israeli borders.