Common Sense a Sticking Point at Peace Talks
Benjamin Netanyahu has said that any long term peace agreement must include the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
It sounds a reasonable enough request.
After all, Israel is only about one sixth of one percent of the land of the Middle East. The Jewish people have a longer association with that land than any other ethnic or religious group. For most of the last four thousand years, Jews have been a majority of the population there.
Being a Jewish state has not stopped people of any other ethnic or religious group from having full and equal rights under Israeli law. It is the only country in the Middle East where such equality under the law can be taken for granted.
Israel is surrounded by countries which describe themselves as Arab nations and muslim nations. No one, including Israel, suggests this is inappropriate, or that such states do not have the right to exist.
So how can Israel’s request that its neighbours recognise it as a Jewish state possibly be a deal breaker in peace negotiations?