The Israeli military plays more than a critical role in defending the citizens of the Jewish state. It also plays an important social, scientific and psychological role in preparing its young citizens for the challenging task of being Israelis in a difficult world.
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There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.
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Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist.
We have a close, unshakable bond between the United States and Israel, and between the American and Israeli people. We share common values and a commitment to a democratic future for the world, and we are both committed to a two-state solution. But that doesn't mean that we're going to agree.
The Arab-Israeli conflict is also in many ways a conflict about status: it's a war between two peoples who feel deeply humiliated by the other, who want the other to respect them. Battles over status can be even more intractable than those over land or water or oil.
Most recently, terrorist forces have captured Israeli soldiers and fired rockets into Israeli cities - both unprovoked. These acts of aggression deserve the rapid and decisive response they received.
The Israeli lobby has clout in the U.S., which means that re-arranging the region and controlling its resources one way or another, will serve Israel through its control over the American administration.
Many occasions I've sat down with Israelis to say, where do you see your country in 10 years time, and work me back, so we can figure out the synergies and the connections between Israel and the rest of the Arab world. No Israeli has ever been able to answer that question.
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The core issue here is that the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.