On his radio show today, Glenn Beck was extremely upset about President Obama's call for a "contiguous" Palestinian state in yesterday's speech on the Middle East. Beck compared this to attempting to connect Alaska and Washington state, while his faithful sidekick Stu Burguiere compared it to connecting South Carolina and California. Beck concluded that "there's no way to do this, and the president knows it."
Despite what Beck would have you believe, the idea of a contiguous Palestinian state is not something new and outrageous that Obama has just invented as part of a quest to destroy Israel. Former President Bush was a proponent of the idea:
The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear: There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. These negotiations must ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders. And they must ensure that the state of Palestine is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent. [Archives.gov, 1/12/08]
The idea was also supported by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. According to U.S. peace negotiator Dennis Ross, Israel offered to create a contiguous Palestinian state and proposed to do so without disturbing Israel's borders. An article printed on the website of the Jewish Federations of North America explains:
According to U.S. peace negotiator Dennis Ross, Israel offered to create a Palestinian state that was contiguous, and not a series of cantons. Even in the case of the Gaza Strip, which must be physically separate from the West Bank unless Israel were to be cut into non-contiguous pieces, a solution was devised whereby an overland highway would connect the two parts of the Palestinian state without any Israeli checkpoints or interference.