Standley’s statement is crucial in understanding where Israeli leaders and advocates have often gone wrong. Instead of adopting an independent “Jewish” discourse, they play by the rules of others. Israeli spokesmen are afraid or embarrassed to mention the Bible, because they think the world would not accept it. But the world and even the EU understand that a Jew believes in the Bible, even if they disagree. And even secular Israelis understand and accept the Jewish principle of the supreme sanctity of human life and of self-defense.
Precisely now — when the entire Arab world surrounding Israel is involved in wars and uprisings — is not the time to give up anything. Agreements would be worth nothing as soon as the next ruler takes over, or the situation shifts.
Instead Israel now has an opportunity to declare that, as a result of the dramatic instability in the region, it cannot surrender one inch of territory.