10 November 2010

Netanyahu Fights Back!

“Jerusalem is not a settlement...
Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.”

Things getting testy again between the Hamas-funding-and-Iran-fearing Obama Administration and our only true ME ally, Israel.

Alas, no surprise there... Obama's been picking an ill-conceived fight with Israeli PM/MIT grad/decorated
Sayeret Maktal Commando Benjamin Netanyahu for some time now... while working behind the scenes to encourage regime change in Jerusalem.  

However -with Obama's political power and international prestige evaporating- why should Bibi cede anything and endanger his people just to get on the good side of an unskilled diplomatic klutz who's only tried to walk over him, anyway?

NYT (highlights RR):
President Obama’s criticism of new Israeli housing plans for East Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s even sharper retort, have thrown the Middle East peace talks into jeopardy, with the dispute over Jewish settlements looming as a seemingly insuperable hurdle.....

The Obama administration is struggling to restart direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, which stalled last month after the expiration of a partial freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to meet Mr. Netanyahu in New York on Thursday, while Egypt sent two top officials to Washington to discuss ways to salvage the process. 

But the brusque exchange between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu reflected again the gulf between Israel and the United States over settlements — an issue Mr. Obama initially made the centerpiece of his Middle East diplomacy.

Of course the already-insatiable Palestinians -who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity- are going to be asking for more now that they see the holes in Obama's position and lack of demands upon them... just like they did every other time the Israelis were pressured to make unmatched concessions to people wholly dedicated to their destruction.  

Some cultures just have an overly cynical world-view that always seems to have them mistaking good-faith gestures for weakness... and blowing their chance every time:
Palestinian officials said Israel’s latest announcement threatened the talks and could prompt a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state

When asked in about Israel’s plans for 1,000 housing units for a contested part of East Jerusalem, Mr. Obama said, “This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.” 

“I’m concerned that we’re not seeing each side make the extra effort involved to get a breakthrough,” the president added during his visit to Indonesia. “Each of these incremental steps can end up breaking trust.” 

A few hours later, Mr. Netanyahu’s office responded with a statement, saying that “Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.”

But the PLO and Hamas aren't the only ones smelling weakness:
Analysts said Mr. Netanyahu’s unyielding tone — a palpable contrast to his chagrined reaction after a similar housing dispute during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — testified to the altered political environment in the United States. 

The stinging Democratic defeat in the midterm elections, the analysts said, had emboldened Mr. Netanyahu to push back harder against the administration. 

“He is dealing with a president who is politically weakened,” said Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former American ambassador to Israel. “A lot of his friends in Washington are Republicans. He feels more comfortable with them, so he just feels that he’s got a freer hand here.”

The official Israeli government statement re. the 1000 apartment units approved for East Jerusalem exposes the fight Obama's now picking as nonsensical...
“Israel does not see any connection between the peace process and the policy of planning and construction in Jerusalem, which has not changed in 40 years,” the statement continued. 

“For the last 40 years every Israeli government built in every part of the city. During that period, peace agreements were signed with Egypt and Jordan, and for 17 years direct negotiations were held with the Palestinians. 

These are historical facts. Construction in Jerusalem has never interfered with the peace process.”

The State of Israel obviously faces existential threats right-under their noses and on all sides, including medieval savages in Tehran sworn to "wipe Israel from the map" as soon as they can jerry-rig a crude nuke and find a way to drop it on Tel Aviv. 

Bibi Netanyahu knows it's their necks on the line, and the other side has very little interest in living in peace alongside them- probably never will, if you believe Hamas' own charter. 

He simply can't afford a fairy-tale world view like Barack Obama sees to think is so modern and cool. Obama no longer has the political momentum and moral authority to move the mountains required for an effective two-state solution anway- and everybody seems to know it but him. 

In reality, the record for unilateral Israeli concessions designed to charm the Palestinians into not firing missiles at their houses and schools is an abject lesson in failure... a point perhaps irrelevant to narcissistic personality types who never learn from their own -or anybody else's- errors.

So sorry about him, Israel... rest-assured most normal Americans still support you.

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