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March 16, 2010

Washington Post trio on US-Israel clash mostly accurate

A news article, an editorial and an opinion column in The Washington Post’s March 16 edition got the U.S.-Israeli confrontation over housing construction in eastern Jerusalem mostly right.

“U.S. pushes Netanyahu to accept 3 demands,” by diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler, disclosed that the Obama administration is pressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “reverse last week’s approval of 1,600 housing units in a disputed area of Jerusalem, make a substantial gesture [perhaps a prisoner release] toward the Palestinians, and publicly declare that all of the ‘core issues” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the status of Jerusalem, be included in upcoming talks ....” The Post quotes an anonymous senior U.S. official as saying Israeli failure to concede would put the U.S.-Israel relationship in doubt.

“The quarrel with Israel; Will the administration’s attacks on the government of Binyamin Netanyahu advance the peace process?” editorializes that “President Obama’s Middle East diplomacy failed in his first year in part because he chose to engage in an unnecessary and unwinnable public confrontation with Israel over Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem .... So it has been startling — and a little puzzling — to see Mr. Obama deliberately plunge into another public brawl with the Jewish state.” It notes that “the president is perceived by many Israelis as making unprecedented demands on their government while overlooking the intransigence of Palestinian and Arab leaders,” elevating Arab claims and undermining diplomatic prospects.

“A square for a murderer,” by Post syndicated columnist Richard Cohen, contains numerous flaws. One is an unwarranted assumption about “the legitimacy of Palestinian aspiration.” Having repeatedly rejected offers of a West Bank and Gaza Strip state in exchange for peace, maybe such a state is not the “Palestinian aspiration.” A second is misunderstanding of “the calamity that befell Palestinians in 1948.” Arab leadership, including that of the Palestinian Arabs, imposed their 1948 calamity by choosing war over acceptance of the U.N. partition plan and losing. But Cohen hits the bull’s-eye on a central point: Palestinian leaders who insist on naming a public square for Dalal Mughrabi, leader of the 1979 Coast Road Massacre in which 38 Israelis, including many women and children, were butchered by Palestine Liberation Organization terrorists, as the current leaders just did, might not be disposed to negotiating genuine peace.

Posted by ER at March 16, 2010 04:28 PM

Comments

This post it too kind to president Obama. Although I am an Israeli, I don't think Obana hate us. It is far worse, he is trying to reach out to the aggressors, while thinking that America's friends will remain so. He managed to offend the British over the malvinas / Oakland issue. He is putting back an ambassador in Syria, and in the same week, Assad met with the Iranian leader. The lebanon leaders stopped fighting Syria and Hizballa because of the absent of an American back.
So, it is as there is no one in the white house.
The world need strong America and a democratic leader. Obama just not deliver that. In any aspect the world look worse than a year ago - even economically!

Posted by: Alon at March 17, 2010 10:37 AM

As an Israeli, I don't like Mr. Netanyahu's government and I would be ready to leave the West Bank immediately including the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Still, President Obama, I don't think Israel has a friend in the White House. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

One thing is for certain. There will not be a peace process in the near future, if at all. The Palestinians never wanted a peace process anyway, because there will never be a Palestinian leader who will settle for a viable Israel (= a two state solution and non-return of the refugees). If you don't believe me, ask them. Now, after President Obama's show of friendship with Israel, there will not be an Israeli leader that can thrust the "rock solid commitment" of the US administration.

Israel has to learn to live in a world without US support, which in cold political terms means totally alone. Looking down at that road from any aspect you like, it appears more or less genocidal. Mr. Obama, in all fairness, tell us when you want us to jump into the sea. Don't make it look like it was our decision. That would not be fair.

Posted by: Stefan at March 25, 2010 10:02 AM

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