President Barack Obama took a giant and courageous step when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to call. H e literally told the Israeli leader where to jump. Actually, he told Netanyahu that the 1967 borders should be the starting point for peace negotiations with Palestinian leaders.
President Barack Obama took a giant and courageous step when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to call. He literally told the Israeli leader where to jump.
Actually, he told Netanyahu that the 1967 borders should be the starting point for peace negotiations with Palestinian leaders.
As expected, the Israeli leader rejected the proposal outright. Why? Because of the “facts on the ground” – facts incidentally created by the Israelis, who have illegally usurped land and water from the Palestinians, by sheer military aggression.
Israel now has 78 percent of Palestinian land, taken in violation of the international law that occupied land cannot be annexed.
Obama also told Net that “hard choices” had to be made. The dialog went nowhere and the Israeli leader treated Obama like a messenger boy.
Before Obama took off to visit the Queen of England, he appeared before the annual gathering of the American Israeli Political Action Committee, a powerful Israeli lobby. At the AIPAC meeting, Net asserted that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state. Years ago, the United Nations asserted that Jerusalem was an international city, but the United States abstained from voting.
Netanyahu also said he could not negotiate with the Palestinian Fatah as long as it was united with the Hamas, the Palestinian party which was freely and democratically elected in Gaza under the monitoring of outside observers, including former President Jimmy Carter.
The Israelis claim that Hamas does not acknowledge their “right to exist.” Sure, they do have a right to exist, but not in Palestinian homes.
After the election in occupied Gaza, Israel imprisoned the freely elected officials. The U.S. said nothing. Obama was rebuffed by the Israelis on all scores, and then left Washington to visit the Queen of England.
Netanyahu invited himself to speak before a joint session of a genuflecting Congress. During the session, members of the House and Senate kept jumping up and down from their seats to applaud the Israeli leader whose country holds hundreds of Palestinians as prisoner who have never been charged or convicted.
Netanyahu, in his remarks, warned against Iran achieving the nuclear know how, but the Israeli leader did not mention the fact that his country has a high end nuclear arsenal. Nor has any American official, by virtue of a promise to Israel, publicly disclosed that Israel has had a nuclear weapons stockpile for many years.
The Israeli leader could not have had a warmer, friendlier reception. Vice President Joe Biden was a jumping jack from his place next to John Boehner. Biden has never hidden his pro-Israeli views. He has said, “I am a Zionist.” He also has said, “Throughout my career, Israel has not only remained close to my heart, but it also has been the center of my work as a U.S. Senator, and now as Vice President of the United States.”
Also in the gathering was one of the most ardent Zionists, Eric Cantor, the Republican House whip from Virginia, who has said, “Israel is a pillar in our national security strategy and we ought to be emphasizing every bit of our commitment to Israel right now, as they face an existential threat.”
For all that, time is not on Israel’s side. The demographics tell us the opposite of total Israeli dominance in the Middle East will occur as time goes on.
Net indicates that he is willing to negotiate on the basis of a demilitarized Palestinian state. Nice work if he can get it.
Israel not only had a worshipful Congress to address, they also have had a fox in the chicken coop. He is Dennis Ross, a well known pro-Israeli American who has been Israel’s watchdog in almost every Middle East peace negotiation over the past 25 years. He is detested by every Arab leader who has sat in with him on Middle East peace negotiations. Ross was also apparently able to out maneuver the President’s special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, who struck out after 2 years of trying to achieve peace negotiations.
With a presidential election in view, and Republicans bereft of a front-running candidate, Obama is in the driver’s seat. But he knows that he has to carefully cultivate the Israelis and he once again pledged during Netanyahu’s visit that the U.S.-Israeli relationship is “unshakable, and unbreakable.”