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Friday, January 29, 2010

NYU debate on 'special relationship' between US and Israel

A debate is being held at NYU on February 9 regarding the question of whether the United States should continue its 'special relationship' with Israel. Here is a poster publicizing the event.

But if this section of the publicity brief is any indication, the debate may not be a fair fight:
The hope among many governments has long been that an American administration would eventually impose such a peace on the two sides. This view seemed to underpin President Obama's landmark speech in Cairo last summer in which he sought to reach out to the Arab world by speaking of his sympathy for Palestinian "suffering" and the "humiliation" of occupation. In a major policy declaration, he also rejected the legitimacy of Israeli settlement in the West Bank saying: "It is time for the settlements to stop."

Obama's inability to shift Israeli policy on the issue has lost him credibility on both sides. Meanwhile Mahmoud Abbas, America's most important Palestinian ally, has been severely wounded by the US after he was persuaded to withdraw support for a UN report that accused Israel of war crimes during its winter offensive in Gaza. Facing uproar and fury from within his own party, Mr Abbas had to back down.
Now, at least, it is not Israeli policy that Obama is (apparently) trying to shift. Obama is trying to get the 'Palestinians' to come to the negotiating table. And the 'fury' at Abu Bluff over Goldstone (which I have also seen portrayed as the Israelis' doing and not as the Americans' doing) has long since died down. If Abu Bluff was ever wounded by his handling of Goldstone, he has long since recovered. It's his own weakness and unwillingness to compromise that has kept him away from the negotiating table.

Shmuel Rosner has more comments here.


At 5:03 AM, Blogger yzernik said...

I would say that the US is more of a liability to Israel than the other way around, at least with Obama in charge.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Joe said...

One of the people for the proposition is a Jew. What a fu***** surprise.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

I see it is "Kill the Jews week at NYU". This is now an annual event.


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