Obama whines to the New York Times: 'Bibi too strong to compromise'In an interview with the New York Times (with who else - Tom Friedman), US President Hussein Obama whines that Prime Minister Netanyahu is too strong politically to commit suicide on behalf of a 'Palestinian state.'
Let's go to the videotape.
Okay, so that was only a preview of the interview. Here's more.
Asked whether he should be more vigorous in pressing Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, to reach a land-for-peace deal, the president said, it has to start with them. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza,” Obama said. “And so if he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement. That’s a tough thing to do. With respect to Abu Mazen, it’s a slightly different problem. In some ways, Bibi is too strong [and] in some ways Abu Mazen is too weak to bring them together and make the kinds of bold decisions that Sadat or Begin or Rabin were willing to make. It’s going to require leadership among both the Palestinians and the Israelis to look beyond tomorrow. ... And that’s the hardest thing for politicians to do is to take the long view on things.”I could not disagree more. If Netanyahu were a popular personality cult, he could give the 'Palestinians' whatever he wanted. But he's not. He knows that his popularity stems from the fact that he's seen as standing up and defeating Hamas (even though most Israelis don't think he's gone far enough). If he did what Obama wants him to do, his popularity would disappear into thin air.