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Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama recognizes 'important step forward' but no comment on request for guarantee

President Obama has recognized Prime Minister Netanyahu's Sunday night speech as an 'important step forward,' but did not make any comment regarding Netanyahu's demand that the United States guarantee that the 'Palestinian' state reichlet be demilitarized.
"The President welcomes the important step forward in Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

"The President is committed to two states, a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestine, in the historic homeland of both peoples. He believes this solution can and must ensure both Israel's security and the fulfillment of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for a viable state, and he welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu's endorsement of that goal," the statement read.

"The President will continue working with all parties - Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Arab states, and our Quartet partners - to see that they fulfill their obligations and responsibilities necessary to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a comprehensive regional peace," it concluded.
I suppose it could have been worse: Obumbler could have said that Netanyahu's speech wasn't enough.

Netanyahu is being lambasted in the morning news this morning - mostly from the Right for giving too much. It's doubtful whether what he proposed last night could even pass his own party, let alone the cabinet and the Knesset. And while Moshe Feiglin gets a lot of the credit for the Right-leaning orientation of the Likud contingent in the Knesset, I believe that Netanyahu is secretly pleased with the criticism. Like Rabin before him - who looked like he was about to puke when he shook Arafat's hand on the White House lawn in 1993 - Netanyahu may not have wanted to say what he said last night. Israel is a democracy, and it's helpful to Netanyahu to be able to tell President Obama that his cabinet is saying "no we can't."

And for those who are worried about Obama's reaction, don't. The United States isn't a superpower anymore.

As for that guarantee of demilitarization, it would be useless anyway. We've seen the value of international guarantees - in the Straits of Tiran in 1967, in Lebanon in 2006 among other places. They're worthless. We're better off being our own guarantors. As I heard one MK from Jewish Home say on the news this morning, agreeing to a 'demilitarized Palestinian state' is like bringing in a baby wolfpack and hoping it won't grow teeth. The only way to be safe is not to let it be here in the first place.


At 9:37 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed, Carl. I think the speech took the pressure off Israel and tossed the ball into the Palestinians' court. Akiva Eldar of Haaretz called it a "colonialist speech" and the Israeli Far Left is beside itself. That means it was a success. It doesn't really matter what America does next for they have no real leverage on the Palestinians. If they're waiting for Abbas to cooperate, they will end up being disappointed. The Palestinians are too obdurate to father that baby wolfpack. Israel has been blessed by history with all too ideal enemy.


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