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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Netanyahu diaries

Bret Stephens found some notes that Prime Minister Netanyahu left on his plane to Washington on Monday morning.
But on to more pressing matters. We've had a bad few weeks, your administration and mine. I'm glad we can talk them over face-to-face. As Hillary told me the other day [isn't she a charmer?], it takes a true friend to tell the hard truth. I'm sure you'll agree that in our friendship that works both ways.

I know that, from your part, you think the hard truth is that we've got to get out of the settlements. You don't have to sell me on that score. I've said repeatedly that we don't want to rule over the Palestinians; I'm all for a two-state solution in theory. It's the practice of it that's got me concerned. In fact, it's what got me elected.

So here's the first hard truth: Just as you've got your Ben Nelsons and Bart Stupaks, I've got my Avigdor Lieberman ultra-nationalists and Eli Yishai ultra-Orthodox. Some of them have ideological red lines; some of them just want stuff. That's how politics works. So what's my Cornhusker kickback, or my executive order on abortion funding? I'd welcome your ideas; [you're obviously good at this].

This brings me to the second hard truth, Mr. President: Most Israelis don't trust you, the way they trusted George W. Bush or [even] Bill Clinton. And let me tell you why that's a problem.

When my predecessor Arik Sharon pulled out of Gaza, he didn't do so through negotiations with the Palestinians. Those negotiations fail time and again, in part because the Palestinians figure they can hold out for more, in part because they're cutting their own deals with Hamas.

So what Sharon did was negotiate with you, the United States. And what he got was a promise, in writing, that the U.S. would not insist on a full withdrawal to the 1967 lines in any final settlement agreement.

My problem is that Hillary disavowed that promise last year, and you did so again by treating a neighborhood in Jerusalem as a "settlement." So when you pledge your commitment to Israel's everlasting security, how can we take your word for it, or know that your successor won't also renege? We don't want to wind up like Belgium before World War I, relying on phony guarantees of neutrality.

Mr. President, you need to start building some serious trust with Israelis if you mean to give me the political tools to negotiate with the Palestinians. Honestly, you didn't help yourself by ratcheting up the rhetoric against us the way you did. If your purpose was to show the Palestinians that you're going to play hardball with us, all you did was give them a reason to be even more uncompromising than before. And if your purpose was to try to drive me from office, it didn't work either: To Israelis, you came across not as anti-Bibi, but as anti-Israel.

But the hardest truth is that Israelis are losing faith that you'll do whatever it takes to stop Iran's nuclear bid. The sanctions you promise keep getting delayed and watered down. Hillary gave a fine speech at AIPAC yesterday, but we all know that you're already planning on containing a nuclear Iran. That's not acceptable to me.

Let's make a deal, Mr. President: Our settlements for your bombers. We can't fully destroy Iran's nuclear sites—but you can. You can't dismantle our settlements—but we can. We'll all come out the better for it, including the Palestinians. Think about it, Barack.
Read the whole thing.

Well this deal is not going to happen anytime soon, and I don't think I want it to happen ever. The reason it won't happen anytime soon is that trust is hard to gain, but easy to lose. President Obumbler has been losing it for the last 14 months straight, as far as Israel is concerned.

What's worse, how can we ever trust his successor knowing that when the President changes the policy changes - sometimes in ways we didn't anticipate.

Jennifer Rubin adds:
You recall that the Obami were all about linking progress on the Palestinian issue to a successful effort to block the Iranian nuclear program. Yes, it was a non sequitur, but that’s what they said. In reality, the Obami’s Middle East policy is communicating a different message to Israel: you’re going to have to take care of Iran on your own. The U.S. is so enamored of getting along in the Muslim World and so unwilling to draw a line with the mullahs that Israel will/is faced with a choice: do nothing (which is the same as waiting around for the Obami to act) or take military action themselves.

By his recent verbal assault, Obama meant perhaps to paralyze Israel, creating uncertainty as to whether the U.S. would be with Israel if it came down to a military action against Iran. But Israel cannot be paralyzed into inactivity (for reasons amply stated by Alan Dershowitz on the same newspaper page). The result then of all the Obami carrying on is to create a less secure U.S.-Israel relationship and to spur Israel to act unilaterally. Unfortunately, that part isn’t fictional.
No, it isn't. There's a hard truth to be told here. We don't trust Barack Obama. If anything, the last 14 months with him in power have only made things worse.


At 1:16 AM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

I repeat myself, Husain Barak is the servant of King Fahd (Riad, SA)

At 1:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, COME ON! You don't trust President Obama!? That is truly startling, given his record. I simply don't get why you don't trust him. He's Mr. Consistency, a veritable Rock'o'Gibralter - none of this wishy-washy changing-his-mind nonsense that has characterized most other Presidents.

I trust him to ALWAYS do the wrong thing related to Israel or anything else in foreign or domestic policy, since that's all he's done - quite consistently - since even before entering office.

You can count on him to be true to his nature, just like the scorpion that caught a ride across a river on the back of a frog, and stung him just as they reached the opposite bank despite promises to the contrary.

At 4:03 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
It's high time Israel realises the guy is the great deceiver,he's more muslim then Mohammed.
You can't trust the guy,i for one never believed in his show even before he was elected.
His next topic is to controll the internet ,then you can really paralyze a country.
Emergency Internet control bill gets a rewrite -


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