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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scary: I almost agree with Tom Friedman

The New York Times continues to hammer away at Israel. In Sunday's edition, it's Tom Friedman's turn (Hat Tip: Gary P). While I don't agree with what he says about Israel (he doesn't understand that much of the mostly military aid the US gives Israel gets plowed right back into the American economy and therefore benefits both countries), I almost agree with his conclusion.
The most valuable thing that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could do now is just get out of the picture — so both leaders and both peoples have an unimpeded view of their horrible future together in one state, if they can’t separate. We must not give them any more excuses, like: “Here comes the secretary of state again. Be patient. Something is happening. We’re working on a deal. We’re close. If only the Americans weren’t so naïve, we were just about to compromise. ... Be patient.”

It’s all a fraud. America must get out of the way so Israelis and Palestinians can see clearly, without any obstructions, what reckless choices their leaders are making. Make no mistake, I am for the most active U.S. mediation effort possible to promote peace, but the initiative has to come from them. The Middle East only puts a smile on your face when it starts with them.
Funny - that sounds a lot like what I wrote last week.
The problem is the Obami's approach - an approach that has assumed that Israel has only to give and the 'Palestinians' only to receive. The problem is that when the President was on shaky ground with Israeli Jews before he ever took office, he compounded the problem by starting his administration with a splashy appeal to the Muslim world - an appeal that has gone unanswered.

I don't believe peace is possible here right now - except for the relative quiet maintained by the status quo. The 'Palestinians' have yet to signal that there is a single concession they are willing to make.

I believe that the Obami should fold up shop, give the parties the White House's phone number and tell them to call when they're ready to talk. Just like Bush I, except this time with the onus on the 'Palestinians' - who were offered everything and gave nothing in return - and not on Israel. I don't expect Obama to do that. After all, there's a 'fierce moral urgency' to establishing a 'Palestinian state' during his first (and hopefully last) term. So I guess we'll have two more years of ups and downs in which nothing is accomplished, whether Mitchell keeps his position or whether it goes to Dennis Ross or someone else.

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At 10:14 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Israelis and Palestinians are back to indirect talks. Nothing is going to happen. The only reason they're going along with it at all is because Obama insists they should. Tom Friedman is right - Washington should hang up on them and give them its phone number. When they decide they do want American mediation, then progress will happen. Its not going to happen as long as America treats them like children and tells them what is best for them.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Alexander Maccabee said...

The world needs to butt out and let Israel decide its own future. -- When the Arabs refuse to cooperate with Israel they get tossed out via Kahanism [the only truly Jewish solution based upon Halakcha and not Hellenism] it will be best for both parties. One does not negotiate with Nazis, or 'Palestinians'.


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