Saturday, May 30, 2009

What we want from Netanyahu

By Michael J.W. Stickings

In response to Hillary Clinton's statement that the Obama Administration "wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly asked this of a "confidante":

What the hell do they want from me?

I realize that an Israeli hardliner like Netanyahu might be somewhat confused over America's often confusing -- and often contradictory -- policies towards Israel, and it's not always clear what "they" want, but the answer to the question is pretty clear to me:

Your resignation and retirement from public life.

I still think that a hardliner like Netanyahu would be in a better position to sell a peace settlement to Israelis than, say, a Labourite reformer, insofar as a hardliner would be able to appease the religious and militaristic far right, as well as convince it of the efficacy and justice of retreating behind its original borders and accepting the creation of an independent Palestinian states, and I once thought that Netanyahu himself would eventually win the Nobel Peace Prize for being the architect of such a peace settlement, but it's just not clear to me, as an outsider, that Netanyahu is the right statesman at the right time.

No, it is clear. He's not.

What is currently troubling him is Obama's hard line against Israeli settlements. What is clear is that Netanyahu and those who share his hard-line views are, whatever their confusion, out of step with Obama and the new line in Washington, with the firm determination to establish peace at long last.

That Netanyahu doesn't get it is an indication that, in the Age of Obama, the world has passed him by. He might as well just step aside and let those who do get it guide their country towards a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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  • Could it be that the international community has finally accepted that an AIPAC-run United States is not a democratic way of running the country or the world.

    Could it be that the international community has decided that there is a partner for peace in the Middle East but that it is not Israel.

    Could it be that the international community has woken up to the fact that it could be on the verge of a nuclear war in the region that would quickly spread to Europe and the world.

    Could it be that the international community now sees clearly the futility of its previous position in allowing a group of foreign politicians with American connections to dictate to the rest of the world.

    After many decades, five presidents, thousands of innocents killed, murdered or liquidated by US supplied cluster bombs, missiles, tanks and fighter bombers - we now have an administration that is strong enough not to be bought or sold by a political lobby with vested interests.

    Charles Vaird
    An American in London

    By Blogger C U Vaird, at 7:58 AM  

  • "Could it be that the international community has decided that there is a partner for peace in the Middle East but that it is not Israel."

    When I read the word "community" I usually ask myself cui bono? Who benefits; what argument gains from the boundaries being set up to give the appearance of community? What international community are you talking about?

    I hope the world doesn't associate Neo-Cons and Republicans and George Bush with the US to the degree you associate Netanyahu and his religious right with Israel. The abuses and transgressions of that country certainly do not establish Hamas as non-violent, saintly and tolerant. Perhaps you've absorbed a bit too much British hypocrisy?

    I don't of course support the settlements, not at all, but I don't absolve the jihadists of all guilt the way you do or absolve the British for their ill thought out partitions of the 1940's or the "world community" of having instigated war of conquest after war of conquest against Israel and cheered on every cry to kill every last Jew in the Middle East.

    It's a bit naive to think that the hard liners and religious barbarians on one side will fade away if those on the other side are voted out of office and it's hard to imagine that Israel could survive the kind of two State solution your "world community" pretends to be proposing. Perhaps that's the philosophy your philosophy conceals?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:15 AM  

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