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The Same River Twice: Bibi and Barack *updated*

May 20, 2011

WASHINGTON - MAY 20: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) prepare to make statements after their meeting May 20, 2011

So, PM Netanyahu and President Barack Obama sat down together for a date meeting this afternoon, after which they both made statements to the press. Netanyahu, for his part, continued to reject President Obama’s statements from his Mideast speech yesterday while adding some new criticisms- he opined that he thinks the US should just tell the Palestinians “no” to the right of return and he essentially said he’d keep troops in the Jordan Valley. Immediately prior to leaving for Washington, he reiterated that he would retain an undivided Jerusalem, wouldn’t dismantle settlements and wouldn’t sit down with any government that had anything to do with Hamas. Then he said he was willing to make concessions for peace (!!!!!). I am wondering, what concessions exactly?

Some have said “why put all the pressure on Israel? What have the Palestinians done?” Actually, the Palestinians have done quite a bit. There has been unprecedented security cooperation between the PA and Israel, with the PA doing everything in its power to reign in violent extremism in the West Bank. They also acquiesced to supporting the deferment of action on the Goldstone Report at the UN- a move that the U.S. requested and which resulted in Abu Mazen losing credibility with his people. The PA had apparently also repeatedly agreed to not hold elections because the U.S. and Israel were afraid of who might replace Fayyad and Abbas. And anyone who read the Palestine Papers or summaries of their contents knows that the Palestinian Authority was willing to make such huge concessions that their own people were outraged upon hearing about them. You see, the irony of all Bibi’s fear-mongering is that everyone knows that Salam Fayyad and Abu Mazen are the two most moderate Palestinian leaders in history.

Here’s the transcript:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, let me, first of all, welcome again Prime Minister Netanyahu, who I think has now been here seven times during the course of my presidency. And I want to indicate that the frequency of these meetings is an indication of the extraordinary bonds between our two countries, as is the opportunity for the Prime Minister to address Congress during his visit here. I know that’s an honor that’s reserved for those who have always shown themselves to be a great friend of the United States and is indicative of the friendship between our countries.

We just completed a prolonged and extremely useful conversation touching on a wide range of issues. We discussed, first of all, the changes that are sweeping the region and what has been happening in places like Egypt and Syria and how they affect the interests and security of the United States and Israel, as well as the opportunity for prosperity, growth and development in the Arab world.

We agreed that there is a moment of opportunity that can be seized as a consequence of the Arab Spring, but also acknowledge that there’s significant perils as well, and that it’s going to be important for the United States and Israel to consult closely as we see developments unfold.

I outlined for the Prime Minister some of the issues that I discussed in my speech yesterday — how important it was going to be for the United States to support political reform, support human rights, support freedom of speech, religious tolerance and economic development, particularly in Egypt, as the largest Arab country, as well as Tunisia, the country that first started this revolutionary movement that’s taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

We also discussed the situation in Syria, which is obviously of acute concern to Israel, given its shared border. And I gave more details to the Prime Minister about the significant steps that we are taking to try to pressure Syria and the Assad regime to reform, including the sanctions that we placed directly on President Assad.

We continue to share our deep concerns about Iran, not only the threat that it poses to Israel but also the threat that it poses to the region and the world if it were to develop a nuclear weapon. We updated our strategy to continue to apply pressure, both through sanctions and our other diplomatic work. And I reiterated my belief that it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon.

We also discussed the hypocrisy of Iran suggesting that it somehow supports democratization in the Middle East when, in fact, they first showed the repressive nature of that regime when they responded to the own peaceful protests that took place inside Iran almost two years ago.

Finally, we discussed the issue of a prospective peace between Israelis and Palestinians. And I reiterated and we discussed in depth the principles that I laid out yesterday — the belief that our ultimate goal has to be a secure Israeli state, a Jewish state, living side by side in peace and security with a contiguous, functioning and effective Palestinian state.

Obviously there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language, and that’s going to happen between friends. But what we are in complete accord about is that a true peace can only occur if the ultimate resolution allows Israel to defend itself against threats, and that Israel’s security will remain paramount in U.S. evaluations of any prospective peace deal.

I said that yesterday in the speech, and I continue to believe it. And I think that it is possible for us to shape a deal that allows Israel to secure itself, not to be vulnerable, but also allows it to resolve what has obviously been a wrenching issue for both peoples for decades now.

I also pointed out, as I said in the speech yesterday, that it is very difficult for Israel to be expected to negotiate in a serious way with a party that refuses to acknowledge its right to exist. And so for that reason I think the Palestinians are going to have to answer some very difficult questions about this agreement that’s been made between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas has been and is an organization that has resorted to terror; that has refused to acknowledge Israel’s rights to exist. It is not a partner for a significant, realistic peace process. And so, as I said yesterday during the speech, the Palestinians are going to have to explain how they can credibly engage in serious peace negotiations in the absence of observing the Quartet principles that have been put forward previously.

So, overall, I thought this was an extremely constructive discussion. And coming out of this discussion, I once again can reaffirm that the extraordinarily close relationship between the United States and Israel is sound and will continue, and that together, hopefully we are going to be able to work to usher in a new period of peace and prosperity in a region that is going to be going through some very profound transformations in the coming weeks, months and years.

So, Mr. Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Mr. President, first I want to thank you and the First Lady for the gracious hospitality that you’ve shown me, my wife, and our entire delegation. We have an enduring bond of friendship between our two countries, and I appreciate the opportunity to have this meeting with you after your important speech yesterday.

We share your hope and your vision for the spread of democracy in the Middle East. I appreciate the fact that you reaffirmed once again now, and in our conversation, and in actual deed the commitment to Israel’s security. We value your efforts to advance the peace process.

This is something that we want to have accomplished. Israel wants peace. I want peace. What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure. And I think that the — we both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality, and that the only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakeable facts.

I think for there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to accept some basic realities. The first is that while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines — because these lines are indefensible; because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.

Remember that, before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide. It was half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive.

So we can’t go back to those indefensible lines, and we’re going to have to have a long-term military presence along the Jordan. I discussed this with the President and I think that we understand that Israel has certain security requirements that will have to come into place in any deal that we make.

The second is — echoes something the President just said, and that is that Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas. Hamas, as the President said, is a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction. It’s fired thousands of rockets on our cities, on our children. It’s recently fired an anti-tank rocket at a yellow school bus, killing a 16-year-old boy. And Hamas has just attacked you, Mr. President, and the United States for ridding the world of bin Laden.

So Israel obviously cannot be asked to negotiate with a government that is backed by the Palestinian version of al Qaeda.

I think President Abbas has a simple choice. He has to decide if he negotiates or keeps his pact with Hamas, or makes peace with Israel. And I can only express what I said to you just now, that I hope he makes the choice, the right choice, in choosing peace with Israel.

The third reality is that the Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved in the context of a Palestinian state, but certainly not in the borders of Israel.

The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refugee problems — Palestinian refugee problem and Jewish refugees, roughly the same number, who were expelled from Arab lands. Now, tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees. Now, 63 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel, accept the grandchildren, really, and the great grandchildren of these refugees, thereby wiping out Israel’s future as a Jewish state.

So it’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it’s not going to happen. The Palestinian refugee problem has to be resolved. It can be resolved, and it will be resolved if the Palestinians choose to do so in a Palestinian state. So that’s a real possibility. But it’s not going to be resolved within the Jewish state.

The President and I discussed all these issues and I think we may have differences here and there, but I think there’s an overall direction that we wish to work together to pursue a real, genuine peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors; a peace that is defensible.

Mr. President, you’re the — you’re the leader of a great people, the American people. And I’m the leader of a much smaller people, the —

PRESIDENT OBAMA: A great people.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: It’s a great people, too. It’s the ancient nation of Israel. And, you know, we’ve been around for almost 4,000 years. We’ve experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. We’ve gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions. But I can say that even at the dearth of — even at the nadir of the valley of death, we never lost hope and we never lost our dream of reestablishing a sovereign state in our ancient homeland, the land of Israel.

And now it falls on my shoulders as the Prime Minister of Israel, at a time of extraordinary instability and uncertainty in the Middle East, to work with you to fashion a peace that will ensure Israel’s security and will not jeopardize its survival. I take this responsibility with pride but with great humility, because, as I told you in our conversation, we don’t have a lot of margin for error. And because, Mr. President, history will not give the Jewish people another chance.

So in the coming days and weeks and months, I intend to work with you to seek a peace that will address our security concerns, seek a genuine recognition that we wish from our Palestinian neighbors to give a better future for Israel and for the entire region.

And I thank you for the opportunity to exchange our views and to work together for this common end. Thank you, Mr. President.


While Bibi is very good at recommending other people recognize certain realities in the region, I think he’s not so good at doing that himself. Having read Obama’s speech about 7 times now, it’s clear that the Arab Spring has set forth a tidal wave of change in the region- some of it may be good, some bad, but that sound Israel hears is the Arab Spring knocking at their doors. Israel cannot dig in and simply hope that local dictators of convenience will provide some buffer zone of protection. Nor can the United States continue to expend endless blood, treasure, diplomatic cover, all while squandering our international credibility by unquestioningly rubber-stamping every Israeli action irrespective of their consequences.

While there were no burning Israeli or American flags in Tahrir Square, Tripoli, Manama or Tunis, it is pure fantasy to think there is no relationship between the hunger for change in the region and the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rather than insulting and criticizing the President of the United States, Benyamin Netanyahu should realize that what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Mitchell (formerly) etc. are trying to do is to prevent a possible train wreck at the United Nations in September when the Palestinian seek to declare a state. Yes, the US will veto/kill any such attempt but Obama and Hillary know that Israel’s other allies, and primarily the EU states, are growing tired of the occupation and the never-ending peace process. By mentioning 1967 borders as a starting framework with agreed upon land swaps (a part of the speech Bibi and the media largely ignored), the Obama administration is attempting to prevent Israel’s further isolation in the world community. In other words Bibi, the U.S. is trying to help secure Israel’s future. You should consider doing the same.

UPDATE: This just in from Haaretz. A senior State Department official spoke to Haaretz and rebutted some of Netanyahu’s criticisms:

A U.S. State Department official told Haaretz Friday that the United States is disappointed with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reaction to U.S. President Obama’s Middle East policy, faulting him for focusing on the issue of 1967 borders instead of looking at Obama’s policy as a whole.

“There were plenty of things in support of Israel,” the official told Haaretz, citing Obama’s wariness of the recent reconciliation of Hamas and Fatah, his condemnation of terror perpetrated by Hamas and his call for Palestinians to halt unilateral steps toward recognition. The official added that Obama recognized Israel as a Jewish state, saying that focusing on issue of 1967 borders was missing the point.

The official acknowledged that the U.S. president expressed frustration over the peace process, saying Obama has presented his vision as a way of getting started, and a way to avoid in September a repeat of the situation that happened in February, in which the UN Security Council voted on the condemnation of settlements and the U.S. vetoed the resolution.

“This time we might end up at the General Assembly with 187 countries voting for the recognition of the Palestinian state and two against it,” he said, adding “it’s bad for Israel and its bad for the United States. Netanyahu’s reaction has aggravated the situation and frankly I don’t know how he will get down from this tree.”

The official clarified that Obama mentioned 1967 borders with territory swaps as a basis for negotiations – not as a final point.

[emphasis added]

I am continually fascinated with how so much of the media focus has been on the perception that Obama “threw Israel under the bus” rather than the fact that despite being thrown several very large bones in the speech, Netanyahu, as usual, chose to focus only on what he saw as the negatives. Talk about tunnel vision. It’s almost as though Netanyahu is afraid of peace.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    May 20, 2011 6:38 pm

    Well said!

    I wanted to pick up on something you urged everyone to do earlier — contact the White House, your Senators and Congressmen and let them know what your thought about the President’s speech and Netanyahu’s reaction.

    I wrote an email to the White House and called my Senators and Congresswoman to express my support for the President and my dismay at Netanyahu’s intransigence and insulting behavior towards Obama. I told them that while I don’t favor booing a visiting foreign dignitary during their address to a joint session of Congress, I hoped they would find a way to express support for the President’s position, if only by withholding applause if Netanyahu adopts a bullying or lecturing tone or attempts to dictate what we should or should not be saying and doing with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I also said that if Netanyahu was in any way disrespectful of our President I hoped they would find a way to indicate their displeasure, if only by crossing their arms, frowning, and shaking their heads, “No.”

    Make your voices heard!

    • May 21, 2011 9:54 am

      Good for you. I will say, I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell of any member of congress showing outward disapproval of Bibi. I would just be happy if they issued statements showing support for Obama’s Mideast speech.

      I ‘ve been going to the websites of certain democratic members of Congress to see if they issued statements following Obama’s speech- particularly the NY delegation- and so far they haven’t. I think the silence is deafening. While it’s good they haven’t condemned it they haven’t supported it either.

      I wrote about 15 members of Congress yesterday and this morning but I should probably call my own congress-members because that makes more of an impact.

      It’s time for Dennis Ross to prove his worth- he supposedly was an outreach person to the Jewish community in 2008 for Obama and he should be lobbying Jewish Democrats in Congress to get behind the president. But i have a hard time believing Ross approved of the 1967 line in the speech. Lets be honest, shall we- if Jewish democrats in Congress came out solidly behind the POTUS on this it would undermine Bibi’s efforts to triangulate them.

      I read a very interesting comment from someone on another blog saying Bibi’s feigned outrage was an orchestrated attempt to bring the fight right to Obama- there is something truly unseemly about a foreign leader coming to this country and basically dissing the President’s foreign policy. He would only do that if he knew ahead of time that he had congressional support and obviously, the AIPAC speech tomorrow is key- he’ll be treated like the prodigal son returning, while Obama will be treated like a bellhop.

  2. Thain permalink
    May 21, 2011 10:12 am

    Sorry to rain on the parade, but this guy makes some good points:

    Bibi has already said he won’t divide Jerusalem, won’t cede the settlements, won’t allow refugees to return, won’t stop settlement construction and won’t go by 1967 borders and yet where is the media and US outrage? He’s basically said he doesn’t give a shit about peace because if he won’t compromise on any of those issues what is left to talk about? Yet the administration heaps most of the blame on the Palestinians for walking away from negotiations and exercising their legal rights at the UN. Only a country that has been bought out by the I-Lobby could have such a twisted view of what an honest broker is.

    All this focus on Obama’s reference to 1967 is a smoke-screen- what does it matter if Israel won’t make any concessions? As that article points out above the status quo has benefited Israel by allowing them to create facts on the ground that ensure that there won’t be a contiguous Palestinian state and yet when does this administration acknowledge that? Where is the outrage? Israel can break the law daily but when the Palestinians try to go to the UN because they know the peace process is a US-sponsored joke, they are accused of “delegitimizing” Israel? If I were a Palestinian I would be outraged!

    For years we’ve been asking them to not use violence to oppose the occupation and then when they do they get shot- at least 12 unarmed people shot dead and what did Secy Clinton or Pres. Obama have to say about it? Did I miss something? It’s a damn disgrace! Why should they use unarmed resistance when the only way they get our attention is by using violence? It’s like psych 101. Christ.

    • stacyx permalink*
      May 21, 2011 10:32 am

      @Thain- all the points you raise are good ones. See this article from Israeli news about just that:

      It points out that while people focused on the 1967 line Obama basically supported Israeli policy across the board without getting anything from Israel in return- in fact, quite the opposite. As you mentioned, the media is ignoring the fact that Bibi’s statements immediately prior to leaving for washington and his statements in Washington, make it clear that he has no interest in two states. I’ve been saying this for a long time not just about Bibi but about AIPAC and Congress- you can’t say you support two states and then throw in the caveat that Jerusalem remains undivided, no 1967 borders, no contiguous borders and no right of return at all. We all believe that the right of return will be jettisoned but no Palestinian leader can give up E. Jerusalem and everyone knows it.

      The only chance for peace is the Obama administration working behind the scenes to collapse Bibi’s coalition in the hopes that the more moderately right wing Kadima (by no means liberal at all- it’s Likud-light) in power. The way to do that would take Obama developing a real spine and taking on the lobby- two things he’s not going to do prior to 2012. It would mean making Israel wonder whether the US will abstain from the vote in September- but Obama’s speech indicates that we are not going to use any tools in our toolbox to put real pressure on Israel, the 1967 comment notwithstanding. It also sounds like we are more likely than not to take a hard line against the unity govt despite not dismissing it out of hand- Congress is already working on resolutions to prohibit money going to the PA because of the unity deal.

      In other words, bibi has played this admin. like a fiddle. I give Obama credit for being willing to utter the words “1967” but the reality is, absent more, all he’s doing is solidifying Bibi’s right wing base at home and that means a dead peace process. At this stage I have no idea what this administration’s goal or plan is.

  3. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    May 21, 2011 11:40 am

    What if Obama (or Hillary) publicly called for Assad to leave?

    What if Obama instructed Rice to abstain on the September UN vote on Palestinian statehood?

    What if — gasp! — we voted to condemn further settlements the next time that issue arises?

    What if we called home our Middle East envoy as a public statement that we are no longer willing to act as a dishonest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations?

    In other words, what if Obama exercised
    whatever power he has (that doesn’t require
    Congressional approval) to show the Israelis that
    as long as he is President, he will not back

    • stacyx permalink*
      May 21, 2011 12:15 pm

      @Carolyn- unfortunately, Obama has sort of boxed himself in- the part of the speech that everyone ignored- where he basically threw Israel about 4 bones while saying that the Palestinians had no legal rights other than sitting down and talking with an Israeli leader that doesn’t support them getting a state- gives him no diplomatic room to maneuver. There is no way in the world he’d abstain in September and he’s already shown he doesn’t have the stomach to condemn settlements at the UN.

      If special rules didn’t apply, everything you said above would be totally within the realm of possibility but who is going to support him- Congress? The lobby? the Jewish community? None of the above. They’re all upset he said four numbers

      We’ll see if he really has a backbone at AIPAC tomorrow when he gives his speech. Yesterday he let a foreign leader come to the WH and pardon the expression- piss on the rug- Bibi insulted the POTUS to his face by lecturing him on Mideast history, telling him he needs to tell the Palestinians there will be no right of return and refusing the 1967 parameters. Hello? Where’s the outrage from the Jewish community? Or among Congressional Democrats? Jeffrey Goldberg spoke up before the bibi-barack meeting, but that’s it.

      If Obama doesn’t rebut the misinformation being spread by the pro-Israel media and Bibi about the 1967 issue then we’ll know Obama was just doing his usual lofty speech with zero follow up. I don’t expect him to do at AIPAC what Bibi did to the American people- to be a guest at someone’s house and treat them like crap- I expect Obama to reaffirm his commitment to Israel, be respectful of Bibi etc. but he has to explain that 1967 is a parameter and final borders will be determined through negotiations. If he does what he did at the WH and refuses to bring up 1967 being it will upset the Jewish community and Christian Zionists then Bibi and the Lobby win and Obama has just helped Bibi get re-elected in 2013.

      If he doesn’t stand up for his vision- which by the way is not radical at all, then there was no point bringing it up in his speech at the State Dept.

      BTW, if I can get a live-feed of the AIPAC speech tomorrow I’ll be live-blogging it over at Taylor Marsh because, you know, what better way to spend a Sunday than with my friends at the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee 😉

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        May 21, 2011 12:29 pm

        Obama said, “Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state…And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums.”

        I guess that sounds pretty definitive, but I think it leaves a teeny bit of wiggle room especially regarding the possibility of abstaining on the September vote. I also think Obama can change his mind and amend his words. God knows, Bibi has done that often enough.

        Oh well, I guess I just refuse to accept the idea that Bibi can flip us the finger and that there’s absolutely no way Obama can respond.

  4. stacyx permalink*
    May 21, 2011 12:37 pm

    Have I mentioned lately that I love Daniel Levy? If not, here I go: I love Daniel Levy.

    If only he was an adviser to Obama or part of the negotiating team. He was an Israeli negotiator during the Clinton years and he’s the most pragmatic, justice-minded, level-headed person around. If only the Jewish community would listen to him and follow his lead:

    I would like to see him on lots of American television shows giving interviews so that he can rebut the US media propaganda.

    • Seamus permalink
      May 21, 2011 2:22 pm

      Yes, I believe you have stated you loved Levy. He’s a very smart man. Too bad his advice is rarely followed.

      You are live-blogging on taylormarsh tomorrow? Why not here?

      • stacyx permalink*
        May 21, 2011 2:33 pm

        I blog every Sunday over there but instead of a round-up I’ve been asked to live-blog the speech which starts at 10:30a.m. So I can’t be in two places at once but I could cross-post it here afterwards. That said, while you, me, Carolyn, Thain and a few others deeply care about this issue, there are thousands of other visitors who come here specifically for info. on Hillary so I have to balance those two things out. Personally, given Hillary is SOS, I don’t think you can completely separate Hillary from general discussions of foreign policy, that is unless one has just a fan-girl blog, which I never meant this to be.

        For those that are interested, a history of nonviolent Palestinian activism which has largely been ignored. The article points out that the US and Israel have largely ignored the Palestinian peace and resistance movement while at the same time hypocritically calling on the Palestinians to embrace nonviolence. Why has that hypocrisy never been called out? Because the pro-Israel media ignore Palestinian nonviolence in favor of the Israeli govt narrative that every Palestinian born is a future terrorist. It’s racism at its worst.

        • Pilgrim permalink
          May 21, 2011 11:23 pm

          I am one who is very interested in the Israel-Palestine topic and I like the way you deal with it, so wherever you write on it, I eagerly attend.

          • stacyx permalink*
            May 22, 2011 8:08 am

            Thank you very much Pilgrim 🙂

  5. May 21, 2011 3:49 pm

    I agree with Rosenberg- the outrage over the 1967 reference in Obama’s speech was totally contrived:

    There has to be some starting point for negotiations and the most logical is 1967 lines (Obama didn’t even say “borders” which was a bone to Israel).

    Remember what Bill Clinton said after meeting Bibi for the first time in the early 90’s? “Who the f*ck does he think he is? Who is the superpower here?”

    That’s the problem- Bibi hasn’t changed one bit. Hillary and Obama have no choice but to say publicly that Bibi supports a two state solution but the fact is, they know he doesn’t. That is why they should do everything in their power to weaken his coalition while playing footsy with Kadima. We always interfere in the politics of other countries and god knows Israel interferes in ours!

    • Pilgrim permalink
      May 21, 2011 11:25 pm

      Bill Clinton put it very well. I am just dreading that Obama may back off and bow down to the insolent brat. If he doesn’t, I may retain a sliver of respect for him, but I’m worried….

  6. HillaryFan permalink
    May 21, 2011 4:55 pm

    You’re a very good writer stacy and your links are helpful. Netanyahu was totally inappropriate during that press conference.

    That’s interesting about Bill Clinton’s response to Netanyahu I didn’t know that.

    • Pilgrim permalink
      May 21, 2011 11:28 pm

      Yes, I agree Stacey is a good writer. I believe she’s a lawyer, a profession which tends to foster precision in written pieces.

  7. Thain permalink
    May 21, 2011 6:59 pm

    I’m reading all over the net that Jewish members of congress and the Jewish community in general is all upset about the speech and trying to get him to “fix” his error tomorrow at AIPAC. What a bunch of whiners. 1967 is just a starting point- no one thinks it will be the end point. Have you noticed that these folks seem perpetually upset? Maybe they should vote GOP. This victim card is getting old- this time it’s the Palestinians who are the victims. Israel has nukes and total control of Palestinian freedom. They’ve made a choice to create an apartheid system but they lack the moral courage to admit it. The Holocaust was tragic just like slavery was but to use it as an excuse to engage in ethnic cleansing and land theft kind of makes a mockery of it all.

    I’ll bet ya that Obama caves at AIPAC and throws the Palestinians under the bus even more.

    Stacy is right- the faux outrage was orchestrated to send a message to Obama to tow the Likud line.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      May 21, 2011 11:00 pm

      You know how I hate to contradict you, Thain, but I’m going to be optimistic and predict Obama won’t cave at AIPAC. In fact, I’m going to make a prediction that if he gets booed and if Netanyahu, and AIPAC, and Israel firsters in Congress continue to disrespect Obama, it will backfire bigtime on the Republicans. AIPAC may have Congress in its pocket, but I don’t think your average American voter has any special allegiance to Israel and will not cotton to a foreign nation trying to strong arm our President and dictate our foreign policy. There will be a strong patriotic backlash.

      You heard it here first! 😉

      • Pilgrim permalink
        May 21, 2011 11:26 pm

        God, I hope you’re right, C-R.

      • Thain permalink
        May 22, 2011 8:14 am

        That’s why I like you Carolyn, always positive :).

        Unfortunately, Jewish democrats have already come out against Obama- see Stacy’s link below from politico. I think it’s an outrage and on Monday I am going to call Weiner, Israel, Lowey, Boxer, Nadler etc. and tell them I expect them to support their President, particularly given Bibi totally lied about what Obama said in his speech. I continue to be amazed how they all run to Bibi- are they aware that this feeds into every negative stereotype about dual loyalty? They actually are giving fodder to anti-semites to use against them.

  8. stacyx permalink*
    May 22, 2011 6:35 am

    Unfortunately, as expected, members of congress are confused about who runs this country- the president of the US or the PM of Israel. Once again they have selected Bibi as their leader. They are a disgrace to their office.

  9. stacyx permalink*
    May 22, 2011 7:51 am

    Jewish members of Congress had a simple choice- support their president or support a foreign leader who is purposely misrepresenting President Obama’s words- Obama never said Israel had to retreat to 1967 borders but rather they would be a framework with mutually agreed land swaps- they are merely a starting point, not an end point.

    Unfortunately, Anthony Weiner is one of the most difficult when it comes to this issue- he refuses to be flexible at all and seems to just parrot the Likud leaders talking points. Very disappointing.

    If you are so inclined, CALL THESE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS and tell them that they are misrepresenting what Obama said and that we generally expect members of Congress not to side with foreign leaders who are trying to politicize support for their country.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      May 22, 2011 9:51 am

      I’m fired up!

      Besides Weiner, Israel, Lowey, Boxer, Nadler, I’d throw in my very own Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who boasted how he can ignore his Arab constituents and totally get away with it. Any others you & Thain would recommend?

  10. lackhan permalink
    May 22, 2011 4:45 pm

    keep spreading the news. Is the jewish PM insulting a US president. Is this so because he is an African American?

  11. January 24, 2013 7:36 pm

    I wish there could be peace between the two sides but I don’t think that will ever be

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