May 8, 2009

Obama Could Be Serious in Pushing Israel to Peace

I'm skeptical but there are indications.

Nathan Guttman's piece in The Forward (AIPAC Confronts A New Reality as Obama’s Agenda Becomes Clear; A Tougher Message Replaces the Uncritical Support of Bush Years):

But (Vice-President) Biden, after sending up his rhetorical warning, used his May 5 keynote speech to the pro-Israel lobby to convey the Obama administration’s insistence on a number of policies directly conflicting with those of the new government in Israel — and some policies held by previous Israeli governments, too.

Other speakers, such as Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts,
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, underlined Biden’s points on
the need for Israel to stop expanding settlements in the West Bank and accept
the necessity of a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian
That's pretty much the standard line being pushed by thoughtful writers and bloggers. See also
Jerusalem worried over breakdown of U.S.-Israel cooperation under Obama (Aluf Benn and Barak Ravid).

But then there is this, just out on Haaretz (Barak Ravid):

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of Russian-language reporters Thursday that Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights.

'Remaining on the Golan will ensure Israel has a strategic advantage in cases of military conflict with Syria,' Netanyahu said during a briefing he gave to the reporters.

His comments were published Friday on several Russian-language Israeli Web sites.
This position renders a settlement freeze besides the point, and signals the militarist Israeli government's determination to play to rightwing Russian immigrants in Israel comprising some 15 percent of Israel's 7,000,000 citizens.

Israel will pursue peace when hell freezes over.

No comments:

Post a Comment