- After Obama's May 18 speech called for establishing a
Palestinian state within 1967 borders, world headlines suggested a rift
with Netanyahu, misinterpreting what he meant. More on that below.
- On May 17, in fact, New York Times writers Mark Landler
and Helene Cooper headlined, "As Uprisings Transform Mideast, Obama
Aims to Reshape the Peace Debate," saying:
- Ahead of his speech, White House press secretary Jay
Carney said he'd offer "some specific new ideas about US policy toward
- Unidentified officials also suggested he might endorse
a Palestinian state within 1967 borders. Doing so, however, would represent
"less of a policy shift than a signal" that Washington wants
Israel to make concessions to restart peace talks - a gesture, whether
or not substantive with teeth.
- On May 17, after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah,
- "Despite the many changes, or perhaps because of
the many changes that are taking place in the region, it's more vital than
ever that both Israelis and Palestinians find a way to get back to the
table and begin negotiating a process whereby they can create two states
that are living side by side in peace and security."
- Moreover, his May 22 AIPAC speech affirmed his unwavering
support for a "strong and secure Israel."
- As a result, "I and my administration have made
the security of Israel a priority. It's why we've increased cooperation
between our militaries to unprecedented levels. It's why we're making our
most advanced technologies available to our Israeli allies. And it's why,
despite tough fiscal times, we've increased foreign military financing
to record levels."
- Moreover, current regional events and realities motivated
his peace proposal some call radical and unacceptable. In fact, "(t)here
was nothing particularly original in (it). This basic framework....has
long been the basis for discussions....including (for) previous US administrations
(within) the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps...."
- It's for "the parties themselves - Israelis and
Palestinians - (to) negotiate a border that is different than the one that
existed on June 4, 1967," taking into account the "new demographic
realities on the ground and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal
is two states for two peoples," no matter his agreeing to all key
Israeli demands, excluding what Palestinians most want, assuring no possibility
for peace, reconciliation and true Palestinian self-determination.
- In fact, Washington and Israel both endorse an Oslo type
agreement, a shameless betrayal amounting to another Palestinian Versailles,
benefitting Israel, not them, what no legitimate Palestinian leader will
- On May 19, Times writer Cooper headlined, "Obama
and Netanyahu, Distrustful Allies, Meet," saying:
- Ahead of their meeting, both "men are facing a turning
point in a relationship that has never been warm. By all accounts, they
do not trust each other." Obama told aides he doesn't think Netanyahu
will yield enough for peace. "For his part, Mr. Netanyahu has complained
that Mr. Obama has pushed Israel too far...."
- In fact, under present and past leaders, both countries
abhore peace. For example, in the 1980s, former Prime Minister Yitzhak
Shamir admitted that Israel's 1982 Lebanon war was waged because of "a
terrible danger....not so much a military one as a political one."
- So a pretext was created for war like Washington's done
repeatedly since WW II, pursuing its permanent war agenda against one
country, then others without letup to satisfy its imperial/military-industrial
- On May 19, Times writer Ethan Bronner headlined, "Netanyahu
Reponds Icily to Obama's Remarks," saying:
- He responded "testily" to Obama's endorsing
a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, in contrast to Haaretz saying
he "granted Netanyahu a major diplomatic victory" by leaving
undefined the size or locations of a Palestinian state. It also quoted
- "Israel appreciates President Obama's commitment
to peace," adding that he expects him to refrain from demanding Israel
withdraw to "indefensible (1967 borders) which will leave a large
population of Israel in Judea and Samaria and outside Israel's borders."
- He did, in fact, at AIPAC's annual conference, showing
that those calling his position radical are wrong. They misstate unchanged
Washington policy, affirming rock-solid support for Israel, agreeing on
all core issues.
- Moreover, key Israel/Palestinian ones remain to be negotiated,
no matter that Washington and Israel spurn diplomacy and concessions over
major ones, including the inviolable right of return and Jerusalem as Palestine's
capital. It's why decades of peace talks were stillborn and remain so,
regardless of political rhetoric, urging their resumption.
- On May 20, Times writer Steven Myers headlined, "Divisions
Are Clear as Obama and Netanyahu Discuss Peace," saying:
- "Mr. Netanyahu said that Israel would not accept
a return to the (pre-1967) boundaries....calling them indefensible."
In fact, Obama doesn't want Israel to relinquish its settlements, home
to about 500,000 West Bank and East Jerusalem Jews.
- Moreover, on February 18, Washington vetoed a Security
Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal under international
law. The vote was 14 yes, America the sole no, isolating the US and Israel
on this long festering issue. The measure had 120 co-sponsors, an overwhelming
endorsement for what Obama rejects.
- Nonetheless, headlines keep suggesting a growing rift,
including from Haaretz writers Natasha Mozgovaya and Barak Ravid's May
22 article headlined, "Obama to address AIPAC in wake of tense meeting
with Netanyahu at White House," saying:
- "Senior officials (from both countries) expressed
a sense of great tension and profound mutual insult following the meeting."
At AIPAC, Obama "is expected to try to stave off further deterioration
in US-Israeli relations."
- In fact, Netanyahu "left the (White House) more
satisfied than he went in" after Obama pledged America's longstanding
rock solid support, leaving Palestinians out of their equation entirely.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays
at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs
are archived for easy listening.