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September 25, 2009: What If?

October 22, 2009

“What if Israel,” writes analyst Herb Keinon in today’s Jerusalem Post, “tempered by the harsh reality of the 16 years since Oslo, is not exactly in a giving mood any more.”
How sweet are those words. 
“For Obama,” declares Keinon, “the trilateral talks in New York on Tuesday fell far short of his expectations, but for Netanyahu, victory was achieved on multiple fronts.”
Netanyahu has seen Obama seeming to back down on the settlement issue in frustration, and Abbas meeting with him at the UN even though he said he wouldn’t because there was no freeze on settlements, and support coming from all wings of his coalition.
(I am sorry, and frustrated, that I cannot locate a URL for this.  Sometimes there is a lag time.)
Even the Arab media outlet Al Jazeera declared that Netanyahu had bested Obama.
And that’s before Netanyahu’s stunning speech yesterday, which brought him accolades.
Let us pray that strength follows upon strength now, and that our prime minister continues to stand tall on our behalf.
I now have a URL for the full text of Netanyahu’s speech yesterday:
You might also like to see a video analysis of Obama’s UN speech by John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN and a straight-talking man, who offers somber commentary. (Thank you, Barbara O.) 
I have just one correction:  Bolton refers to the pre-67 “borders” of Israel, but, as I pointed out recently, this was an armistice line, not a border. Even our friends don’t always get this right.
According to Khaled Abu Toameh, not only was Abbas disappointed in the three-way discussion at the UN, he had to endure the annoyance of members of his Fatah party who were not happy that he had met with Netanyahu when settlement activity had not been frozen.  In fact, some accused Obama of “humiliating” Abbas by forcing him to attend the meeting when he had said he would not come.
But Obama’s control over Abbas was of very brief duration, and in the end — if the Palestinians have anything to say about it –it will be Obama who will be humiliated because his peace plans aren’t working.
As I mentioned very briefly yesterday, Abbas is now balking at going into negotiations with us:  This is because of “fundamental disagreements” with Israel regarding what should be on the agenda; he finds that “there is no common ground for discussion” with Netanyahu.
Translation:  He wants it all, as the Palestinians have always wanted it all, and Netanyahu’s government is not willing to talk to them openly about this, about moving back to the Green Line and dividing Jerusalem and taking in “refugees.”
Additionally, Saeb Erekat, PA negotiator, has reiterated that Netanyahu’s demand that we be recognized as a Jewish state is “unacceptable.”  (I will, I hope, return in due course to an examination of why this demand is important.)
Abbas says that he really hates to cause friction with the US government, but…
Obama has set a deadline of two years for establishment of a Palestinian state.  But, he’s going no where on this.  This fast-track is not only foolish, it’s dangerous, because it lifts Palestinians expectations, setting them up for a fall.
Watch:  The Palestinians will blame us for being obstinate, and blocking their legitimate rights, and there will be another Intifada, better known as a war.  And it will be a more difficult war, because US General Dayton is training PA troops. An idiotic move that will backfire.  As I am now doing research on this, I will have a great deal more to say about it. 
But better a war than having an Olmert in office who would rush to give Abbas what he wanted. Olmert now brags that no one will offer the PA a better deal than he did. What he forgets is that they wouldn’t even take that “best deal.” (The Palestinians don’t want a ‘two-state’ solution, they want us gone — which is actually the short answer to why the demand we be recognized as a Jewish state is important.)
The IAEA has been informed by Iran that it has a second uranium enrichment plant. Obama plans to accuse Iran of hiding this facility at the start of G-20 talks.  But how will this affect US talks with Iran is not known, for apparently Obama is still holding on to his plans in this regard.
The time before Shabbat is short (and grows shorter as sundown comes earlier).  I would like to use this remaining time to touch just a couple of bases, briefly.
I have been asked by a Canadian member of my list to give proper credit to the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, and I find this a most appropriate request.  Harper has demonstrated moral clarity repeatedly and shown himself to be a marvelous friend of Israel.  He took the lead in deciding that Canada would boycott Ahmadinejad’s speech, and I salute him for this.
Some days ago, I received a message from Paul Teller, Executive Director of the U.S. House Republican Study Committee (a wonderful House caucus it’s good to know about), letting me know that Committee Chair, Congressman Tom Price (R-GA), had sent a letter of support to PM Netanyahu prior to his meetings at the UN this week.
The concluding paragraph was this:
“The United States must address the Middle East peace process with the strongest of support for Israel.  We believe that members of the Jewish faith should be able to freely and securely live and work anywhere, including in all of historic Israel.  Allow my to assure you that we will not turn our back on promises the United States has made to assist and defend Israel during such turbulent times.  You are a successful democracy, ally, and unconditional friend, and you have our full support.”
It’s reassuring to know that we have friends such as this in Congress.  If you are inclined to thank Congressman Price (it’s important for him to know that his efforts are valued), you can reach him here:  http://tom.house.gov/html/contact_form_email.cfm
Paul Teller can be reached at: Paul.Teller@mail.house.gov.




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