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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Netanyahu ready to resume Mideast peace talks

That is the (rather overly optimistic) headline, but I would add--
Netanyahu ready to resume Mideast peace talks...sort of... if you bomb and invade Iran for us and if the Palestinians give up all rights and claims to 'Greater Israel'.

Netanyahu said he was ready to resume peace talks with the Palestinians immediately but said any agreement depended on their acceptance of Israel's right to exist.

Netanyahu did not respond publicly to Obama's comment that Israel must stop expanding Jewish settlements in West Bank. He also refused again to say he was ready to negotiate a so-called two-state solution to the nearly 60-year dispute with the Palestinians. The plan, endorsed by the United States and other parties pushing for peace between the historic foes, calls for establishment of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel.

This Obama-Netanyahu meeting is portrayed as tough love and a big contrast to the past administration. Even-handedness (???) was also mentioned in the CNN piece. Blunt was the buzzword in the NPR story. I would call the changes subtle at best. There is no
real change here. The phrase “no breakthroughs were expected” repeated throughout the coverage should give you the real idea here.

Mentioning settlements is hardly tough or blunt, as CNN and others want you to believe. Settlements are a no-brainer. They are often mistakenly called a "painful concession" or final status issue when in fact, there can be no contiguous Palestinian entity without the total removal of ALL Jewish settlements. Besides this basic fact, they are ALL against the law. That alone should be cause for us to discuss cutting off “aid” to Israel if they don’t comply with the law. That
would be just and could perhaps even be called more even-handed.

No, I take that back- evenhanded would be to say- you want Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state ? Great, but before you expect that, deal with two points: (1) you don’t recognize a Palestinian state or two state solution and (2) Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is ludicrous because they would be giving up their right of return, right to equal protection and treatment under the law, among other things.

That would be just. That would be evenhanded. That will never happen. We for some odd reason are attached to the hip of this apartheid regime and constantly seek it's approval though we don't need it in the least. And neither do they need ours- though they tend to do more slapping us in the face (settlement expansion announcements ahead of visits to the US) than seeking our approval.

Netanyahu has long insisted that any Palestinian state forgo the common trappings of statehood, including its own military, control over its borders and authority over electronic communications.
From: Israel's prime minister tells Obama he wants to restart peace talks,0,3662125.story

All the coverage I read seems to imply that Netanyahu didn't say two state solution, but he wants to- or is on the cusp. This little snippet from LA Times is perhaps more truthful or at least insightful than all I've heard in the past 24 hours.

So, not only won't he say two state solution, he does want indefinite occupation. He has said he doesn't want Israel to govern, so who, I wonder does he propose to "be in charge" ? The basic human belief that all have a God-given right to a state, life, freedom, happiness, yadda, yadda, yadda applies to Israelis (and hence all Jews everywhere forever) and Americans, but definitely not Palestinians. Now that makes sense. Oh. What makes even more sense is how the US and Israel don't think they should be able to be tried in the ICC or be charged with human rights violations, but Palestinians aren't being called out enough.

Obama presses two-state solution in U.S.-Israel talks
Netanyahu said that it was clear to Obama "that Israel retains the right to defend itself".

In his briefing to reporters, Netanyahu gave no indication he would do so, citing the need for Palestinians to carry out their road map commitments.
*This quote is referring to stopping settlement expansion and is rather funny, especially in light of the first link from LA Times. I mean, really? This is me in a really bad Israeli accent--> 'Uhhhhh...No, we're going to continue to defy international law, but you make those Palestinians follow the Roadmap (which of course we won't follow)!!'

These next two links demonstrate the primary goals of each side. It was kind of funny to see this unfold. Both are coming with two different agendas. At one point it seemed like they were giving independent talks or news conferences rather than interacting with each other. I am happy to see that Obama didn't back down and leave out the parts about peace, two states and settlements. If I'm not mistaken, Netanyahu tried to get the agenda set to Iran only, but Obama stuck to his guns and said they could talk about both. He's not wrong to say that they are linked.

"It is in the interests not only of the Palestinians but also the Israelis, the United States and the international community to achieve a two-state solution," Obama told reporters with Netanyahu sitting beside him.

*This is being cast by the media as Obama’s main priority.

Obama presses Netanyahu over two-state plan

Our correspondent says Mr Netanyahu came to Washington with his own list of priorities, topped by Iran's nuclear programme.

*Striking Iran, not making peace, is Israel’s priority. Will it become ours? If so, one really has to wonder whose influence is greater. Who is the superpower? I get all mixed up when Israel and the US get to talking.

Here's the piece I saw "tough love" in. With tough love like this, parents wouldn't have to worry about disciplining their kids! Just let 'em do whatever. And they'll turn into little monsters. Much like Israel.

Analysis: Obama's tough-love approach to Israel

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