Netanyahu eats Obama for breakfast

The more innocuous title of this next phase of the Obama Middle East peace plan is not, I give up but, "Obama doubtful on Middle East peace." Al Jezeera breaks the news:

Barack Obama, the US president, has admitted that Washington's power to influence stalled negotations between Israel and the Palestinians in limited.

Speaking to reporters after hosting a nuclear security summit on Tuesday, Obama said he had little hope for swift progress towards Middle East peace, more than a year after taking office and declaring it a high priority for his administration.

US-led peace efforts have been stymied by a dispute over Jewish settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land that has strained ties between Washington and its close ally Israel. Internal rifts among the Palestinians have also posed challenges to the process. "The truth is in some of these conflicts the United States can't impose solutions unless the participants in these conflicts are willing to break out of old patterns of antagonism," Obama told a news conference on Tuesday.


Really? The president of the USA, the greatest Superpower in the world, is so impotent before this tiny country called Israel, that he is unable to influence a peace process, stop an illegal occupation and the colonization of another people's lands, in spite of the billions American taxpayers have contributed over the years.

Netanyahu eats Obama for breakfast is the only conclusion.

Read for yourself:

Tags: (all tags)




Mainstreet, I genuinely appreciate your apparent frustration with the whole situation, and how it bothers you that Obama hasn't somehow magically resolved the problems... but seriously, can't you do better than this???? 

Maybe you should get a good night's sleep, and in the morning, have a nice healthy breakfast - oatmeal, perhaps - with raisins and brown sugar.

Netanyahu eats Obama for breakfast is the only conclusion.

Read for yourself:

by QTG 2010-04-16 08:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Really?

Well, in point of fact, Netanyahu also ate Bill Clinton for breakfast, and Bill Clinton turned out to be the most damaging president as far as creating impediments to a peaceful resolution to this conflict is concerned.

Obama has just about given up, and so soon. It is sad, and I wish I could do better than to report such bad news, but the reality is what it is. Sorry if you are disappointed about it. Show me something that will raise my spirits and I will shout it out the next time around.

by MainStreet 2010-04-16 11:13PM | 0 recs
RE: Really?

Whatever. Blame me if you like. Blame Barney the Dinosaur. We all have a share, but Isralis themselves, Palestinians themselves, regional actors, Europeans, and American Jews ALL are much more to blame for the failures than the other 6 Billion of us earthlings - and that includes Obama.

by QTG 2010-04-17 10:53AM | 0 recs
RE: Really?

If some entry level diplomat in the State Department decided to say in a press release that it would be better if Netanyahu resigned, that day, you would see him before the Knesset talking about how his health declined and he needs to step down.  Israel doesn't do anything without the express permission of the "boss man", as Mossad, Shin Bet & IDF leaders call us.  Everything Israel does is because the U.S.A. orders it to.  Every single things.  Palestinians, Europeans, etc. are not to blame at all.  It is our fault.  Every single American's fault, and no one else's.(except of course Israelis directly participating)

by The Weekly Glass 2010-04-20 09:47AM | 0 recs
RE: Really?

Given Obama's backtracking on two public occasions, carried by the foreign press, I would have to say you are wrong.

Except for Ike during the Suez crisis, and some timid assertiveness by Bush Sr., no American president has dared to intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in any meaningful way. We saw the opposite just recently, when Obama subordinated his Cairo view to Netanyahu's on the matter of the Gaza siege, the settlement freeze, and East Jerusalem, Netanyahu's poke in the eye of both Biden and Obama, when he made his case before AIPAC, and his proclimations concerning what Israel will or may not keep of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Netanyahu has been implementing the Likud Charter (political platform)concerning the Palestinians since his election, and he has been unstoppable.

Obama is incapable of doing dink and he knows it. The tail is wagging the dog again, and the US is subjecting itself to Israel's every desire. Weirshirmer and Walt were not exaggerating their case concerning the influence and power of the Israel Lobby, which for a few decades now has been a supporter of Likud politics and the take it all Greater Israel dream.

by MainStreet 2010-04-20 05:26PM | 0 recs
RE: Really?

Sorry. Make that Mearshirmer and Walt.

by MainStreet 2010-04-20 07:12PM | 0 recs
Talk about frustration.

And don't presume to speak for American Jews, or ALL Israelis, for that matter. Get up on the issue, instead.

by MainStreet 2010-04-17 12:20PM | 0 recs
Perhaps the failure

is closer to home. You've been at this for longer than Obama.

List your successes, or stfu.

by QTG 2010-04-17 04:40PM | 0 recs
RE: Perhaps the failure

Honestly can't remember the date on which Obama first had dinner with Edward Said, but I think that it predates the start of my blogging for Palestinian freedom and self-determination.

And I succeed everyday that I publicize this conflict. Are you one of those who prefer silence about the occupation and colonization?

by MainStreet 2010-04-17 05:42PM | 0 recs
RE: Perhaps the failure

No, but certainly more arguments than simple administration-bashing would be useful. The Israel-Pal issue is 60 years in the making, it's not going to be solved in a year 'n a half.

by vecky 2010-04-17 05:52PM | 0 recs
RE: Perhaps the failure

But that seems to be the plan, a year and a half. Stall and deflect and procrastinate is the Israel tactic to gain time in order to put more and more facts on the ground.

So save your advise. People are just tired of being snookered by lies and deception.

by MainStreet 2010-04-17 07:40PM | 0 recs
RE: Perhaps the failure

Sounds to me like your ire is better directed towards the Netanyahu administration rather than Obama. 

by vecky 2010-04-17 10:44PM | 0 recs
RE: Perhaps the failure

Okay here's some irk ala Mondoweiss, and who doesn't believe Netanyahu is a lost cause. Check out his latest ploy. Netanyahu is going religious through of all people, Elie Weisel, Mr. Indifference, only this time around it is for the Palestinian cause:

Netanyahu’s shtadlanim press Obama with same tired arguments

Posted: 18 Apr 2010

Ilene Cohen writes:

"The last week has seen Ron Lauder and Elie Wiesel playing the role of the shtadlan. Historically, the shtadlan, a Jew of some influence, was the one called upon to intercede with the gentile authorities on behalf of the Jewish people in times of trouble. A beggar of sorts. It may have been the only way to save the Jewish community in the Middle Ages and into nineteenth-century eastern Europe, but there's something unsavory and creepy about Benjamin Netanyahu turning to shtadlanim to intercede for the State of Israel in the twenty-first century. And with the feeblest--if the most popular--of the talking points, no less.

First we had Ron Lauder's publication in the WSJ of his pompous letter to President Obama, presenting the talking points for continued Israeli hegemony over Palestine on the grounds that Israel had given and given and given, and, anyway, everything was the "fault" of the Palestinians. As Lauder the Shtadlan boasted, Netanyahu himself reviewed the letter before it went to the ruler (Obama).

Now we have Elie Wiesel's absurd letter about Jerusalem, based on today's most popular talking point, "God gave it to us"--so end of story. We know, too, that when Wiesel was in Israel for Passover, he was summoned by Netanyahu, who implored Mr. Holocaust to intercede with Obama on behalf of Israeli hegemony over Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine (that is what this is about, after all). Wiesel is reported to have had lunch with Obama last week, and he then published his letter in a number of US newspapers, including today in the New York Times. It's a thorough embarrassment, based as it is on Jewish whining and lying (with the specter of the Holocaust that comes with Wiesel as a matter of course). Whether or not Wiesel actually believes this stuff, his depiction of how life in Jerusalem works for non-Jews is false.

For Wiesel, the number of times that "Jerusalem" appears in the Hebrew Bible appears to lock in Israel's right to colonize East Jerusalem and to expel Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah; he writes that "for me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics" (boldface in original). How cleanly he dismisses the last 2500 years, let alone "politics."

To Wiesel and Netanyahu: this overwrought language does not constitute a legitimate geopolitical programmatic statement for resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict.

With the spaghetti defense, you just keep throwing strands of the stuff against the wall until something sticks. When the alternative for Netanyahu is the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 242 (and the many subsequent resolutions and agreements, from Oslo to the "Road Map")--all of which Israel has flouted--you can see why they've incorporated the Bible into the defense.

But nobody except Israelis and neocons are buying that one, and Netanyahu will not save Israel by sending emissaries to implore or intimidate Obama with the talking points. It's change the policy or bust."

by MainStreet 2010-04-19 03:42PM | 0 recs
RE: Perhaps the failure

By permission, by the way.

by MainStreet 2010-04-19 03:46PM | 0 recs
Well said

"The truth is in some of these conflicts the United States can't impose solutions unless the participants in these conflicts are willing to break out of old patterns of antagonism."

Oh noes! Total Defeat!

by vecky 2010-04-17 05:43PM | 0 recs
Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

Uri Avnery

            A Birthday Present

YESTERDAY I went to the health clinic to get a vaccination. It was a pleasant day, sunny but not too hot. The trip to the clinic and back, including the waiting, took just over an hour. During this time, I had the following experiences:

The taxi driver told me that years ago he was living next to Asher Yadlin, the man at the center of a major corruption affair in the 70s, which was uncovered by my magazine, Haolam Hazeh. "How we were shocked then!" he exclaimed, "we did not believe that such a thing was possible! And look what’s happening now!" He meant the scandal around the huge Holyland housing project in West Jerusalem, involving a former prime minister, two former mayors and an assortment of business tycoons and senior officials – a bribery affair a hundred times bigger than the Yadlin business.

While waiting at the clinic, I was accosted by an old man (who turned out to be a year younger than I), a thin person who wore a golf cap and started to tell me his life story. "I fought in the Warsaw ghetto uprising," he started. I searched for an escape route, but before I could spot one I was captured by his story.

When the Ghetto revolt started in 1943, he was living opposite the home of the legendary leader, Antek Zuckerman, in the famous Milla street. He was then hardly 18 years old. Somehow he survived and landed (I didn’t get how) into the central Warsaw prison, where the Germans were executing people every day. Since there were no Jews left by that stage, the victims were Poles – priests and members of the intelligentsia.

In August, 1944, when the great Warsaw Uprising broke out, the rebels freed him from prison. They were of two kinds: the rightist faction - the Homeland Army - which was anti-Semitic, and the leftist one, which was composed of socialists and communists. Yachek (as he was called then) was freed by the rightists, but they treated him well, gave him a gun and a white-and-red armlet.

The Polish insurgents did not cooperate with the Russians, who were already nearby ("They hated the Russians more than the Germans," Yachek commented). Stalin stopped his forces, and the rebels were compelled to capitulate to the Germans after 63 days of fighting. Yachek and another Jewish boy found a bunker in the destroyed ghetto where they hid below ground for 10 months, until the arrival of the Red Army.

All this he told me while we were standing, his face a few inches from mine, his light blue eyes betraying his frustration at having to tell his story in this manner, when dozens of hours would not have sufficed. I was glad to hear that somebody was writing a book about him.

In the middle of it, a man of about 60 approached us and told me that he had twice voted for me. "Not that I agreed with your views," he confided, "but I wanted to have intelligent people in the Knesset." I must admit that this motive was new to me.

Before going home I entered a nearby store. There I met a woman I had known some 40 years ago, when her husband had been the manager of the "Chamber Quartet", perhaps the most outstanding satire group in the annals of Israel. Her brother-in-law, Yehiel Kadishai, had been the loyal secretary of Menachem Begin. He was famous for his total devotion to his leader, for no personal gain whatsoever. We briefly compared Israel as it was then to the Israel of today.

The cab driver who brought me home told me that he had recently moved back from Las Vegas. He had come to the US in the wake of his wife, who had worked for Binyamin Netanyahu when he served as Israel’s envoy to the UN. After he had lived a few happy years in the gambling capital, the company he worked for dismissed 17 thousand employees at one stroke. He was left without a job for seven months. When he went back to Israel for a family wedding, he saw that the Israeli economy was booming and decided to stay for the time being. An Israeli flag was waving over his taxi, and he sounded eminently satisfied.

THIS IS a random sample of Israelis on the eve of the 2010 Independence Day. Memories from the Holocaust, nostalgia for a more innocent Israel, anger about corruption, satisfaction with the Israeli economy which is flourishing at a time when the entire world is still stuck in an economic crisis. Not a single word about peace. Not a single word about the occupation.

If I had asked these people what they think about it, I would probably have received one and the same answer from all of them: Peace is a good thing. We want peace. For peace we are ready to give up occupied territories, even East Jerusalem, and to hell with the settlements. But what? We have no partner. The Arabs don’t want peace. Therefore there will be no peace – not tomorrow, not in ten years, not in fifty years. Nothing to be done. That’s how it is.

If I had spent the same hour in similar company in Ramallah, the answers I received would probably not have been very different. Bitter memories from the Naqba, anger about the corruption in high circles, perhaps even some satisfaction about the improvement of the economic situation in the West Bank. And a total lack of belief in peace. They would certainly have said: "The Israelis don’t want peace. Nothing to be done. That’s how it is."

If Barack Obama and his assistants intend to start a serious peace effort, as it now seems, that is the main thing they have to take into consideration: before addressing the hard problems of peacemaking, the profound lack of belief on both sides has to be overcome. Either side is completely convinced that the other side does not want peace and will bring a dozen proofs from real life.

This lack of belief is the product of 120 years of the conflict, an endless chain of violence, wars and crises, for which each side blames the other. The Palestinians see the Israelis as land-grabbing robbers, the Israelis see the Arabs as cannibals with knives between their teeth.

This lack of belief is also somehow comfortable. When there is no chance, there is no need to do anything. No need to rise up, to act, to demonstrate, to change. Nothing can be done anyhow. That’s how it is.

SOME DAYS ago, two American personalities published an important document.

Zbigniew Brzezinski was the national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter. He was considered a hawk, but first of all a realist. He played an important role in bringing China closer to the US, armed the Mujahidin in Afghanistan against the Soviet invaders, was one of the hosts at the 1978 Camp David conference which laid the foundation to the Israeli-Egyptian peace. There he played chess with Begin. (I don’t know if they spoke Polish together.) Some years ago he called upon President George W. Bush to change American policy in the Middle East, including dropping the negative attitude towards Hamas.

Stephen Solarz was a congressman. A Jewish New-Yorker, he specialized in foreign affairs and played a role in American relations with North Korea and the Philippines. I had a talk with him many years ago and was impressed by his emotional involvement with Israeli-Palestinian peace.

When two such persons publish a manifesto together, they are bound to attract attention in the US. But the contents of the document are no less important than the identity of the authors.

The two put on the table a practical and detailed proposal, which includes the following steps:

President Obama will come to Jerusalem and address the Israeli public directly from the Knesset rostrum.

He will do the same in Ramallah and address the Palestinian public.

He will make a speech in the Old City of Jerusalem and address all the peoples of the Middle East.

To all these audiences, Obama will submit an American peace plan.

I BELIEVE that this is an excellent idea (and not only because President Anwar Sadat of Egypt took the first step with considerable success, and not only because I suggested some months ago that Obama make a speech in the Knesset.) It is reasonable, practical and realizable.

For many years I believed that there is no substitute for a direct face-to-face dialogue, without a third party. Peace is a framework for life for the two peoples, and the very mechanism of peacemaking can contribute much to their reconciliation. Moreover, when there is a third party, each side addresses it and not the adversary, at the same time radicalizing its position so as to have something to compromise on.

The Oslo experience proved this point. Agreement was reached behind the back of the Americans and the whole world in direct talks, without intermediaries. The Norwegians acted only as discreet hosts. History brought together two brave leaders – Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin - who might have been able to proceed from there to real peace.

But it failed. When one side is immensely stronger than the other, the stronger one is tempted to dictate its will. Rabin was publicly murdered, and Arafat died in circumstances that leave little room for doubt that he, too, was murdered. The grand experiment foundered and left behind a situation worse than the one before. In such a situation, the involvement of a third party – the US – is necessary.

People speak of an "imposed peace". But that is not the right expression. It is impossible to impose peace on peoples which do not want it. In the best case, that would lead to a signature on a piece of paper that had no chance of being implemented.

The task of the US is not to "impose" but to "convince" – and I don’t use the word cynically.

To convince means: to lead Israeli and Palestinian public opinion to the conviction that peace is possible, that the other side also needs it, that somebody will see to it that the terms are fully kept, that somebody will guarantee their security in the short and long term. And the main point: that each party has got to gain from it.

In Israel, Obama will have to take into consideration the real fears of a Holocaust-troubled people, to plant again the seeds of hope, to create the faith that there is a place for Israel in the family of Middle Eastern nations, to reinforce the conviction that the US will not abandon Israel in any future crisis, but also to warn of the severe dangers facing Israel if the two-state solution is not realized very soon.

In Palestine he will have to take into consideration the fears of a Naqba-injured and occupation-damaged people; to promise the realization of the Palestinians’ hope for independence within two years, to guarantee that the US will not allow ethnic cleansing, but also to point out the existential danger that threatens them if the State of Palestine does not soon come into being next to Israel. He must also lift the veto the US has imposed on Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

To both peoples Obama must submit a fair, balanced and realistic peace plan, going into the smallest details and with a reasonable yet fixed time-table, a plan that allows each side to claim victory.

OBAMA IS a man of many talents, but most of all he has the ability to convince. He is capable of touching the profoundest emotions of people and peoples. I hope he uses this talent for the good of the two long-suffering peoples of this tortured country.

On the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, I cannot conceive of a more beautiful present.permlink:


by MainStreet 2010-04-17 07:46PM | 0 recs
RE: Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

Reproduced with permission, by the way.

by MainStreet 2010-04-17 07:47PM | 0 recs
RE: Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

I don't quite see what that has to do with anything, but this sentiment is quite different from yours:

The task of the US is not to "impose" but to "convince"

amen. Convincing is never easy against entrenched interests, witness the HCR debate for an example of that.

by vecky 2010-04-17 10:43PM | 0 recs
RE: Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

Avnery worked for peace for decades, while he watched Israel become more and more right wing, to the extent that today, we are seeing Netanyahu already dictating the parameters of a Palestinian state, which equates to Apartheid, or no state at all. He is already making offers the Palestinians cannot accept, expectedly. East Jerusalem, the great settlement blocs, the entire Jordan Valley, and the borders abut Jordan have been spoken for, claimed by Netanyahu. The Palestinian bantustans that remain will hardly suffice as a sovereign, contiguous independent state, to quote the last Bush parameters, and would not be aceptable to the Palestinians, which Netanyahu is fully aware of.

Today, Netanyahu is doing everything he can to put down impediments to stop peace talks, continuing new settlement building in East Jerusalem and the expansion of settlements everywhere else, their borders being the distance that one can see from the highest hill. The West Bank settlements now control 60% of the land. And nothing is said about the hundred or so "illegal" settlements (all settlements are illegal per international law). Barak promised to dismantle 20 of them, but then he was unable to even accomplish that.

The bullshit is in claiming that "old anatgonisms" must first be resolved before peace can be discussed, a notion that fits well with the Netanyahu plan to talk, stall, and keep building.

A Palestinian state must just be declared and it must be legitimized by the US, the UN, and the EU countries, in short, the Quartet, and that must happen by the end of 2011, as suggested by Fayyad. Only Obama could throw a monkey wrench into such a tactic, because Netanyahu has no intention of seeing a Palestinian state come into being on his Likud watch.

The Palestinians are just tired of the bullshit. They've seen it before, time and again.



by MainStreet 2010-04-18 08:52AM | 0 recs
RE: Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

Sounds like an "old pattern of antagonism" to me.

The Palestinians have every right to declare their own state, but their not particularly unified either.

by vecky 2010-04-18 01:31PM | 0 recs
RE: Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

So your recommendation would be that Israelis and Palestinians spend another decade or two trying to love each other.

That's Likud's strategy in a nutshell. Offer the Palestinians a peace offer (which today, given Netanyahu's claims of land, would equate with Apartheid) they cannot accept, then blame them for missing another opportunity like the bogus 'generous offer' of 2000. In the meantime, the occupation, ethnic cleansing, and colonialism of Palestinian land in the territories will just continue.

Israel's disingenuousness is evident in the fact that it agrees to negotiations while continuing to steal the land to be negotiated. You gotta love the bullshit. It is not even subtle anymore.


by MainStreet 2010-04-19 10:08AM | 0 recs
RE: Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

I don't know how long it will take, but there is almost zero chance of progress while a Likud government is in charge.

by vecky 2010-04-19 02:00PM | 0 recs
RE: Here's Uri Avnery's response to your statement: bullshit!

Nothing could be more obvious. And as long as Netanyahu keeps playing hardball colonialism, there will be no change.

Ball is in Obama's court, or in the world court wielding BDS.

by MainStreet 2010-04-19 02:29PM | 0 recs
From Antony Loewenstein's Australian site:
Insecure Zionism, an ongoing series 19 April 2010

Another nail in the coffin of Israeli “democracy”, a fanciful word that always meant discrimination against non-Jews:

A new report and billboard campaign launched by Israeli group Im Tirtzu – the Second Zionist Revolution” accuses at least twelve Israeli human rights groups of support for or involvement in the indictment of Israeli officials for serious violations of international law in courts overseas, under the principle of ‘universal jurisdiction".

The report mentions a plethora of Israeli organizations, including Gisha, Bimkom, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, HaMoked, B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Yesh Din, MachsomWatch, Social TV, Zochrot, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), Adalah and Rabbis for Human Rights, but the accusations directed at them are rather broad.

Does Obama read the stuff put out by these organizations?

by MainStreet 2010-04-19 10:30AM | 0 recs


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