U.S. Envoy Calls Bibi's Speech `Inadequate'
by MainStreet, Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:25:43 PM EDT
....Before He Delivers It
Thanks to Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam for not allowing this news to slip by. I'm sharing it.
That envoy is none other than George Mitchell, taking down Bibi Netanyahu for what seems to be another attempt by another Israeli PM to hoodwink the US. Well no one is winking back as in the old days when Clinton and Bush II were president, helping to get the American public to string along.
The way Silverstein put it, "George Mitchell is all over Bibi Netanyahu like white on rice."
Alledgedly, Netanyahu's much-touted speech is setting out his vision for the Palestinians. So Netanyahu, a hard right Likudnik, has a vision for the Palestinians? One does not have to imagine what it might be.
The proposals to be outlined in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday will not be enough to satisfy the Obama administration, a senior U.S. official was quoted as saying on Friday.
The official said Netanyahu told U.S. envoy George Mitchell this week what he planned to say in the speech and that it was "not adequate" to satisfy Washington, who is pushing for an immediate resumption of talks on Palestinian statehood.
The official was quoted on Friday by participants at a meeting this week of the so-called Quartet of Middle East mediators. Netanyahu's refusal to declare a building freeze in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and to endorse the goal of establishing a Palestinian state -- both set out in a 2003 peace "road map" -- has opened a rare rift in U.S.-Israeli relations.
Here is the gist of Richard Silverstein's analysis:
Bibi's ill-conceived speech originated in his supporters fit of pique at the glorious reception afforded Pres. Obama's Cairo speech. They realized that Obama had stolen a march on them and set the terms of the debate in ways that Israel could not escape. The PM's counter-speech was the result. But no speech that Bibi delivers can provide the boost he's looking for because he doesn't have a viable vision of how to make peace with the Palestinians. Hence, Mitchell's a priori rejection of it.
Bibi's choices are few. He can come down with an illness preventing him from speaking on Sunday, and hope that with time people will have forgotten about the speech. Or he can allow his government to fall and hope for a six month stall to get Obama off his back.