Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Netanyahu Believes Obama Wants Relations To Sour

Appeasing Arabs at expense of Israelis?

Last night I was invited into a room on Paltalk, created by Israelis, proclaiming that no other nation can dictate to Israel its policies.

The nation to which the room referred was, of course, the United States.

Many Israelis are very suspicious of President Obama. They are afraid that he is going to betray the Jewish state in favor of appeasing the Arab world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have felt very comfortable in that chat room last night. Because, as the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports today, Netanyahu is among those who fear Obama is deliberately trying to sour relations with Israel.

Obama does face a problem handed to him by the George W. Bush administration. Many in the Muslim world are distrustful of the United States because they feel Bush's policies were decidedly anti-Muslim. Obama, in his speech to the Islamic world from Cairo, has been trying to dispel that perception. He feels that, by doing so, it will be harder for Jihadist organizations to recruit. And there are some early indications that the strategy is succeeding.

But Netanyahu and other Israelis are concerned about the price their nation will have to pay in the process. Obama has a vision of peace in the Middle East. But one of the major issues he's pushing for is the dismantling of Israeli settlements and outposts in the disputed territories of the West Bank. He's not keeping this discussion a private one with Netanyahu. He's been vocal about it. Putting the prime minister in a box.

If Netanyahu removes the settlements, he will be viewed as weak in his own coalition and his government could topple. If he doesn't remove them, relations with the United States, Israel's biggest ally, could be sullied. No wonder he believes Obama is deliberately trying to to use him as a pawn to appease Arabs.

Obama is probably correct. In order for a peace process to move forward the settlements need to be removed. But there's a reason the hard line Netanyahu is prime minister. Many Israelis, including those who were so passionately vocal about this issue during last night's discourse on Paltalk, don't believe any longer in the concept of land for peace. In fact, it was almost shocking how many expressed last night that there is no chance for peace with the Palestinians. They are distrustful of both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. They feel that both entities, ultimately, are bent on the destruction of Israel.

They've come to terms with what they believe to be their reality. Perhaps to his credit, Obama has not. He still hopes, as have most of his predecessors, that he can help broker a Middle East peace. If he's typical of other presidents who have tried, he will probably hold onto this hope until the day he leaves office.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu says he will soon announce his own, counter-proposal, for peace with the Palestinians. Perhaps that's the way to break the stalemate and get peace talks started again. But I doubt that any plan Netanyahu comes up with will include dismantling of the settlements. Which, if he's right, may, ironically, suit Obama just fine.


Anonymous said...

Please STOP blaming Bush! Obama wanted to be President and knew of all the problems that entailed in doing so. It's time for Obama to stop campaigning and start helping America. I don't believe there will ever be peace with Palestine. They will never be happy in whatever you offer. Being in conflict 'justifies' their attacks and victim mode.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Muslim support for terror has been declining for a long time, since 2002 at least:

Anonymous said...

There is no appeasing those who only wish for your total annihilation - so where do you start your negotiations?
I believe that Bibi has said that he will reveal his 'peace plan' in an upcoming speech, probably this Sunday. Maybe we should wait till then ...... after all, the Israelis did elect him to govern them, not Obama.
In his first major speech since the Obama Cairo pronouncements Bibi said "My goal is to reach a stable peace that is based on a solid principle of security for Israel and its citizens." Well, isn't this what all of us, regardless of which country we belong to want? Bibi is doing nothing less than what we should DEMAND from our leaders.

Obama and his henchwoman in chief, Hilary Clinton really need to be careful that they don't do any further damage to the reputation of America with their vascillating and changing of historical agreements. After all, he will be judged by the rest of the world on how trustworthy is - and he needs to remember that there is more to the world than the Middle East, and more religions than Islam. Or is he afraid to go against them? Will he listen to the admonition of King Abdullah of Saudi who admonished him to "impose a solution if necessary", according to the pan Arab newspaper Al-Hayat.
Doesn't King Abdullah realise that America is not a Fiefdom, and the American are not the peasants who will be told what to do my the 'King' Obama? I sometimes wonder.

Anonymous said...

The other day I was talking with some friends at the dialysis center and our discussion revolved around the issue of the Gaza settlements and the Palestinian territory. As we were talking, I wondered this: why has nobody spoken about annexation?

For those unfamiliar with annexation, it is defined in terms of nations as:

"to incorporate (a country or other territory) within the domain of a state".

I am not suggesting for a moment that Israel annex the Palestinian territory. Rather, that another, predominently Islamic nation, such as Egypt, do so.

This would give the Palestinian territory support (financial and otherwise) from another country, as well as protections under their law; and it would also allow for an equitable settlement situation in that settlements by Israelis could become "rented properties" wherein those who desire to settle there would fall under the laws of Egypt while remaining on the land.

This would bring income into the Palestinian Territory and would also drive out Hamas, since there would no longer be a need for such a political (and terrorist) entity. The people in the PT would become Egyptian citizens.

I used Egypt as an example, since Egypt did open her borders long enough to assist the injured and because they seem to have a better relationship with Israel than other predominently Islamic countries in the region.

I wonder- has anyone else thought of this as a way to achieve peace?

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

The exchange of "Land for Peace" has not worked very well so far.

Sonny said...

Perhaps all this will come out as well done plan by Netanjahu. Of course he does not want to sit on a negotiating table as a representative of a weak Israel, so his demands for a peace solution will be not easy to get accepted by the palestinians. Of course not! The settlements on the Westjordanland make this area look like a swiss cheese... just look on a map. If peace, and I suppose both sides finally want that .. and security needed urgently by all parties in that area to keep moving on and actually develope that area. A solution for peace and security in that area will only happen via the settlements... yes or no or maybe. This must be sortet out at needed negotiations.
So Obama is not wrong trying to support all peace plans and bringing the parties onto one table. The whole world knows, he even said that in Cairo to the islamic world.. Israel/American connection and support is unbreakable, And that`s it.


Anonymous said...

very well written gary!! all i have to say is that i have faith in bibi and he has my full support no matter what decision he makes with obama!! bibi will not or let obama make decisions for israel especially if it will hurt the people of israel!!

daniel said...

very good interesting article gary

Anonymous said...

As a bible believing christian. I think there is no such thing as a two state solution. There has never been and never will be any other state on the land of Cannan othere then Israel.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Obama fails to understand that you can't have peace with people who live hate. I was born and raised in Israel and not once did a teacher or a rabbi tell me that I should hate Muslims. Hate is tought in Palestinian schools and kindergartens. Israelis are sick of wars, Israeli parents hate sending their son to war not knowing if he will come back alive or in pieces, but how can you even have hope when you are fighting people who have no fear of death. Asking Netanyahu to give up the West Bank and Jersualem is easier said than done. If Israel will give back the West Bank it will take no more than 10 minutes to get across israel. Israel is a small country as it is. Israel gave back Gaza and there is no controle there. What makes Mr. Obama think that there will be controle in the west Bank? Mr. Obama spoke about humiliation of Arabs at the crossings. Mr. Obama, how about the humiliation of Israelis that have to be searched everytime they go into a theater, a bank, a mall, a bus. How about the humiliation of children that go to school surrounded by guards because they are scared that palestinian gunmen will come in and shoot the kids (It has happend already). Obama needs to let Israel make their own decision any land giving will lead to Israels demise

Anonymous said...

you know, I Believe, earth is Just and Experiment...
Different races put around the world...
the experiment FAILED miserbly.. people, do NOT get along
you see, just since, 911, has a group really wanted to KILL Americans..Isreal, Always has had that,
you must Understand Americans...
we own, and Carry gunswe WILL die, befor letting someone run over us

Look at N Korea.. what do they have ? maybe, ONE small Nuke?
we could Create, the biggest Hole in the world.. there, IF they decide to use one.. we have Thousands...
but, still, we give it time in the news, etc...

Anonymous said...

That is not a good sign.
I have been afraid for a while that the Lieberman wing will argue that a Russo-Iranian-Israeli alliance to off the Sunni Arabs is the solution to the Arab problem. Pressuring Netanyahu is a mistake, because it pushes them that way, whatever the stupidity of the Israelis for putting settlments in the West Bank in the first place.

Don Rich