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The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



The Difference Between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama Summarized in One Photo

Posted by Ben Hart

22 May, 2011

 

 

 


Here’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Barry Soetoro in their early twenties (Courtesy Lucianne.com)
 
 

Netanyahu schools Obama on why his decision to side with terrorist Hamas against America’s friend Israel is completely insane

Conservatives could learn a few things from Netanyahu on how to confront Obama

NEW YORK TIMES: When President Obama met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, in the Oval Office on Friday, this photo caught our eye. The two men have had a sometimes rocky relationship, (see today’s story by Helene Cooper) but they exchanged cordial words on Friday. This picture was snapped as Mr. Obama listened, almost frozen, during long remarks by Mr. Netanyahu, in which the Israeli leader pushed back against the framework for a peace deal that Mr. Obama outlined in a speech Thursday at the State Department. It made us wonder: What is Mr. Obama thinking?
PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU:
Thank you, Mr. President.
Well, Mr. President — and first, I want to thank you and the first lady for the gracious hospitality that you’ve shown me, my wife and our entire delegation. We have an enduring bond of friendship between our two countries. And I appreciate the opportunity to have this meeting with you after your important speech yesterday.
We share your hope and your vision for the spread of democracy in the Middle East. I appreciate the fact that you reaffirmed once again now and in our conversation, and in actual deed, the commitment to Israel’s security. We value your efforts to advance the peace process.
 
This is something that we want to have accomplished. Israel wants peace. I want peace. What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure. And I think that the — we both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality, and that the only — the only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakable facts.
 
I think for there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to accept some basic realities. The first is that while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible, because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. Remember that before 1967, Israel was all of 9 miles wide — half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive from them.
 
So we can’t go back to those indefensible lines, and we’re going to have to have a long-term military presence along the Jordan.
 
I discussed this with the president. I think that we understand that Israel has certain security requirements that will have to come into place in any deal that we make.
 
The second is — echoes something the president just said, and that is that Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas. Hamas, as the president said, is a terrorist organization, committed to Israel’s destruction. It’s fired thousands of rockets on our cities, on our children. It’s recently fired an antitank rocket at a — at a yellow school bus, killing a 16-year-old boy.
 
And Hamas has just attacked you, Mr. President, and the United States for ridding the world of Bin Laden. So Israel obviously cannot be asked to negotiate with a government that is backed by the Palestinian version of Al Qaeda.
 
I think President Abbas has a simple choice. He has to decide if he negotiates or keeps his pact with Hamas, or makes peace with Israel. And I — I can only express what I said to you just now: that I hope he makes the choice, the right choice, of choosing peace with Israel.
 
But a third reality is that the Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved in the context of a Palestinian state but certainly not in the borders of Israel. The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refugee problems, Palestinian refugee problem and Jewish refugees, roughly the same number, who were expelled from Arab lands. Now tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees.
Now, 63 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel: accept the grandchildren, really, and the great-grandchildren of these refugees, thereby wiping out Israel’s future as a Jewish state.
 
So that’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly, it’s not going to happen.
 
The Palestinian refugee problem has to be resolved. It can be resolved. And it will be resolved if the Palestinians choose to do so in Palestinian state. That’s a real possibility. But it’s not going to be resolved within the Jewish state.
 
The president and I discussed all of these issues, and I think we may have differences here and there, but I think there is an overall direction that we wish to work together to pursue a real, genuine peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, a peace that is defensible.
 
Mr. President, you are the — you are the leader of a great people, the American people. And I am the leader of a much smaller people. The –
PRESIDENT OBAMA: A great people.
PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU: It’s a great people too. It’s the ancient nation of Israel. And you know, we’ve been around for almost 4,000 years. We have experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. We’ve gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions.
 
But I can say that even at the dearth of — even at the nadir of the valley of death, we never lost hope and we never lost our dream of re-establishing a sovereign state in our ancient homeland, the land of Israel. And now it falls on my shoulders as the prime minister of Israel at a time of extraordinary instability and uncertainty in the Middle East to work with you to fashion a peace that will ensure Israel’s security and will not jeopardize its survival.
I take this responsibility with pride but with great humility, because, as I told you in our conversation, we don’t have a lot of margin for error and because, Mr. President, history will not give the Jewish people another chance.
 
So, in the coming days and weeks and months, I intend to work with you to seek a peace that will address our security concerns, seek a genuine recognition that we wish from our Palestinian neighbors and give a better future for Israel and for the entire region. And I thank you for the opportunity to exchange our views and to work together for this common end.
Thank you, Mr. President.

How will America’s other allies interpret Obama’s betrayal of Israel?

In Obama’s world, America’s enemies are rewarded, friends punished.

ANDREW MCCARTHY-NATIONAL REVIEW:
 
Would that the president of the United States were as worried about Arizona’s border as he is about “Palestine’s.”
There was less fanfare about this latest Obama oration on the future of the Middle East, staged at Foggy Bottom, than there was about his 2009 Cairo speech. It was, however, every bit as delusional, and twice as treacherous.
 
As for the delusional, “Arab Spring” devotees are thrilled that the president has morphed into his predecessor on the Democracy Project — the enterprise in which future generations of American taxpayers go deeper into hock as our tapped-out government borrows more Chinese billions in order to stimulate the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the few shovel-ready projects President Obama has managed to find (and as a union, the Brothers make the SEIU look like the Jaycees).
Read more here >>>
 

Obama fails to isolate Israel

JONATHAN TOBIN-COMMENTARY:
 
President Obama and his staff thought they were being very clever by throwing in the declaration that the 1967 borders were the baseline for future Middle East peace talks into his speech on the Arab Spring protests on the eve of a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They calculated Netanyahu would have no choice but to accept this last-minute slap across the face from his country’s only ally. And if he did talk back, they figured he would find himself isolated without the backing of Israel’s allies in Congress and with most of the American media lined up solidly against him.
 
But Obama appears to have misread the situation. Netanyahu’s strong reply rightly declaring that the 1967 borders were indefensible may have infuriated the White House, but, contrary to their plan, not everybody is jeering his defiance.
 
The Washington Post editorial page took the president to school on Friday for injecting a counter-productive irritant into Middle East policy. As the Post wrote:
Mr. Obama’s decision to confront [Netanyahu] with a formal U.S. embrace of the idea, with only a few hours’ warning, ensured a blowup. Israeli bad feeling was exacerbated by Mr. Obama’s failure to repeat past U.S. positions — in particular, an explicit stance against the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.
 
Mr. Obama should have learned from his past diplomatic failures — including his attempt to force a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank — that initiating a conflict with Israel will thwart rather than advance peace negotiations. He may also be giving short shrift to what Mr. Netanyahu called “some basic realities.” The president appears to assume that Mr. Abbas is open to a peace deal despite growing evidence to the contrary.
The defection of a major editorial page such as that of the Post is a blow to the idea that Israel and Netanyahu have been isolated by Obama’s strategy.
Read more here >>>

We knew from Obama’s radical past that he would betray Israel

STANLEY KURTZ-NATIONAL REVIEW:
 
Does President Obama’s radical past tell us anything significant about his stance on Israel today? Perhaps more important, do the radical alliances of Obama’s Chicago days raise a warning flag about what the president’s position on Israel may be in 2013, should he safely secure reelection?
 
Many will deny it, but I believe Obama’s radical history speaks volumes about the past, present, and likely future course of his policy on Israel.
 
The Los Angeles Times has long refused to release a videotape in its possession of a farewell dinner, attended by Obama, for scholar and Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi. Obama spoke warmly of his friendship for Khalidi at that event. Unfortunately, the continuing mystery of that video tape has obscured the rather remarkable article that the LA Times did publish about the dinner — and about Obama’s broader views on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In light of the controversy over Obama’s remarks on Israel in his address yesterday on the Middle East, it is worth revisiting that 2008 article from the LA Times.