Man, George Mitchell is all over Bibi Netanyahu like white on rice (can you still say that?). The poor Israeli PM hasn’t even delivered his much-touted speech setting out his vision for the Palestinians, when Mitchell’s folks have already shot it down:
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.
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.
Another thing to point out about this…Mitchell has shed the prior politesse the U.S. used to observe with Israel. In the past, no U.S. president would’ve dissed an Israeli PM in the way the U.S. envoy has, with such a dismissal of his speech. I keep saying this–but we’re in a new day. Bibi keeps digging that hole and eventually he’s going to fall in. And then maybe we can make some real progress if Israel can formulate a more pragmatic government.
I was humored by the statement I read from the PM after his grueling White House session with the president: “What does he want? That my government should fall?” Imagine the chutzpah for him to think that Obama gives a flying f(^k about whether his government falls or not. In fact, the only one who cares is Bibi himself and his rightist cohorts.