10 thoughts on “Netanyahu to Obama: No Palestinian Peace Till Iran Dumps Nukes – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Now, he’s cooked up one helluva bizarre scenario: he’s telling the Obama administration that Israel can’t possibly engage the Palestinian issue till the U.S. first solves the problem of Iranian nukes.

    Do we know where that Yediot Achronot report came from now?

    What we are seeing here is Obama and Netanyahu feeling out how much real power each has to direct the policy of the United States.

    I’m sure Hamas and even Hezbollah would happily give up Iranian aid in return for the Western community compelling Israel to obey the law.
    Iran is an excuse and not a reason. Does anyone seriously imagine that when the Iranian issues are resolved some other pretext will not be found to forestall the next Palestinian ‘peace offensive’?

  2. Richard,

    I think what you and Rosenberg are suggesting is right. Bibi is deliberately looking to confront Obama and try and excite the Lobby and the lunatic Christian Right.

    Remember that in his first US visit at PM in 1996, during the US election campaign, he delivered a Republican stump speech in front of both houses of Congress.
    Clinton has never forgotten that, and the first Bibi term was also the first in history when the White House seemed friendlier to the Palestinians than to the Israeli government.

    Now, Bibi think Bush has changed everything (he’s right in a sense, but not in this). He believes religiously in the Lobby’s power. He is the Israeli leader who elevated the alliance with America’s Christian Right.
    Seems like he has been neither learning the Clinton lesson, nor paying attention to processes in America, esp. among American Jews.

    It will be an interesting show… as usual with I-P.

    1. ….also, don’t forget that in Israeli and proxy-Israeli circles, there was this huge virulent anti-Obama campaign before the elections. I think Bibi is bought into the idea that there is some “silent majority” in America that is as deeply suspicious of Obama as these emails suggest, and that therefore he can twist Obama’s arm around this vulnerability.

      I think it goes, like, totally the other way. But we’ll see.

  3. “why has Bibi latched onto Iran as the bogeyman of choice?”

    Could it be that Iran desires the destruction of Israel and arms it’s enemies Hezbollah and Hamas?

  4. The motivation suggested by Trita Parsi’s book (see Richard’s introduction above) seems far more credible to me.

  5. Assaf, Richard,

    Here’s a more optimistic option for Bibi’s behavior. Not an explanation that is very likely, but I’ll cite it “for completeness”. Perhaps what motivates him is the realization that now is his last chance to go down in history as someone who brought peace to Israel, maybe even get a Nobel prize for that. But in order to negotiate and strike a deal, he must appear screaming and kicking as he does so, so that the coalition doesn’t disintegrate.

  6. Yossi Sarid, in a hilarious polemic, argues that sometimes evil is good for the Jews:

    without Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – a wicked and confused putz – and disgusting types like him, the international community, including our friends and allies, would have long since evicted us from the stolen lands on the other side of the Green Line. The world is tired of the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Were it not for the fact that Ahmadinejad opens his big, ugly mouth at every opportunity, he would not have forced the best-governed nations to unite around a gluttonous country that refuses to release its prey; had he not ridiculed the United Nations and its Human Rights Conference in Geneva, he would not have provided the speeches of Jerusalem and Birkenau with such a wealth of lofty cliches.
    It’s not at all bad to live in a world of evil. Evil purifies and excuses other evil, and sometimes evil is good for the Jews.

    Finally, he has some advice for Bibi:

    They say of Raful (Rafael Eitan) that at the end of the Yom Kippur War he hosted a delegation of United States congressmen on a fact-finding mission. They visited the Golan Heights and looked out over Quneitra. One guest asked with fear and trepidation whether all this destruction was absolutely necessary.

    Raful let him have it: “And what did you do to the Indians?” he asked. At that the members of the delegation stopped asking questions. We have to learn from Raful, that’s exactly how Israel has to explain itself, without stuttering.

    About a month from now the prime minister will go to Washington for a first meeting in the White House. When Barack Obama only begins to harass him, Netanyahu has to hit him between the eyes: And what did you do to the blacks? That will be the knockout line.

    That’s my advice. Let him hit Obama where it hurts, by bringing up his wife Michelle’s mother. Then the president will fall silent, and we probably won’t hear from him for another two terms at least.


  7. Julian,
    In response to your question ““why has Bibi latched onto Iran as the bogeyman of choice?” I think he, and wll those who target him are making a mistake. He is not israel’s problems’ any more then he should be saudi, jordanian, french or german problem. here’s an interesting take from a leaing saudi paper:
    Ahmadinejad was Addressing the Arabs

  8. Why does everyone assume that a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza would be a good thing? We need only look at Gaza to see what it would really be like — a means to the end of destroying Israel by whatever means necessary. There is no serious desire among Palestinians to live in such a state peacefully beside Israel. Just ask them.

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