There are some progressives like Tony Judt (and others) who continue to doubt that Obama has what it takes to bring Bibi Netanyahu to heel for the sake of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Here’s yet another piece of evidence they are wrong. Israel News Today reports on Shimon Shiffer’s lead story in Yediot Achronot (English translation here thanks to Ori Nir):
The main headline, which reads “US to Netanyahu: There’s Nothing to Talk About,” reminds the Israeli readership that tensions between United States and Israel are still running high. According to Shimon Shiffer’s report, the US decided to cancel a meeting that was scheduled to have been held in Paris between special envoy George Mitchell and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu because of Israeli insistence to continue at least some construction in the settlements. An Israeli political source told Yedioth Ahronoth that Netanyahu received the following “stern” message from the White House: “Once you’ve finished the homework we gave you on stopping construction in the settlements, let us know. Until then, there’s no point in having Mitchell fly to Paris to meet you.” In hope of forestalling the development of a more severe crisis, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has been asked to fly to Washington early next week in an attempt to reach a working compromise with the Americans on Israeli West Bank construction.
Bibi, not wishing to appear shamed in the eyes of the Israeli and world media, has released his own version (Hebrew): Mitchell didn’t cancel the meeting, I did. Why?
Israel was the one that cancelled the meeting. The reason was in order to prepare additional data and present it to him [Mitchell] is a more organized fashion. There is not a shred of truth in the claim that the Americans cancelled the meeting because of a disagreement.
The story continues by quoting a “senior Israeli official” who says in so many words: “I swear it was us, if you don’t believe me ask the French who were preparing for the meeting. They’ll confirm our story.” This is pathetic. Bibi is pathetic. He got taken to the woodshed (yet again) and doesn’t want to have to admit it so he concocts this ridiculous story that convinces no one.
H/t Rupa Shah.
I think Bibi will accept your “woodshed” any day of the week. What has Obama accomplished besides weak posturing? The settlements are ever growing. Israel is getting every penny of aid they were promised by the US.
The Palestinians are not any closer to a state.
Bibi’s coalition is as solid as ever.
Richard Silverstein says
You’re blowin’ smoke as rightists often do.
You clearly know very little about Israeli politics or are engaging in wish fulfillment. This coalition is incredibly unstable & will rock at the first wind that blows their way. As soon as Bibi makes a peep about actual settlement freeze, withdrawal or territorial compromise everything will fall to bits. And if Bibi doesn’t do these things he’ll be frozen by Obama which the Israeli public will not accept as it didn’t accept when it happened to Shamir w. Bush I or Bibi w. Clinton.
Grendal, it seems to me you are blaming Obama for the actions of our Senators and Representatives. Continued attention needs to be focused on those who represent some part of the public, if not all, by actions such as meeting in rooms too small for public participation when allocating funds for Israel.
Regardless of our corrupt Congress, Obama could enforce the Arms Export Control Act to block our military aid to Israel until they give up their conquest of what little of Palestine is left. He could go even farther farther to impose sanctions against Israel though the UN. Perhaps he is keeping such actions in consideration for latter, but at this point I’ve yet to see any evidence of him being willing to go further than talk.
Kylebisme – Is it possible for Obama, as an individual (even though he is President), to take such actions?
Yes, both of the actions I mentioned fall under the authority of the Executor.
Thanks for your information.
RE: “…if you don’t believe me ask the French who were preparing for the meeting.”
SEE: “Sarkozy asks Netanyahu for ‘total freeze’ on settlements”, AFP, 06/24/09
(excerpt) PARIS (AFP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday asked Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to impose a “total freeze” on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
However, the hawkish leader, on his first visit to Europe since taking office in April, replied that “normal life” goes on amid international pressure for direct talks with the Palestinians.
“The president of the republic called on Israel to immediately take all possible measures to encourage confidence” in its talks with the Palestinians, “beginning with the total freeze of settlement activities,” a French presidency statement said…
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090624/wl_mideast_afp/mideastdiplomacyisraelfrancesarkozy