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.