“Netanyahu is too strong (and) in some ways Abu Mazen is too weak,” US President Barack Obama said in a comprehensive interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman Friday, commenting on the balance of power between Israel and the Palestinians.
However, President Obama also noted that the high percentage of support for Prime Minister Netanyahu among the Israeli public proves to be a weak point for him. “If he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement. That’s a tough thing to do.”
Of course he spoke nonsense. Look whom he was speaking with.
Somehow, Obama considers an Israeli PM—a wartime PM—popular among his own people for stating their case and pressing their cause, as weak? Maybe among those (like me) who think Netanyahu didn’t go far enough. But who else? And why the f**k is he using Mahmoud Abbas’s nom de guerre, Abu Mazen?
And what do the “settlers” (better known as population growth, young families, homesteaders) have to do with Hamass’ racist and genocidal ideology? With their myriad war crimes? What a non-sequitur! He might just have illogically blamed global warming.
The American president told Friedman in the interview that the combination of the two leaders’ strengths and weaknesses makes it difficult “to bring them together and make the kinds of bold decisions that Sadat or Begin or Rabin were willing to make.”
Let’s dismiss Rabin, shall we? Does anyone think Oslo is worth a tinker’s dam? It cost him his life, and damn near his country. As for Begin and Sadat, could either have been in a position of greater strength? Sadat was the definition of a political strongman (for a few years more, anyway), and Begin had already taken by force, the Sinai, what Sadat wanted back. Hard to see how “weakness” brought about the Camp David accord.
But Obama seems to be singing from my hymnal: namely that the so-called Palestinians are just Arabs by another (invented) name. Begin, Rabin, and Netanyahu are all Israelis, but the only thread connecting Sadat (Egyptian), Arafat (born in Cairo), and Abbas (born in Palestinian mandate, aka Israel, before it was Israel) is…what exactly? They’re Arabs, but that’s about it. Which has been my point all along: there is no distinct ethnic identity of Palestinianism, just Arabs cordoned off by colonial powers on a map.
But if Obama agrees with me, I must be wrong. Sadat was Egyptian, and Egypt is a country with a distinct history and culture. Similarly, Syria (Levant), Iraq (Mesopotamia), Iran (Persia), Lebanon (Phoenicia) have a long track record. All these countries have been largely at peace with Israel, however uneasy, for decades. Only the Arab occupiers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza have actually acted out the ethnic hatred they all share. What makes them different, besides never, ever, ever in the history of the world having had a country? Maybe they do have a genetic difference, only the gene is not one to admire or replicate.
But mostly Obama is a fool, a dangerous fool, for not saying plainly that Israel is our ally, Israel is right and righteous in this battle, and Israel should win and impose a resolution wholly in its own interest. That should be American policy. Shame on him, on us, that it is not.