Posted on: June 14, 2009 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 1

Little has changed in the wake of Bibi’s just-concluded speech. Indeed, the image it conjures from my youth was when Geraldo Rivera built up, for weeks, the opening of Al Capone’s vault, only to find nothing in it.

There was nothing new in the speech, which was mostly demagoguery of Holocaust and Herzl invocation and very little substance.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

As also expected, it will not come close to satisfying the Obama administration. It’s a pretty safe bet that initial responses from Obama will include much praise of Netanyahu’s willingness to discuss a Palestinian state. But one can expect a fairly cranky response to Bibi’s blatant insistence on continued settlement expansion in the guise of “natural growth” (growth which has seen the settlement population expand by almost twice the number that can be accounted for by births and marriages).

Bibi might have tried to take advantage of this speech to find some way to mollify Obama without sacrificing his right wing coalition (the idea that he formed, as he said, a “national unity government” was one of the more pronounced guffaws of the speech). In fairness to him, that would have been both difficult and risky.

But in the end, the speech was what everyone expected, and no more. Indeed, it was a disappointment in its sparse content. Much will now depend on Obama’s response, but it seems pretty clear that Netanyahu did nothing to diminish the tensions between Israel and the USA.

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  1. Mitchell has well founded compassion for the long suffering Palestinian-Arabs. Like many people, his reasoning and therefore his proposed solution is flawed. After all the eternal bickering and demagoguery, the key to understanding this controversy comes down to one essential and critical issue:

    Namely, if not for global pervasive anti-Semitism, including endemic Islamic anti-Semitism, The so called “Palestinian-Arab” cause would have become a minor footnote in history and long ago forgotten.

    All other points become completely and totally irrelevant in light of the above.

    Throughout modern history, literally dozens of nations have unilaterally declared their independence around their own ethnic populations. In almost every case, this was not welcomed by the ethnic group not being represented by the newly independent nation. Never before and never since the creation of Israel has the result of such a succession created an endless border war.

    The reason the Palestinian-Arab leadership refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist is exceedingly simple. Because that is NOT in their plans.

    The underlying and critical issue is the 5.5 million offspring of so called “refugees” from 1948 who the Arabs, et al are insisting be assimilated as Israeli citizens, thereby creating yet one more Arab nation and one less Hebrew one. That is their singular goal and nothing else will satisfy them.

    Thus, so called “settlement” expansion or 1967 borders are flimsy window-dressing.

    Those issues are totally meaningless in the real world.

    If your neighbor has his heart absolutely set on winning your wife away, there is no sense in discussing with him the height of your hedges, especially after 90 years of such discussions having gone no where.

    The key to solving this conflict is completely outside the hands of the Israelis.

    The populations of Palestinian-Arabs living in various ‘host’ countries must be permitted basic human rights, especially the right to citizenship on the soil where they were born, which they have been wrongly denied for 60 years.

    Until that occurs, the war is on and it is better for Israel and the West to get used to it and not be in gross and abject denial.

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