Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama's Speech

There's much to be said about Obama's speech (transcript) and I've been using Jeffrey Goldberg's blog as a center for my reading. While he and I disagree about the means of the Peace Process and about our ideas of Zionism, I respect his knowledge and his commitment to Israel (he served in IDF, I did not).

Some key points:
  1. The concept of using the '67 lines is not new at all. That it's considered a pro-Palestinain action by Obama is part of the media spin. In fact, according to some analysis, it was started by a distorted AP piece and then picked up by the anti-Obama forces (e.g. Fox News). See this Little Green Footballs piece to follow the trail: LGF: Instantaneous Outrageous Outrage: 'Obama Sides with Palestinians!' What I learn from the AP bias is that the media WANTS Obama to side with the Palestinians. So does the GOP. And many Jewish racists who hate Obama more than they love Israel.
  2. Obama did not call for a return to the '67 borders. He said (bold mine): "We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states." What did people expect, that Obama would call for Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates? Or the fanatasy, that I shared before Oslo, that maybe we could keep until the River Jordan? He said there's be land swaps. Cool.
  3. No mention of: the Golan Heights (especially in the same week that we put sanctions on Assad/Syria).
  4. He also tabled the issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian false claim of a 'right of return': "I am aware that these steps alone will not resolve the conflict, because two wrenching and emotional issues will remain: the future of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees."
  5. Most importantly, Obama smashed down two dangerous threats to Israel: the Hamas-Fatah coalition: "In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel: How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?"
  6. and the looming credible threat of a unilateral declaration of Hamas statehood: "For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won't create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist."
People need to get over their hatred of Obama - or the GOP's twisted path to destroy the Democrats by destroying America and Israel.

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