How the mood changed. One week it’s fireworks over Tel Aviv’s skyline, then a few days later comes this picture:
For some, what Israel sees as Independence Day is Nakba, Arabic for disaster. No doubt, for the Arabs that fled or were expelled from their homes, Israel’s independence was a catastrophic event. But Nakba has become an open call to any and all violence against Israel. We’re not talking about protests staged by Native Americans on Columbus Day, but full on violent aggression, as witnessed this past week.
Interesting timing, then, for Obama to call for a Palestinian state established according to pre-1967 borders, which he did in yesterday’s speech on his Middle East strategy. Of course Israel, and Netanyahu, reacted strongly to Obama’s suggestion, saying it was “indefensible”. And how true that is. Imagine the scene in, say, Tiberias this week, were Israel to return the whole of the Golan Heights!
Of course Obama reiterated the usual stuff – both sides need to be wiling to leave their “entrenched” positions, the US is committed to Israel’s security, the US won’t support Hamas in a leadership position should it continue to deny Israel’s right to exist.
The latter is particularly funny, as no matter what speeches you give Obama, Hamas will do and say what it wants and could still very much join the leadership. A speech is a speech is a speech. What goes on at today’s meeting between Obama and Netanyahu will likely be far more revealing. Both sides essentially support a two-state solution, it’s how to get there that’s causing the snafus.
We’ll keep you posted here on the blog, and also on our Facebook page.
In the meantime, let us know what you think both of Obama’s speech and events this past week in Israel. Need for info? Read the IJN’s news analysis, editorial commentary, and Rabbi Hillel Goldberg’s column “Fact and fiction in the Israel-Palestinian conflict“, all published this week.