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Best friends forever!(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Did you hear there was some controversy over what President Obama said about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a speech yesterday? It’s true! Here are some people having thoughts about it. And I promise there will be zero mention of it in Sundown. Also, a reminder: President Obama addresses the AIPAC Conference Sunday morning; we will have a firsthand report later that day.

• Hey, look, here is one more place where you can get mad at me. [Capital]

• It definitely makes sense to focus on the small gap between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, and not the fact that on other issues like Syria and Iran and almost every other aspect of the Palestinian situation, they agree. [NYT]

• The U.S. administration, which never liked Bibi much to begin with, likes him even less now. [Ben Smith]

• The Turkish president likes the speech. This is perhaps less helpful. [WSJ]

• Aluf Benn says the speech was a huge victory for Netanyahu. Fancy that. [Haaretz]

• Charles Krauthammer slams the Israel parts of the speech (he likes the rest of it). [WP]

• But David Ignatius likes all parts. [WP]

• From the senseless Israeli right, Likudnik Danny Danon calls for annexation. [NYT]

• Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti says reconciliation represents an opportunity for peace, which is also senseless. [IHT]

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Netanyahu is a moron, outright. Here is what he should have done: presented a plan that offered something reasonably tangible and which conformed generally to previously agreed upon principles for resolving the territorial dispute.

He had the platform and the world audience to do it.

It would have been a pacifying gesture to Obama.

It would have been respectful to an American audience.

It would have publicly dispelled the perception that it’s Israel refusing to negotiate, rather than the Palestinians who have been dodging direct talks.

And in the end, the likelihood that the Palestinians would have been amenable to it is negligible, so he would have gotten what he wanted anyway, while deflecting criticism toward the Palestinians, casting them as the intransigent party. He would have gotten what he wanted and come off looking much better.

Moreover, if the Palestinians had been receptive to his idea, he would be negotiating with the stronger hand, in this case Obama’s now stated sympathy for Israel’s apprehensions about security. The deal is coming, sooner or later. This was the perfect time to try to get his vision implemented.

Netanyahu is driving Israel into a ditch. If the Republican party nominee loses to Obama, he will be facing a hostile American president with no incentive to do him any favors.

And frankly, Livni is an idiot, and so is Michael Oren if they are just going to passively let this travesty continue until real, permanent damage has been done.

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

When Israelis talk about “secure boundaries”, a concept taken directly out of UN Security Council Resolution, 242, which has been the basis for all peace talks to date, they have in mind, what the authors of 242 did: boundaries that would enable Israel to defend itself from forces which are beyond the present territory under Israel’s control, e.g. Iraqi, Jordanian or coalitions of such forces such as Iran-Syria-Hizballah.

It appears the present occupant of the Oval Office is either lacking knowledge and understanding of Israel’s security situation with regard to a whole region and not only the Arabs of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel), or perhaps he naive, despite his knowledge submitted to him by at least some of his advisers. But, most likely what we see in action is a president whose hostility to the nation-state of the Jewish people is very deep, and this, coupled with lack of knowledge, experience and expertise, and perhaps a grain of naivete with which he spices his handling the Arab Israeli conflict amount to a terrible President to both Israel but also to America.

It this is how Mr. B.H.Obama deals with the a liberal democracy in a region he wishes to see develop into a democratic one, and with the oldest, closes and most loyal ally the US has in the region, one must ask: What are Obama’s real interests in the Middle East…??

P.S. When Israel insists – even the late Mr. Yitzhaq Rabin insisted!! – that it must retain the Jordan Valley for the security reasons, and must control the hill tops facing Tel-Aviv metropolitan area, it does so not only to prevent acts of terror. It insists on doing so first and foremost because without the territorial depth Israel would simple not be able to defend itself for ever in the face of forces preparing east and north of it to attack. Thus, when Obama talks about his “unshakable” guarantee of Israel’s security, his words sound hollow for the reasons mentioned above.

lzr says:

If Obama is outright hostile against the Jewish nation, then so are his Jewish advisers and cabinet members; so are the people who voted for him; so are, then, Israelis themselves who have the same political goals for peace with the Palestinians.

I am sick of this old, tired rhetoric. Shut up already.

It also seems the people spewing this garbage are the ones who forget that W started several wars and did NOTHING for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Lzr, you are correct in your first paragraph, except the Israelis you refer to are driven by self-denial, together with the first groups of American Jews you mention. Yes, they are all in denial, denial of the truth and in their heritage. They are not the majority of family oriented, hard working, ordinary Israeli citizens who while they acknowledge there needs to be a solution, they don’t want any solution that calls for their annihilation. Isn’t that what the Nazis wanted? What is the difference here? And I don’t need your reply to this last statement. I’m proud to be a G-d fearing Jew.


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