Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Middle East, Politics, WORLD POLITICS — Rick Moran @ 9:51 am

I’ve actually had two pieces in two days published at FPM. The first is on Obama’s AIPAC speech and the second is on Netanyahu’s address to the same conference.

A sample from my piece on Obama’s speech:

The president’s excuse for this significant change in US policy was the prospect of a vote at the United Nations this fall that would recognize Palestinian statehood - a turn of events that carries great risk for both Israel and America.

But he insisted that the border issue be the starting point for negotiations - a ploy to restart direct talks with the Palestinians - and that other issues like the “right of return” for Palestinians and the status of Jerusalem be worked out later. In effect, President Obama has sided 100% with the Palestinians in their claims just as the new unity government of Hamas and Fatah takes shape. And while Obama stated that “Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with Palestinians who do not recognize its right to exist,” he did not make Palestinian adherence to the Quartet Principles a prerequisite for negotiations. (The Quartet principles include recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence, and agreeing to abide by previous negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.)

The Palestinians, of course, were overjoyed that Obama had sided with their long-held contention that a Palestinian state should be formed out of Israel’s 1967 borders. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “If Netanyahu agrees, we shall turn over a new leaf…Once Netanyahu says that the negotiations will lead to a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, then everything will be set.”

Note that Mr. Erekat said nothing about “mutually agreed swaps” of land. The reason is simple. As Dore Gold pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Abbas does not believe in such swaps. “Mr. Abbas has said many times that any land swaps would be minuscule,” wrote Gold. It doesn’t sound promising when one side in negotiations rejects the other’s right to exist and refuses to talk about defensible borders.

As Netanyahu told President Obama at the White House on Friday, “[W]hile Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines because these lines are indefensible.” The Israeli prime minister also reminded the president that conditions on the ground in Israel had been altered over the past 44 years, with demographic changes putting much of the Israeli population outside the 1967 borders.

Netanyahu didn’t finish speaking until 10:00 pm central time last night which means I am sucking air this morning. But it was worth it because Bibi did a great job:

The speech was not a preview to the prime minister’s Tuesday address, which will take place before a joint session of Congress. However, he made some references to what he would be talking about. He will speak “the unvarnished truth” about the peace process as well as give his take on the “Arab Spring.” In that respect, Netanyahu will directly answer critics who say that Israel is to blame for all the problems of the Middle East. Pointing out that the millions in Arab countries who have taken to the streets do not do so in opposition to Israel, but rather for the simple reason that they desire freedom, the prime minister raised his voice when he said, “Israel is not about what’s wrong with the Middle East. Israel is about what’s right with the Middle East.” A standing ovation – one of several Netanyahu received – followed that statement.

Netanyahu knew he was among friends and appeared very comfortable talking about what America means to Israel and vice versa. His opening remarks made reference to the terrible storms to hit the Midwest and he offered his condolences to the dead on behalf of the people and government of Israel. Throughout the speech, he sought to cement the bonds of friendship by hearkening to our shared heritage and values.

e called to mind that common bond of liberty that unites the two peoples, stating that the words on the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials can find their echo in the Old Testament. He reminded the audience that Jews were proclaiming “all men are created equal” thousands of years ago when the world was inhabited by slave owning empires. “Israel is the cradle of our civilization, and the modern state of Israel was founded precisely on these eternal values,” said Netanyahu. He added that this civilization was born in “our eternal capital: The united city of Jerusalem” – an observation that received the loudest and longest standing ovation of the night.

The prime minister also pointed out that the Muslims and Christians who live in Israel enjoy complete religious freedom. Reason enough, he said, to give Israel complete control of the holy city since they could be trusted to allow freedom of worship for all.

The prime minister was frequently interrupted by hecklers. The effort seemed well-coordinated because as soon as one heckler was escorted from the premises, another would start up in a different part of the room. It’s a tactic that was refined during the Bush years by Code Pink and other radical Left groups. Netanyahu looked on with bemusement as the crowd would first drown out the heckler with applause, and then begin chanting “Bi-Bi, Bi-Bi” as the miscreant was led more or less voluntarily from the hall. Only once did he directly address the disturbances when he asked the audience if they thought this kind of protest could be held in Gaza. He received another standing ovation.

I look forward to hearing what the Israeli prime minister has to say to Congress.

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