Thursday, January 7, 2010

Obama’s no Polemarchus

06 January '10

Rahm Emanuel is sick of Israelis and Palestinians. In an explosion of even-handedness, he stopped just short of calling for a pox on both of our houses:

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recently told the Israeli consul in Los Angeles that the Obama administration is fed up with both Israel and the Palestinians, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.

Emanuel met with Jacob Dayan, consul general of Israel in Los Angeles, about two weeks ago, after which Dayan briefed the Foreign Ministry. Emanuel told Dayan the U.S. is sick of the Israelis, who adopt suitable ideas months too late, when they are no longer effective, according to Army Radio.

The U.S. is also sick of the Palestinians who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, Emanuel reportedly said. — Ha’aretz

With respect to Israel,

Emanuel reportedly said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly acknowledged the two-state solution too late, and that the freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank came only after months of U.S. pressure.

Is it reasonable to think that the Palestinian and Israeli positions on Jerusalem borders, refugees, etc. would have been any closer together six months ago than today? After all, Olmert offered much more to the Palestinians in 2008 than Netanyahu will countenance today, without results. So why would it have helped to get Netanyahu to utter the magic words “two-state solution” — words which mean entirely different things to Israelis and Palestinians — or to impose a partial settlement freeze which will never be enough for the Palestinians?

No, what prevents a settlement is that what Israel can give without surrendering its right to exist is less than the minimum that the Palestinian leadership can accept. Welcome to the Middle East, as the old joke goes.

(Read full article)


1 comment:

  1. The maximum that Israel can offer is less than the minimum the Palestinians will accept. That is why there will never be a meeting of the minds. Welcome to the Middle East, indeed.