‘a titanic struggle between fear and hope’

Andrew Sullivan: …I saw nothing that new in the president’s speech on Israel-Palestine – just a minimal request directed to both sides based on a settlement everyone knows is the only equitable one, and that has been the cornerstone of US policy for a very long time. But the rank hysteria that immediately sprang from Jerusalem and quickly enveloped the far-right-wing-media-industrial-complex, revealed far more plainly than before that the gulf between Israel and the rest of the world is simply vast.

It appears that the maximum Netanyahu would allow in any two state solution are some kind of autonomous bantustans in the West Bank, surrounded by Israeli military and security forces and buffered at the Jordan border with IDF troops … If this is Israel’s bottom line, there will be no peace, and there should be no peace, because of the rank injustice of this non-solution.

….Netanyahu is no longer on the Israeli fringe … there is very solid and wide support in Israel for such a maximalist position, and in America, this is what most of the American Jewish Establishment has fatefully backed.

What strikes me is the visceral and emotional power behind the AIPAC line, displayed in Netanyahu’s contemptuous, disgraceful, desperate public dressing down of the American president in the White House.

Just observe the tone of Netanyahu’s voice, and the Cheney-like determination to impose his will on the world, regardless of anyone else, and certainly without the slightest concern for his ally’s wider foreign policy and security needs … Has Netanyahu ever asked, one wonders, what he could actually do to help Obama, president of Israel’s oldest, and strongest ally in an era of enormous social and political change?

…Netanyahu’s current position means that the US is supposed to sacrifice its broader goals of reconciliation with an emergent democratic Arab world ..he wants the US to clasp itself to Israel’s total distrust of every Arab state and population in an era where it is vital for the US to do exactly the opposite.

And it is absurd not to notice Obama’s even-handedness. It’s clear he won’t legitimize Hamas until Hamas legitimizes itself by acknowledging Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and dropping its virulent, violent anti-Semitism … Like any US president, he is committed to Israel’s security and is, indeed, vital to it. But all he asks is a good faith attempt by the Israelis to acknowledge that their future state has to be based on the 1967 lines with landswaps. Indefensible? Says who?….

And no one seems to appreciate Obama’s political courage in all this. Obama seems to understand that an equitable two-state solution is a key crucible for the change he is seeking with respect to the Muslim world … With each month in office, he has pursued this, through humiliation after humiliation from the Israelis, who are openly trying to lobby the press, media, political parties and Congress to isolate this president and destroy his vision for peace and the historic and generational potential his presidency still promises. To achieve this, he has to face down the apocalyptic Christianist right, the entire FNC-RNC media machine, a sizable chunk of his party’s financial base, and the US Congress. And yet on he pushes – civilly, rationally, patiently.

This really is a titanic struggle between fear and hope…..

Full magnificent article here

Thank you LoriahR

46 Responses to “‘a titanic struggle between fear and hope’”

  1. May 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I’m sorry – I’ll just hijack this thread for an update of the weather forecast at Moneygall.

    See: http://moene.org/~hirlam/

    The interesting part of the forecast, that starts off initial data based on 12 UTC (13 o’clock Irish time) shows that Monday morning (the last 12 hours of this forecast):

    Temperature will reach 12 degrees Centigrade (57 degrees Fahrenheit).

    Wind speed will be above 12 m/s – 24 knots, with “windstoten”, gusts at 22 m/s – 44 knots – not good for helicopters.

    Rain (“neerslag”) will be insignificant during that time (between 7-13 local time).

    The next automatic update will be at 02:05 UTC – 03:05 Irish time.

    The next update I will reflect on will be at 08:05 UTC – 09:05 Irish time.

    However, I won’t be able to formulate my opinion until 10 UTC. 11 o’clock Irish time.

    Hope to see you then.

    • May 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      I really hope the President makes it to Moneygall, but his safety does come first.

      I really hope the weather takes an about turn and ends up being favourable for the president to fly in by helicopter.

      I just was just on the Irish times website and they have a whole page dedicated to the President coming to Ireland:


  2. 3 theo67
    May 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    This article is really good and in-depth. I am not sure how this conflict with the Israelis is going to end. And I cannot understand what makes the Israelis so arrogant in this struggle, to the point where they think it’s a good idea to insult and alienate the President of the United States. All I can say is that they are really lucky that the President is Barack Obama, with his wisdom and ability to look for the larger goal.

    • 4 UT Austin Liberal
      May 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      That’s exactly how I feel about POTUS, Theo. Bibi is lucky that POTUS is calm, wise and always looks at long term goals rather than short term gratification. I applaud POTUS’s temperament b/c I don’t think I would be that calm when dealing with Netanyahu.

    • 5 DTTM
      May 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      I agree. Just makes my blood boil that the Repugs scheduled Netanyahu’s speech to Congress a while ago, knowing PBO will be away. I have written about this on BWD as well.

      AIPAC because of its fundraising prowess is right up there with the NRA in having undue influence in Congress. They are cowed by AIPAC and both sides of the aisle will show excessive approval for whatever Bibi says. Bummer. But finally there is an alternative to AIPAC called J-Street which is small, but growing…and totally supportive of PBO.

      I hope Americans will not take kindly to this blatant, unpatriotic attempt of one-upmanship by Net/Repugs/Lieberman.

      • 6 cuphalffull
        May 22, 2011 at 12:16 am

        Love the work of J Street. I am registered to get their updates and they are great. Just go to their site and sign up to receive their information.

    • 7 dotster
      May 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      I don’t believe it’s “the Israelis” who are so arrogant. It is Netanyahu who is so arrogant, so grossly arrogant, along with his extremist Likud Party. As others have suggested, the people there are ready for a solution and a path for peace, finally. We’re all sick of it, those who live in that region most of all.

    • 8 Lovepolitics2008
      May 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Bibi is arrogant because he knows at least half of the political class in Washington will back him. The influence of AIPAC in Washington is no secret. For years and years, they have donated big money to people of BOTH parties.

      I’m constantly amazed at the political courage and wisdom of President Obama. He NEVER hesitates to do the right thing, even if it is risky politically for him.

      Thanks Chipsticks for this impressive article by Sullivan.

    • 9 LYNN
      May 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm


  3. 10 Fred
    May 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Bibi is nothing but an arrogant intransigent asshat

  4. 12 mary b
    May 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm


    Nentanyahu and all the other extremist right wingnuts in Israel are as bad as AIPAC. AIPAC and the religious right have way too much power.
    I am so proud of President Obama making such a bold, principled stand where the Palestinians are concerned. All he is really doing is trying to set things right. And it really is only a baby step. So much more needs to be done!
    Israel’s right wing and America’s are greedy war mongers! They are neo-con chicken hawks. They WANT war, especially with Iran! But I would bet good money that their children would never be drafted to actually fight. Just like in the States, the wealthy children always end up with either a deferment or a desk job, far away and safe from any war zones.
    The war mongering neo-cons better be really careful. If they DO initiate a war with Iran, then the religious right will be getting exactly what they have been working toward~ the so-called “End Times”. Looks like the Rapture didn’t come out as planned for them today, did it??

  5. 13 Proud of Obama
    May 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I have never, ever been as disgusted with a foreign leader as I am with this putz. His treatment of our president was disgraceful. If I had my way I would end all U.S. aid to Israel because of this. He indeed better be glad that he is dealing with President Obama. Has this fool been asleep for the last two and a half years? He has seen President Obama in action. He knows that this President has a spine of steel to match his wisdom and resolve. Is he counting on the backing of the right wing traitors (the rethugs) getting him what he wants? It’s not going to happen .

    I wish there was a way for us to voice our extreme displeasure at how he treated our President. If anyone has a suggestion for who I can write, please let me know.

    • 14 theo67
      May 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      Maybe we need to start a letter writing campaign to AIPAC, and let them know that they don’t have the backing of the entire country with what they’re doing. They are not only isolating Israel, and withering the good will people have for those descendants of families who suffered in the holocaust. They’re also breeding an intolerance in their own country for any kind of compromise or negotiation, which will make it impossible to implement any kind of deal that might be reached. That’s a very dangerous position to put the people of Israel into, because it can only lead to strife.

      I also agree with Mary B about the war mongering attitude and similarities with the Israeli extremes and the right wing extremists in America.They are unmovable, and cannot compromise or negotiate like adults. They are very short sighted, because they think they’re protecting their children, but they are really making them a lot less safe. Just like the right wingers here, with their refusal of science, education and accurate history telling, and relegating their children to third world status because they won’t be able to compete in the future.

    • 16 sherijr
      May 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      Right there with you Proud. I’m furious over this behavior and plenty ready to give my two cents to Netanyahu. And I won’t even get started on the republicans in Congress supporting this man’s disrespect. I suspect what he says to Congress is going to be very arrogant and very nasty.

      • 17 sherijr
        May 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

        … very arrogant and nasty toward POTUS.. I will be watching to see who applauds his mess.

  6. 18 Fred
    May 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    good afternoon;evening and night everyone

    my back has been acting up for some days now.GOD bless you ALL and the President too

    • 19 theo67
      May 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      Feel better, Freb. A bad back can be debilitating. Try alternating ice and heat and stretching…

      • 20 UT Austin Liberal
        May 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

        Hey Fred hope you feel better soon. Rest up buddy. Sending good wishes your way. 🙂

    • 21 lisaloveobama
      May 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Oh Fred, I hope everything is alright and I echo Theo67: feel better soon 🙂

  7. 22 lisaloveobama
    May 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Petty Nettie aka Yeti aka silliest man to ever try to ‘school’ PBO, is all about manipulation. When will he realize that our prez is too wise, too smart, too cool for that mess? It’s almost too painful to watch him make a trainwreck of his prime ministership. I choose to look at yesterday’s interaction this way: PBO and Petty are playing poker, yesterday, Petty showed his hand and PBO has his trump and knows where all the dice have fallen.
    ps- obviously I’m mixing metaphors and games. I know nothing about poker except you should have a poker face (Not in a Lady Gaga way, but still…do they even have trumps in poker? Do they roll dice? ) Eitherway, PBO came out on top yesterday in terms of style and he will come out on top in the future in terms of substance. Take that Yeti ****sticks tongue out and blows****

  8. 23 Hachikō
    May 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    What happened to the web site? It’s all weird looking. The banner’s gone. Everything’s small and all over the place.

    • 24 UT Austin Liberal
      May 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Hey Hachiko, yeah a lot of people have been complaining that the website does look kinda weird for them. You might try refreshing your browser, disabling cookies if there are any, checking in your Tools to see if your internet compatibility button is checked on ( b/c for some websites if it is on it makes the website act funky). Chipsticks has contacted Word Press, but she is still waiting for a reply and solution. Other tech geeks or semi-tech people wanna offer some suggestions?

  9. 25 Barb
    May 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    God bless you also Fred. Sorry about your back and am sending warm healing energies to ease the pain.

    Nentanyahu reminds me of the way Egypt’s Mubarck treated the president on his last and final visit. Both men are arrogant and believe they are much smarter. Nentanyahu is proud and obnoxious, This situation has gone on for years with no sign of abatement and all we do is pamper Israel and reinforce our undying allience to them. I respect our President and it’s about time we spoke up and asked Israel to keep their part of the bargain. Hams is just mirroring what Israel has been doing to them for years.

    Proud, I agree with you. I don’t know what we can do but I am sick and tired of this type of treatment. I have confidence that the President is smarter than Bibi and who knows what unexpected situation might arise to support his request. I have to trust our President.
    Maybe we should just write a letter to the White House reinforcing our support. I can’t think of anything else we can do at this time

  10. 26 Lovepolitics2008
    May 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, President Obama will give a speech tomorrow ( Sunday) at AIPAC ? This is going to be interesting for sure….

    • 27 UT Austin Liberal
      May 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      Yeah ur’re right LP2008. I can’t wait to hear the speech. AIPAC better realize they aren’t the only powerful Jewish organization. J-Street is up and coming and there are many others who are solidly behind President Obama b/c they realize his speech was reasonable and provided a smart way forward.

      • 28 anniebella
        May 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm

        Do anyone know where and what time the speech at AIPAC is? I hope I will be able to see it.

        • 29 anniebella
          May 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

          Look at that Nentanyahu in that picture. He looks mean, What he doesn’t seem to understand is Israel depends on America, a hell of alot more than America depends on Israel.

        • 30 theo67
          May 22, 2011 at 1:47 am

          C-Span is scheduled to carry it on CSPAN One.

  11. May 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Hey guys,

    Check out this article I came across:

    Obama played Netanyahu in the Press and no one saw it


  12. May 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Seldom if ever do I agree with Andrew Sullivan on anything. We share a similarity is dispositions, activism for equality for gays but that is about it. It has never been enough for us to be kindred spirits politically so to speak.

    This magnificent article might just be the catalyst to gain me as a supporter and defender of someone whom soon I might address as a freind.

    Thanks CHIPS for sharing this article on you great blog. Because if it were not for you it would have not passed under my radar. I NEVER surf on THE BEAST because they are too far left for my tastes.

    Now, after this perhaps I ought revise my position about them also.

    Ciao from CZ,


    • May 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      Hi TO, I found this article incredibly powerful too, probably the best I’ve read on the issue. A big thank you again to LoriahR for sending me the link.

      Sullivan continues to baffle me. I completely understand why, because of his politics, he would have major differences with the President on some issues, but when he attacks him on a single issue he has the habit of dismissing his entire Presidency as a failure/betrayal/etc etc, and then he’s writing something like this? Bizarre.

      • 34 VC prezOfan2
        May 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm

        ‘Sullivan continues to baffle me’

        Me too. One day he’s my BFF (his was the first article I read months ago on the Israeli-USA Obama scenario that opened my eyes to Netanyahu’s stupidity and arrogance), next I avoid him for weeks (when he was dumping on PBO re Libya. There are times when he seems rational, supportive and analytic and other times when I wonder who wrote his column that day. Bizarre indeed. I must say though that I appreciate when he admdits his error, or when he gives the President the benefit of the doubt.

  13. 35 Me4obama
    May 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Hello, hello, hello, hello anybody there, it’s 6.00 pm the time we were all supposed to die, I am still here, can someone answer me, please!! The rapture is upon us. Am afraid you are all in heaven by now. Am waiting for a response.

    • May 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

      I’m neither in heaven nor hell M4O, still on planet earth! Glad to hear you are too!

      • 37 Me4obama
        May 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

        what a relief to here you are still alive chipsticks I want to be sure that the rest TOD family are not swept away by the Doomsday. Ooooohhhh so afraid.

    • 38 UT Austin Liberal
      May 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      Hey Guys and especially Me4Obama.. I just found this video on Yahoo. It’s White House Chef Sam Kass talking to the Olympian Gymnast Dominique Dawes at the White House about favorite treats that POTUS and the whole family love. It’s really really cool.

      And my oh my oh my… Sam Kass is jaw droppingly, mouthwateringly HOT, YUMMY, and oh soooo DELISH!!!!!! I just kept staring at him throughout the clip. *fans self*…. keeps fanning self… oh well no relief. 😉 Enjoy!


      • 39 Me4obama
        May 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

        UT Austin Lib, I just died and went to heaven before I even go watch the video. Sam Kass in real time!! If u all may excuse me I need some privacy to go watch the clip of “Sam Kass” my man before the rapture reaches my destination. First let me reach for the air conditioner to bring it down to Zero.

    • 40 anniebella
      May 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      This guy is full of alot of you know what. The Bible says no one knows the minute or the hour when Jesus shall return, Jesus doesn’t even know, only the Heavenly Father knows. All we have to do is live our lives, and for those who do believe, just make sure you are ready, for he will come like a thief in the night.

  14. 41 Barb
    May 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    This is an interesting article from Haaretz.com about the state of affairs in Israel and how the youth in the US and Israel don’t go along with Bibi’s nor APIC out of date views.

    “Netanyahu’s Israel is on course to become a pariah state”
    Netanyahu heads for Washington to stop Israel’s collision course with all our allies, who are no longer prepared to listen to his arguments about the country’s security.
    By Zeev Sternhell


  15. May 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    We should stand with the president and not remain silent on this disrespectful prime minister …

    Send AIPAC your regards,



    • May 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      I read earlier that the head of AIPAC has emailed the members to plead with them not to boo the President tomorrow. This is beyond insane.

      • 44 Tien Le
        May 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

        It wouldn’t be the first time our President has gone into the lion’s den. I read some of the comments on the AIPAC facebook and it’s clear that a lot of these people are woefully misinformed. Railing on about the speech when it’s obvious they didn’t actually watch/listen to the actual speech itself. That’s shameful. Oh well, this too will pass and some other outrage will dominate the news cycle. No way in heck this sustains itself through the summer.

  16. 45 Tien Le
    May 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Just how much money does this AIPAC give anyway? And why can’t we find a way to counter them? That’s the beauty of the way things worked in 2008. The President was able to get into office without being beholden to all those special interests. His only special interest is the American People. Can someone give me a compelling reason why our President should care about AIPAC?

    • 46 EDP4BHO
      May 21, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      I just sent a message to one Andrew (?) Lewy on AIPAC’S FB page, in the commments. He seemed the only rational person there. I couldn’t figure out, though, how to leave a comment without “Like” ing the page first, so I suggested he could use my comment if he so chose to do so. I thanked him for his support of POTUS. Most of them are rabid idealogues. My, we have not many sane, reasonable people in this nation, and I am sick and tired of this Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as if no one else in the world required attention. Shit!

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