‘you are making us choose’

The Jewish Daily Forward: … President Obama’s May 19 speech outlining his administration’s response to the so-called Arab Spring contained a ringing defense of Israel’s continued security and a stinging rebuke to Hamas. Obama plainly defended Israel’s right to exist and its place in the community of nations…

But the president also stated out loud what every president over the last two decades and many Israeli officials have acknowledged: The borders of Israel before the 1967 war, before the 43-year occupation, are the starting point for negotiations with Palestinians. The starting point, not the conclusion, as Obama also called for “land swaps” that, again, have long been an accepted mechanism for dividing the contested land….

….. the stern conditions for peace talks that Netanyahu enunciated before Congress were framed in such a way to leave little diplomatic space for the Palestinians. His narrative placed all the blame on them for the current impasse … while he promised he’d make “far reaching compromises” in the interests of peace, it’s unclear what that could mean when so much is off the table.

…. Netanyahu’s defiant stance puts American Jews in a heart-wrenching conundrum. We can choose to support his view of the world, in which an aggrieved Israel bears no responsibility for the occupation and for the impasse in negotiations – and many American Jews will… Most American Jews don’t want further procrastination, but an end to the conflict, which has stained Israel’s moral standing in the way that occupation and continued violence inevitably do…

…here’s what Obama does embody in his insistence on a peace process: The quintessential idealism and optimism that undergirds the American personality, the “yes we can” feeling that is right now at odds with Israeli fatalism, along with a pragmatic approach to foreign policy that sees a much larger picture than Netanyahu does….

We want the Palestinian leadership to take bold steps to recognize a new reality and the need for compromise. Why shouldn’t we expect the same of Israeli leadership?

Most of us hoped that Netanyahu would have given a courageous, creative speech to move the process forward, safeguarding Israel’s security as he must, but also recognizing the cogent, entirely reasonable requests from the President of the United States.

You are making us choose, Mr. Prime Minister. Please don’t.

Full article here

11 Responses to “‘you are making us choose’”

  1. 1 Fred
    May 27, 2011 at 8:58 am

    that is a brilliant article 😀

  2. 2 Ceb
    May 27, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Well now!

    The s— is beginning to hit the fan. Bibi (and the feckless congress) should have known better. Our president always says what others avoid because of fear. He is a realist. Bibi and the other fanatics cannot defend their stance when so many are finally willing to admit the truth and to work on a real way forward. The world is tired of this conflict. The world has changed around Israel. They need to do so as well. Showing disrespect for the leader of the country that is your greatest ally was the most short-sighted stupid thing to do. Disagreement is one thing; tantrums, lies, and incivility is another.

    Our president, the only adult in the room, sat back and let Bibi make a fool of himself.

    I have often resented the time and effort that all of our presidents have put in a process that those involved do not seem to understand the necessity of compromise. As the president said on another occasion, we have stuff to do in our own country; this conflict is draining our coffers, our reputation and our goodwill.

  3. 3 CTGirl
    May 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Tell the truth…is this surprising? Our president is clearly the only adult in the room.

  4. 4 lisalovesobama
    May 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

    After reading the article, I again made the mistake of reading the comments and the anti-Obama crap was too much, so I had to say my piece:

    The anti-Obama crap is just that: CRAP. If you go to c-span.org and re-watch Petty Nettie’s address to congress, you see that he says the same things Obama said on Thursday and on Sunday. You been tricked! Nettie wanted to drum up approval at home where his numbers are horribly low, so therefore, he tried to act tough. Everything he said was an echo to Obama’s two speeches. Get over yourselves. There will soon come a time when the West will lose patience with the Israeli’s stubborn-ness. What are you all going to do when your state has finally alienated itself? Who’s going to protect you on the world stage? My uncle used to say: “Those who can’t hear, must feel,” and boy howdie, Petty Nettie and unfortunately, the State of Israel-through the fault of their idiot leader- will be feeling soon. This cannot go on much longer. The West has never spent 60 years fighting in any conflict. We have a problem, we fight it out in a reasonable amount of time, we compromise, we move on. So again I say: begin at the 1967 lines with land swaps. Take it, or get the hell out. As an American, I’m sick of this. We have our own problems to deal with. There are everyday American citizens who are going witout food or homes, who are suffering as we attempt to make our way out of this recession. Everyday American’s are making compromises in their lives. My message to The Yettie: grow a pair and make compromise. I read an article in which the head of Israel’s opposition party talked about compromise, I also read an Israeli- American paper in which those who were polled want compromise. The paper also had Obama’s poll numbers at 59% and The Yettie at 44%. The American Jews have already chosen, and it sounds like Israel is getting ready to make a choice and The Yettie’s days may just be over if Madam Opposition Leader has her way. I wish her all the luck, because Petty Nettie does NOT want peace and we need some peacemakers at this time. God must be rolling his eyes at the Israeli’s and Palestinians. It’s disgusting that we are fighting over land when HIS central tenet is: THOU SHALT NOT KILL. How sad.

    • 5 EDP4BHO
      May 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

      You hit em hard, Lisa. Good for you. They needed some sense knocked into them.

      • 6 UT Austin Liberal
        May 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

        Brilliant and astute commentary Lisa. You hit the nail on the head. Thank you.

    • 7 majii
      May 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Even most of the Jews in Israel side with PBO on this issue. I think it was on Little Green Footballs that I saw the poll results. These results were done by an organization in Israel. Bibi knows, but he, like the republicans here, are grandstanding for political purposes. PBO is a courageous leader because he spoke up, and this, in turn, has emboldened other nations and Jewish groups, besides AIPAC, to speak up also.

    • 8 VC prezOfan2
      May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      {Lisa} Clearly stated, and with passion! Hopefully it will shake awake a few of the shortsighted, yet truly patriotic, Jews on the site.

    May 27, 2011 at 9:46 am


  6. 10 theo67
    May 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    It sounds like they’re telling Netanyahoo that if he makes them choose, they’ll choose President Obama.

    • 11 VC prezOfan2
      May 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Sounded that way to me too. Nice to see more and more rational folks are stepping into the public forum to be heard alongside the ever loud and pushy ‘crazies’.

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