Watchmen from Jerusalem, Issue 3, 2011
Israel's PM Netanyahu fights back
Meeting with Obama the next day, Netanyahu publicly, politely, patiently, yet firmly, explained his "No". Many Zionists, even in the US, were pleased with his bold response. In Israel his approval ratings rose as he stood up to Obama's unbiblical decrees.
JP analyst Herb Keinon wrote that the
current difficulties in US-Israeli relationship… are not a personality clash, but rather a conceptual one… Obama essentially believes in the land for peace formula, that what it will take to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict is a painful ceding of Israeli land. Netanyahu, on the other hand, believes, based on past experience, that this will not do the trick nor ensure Israel's security - so forget about it.
Also, Obama thinks that now, in the midst of a ME in upheaval, is the time to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict, yet Bibi
believes that with everything else happening in the Arab world, and Israel not knowing what will happen to any of its regional partners… this is the time to step back and let the dust settle before taking daring next moves. ("Obama-Netanyahu: Not everything is personal," H. Keinon, JP Analysis, 21 May 2011)
Obama also said the so-called Palestinian refugee problem could be solved after borders were set. Netanyahu disagreed.
The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refugee problems, Palestinian and Jewish, both about equal in number. Jews who were expelled from Arab lands, where they lived since biblical times, were absorbed by little Israel,
but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees.
Yet today, Palestinians are demanding that Israel accept the millions of these refugees' descendents, thus destroying
Israel's future as a Jewish state… ("Bibi Says No to Obama on '67 Lines', Warns Against Illusions," Arutz 7, 22 May 2011)
Days later, Bibi spoke to a joint meeting of the US Congress. While he did not state any new Israeli initiatives, what he did do, as he said in private conversations, was to
pound some policy stakes into the ground that would not be moved by the swirling winds in the region… No return to 1967, no refugees, no negotiations with a PA government that includes Hamas, and
the absolute necessity of Palestinians recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
What made this speech so important, was how it was received.
That Israel's prime minister received a rock-star ovation from both sides of the aisle of both houses of Congress sends an important message of support to both friend and foe alike. He knew
the symbolic value of a speech by a foreign leader to a joint meeting of Congress, which only happens about four times a year. Although he knew that Obama was not
applauding either the content of the speech, or the fact that he went to Congress to deliver it, he gambled that in the long run, both he and [Israel] would gain more by, in his mind, ("Netanyahu and 'The Book of Why'," Herb Keinon, JP Features, 27 May 2011)
speaking truth to power.