This important essay by Robert Parry contextualizes Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s arrogant stuffing of President Obama, which took place after Obama gave a weak-kneed speech on the Middle East. If Parry is right, a really dirty game is in the offing.
And look at the banality of language that provoked Netanhahu: Obama’s speech purported to analyze the implications of the Arab Revolt with an analysis that was viewed as being weak, inept, and self centered by some Arabs (e.g., see this cogent analysis of his language) as well as his goals for the pursuit in the Arab-Israeli peace process: namely a return to Israel’s 1967 borders, with some land swaps, in return for the security of a Jewish state within these borders (a choice of language that may have been an attempt to appease Netanyahu*).
*Mr. Obama’s language was somewhat ambiguous when he said the primary Israeli-related goal of the peace process was to establish conditions for Israel as a Jewish state
and the homeland for the Jewish people.” But it does raise a question of whether he is acceding to the sectarian interpretation of a Jewish democracy demanded by Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made recognition of Israel as aJewish nation-state a prerequisite for any final agreement with the Palestinians. This kind of sectarian definition in a democracy has unknowable ramifications for the non-Jewish minority making up 20% of Israel’s citizens. For a discussion of this issue, see Isabel Kirshner, “Some Question the Existence of Israel as a Jewish State,” New York Times, 24 October 2010.
This public rebuke raises questions about whether Netanyahu will now try to sink Obama’s reelection the way earlier Likud leaders undermined President Jimmy Carter
by Robert Parry, Consortium News, May 21, 2011
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Oval Office rebuke of U.S. President Barack Obama – and the Republicans’ immediate attempt to exploit the dispute to peel away Jewish voters – suggest that American politics may be in for a replay of Campaign 1980.
In that election, too, a Likud prime minister, Menachem Begin, set his sights on eliminating what Israeli hardliners regarded as a troublesome Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, and replacing him with a Republican more willing to let Israel expand its settlements on occupied Palestinian territory and launch what turned out to be a bloody invasion of Lebanon.
It was also in Campaign 1980 that the powerful coalition of neoconservatives, the Christian Right and the Republican establishment took shape. Over the ensuing three decades, that coalition has reshaped U.S. politics.