May 30-31, 2011
Flash back to March of 2010: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House and our President refused to pose for photos with him. He then asked Mr. Netanyahu to halt all new settlement construction in East Jerusalem. Many Israelis and the Prime Minister perceived the request as pro-Palestinian and hurtful to Israel’s sovereignty. Netanyahu, probably stunned, didn’t respond. Then Obama walked out, telling him to work with our president’s advisors, and said, “…I’m still around. Let me know if there is anything new.” The PM was understandably irritated and felt humiliated. The Israeli media called it a White House ambush and said their PM was “disgraced.”
About a week ago President Obama stated what radical Muslims want – a return to the 1967 borders, which would make Israel vulnerable to future attacks. See Ed Morrissey’s clear analysis here: Morrissey. American liberals will defend the president by saying he was only suggesting a starting place for negotiations. And, they’ll say that Mr. Obama said there would be “mutually agreed swaps,” because everyone knows there can actually be no return to the ‘67 borders. He did say that, but the left forgets that Israel was attacked by multiple Arab countries, and in six days seized the land in self-defense (see a map, google the history). Our president showed his naiveté for assuming the Israelis would not be insulted by the mere suggestion the peace process begin with the pre-war borders. They would never consider a proposal like that one. They don’t even want to hear it.
During a mutual press conference with President Obama a couple of days later, PM Netanyahu took the opportunity to state that all of Israel bristles at the mention of the borders prior to the six-day war. The left said he appeared to lecture our president as he reminded everyone that Israel can’t negotiate with a group which still refuses to accept his country’s existence. There are several reasons for this misperception. One is that many in our media don’t care for Mr. Netanyahu. Another is Mr. Netanyahu’s long-term involvement in Israel’s affairs since the 1960’s. U.S. Presidents typically don’t stay on the scene very long. Therefore, Barack Obama falls into the category of ‘relative newcomer.’ The Prime Minister probably could have eyeballed the media while speaking, but instead turned to Mr. Obama. He thought he’d educate our president – and our people. At the same time, he recanted some of the history of his area - and he was masterful at it. Perhaps he was paying our leader back for the snub of 2010. And who could blame him?
Next, Mr. Netanyahu spoke in front of our Congress. Too bad President Obama chose to travel instead. And the PM gave a knock-it-out-of-the-park speech. It summed up the problem – while describing the solution. I’m sure it can also be found elsewhere, but you can read it here: Netanyahu Transcript. I hope President Obama learned something from Mr. Netanyahu. He needed it. We could all learn something from the Prime Minister, he’s a remarkable man, and a great leader.
Keywords: Conservatism, Conservative blog, Mark A. Cohen, From The Left to the Right, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, President Obama, 1967 borders, Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu
Keyword Phrases: "Conservatism”, “Conservative blog”, “Mark A. Cohen”, “From The Left to the Right”, "Benjamin Netanyahu”, “Israel”, “President Obama”, “1967 borders”, “Jerusalem”, “Prime Minister Netanyahu"
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