Sunday, July 28, 2013

Words of Historic Reverberation


there are moments in which tough decisions must be made for the good of the country

Benjamin Netanyahu *
Prime Minister,
July 27, 2013



Jonathan Tobin: should be remembered that as much as Israel could have said no to Kerry, this is an outrageous Palestinian demand that was championed by the United States. That means Americans should pause and wonder whether they would ever give a moment’s consideration to doing what their government is twisting Israel’s arm to do. Would we ever think of releasing any of those convicted and currently serving long jail sentences for involvement in the 9/11 attacks or any other terrorist assault on the United States and its citizens? Not a chance.

That’s a point that is never raised in the news accounts of Kerry’s negotiations or even posed to the secretary when he deigns to be questioned by a diplomatic press corps that has given him kid-glove treatment. Yet why not?

The fact is the United States would never consider such a request for a minute, no matter the diplomatic gains to be garnered from that sort of concession elsewhere in the globe. The American position is, as the Obama administration likes to put it, that anyone who attacks U.S. citizens will be chased down to the ends of the earth and either be snuffed by a drone attack that has the personal approval of the commander in chief or be locked away for good if they are captured.

Imagine the response from the 9/11 families or the survivors of any terror attack to the suggestion that the killers of their relatives be released. Would it be much different than those of Israelis as reported by the New York Times?...
...  it’s also fair to ask Americans how they can justify demanding that Israel do something they would never do themselves. The blood of the Israeli victims of terror is just as red as that of Americans. Their need for some measure of justice for the killers is no more and no less than that of Americans.

This sort of hypocrisy is inexcusable.


Cabinet Approves Opening of Diplomatic Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in Accordance with PM Netanyahu's Statement on the Negotiations
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

The Cabinet, today (Sunday, 27 July 2013), approved the opening of diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in accordance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement regarding the negotiations, and authorized a ministerial team on the release of Palestinian prisoners during the negotiations. The Prime Minister will chair the team; its other members will be Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri. Earlier, the Cabinet approved the draft Basic Law: Referendum.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "This moment is not easy for me. It is not easy for the ministers. It is not easy especially for the families, the bereaved families, whose heart I understand. But there are moments in which tough decisions must be made for the good of the country and this is one of those moments."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Israel benefits as much as the US does from avoiding an open breach. The US under Obama is not our fathers’ United States, and American policies are already being openly, if quietly, flouted – by our nominal clients – all over the Middle East. Israel could do the same and probably suffer few immediate consequences. But the major consequence, demonstrating that there’s no tooth in American power today, would cause Israel’s security environment to deteriorate in ways that couldn’t be repaired at all. They could only be addressed anew with armed force, and they would cause further “tectonic” upheavals in the region that would affect Israel adversely.

I think Bibi wants to get through this transient more-peace-talks moment without losing any “red line” ground for Israeli security, knowing that the most unpredictable, least reliable factor in the whole mix is the government of the United States – but that that government’s power relationships must, if possible, look steady and continuous at the end of the process.

Painful as it is to say, Netanyahu’s biggest challenge will be presented by Obama and Kerry. We KNOW what the EU, PA, etc will do. Bibi probably hopes he has chosen the least-awful course here. But if he could speak frankly, I suspect he would say that his gamble is not a sure thing. He may have to break in some way with the Obama administration, if it demands too much of Israel. If he can get through with the red lines intact, avoiding any dramatic fallings-out with the US, he is still likely to come out of it raw and bleeding in terms of his own political profile.