Sunday, February 1, 2009

Obama's Mission In Short

The (appropriately) laconic George Mitchell has come and gone, and the Israeli press, particularly radio, is full of knowing talk about an impending clash between Bibi Netanyahu, almost certain to be the next prime minister, and the Obama administration, mainly over settlements. There is something surreal about this: Netanyahu's lead in the polls has not really eroded, and the rightist, pro-settler coalition he will rely on to anchor his personal power in any unity government is gaining. The government is going ahead with plans to join Maale Adumim to Mount Scopus. It is as if the commentators were talking about a clash between Israel and the American Reform movement over conversion. 

Israelis have lived so long under American protection they have confused America's power for their own, and have utterly underestimated the sober, changing attitude toward Israel since the Gaza attack--around the world, but also in America. More about this presently. For now, a shorter, more succinct and shareble version of my double post on what Obama should be doing has been published by London's Prospect magazine.  It can be read here


Don said...

You have rightly seen that a major aspect of this conflict is the tension in both societies, that many fear could lead to a kind of civil war, causing the side in such a civil war to collapse, and leaving the other side standing and victorious. The outside world, on both sides, through funding, has abetted this problem.

The only solution that I can see is for the US and other meddlers or helpers, on each side, to agree on a plan and tell both sides take it or leave it. Maybe that would wake everybody up. Otherwise, at some point, people are going to simply disengage out of frustration, including the US.

Don the libertarian Democrat

By the way, I assume Israel's right to exist, as I do every other country on earth. I find debates on that topic ludicrous.

One other point: Can we solve this crisis so that people can notice that 5 million people have recently died in the Congo, 10,000 in Nigeria, 2 million in Sudan,etc.?

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