Thursday, March 18, 2010
My last post, with slight alterations, appeared today in the global edition of the New York Times. Gideon Levy's column in Haaretz today makes the same point, bare-knuckled. So far, the Obama administration seems to be playing things about right, reinforcing a commitment to Israel's security (translation, not to its settlement project), and waiting for answers from the Israeli government that will prove its seriousness regarding peace talks (translation, a public commitment to suspend construction in East Jerusalem). Obama singled out the Shas Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, as responsible for precipitating the "disagreement": "The actions that were taken by the interior minister in Israel weren't helpful to that process. Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged as much and apologized for it," he said (translation, America would like to see a new Israeli government, with the more pragmatic, if hard-line Kadima, replacing fanatics and nut-jobs). Obama said that there is no crisis (translation, there is). Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the US, insists that the Netanyahu government is only doing what all previous governments since 1967 have done (translation, this is Israel's internal affair). That's true (translation, it's not, and never was).
Posted by Bernard Avishai at 4:11 AM