Thursday, June 4, 2015

Obama pushes Israel to see “the best possibilities of Arab partners and Palestinian partners”

Excerpt from a Newsweek article.
Obama stated in his Israeli TV interview Tuesday night that “Prime Minister Netanyahu is somebody who is predisposed to think of security first; to think perhaps that peace is naive; to see the worst possibilities, as opposed to the best possibilities of Arab partners and Palestinian partners.”

Obama’s assessment is absolutely correct. He succinctly articulated Netanyahu’s position. Moreover, right or wrong, that statement accurately reflects the view of the overwhelming majority of Israel’s citizenry.

After over 70 years of warfare, it is very hard for Israelis—even those who lean to the left—to see “the best possibilities of Arab partners and Palestinian partners.”

Any prospect for embracing an overly hopeful perspective was extinguished within most Israelis during the second intifada, when bombs were exploding in all of our cities; or after our withdrawal from all of Lebanon, which was followed by Hezbollah missiles falling on northern Israel; or, after that, by our withdrawal from Gaza, which was followed by the missiles falling on Tel Aviv.

If we needed a reminder of the ever-present tensions of “the situation,” preparatory drills were held throughout the country on Tuesday to simulate a missile attack—and once again, the sirens blared. So attempting to persuade Israelis that we should adopt a more optimistic attitude toward our potential Palestinian or Arab partners will not convince many Israelis that our prime minister is wrong.