Sunday, June 14, 2009

Palestinians Respond To Netanyahu Speech By Crying For Obama

I've always thought it was a cop out when newspapers claim that the proof that they were accurate is that both sides of an issue are angry at them.

The question then is what to make of Netanyahu's speech which seemed to do just that.

Arutz Sheva summarized both the reaction and the speech itself like this:
Kadima Pleased with Speech; Coalition MKs have Mixed Feelings

Members of Knesset from across the political spectrum reacted Sunday night to a speech by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu outlining his diplomatic goals. Netanyahu called for the creation of a "Palestinian state" beside Israel, but also insisted that the PA first recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which it has so far refused to do, and that it agree to disarm.

In addition, Netanyahu said Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of Israel.

...Responses from the nationalist camp were largely negative.
Mixed reactions are about what you would expect, considering the concession Netanyahu made on the creation of a second Palestinian state (sure to anger the right) while attaching conditions (sure to anger the left).

Maybe the most interesting response came from the Palestinian Arabs. Of course, they were angry--Netanyahu did not give them a Palestinian state on a silver platter. But more than that, it became clearer that they preferred for Obama to do all of the dirty work for them.

You get a hint of that from spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah:
Netanyahu's remarks have sabotaged all initiatives, paralysed all efforts being made and challenges the Palestinian, Arab and American positions.
Till now, the only 2 'negotiating' modes the Palestinian Arabs seemed to have at their disposal were threats and demands for concessions--but now, they have a new third negotiating tactic: ask Obama to make Netanyahu give in.

Some of Abbas's top advisors accused Netanyahu of "burying the peace process" and said the ball was now in the court of US President Barack Obama.

..."Netanyahu's speech is a blow to Obama before it's a blow to the Palestinians and Arabs," commented an aide. "It's obvious, in the aftermath of this speech, that we are headed toward another round of violence and bloodshed."
The ball is in Obama's court? Aren't the Palestinian Arabs playing this game too?
That attitude is not surprising--it is what Jackson Diehl wrote about in his interview with Abbas:
He [Obama] has revived a long-dormant Palestinian fantasy: that the United States will simply force Israel to make critical concessions, whether or not its democratic government agrees, while Arabs passively watch and applaud. "The Americans are the leaders of the world," Abbas told me and Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt. "They can use their weight with anyone around the world. Two years ago they used their weight on us. Now they should tell the Israelis, 'You have to comply with the conditions.' "
Of course in the meantime, Abbas and the entire leadership of the Palestinian Authority plan to do absolutely nothing to further their cause:
Abbas and his team fully expect that Netanyahu will never agree to the full settlement freeze -- if he did, his center-right coalition would almost certainly collapse. So they plan to sit back and watch while U.S. pressure slowly squeezes the Israeli prime minister from office. "It will take a couple of years," one official breezily predicted. Abbas rejects the notion that he should make any comparable concession -- such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, which would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.

Instead, he says, he will remain passive. "I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements," he said. "Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life."
Usually you expect that the work towards the building of a state would bring out the best qualities in people. The biographies of the founders of the re-established state of Israel are filled with accounts of their hard work, leadership and sacrifice.

Contrast that with the Palestinian Arabs, who clearly want to have a state handed to them with no work, no concessions, and no sacrifice. No wonder that living off of the funding of the West is considered "a normal life."

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