Netanyahu’s response, together with the negative and disapproving reaction of top Jewish American leaders, will hopefully be leading to positive results as it seems Obama will be softening his stance towards Israel and its borders in his upcoming speech to AIPAC.
Jennifer Rubin in her Washington Post blog reports that Obama is already performing damage control in the wake of the reactions to his speech.
President Obama blew it yesterday. The Israelis are infuriated, numerous sharp-eyed lawmakers spotted the forced concessions Obama was demanding of Israel and, if former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block is any indication, the most prominent pro-Israel Jewish group is very, very worried. So what does Obama do? He reverses course — fast!
On the BBC last night, Obama immediately nixed his definitive language on the 1967 borders and reverted to language that sounded more in tune with that of former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush:
Read the whole thing.
Contrarily, and typically, Defence Minister Ehud Barak was rather more sanguine about the whole affair, saying the Obama-Netanyahu meeting was less dramatic than made out in the press.
Surprisingly, Deputy FM Danny Ayalon agreed with Barak’s position, adding:
… it was positive regarding Israel.
“Obama remains committed to Israel as a Jewish state and even demanded answers from the Palestinians regarding the reconciliation deal with Hamas,” Ayalon said at a cultural event in Holon on Saturday.
“The president stood up for Israel’s right to self-defense,” Ayalon added, as well as “the need for defensible borders and the end to [all] claims.”
The deputy foreign minister continued, “It is clear from Obama’s speech that no agreement will be forced upon Israel and that unilateral measures will fail.”
Addressing the conflict of positions regarding pre-1967 borders, which the US president demanded be a basis for future borders in his speech Thursday, Ayalon said, “It’s a type of disagreement between good friends that has not influenced the past and will not influence the deep friendship and natural alliance between Israel and the US [in the future].”
I hope this isn’t more double diplo-speak.