Netanyahu’s diplomatic slap-down of Obama

On Friday Bibi delivered what is, in my humble opinion, a beautifully diplomatic slap-down to Obama’s Middle East policy speech from Thursday. (h/t CifWatch, TCKT)

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.

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9 Responses to Netanyahu’s diplomatic slap-down of Obama

  1. Earl says:

    From one of my sabra pals:

    Barack Obama tried to upstage Israel by trying to look serious in a speech yesterday and publicly demanding that Israel accept the demands of the militant Palestinians with no concessions by them, not even requiring them to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, while they all remain Muslim states.

    In a virtuoso performance, Israeli P.M. Bibi Netanyahu just publicly and flatly repudiated Obama’s demands in his press conference, with Obama standing by helplessly – firmly and calmly flatly rejecting

    a) 1967 borders

    b) any negotiations with Hamas, and,

    c) the Palestinian “right of return”.

    “Ain’t gonna happen”, is what he said at one point. “Israel is MY responsibility” at another point.

    This was like an adult teaching a kid a lesson in how to conduct national affairs.

  2. Luther says:

    That was a wonderful and brilliant speech by Bibi. That is, wonderful and brillant in its simplicity. Bibi calmy and forcefully explaining in simple words Israel’s position. Words that BHO needed to hear, we can only hope he listened.

    And in case you missed this, Anne, a well written post on Life magazine reportage at the conclusion of the 67 war. My goodness, how things have changed.

    http://www.bookwormroom.com/2011/05/20/contemporary-coverage-of-the-six-day-war-clear-signed-and-moral/

    • anneinpt says:

      Wow! Luther, that is an absolutely brilliant link! I do have vague memories of the media writing like that about Israel once upon a time, but my strongest memories are from the Yom Kippur War (1973) and onwards. That was the first time I consciously remember feeling totally outraged at the way the Arabs blatantly called Israel the “aggressor” when it was so obvious that Israel had been attacked first, taken completely by surprise. And then feeling even more outrage that the international media swallowed the lie whole and regurgitated it unquestioningly. I was in my early teens and it was the beginning of my love affair with Israel, and my obsession with the way Israel is reported on in the media.

      • Luther says:

        I was involved in my own war in 67, but still well remember how Israel handed the Arabs their a** once again, in 67. You’d think they would learn, the Jew haters. But like any insane person they keep trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, as in 73.

        One exception to your memories. The media didn’t swallow the lie… they were enablers and perpetrators of the lies by that time, about Israel being the aggressor. Walking hand in hand with the by then well entrenched progressive script. As it is today.

  3. Earl says:

    Luther: Thx., I’ll get to this presently. Oren’s book was first rate, so this article will refresh my memory of those critical six days in June.

  4. reality says:

    well done Bibi, I just hope he means what he says & then tells the lefties here the same thing as they are the ones who go & ruin everything. Why oh why didn’t Bibi say that we have already given huge swathes of land back & have only had repeated war? so how can we possibly expect anything different? Although everyone knows this, it has to be constantly repeated. But I do like the fact that he mentioned the Jewish refugees from Arab lands. Why didn’t he say that those “refugee Arabs” who didn’t flee their lands in Jaffa , Safed etc now live very nice lives? We should help him write his next speech!

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