Sunday, June 14, 2009

Treading water in the desert

Bibi looked confident and spoke well but obviously did not convince anyone but his own followers. The fact that only two ministers of his cabinet - both belonging to the very right wing of his Likud party - were aware of the contents of his speech, proves that his speech was aimed at the Israeli public. Right after the end of the speech we heard and saw several Likudniks who noted happily that the Palestinians rejected Netanyahu's 'vision'. He did not say anything new, apart from the two words 'Palestinian state', which given the many 'buts' and 'ifs' - which were all known already, several commentators used the phrase "Bibi will accept a Palestinian state if the Palestinians become like the Swedes" - are just an empty phrase that will not change anything. Everybody who uses common sense and knows anything about 'the' conflict understands that the Palestinians will receive at least a ( symbolic ) part of Jerusalem as the capital for their inevitable state, and that the right of return will never be granted as such, but there is no use making explicit public statements about those two central issues, unless you want to pacify your own public. Since he explicitly rejected the American demand to stop building inside the settlements, Washington will not be content either ( and definitely will not be more willing to adopt the Israeli approach towards the Iranian threat ). Which is why today we did not move one centimeter forward in the direction of peace, a Palestinian in addition to a Jewish state, an end to the occupation, or anything else that might change the Palestinian and Israeli reality for the better. More tomorrow or Tuesday. Layla tov.

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