In a clear sign that Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu's hardball tactics had barely phased him, and much less moved him from his position, U.S. President Barack Obama bounced back on Sunday by delivering a speech to the powerful pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee -- or AIPAC -- in which he reiterated his belief that any final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians must center around the pre-1967 borders, along with land swaps, where required.
As I noted in a previous post, despite the mass media fire that has been directed at Mr. Obama -- instigated no less by the Republicans and other pro-Israel supporters -- the truth of the matter remains that President Obama has not stated anything that hasn't been said by -- or at least understood by -- American presidents who have preceded him. In other words, as Obama himself said on Sunday "What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately."
So it seems then, that what this Republican-led hullabaloo is really all about, is acquiring the Jewish vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential campaign, plain and simple. In order to do that, the Republicans must demonstrate to American Jews that Obama is not their friend, while the Republicans are. Obama's current position regarding the pre-1967 borders is a powerful tool which the Republicans will now try to use to convince them of that very thing.
As I have said before -- and make very clear in some of my articles on the Endtime Prophecy Net website -- while I am strongly opposed to some of President Obama's other positions, I have to admire the man for his guts. He has been willing to say what no other recent president has been willing to publicly declare. The question now is: What price will Obama pay for his boldness and honesty? Will it cost him a second term, or are Americans -- particularly American Jews -- pragmatic enough to realize that Obama is on the right course?
But let us be realistic here. While the United States has for a long time been Israel's chief defender, the storm clouds are gathering, and even President Obama may not be able to prevent what is coming next; that is, a declaration and recognition of Palestinian statehood at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in September. With that in mind, next week at the G20 -- Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors -- economic summit in Paris, President Obama will attempt to convince America's European friends that supporting just such a declaration is not advisable. Clearly, the U.S. president is going to face an uphill battle.
So exactly how have the Palestinians been reacting to the latest boxing match between Israel's Netanyahu and America's Obama? Muted but firm is probably the best way to describe it. As I explain in "Palestinian Quest For Statehood and UN Resolution 377", the Palestinians have clearly set their sight on the United Nations General Assembly. It should come as no surprise to us then that when asked for his opinion, longtime Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat remarked by telephone "I am waiting to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu. Does he accept the doctrine of two states on the 1967 line with agreed swaps or not? Before we hear that acceptance, we are just grinding water."
Mr. Netanyahu needs to come to his senses and demonstrate a little humility before it is too late.