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Monday, March 14, 2016

New York Times Editorial, "Mr. Netanyahu’s Lost Opportunities": A Photo-Op?

Informing us in an editorial entitled "Mr. Netanyahu’s Lost Opportunities" that Netanyahu cancelled a meeting with Obama in Washington later this week, The New York Times goes on to say:

"It’s unfortunate that this strange squabble is overshadowing two pressing issues. One involves the new 10-year defense agreement the two governments are negotiating, an anchor of their alliance. The existing agreement, which expires in 2018, provides $3.1 billion a year to Israel, , [sic] making it the top recipient of American aid. The even larger issue involves the slow but inexorable death of the two-state solution for peace with the Palestinians.

. . . .

Military aid alone will never guarantee Israel’s security. For that, there needs to be progress toward a Middle East peace deal."

Remarkably, the Times editorial makes no mention of the fact that The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps last week test-fired two additional ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and that one missile had a message written on it in Hebrew: "Israel should be wiped off the Earth." Obama's response? Nada, unless anyone took Samantha Power seriously when she declared at the UN that the test-firing "merits a [Security] Council response." After all, Obama wouldn't want to do anything that might jeopardize his unsigned, legacy-building, nuclear deal with Khamenei.

Bottom line: No opportunity - other than a photo-op - was lost by the cancellation of this meeting with a president, who has dedicated his two terms in office to creating daylight between Israel and America.

Obama's successor? The editorial concludes:

"With less than a year left in office and many other international crises to manage, it is unlikely that Mr. Obama will make another push for negotiations. But his successor must look for new ways help Israel and the Palestinians make peace happen."

However, as reported in a Times of Israel article entitled "Abbas reportedly turns down visiting Biden’s peace plan" by Sue Surkes:

"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly turned down a peace initiative put forward by US Vice President Joe Biden in Ramallah on Wednesday.

The deal offered a settlement construction freeze and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem in exchange for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and the relinquishment of Palestinian rights to return to live in Israel, Palestinian newspaper Al Quds reported."

Unbeknownst to the editorial board of the Times, it is difficult to reach a reach a peace agreement when one side categorically rejects such a fair-minded proposal.

More concerning the relationship between Obama's successor and Israel? In a Times op-ed entitled "Can Israel Handle a President Trump?," Shmuel Rosner writes:

"Israel’s government hoped a new president would restore a more traditional definition of friendship — one based on mutual trust and support. But if the choice comes down to Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump, that’s unlikely. From a President Clinton, Israel’s hawkish government would come under more of the same pressure it received from the Obama administration. From a President Trump … anything is possible."

Indeed, both Hillary and Donald would be disastrous for Israel. We can only hope that Hillary's candidacy will be derailed by an FBI recommendation favoring indictment, and that Trump will be beaten by a nose by Kasich in Ohio. Stay tuned.

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