Sunday, March 22, 2015

  • Sunday, March 22, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the NYT:
For the second consecutive day on Friday, the White House publicly questioned Mr. Netanyahu’s sincerity about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, suggesting that Mr. Obama did not trust him to back Palestinian statehood, a central element of United States policy in the Middle East.

Asked why the president did not take the prime minister at his word about his support for a two-state solution, Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, quickly shot back: “Well, I guess the question is, which one?”

“The divergent comments of the prime minister legitimately call into question his commitment to this policy principle and his lack of commitment to what has been the foundation of our policy-making in the region,” Mr. Earnest said.

He said Mr. Netanyahu had raised questions about his “true view” on a two-state solution. “Words matter,” Mr. Earnest said.
In fact, Netanyahu didn't contradict himself, as Legal Insurrection notes. He didn't say he was against a two-state solution, he said that it wouldn't happen while he is prime minister because of the instability in the Arab world:
"I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state today, and evacuate areas, is giving radical Islam an area from which to attack the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “This is the true reality that has been created in past years. Those that ignore it are burying their heads in the sand. The left does this, buries its head in the sand, time and again."

Asked directly whether no Palestinian state would be created under his leadership, the prime minister answered: “Indeed.”
Yes, words do matter. And Netanyahu's words after the election did not contradict his words beforehand.

Which is better than we can say about Josh Earnest's boss, Barack Obama.

Obama's reaction to Netanyahu's speech to Congress was that it contained "nothing new." To an extent, he is right, because the "new" part of Netanyahu's speech was very close to what Obama himself said seven years ago.

Netanyahu's speech laid out three conditions for lifting sanctions on Iran in addition to dismantling its nuclear program - to stop aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East, stop supporting terrorism around the globe, and stop threatening to destroy Israel.

Obama, speaking at AIPAC in 2008, also laid out three conditions to Iran that sound very similar:

Only recently have some come to think that diplomacy by definition cannot be tough. They forget the example of Truman, and Kennedy and Reagan. These presidents understood that diplomacy backed by real leverage was a fundamental tool of statecraft. And it is time to once again make American diplomacy a tool to succeed, not just a means of containing failure. We will pursue this diplomacy with no illusions about the Iranian regime. Instead, we will present a clear choice. If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives — including the lifting of sanctions, and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.
This is the same speech where Obama promised "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." - although he walked that statement back almost immediately.

If "words matter," then how come Obama is not being held to his words as a candidate? How come Iran's daily threats against Israel and its continued support for terror - support that the White House is now trying to erase - are no longer conditions for keeping sanctions in place or reasons to "ratchet up the pressure"?


Yes, Josh Earnest, words matter. Too bad your boss tramples on that principle.

Too bad none of Obama's fans who claim to be pro-Israel are willing to hold the president to his own standards.

(h/t EBoZ, see also Joe Settler)



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