Hard of Hearing

The leader of the Israeli war party is finally granted access to the man elected to bring “change.”

The Reception.

As Haaretz put it:

The White House wanted Netanyahu to sweat before being granted an audience with the president, and wanted everyone to see him perspire.

The delays in finding a time to meet, and pushing it to a late hour – after the news programs on Israeli television – make Netanyahu look as if Obama threw him a bone. In such circumstances, it is no longer important what will be said at the meeting, and the extent to which there will be an attempt to present it as an achievement. The prime minister of Israel was humiliated before all.

The Context.

For a little context, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad summarized Israel’s situation as follows:

The source of the problem is the Israeli invasion of others’ land. If there is an invasion, people react. Therefore, the thing to do is to withdraw from the occupied land and sign a peace treaty.”

There is one clear message that Israel should understand, al-Assad said: “Only peace can protect the Israelis. If they believe they are defenseless, it is not war, but peace that can protect them. The experiences in Lebanon and Gaza showed them that they cannot reach a conclusion by military means and moreover, that these means will drag them to failure.”

A few days ago British Foreign Secretary David Milibrand put it like this:

Settlements are illegal in our view and an obstacle to peace settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” Miliband told a news conference after talks with King Abdullah II.

“The settlements challenge the heart of… a Palestinian state.”

The Reality on the Ground.

In case you have overlooked the situation on the ground, consider this Haaretz commentary:

I thought they would feel right at home in the alleys of Balata refugee camp, the Casbah and the Hawara checkpoint. But they said there is no comparison: for them the Israeli occupation regime is worse than anything they knew under apartheid. This week, 21 human rights activists from South Africa visited Israel. Among them were members of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress; at least one of them took part in the armed struggle and at least two were jailed. There were two South African Supreme Court judges, a former deputy minister, members of Parliament, attorneys, writers and journalists. Blacks and whites, about half of them Jews who today are in conflict with attitudes of the conservative Jewish community in their country.

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