From Begin to Netanyahu: Can President Obama, like Carter Before him, Deliver the Promised Peace with the Zionist Entity?
Netanyahu: a Chip off the Old Begin Block
President Clinton, after a frustrating meeting with prime minister Netanyahu exclaimed "that SOB does not want a deal." In his former term as prime minister, Netanyahu gave plenty rhetorical support for peace while doing everything possible to derail any progress from 1996 to 1999. Another American president had to deal with an Israeli prime minister who talks peace but does everything to derail it. President Carter described the terrorist- turned- prime minister of Israel, the late Menachem Begin, as "psychotic." President Carter was able to bring peace between Israel and Egypt despite Begin's tactics. Throughout the peacemaking efforts of President Carter, Begin threw obstacle after obstacle. President Sadat, knowing that Begin is stalling and trying to derail the process, gave in more than one time to Begin's demands in order to bring peace between Egypt and Israel. The fact that Sadat gave in to Begin's demands many times made Sadat seem like a bad negotiator that had conceded much to Israel. Sadat knowingly made these concessions to have an American brokered peace treaty that Begin clearly did not want.
Israel: Talking Peace, Making War
Despite the claims that Israel wants peace and the Arabs want to "throw the Jews in the sea," throughout most of the Arab-Israeli conflict it is Israel and the armed Zionist gangs that predated the creation of the state of Israel that have wanted and were able to go to war and the Arabs unable and not ready to go to war. Those who are knowledgeable about peace negotiations between Arabs and Israel know that Israel does not want peace with its Arab neighbors.
Netanyahu and Sabotaging American Peace Efforts: From Waiting for "Arab democracy to Take
Hold" to the Manufacture of the Iran" Threat"
Prime Minister Netanyahu, the record of peace making during the Clinton years shows, just like his spiritual father Begin, does not want peace. Before the invention of the "Iran threat," Netanyahu used to speak about the need to wait for democracy to take hold in Arab societies before Israel is asked to engage in peace with its neighbors. Netanyahu's fancy rhetoric was intended to veil the reality of Israel continuing to occupy and colonize Palestine. Now that certifiably free elections brought Hamas to power Netanyahu and the pro- Israel American fanatics are singing the tune of the "Iran threat." In his first meeting with President Obama, Netanyahu wanted to focus on the Iran threat that he and allegedly the Arab moderate states agree is a priority- despite the fact that even Egypt's president Mubarak has made it clear that the priority is pursuing peace with the Palestinians.
Obama calls Netanyahu's Bluff? Changing the Subject and Negotiating for the Sake of Negotiating
While the world speaks of a two- state solution in Palestine and the urgent need to freeze settlement activity, Netanyahu came to the US intending to change the subject of Palestine by speaking about the "existential threat" that a nuclear Iran poses to Israel. Netanyahu, to waste everyone's time while creating facts on the ground and launching wars against Lebanon and the Palestinians, wants to renegotiate everything anew regardless of the positions of former Israeli governments. Renegotiating from scratch is a tactic that Israeli governments religiously follow in order to keep on talking peace, while making war. It is a tactic that has sickened Syria's Assad, the father and the son.
Israel and the Manufacture of the Iran Threat: Forget Palestine, let's Talk Iran
One of the scandals of Arab politics is the presence on the agenda of the "Iran threat" and "the Shia threat." Israel is promoting the idea of the Iranian threat that Israel and the "moderate Arabs" are facing. While there are a number of real issues between the Arabs and Iran, the question of Palestine remains the main issue and the manufacture of the Iran threat is an attempt to demote the issue of Palestine from the number one spot on the agenda. The question of Palestine is being made a secondary item on the Arab public agenda and in the Arab public sphere. These efforts have largely failed because it is Israel who keeps bombing Arabs, keeps colonizing their lands and keeps creating and threatening to create more refugees. Is it Iran that is holding a siege on Gaza and starving it to the extent that tunnels are built to smuggle diapers and food items? Is it Iran that uprooted the Palestinian people and destroyed more than five hundred villages and created the tragedy of the 61 year old exile? Is it Iran that is passing a law that makes it a crime for the Palestinians who live in Israel to even observe the tragedy of the Nakba?
Obama and the Politics of Engagement: President Obama Can't Do It Alone
We need a grassroots effort to support President Obama. President George W. Bush used to say that he is sick and tired of hearing about the Arab Israeli conflict. President Bush wasted eight years with the US not only not pushing for peace but actively supporting the aggressor, occupier and colonizer of Arab lands with American taxpayer money and unlimited diplomatic and military support despite the damage to American interests this unlimited support is causing in the Arab and Muslim world. President Obama is good for Arabs and Muslims for a number of reasons- one of them is that he is knowledgeable on the issues. Obama is inching closer to engagement with America's adversaries, including Hamas and Hizbullah, without whom no peace can materialize. The policy of refusing to talk to them has only increased their credibility and popularity in the Arab and Muslim world. Both Hizbullah and Hamas have won democratic elections and will not be fading away as political forces in the foreseeable future. It is impossible to have a deal that has a chance of survival with either Lebanon or Palestine without Hizbullah and Hamas at the table. However, a reasonable American foreign policy will face resistance from a solidly pro- Israel Congress. On embarking on the serious tackling of the Arab-Israeli conflict, President Obama deserves the full support of the Arab and Muslim American communities.