I'm mostly peeved.
If we assume Thomas Friedman more or less knows what's going to be in the speech - and having just spent 20 minutes talking about it to the President, I doubt he's way off - there will be nothing in it that Israel should be leery of. As Friedman has Obama telling, it won't change the world, either; at best, it will articulate a change of tactics, some of them quite significant tactics, with which America deals with the Mideast. Since the troubles of the Mideast are profoundly fundamental, not tactical, it's hard to see a speech changing much, though I think it's worth trying. But I'll have my say on that after the President explains his position.
Meanwhile, according to Aluf Benn, a generally knowledgable journalist at Haaretz
The American determination caught Netanyahu and his aides by surprise, andThis I totally fail to understand. Me, all I am is a minor blogger and sometime hi-tech entreprenuer, yet I saw this possibility from ten miles away. The Prime Minster and his aides, we pay their salaries so that they deal with reality in a way that promotes our interests. That's why we give them power and its trappings. What was so hard to forsee? Why manouver us into a position where we appear to be thwarting the wishes of a popular American President who isn't asking of us anything we haven't already agreed to anyway?
they were neither party to the drafts of the president's speech nor were they
able to influence its content. The PM's Bureau is finding it difficult to
function and is barely able to respond to telephone calls, much less put
together a counter-spin.
Benn, by the way, predicts Netanyahu will back down quite soon:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will back down. Another week, another month,
and he will give into American pressure and will be forced to accept the
two-state solution and also agree to some sort of concessions on settlements.
What Benn doesn't add is that if Netanyahu doesn't back down, we'll fire him. This may take a bit of time, but I'd measure it in months, perhaps many months, not years.