Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama once said there has to be “an end” to the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank “that began in 1967.” Yikes!
Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama said that not only must Israel be secure, but that any peace agreement “must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people.” Yikes!
Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama once said “the establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it.” Yikes! Yikes! Yikes!
Friedman then goes on to "unveil" the fact that these statements have actually all been made by George Bush.Well, I'm sorry to disappoint some of you folks, but in case you haven't heard, such statements have all also been made by Ehud Olmert, prime minister of Israel. And also by his predecessor, Ariel Sharon. As well as by his predecessor, Ehud Barak. Not only that, such sentiments (along with others) were all incorporated into the official Israeli offers to the Palestinians at Camp David, in summer 2002, and reiterated when Israel accepted (Bill) Clinton's dictated terms of December 24th 2000, and then again in the even more radical offers made at Taba in January 2001.
The problem is not Israel's willingness to live alongside a sovereign State of Palestine that will also be Judenrein; that has long since been agreed to by the Israelis (though you'd never know it from reading the Israel bashers). The problem is that the Palestinians haven't yet decided they're willing to live next to a sovereign Jewish Israel.
Which is why - back to Tom Friedman's column - what is important about the American president is less what he (or she) thinks about what Israel should do, and more about how he will deal with an Arab world that shares very little by way of moral assumptions and behavior with the rest of us. Friedman doesn't address this in today's column, but then, that wasn't his thesis this week.