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1 sliv_the_eli  Fri, Feb 18, 2011 2:50:28pm

Although I have serious issues with the “compromise” that the U.S. offered to the Palestinian Authority in order to try to dissuade them from trying to embarrass the U.S. Government, and while I have serious issues with how the Obama Administration has handled the Arab-Israeli dispute in general, no fair-minded supporter of Israel can legitimately criticize where the USG ultimately came down on this issue — both with respect to the veto and its subsequent statement concerning its view on settlements. It remains to be seen, however, whether the administration will truly learn anything from the Palestinian Authority’s actions at the United Nations these past few days.

2 Bob Levin  Fri, Feb 18, 2011 3:07:41pm

re: #1 sliv_the_eli

Brother, it’s the opposite. Will the PA learn from the US actions? It would be wonderful if concepts like ‘morality’ and ‘truth’ played a part in this, but those old things are for us.

Make no mistake, this statement is being accompanied by many phone calls to countries around the world—this is no a vote from weakness, this is not a vote influenced by AIPAC, this is us telling you to back out of our business.

And like I said, the delivery of this message is going to last for a while.

3 sliv_the_eli  Fri, Feb 18, 2011 3:14:07pm

re: #2 Bob Levin

Brother, it’s the opposite. Will the PA learn from the US actions? It would be wonderful if concepts like ‘morality’ and ‘truth’ played a part in this, but those old things are for us.

Make no mistake, this statement is being accompanied by many phone calls to countries around the world—this is no a vote from weakness, this is not a vote influenced by AIPAC, this is us telling you to back out of our business.

And like I said, the delivery of this message is going to last for a while.

Two points, Bob:

First, the PA will not learn anything from this, because they have not learned anything from the United States’ support for Israel during the past half century. The PA’s attempt to use the UN as a cudgel against Israel is not a result of a short-term miscalculation, but, rather, part of a long-term and deliberate strategy by the Arab countries to co-opt the UN and other multilateral organizations in order to deligitimize Israel and those who would support her against her enemies. Thus, the PA may engage in a temporary retreat, but be rest assured they will attempt this gambit again, and, IMHO, probably much sooner than most would expect given the “spanking” they just received from Uncle Same.

Second, I am not as sanguine as you appear to be about whether the U.S. government has actually learned anything. They have, at times, appeared to gain a clearer understanding of the PA’s fundamental unwillingness to compromise on any issue, but at others have continued to approach the issue with an unhealthy degree of naivete. I am hopeful that President Obama and his advisors have actually become more sophisticated about the problem, but remain skeptical about whether that is actually happening or is a short-term adjustment for domestic political reasons that will be thrown out the window if there is a second Obama term.

4 Bob Levin  Fri, Feb 18, 2011 3:41:44pm

re: #3 sliv_the_eli

I hear what you’re saying. This time, the PA went around the State Department to other nations, getting laws passed, and so on.

What you say is accurate—if the US sees this as a critical world problem that is ultimately a critical rift in another region of the world. But with this gambit around State—now it’s personal. State is going to get all Michael Corleone on this. This wasn’t between Israel and the Palestinians, this was between the Palestinians and the US.

The thing is, we’re not going to see it. This is going to be a lesson to the rest of the world, if you mess with US you’ll get hit in ways that no one is going to see. Expect a short building freeze from Israel, and some serious negotations from the PA. To Israel, please. To the PA, or else.

5 sliv_the_eli  Fri, Feb 18, 2011 6:50:35pm

re: #4 Bob Levin

One can only hope that State applies Chicago Rules to the PA after the latter’s slap in the US’ face. We shall see. Interesting times, indeed.


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