The much ballyhooed confrontation between the new, untested US President and his older, pragmatic Israeli counterpart has ended.
And it’s been a short, if not terse, exchange.
As expected, Obama pressed Prime Minister Netanyahu on the issue of the “two-state solution” and “freezing” Israeli settlement activity. Netanyahu did not speak of an actual two-state solution, but said it is in the interest of all involved that the Palestinians should have the right to govern themselves as responsible, peaceful counterparts.
Sounds pretty much the same.
And while Obama can preach from his ivory tower all he wants about how he won’t wait forever for Iran to halt it’s nuclear aspirations, Netanyahu has to actually deal with that prospect with a more immediate, pressing attitude. With recent bombastic rhetoric from Iranian President Ahmadinejad, calling for Israeli’s outright destruction, an Iranian General stating he could “wipe out” Israel in 11 days, the fact that 40 percent of Arab-Israelis believe that the Holocaust didn’t occur, and Iran just completing a test fire of a mid-range missile capable of hitting Israel, it is no wonder that the Israeli Prime Minister doesn’t have the same sense of “wait and see” approach that Obama has attempted to impress on him.
During the exchange, Obama seemed also to leave the door open for possible “peaceful” Iranian nuclear usage, presumably for it’s use in electrical power (funny how he will consider that acceptable for Iran but not for us). This would somehow equate to diplomatic “leverage” when confronting Iran “in a year”. This glosses over the fact that Iran is well on it’s way to developing nuclear power intended for destructive purposes. It also does nothing to address the possibility of spent nuclear material from “peaceful” means which could be used as a “dirty bomb”, having a devastating and desired effect on Israel, considering the country is about the size of New Jersey.
All in all, it was quite refreshing to have a head of state not hypnotized by Obama’s boundless rhetoric. It seems as if he may have met his match with Netanyahu, a man who’s country is surrounded by enemies, and a man who doesn’t have the time nor desire to bow down and accept a leash put on him by his naive US counterpart.