May 20, 2011

Obama's Mideast Speech

I have so little appetite for discussing and/or debating Mideast politics at this point that, as you may have noticed, I almost never talk about it here anymore. I just know if I do mention the subject I'm likely to be called both a self-hating Jew and a dual-loyalties Israel-firster by different people in reaction to saying the same thing.

All I'll say about the speech is that I agree with Jeffrey Goldberg that what Obama said about the '67 lines isn't appreciably different from what U.S. policy has been since the start of the Oslo process. I also agree with Daniel Larison (and I don't usually):

That seems to be the pattern. First, Obama re-states the rather bland U.S. policy consensus. Next, his critics treat this as a dramatic and radical change to current policy when it isn’t anything of the sort, and the Israeli government pretends that the consensus view is some new, horrible imposition that cannot be tolerated. At the same time, Obama’s political foes declare that he has betrayed Israel, which ought to reveal them as buffoons but instead somehow makes them seem more “credible” on foreign policy. After all of this, Obama backs down and stops saying anything about the uncontroversial position that caused the phony controversy.
I also am more sure than ever that the entire "Obama hates Israel" meme is just a brazen, doomed attempt to get Jews to vote Republican.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 20, 2011 03:09 AM
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