Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Regime change - attempt #2

After the first time that the Obama admin flipped out on Bibi (ie. the Ramat Shlomo zoning announcement), some trial balloons went out claiming that Obama's real goal was getting a change of the Israeli government (Might have been Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic).  Right after that was a weird, cooked, and soon debunked Haaretz poll claiming that most Israelis thought Obama was sympathetic to their interests.

It's that strange atmosphere that has returned now. Even though the IHH has apparently distributed pictures of  bloodied and bound IDF soldiers, the MSM seems to still be calling these people "peace activists".  It doesn't make sense that this can still be a major international incident (with calls for a UN investigation etc.) when it is so clear that the dead were part of a known extremist group and that they attacked and subdued lightly-armed soldiers.

Previously Obama tried to rally the Europeans and UN against Bibi for the Jlem building freeze.  So it doesn't seem like such a stretch that this international flipout on Bibi is a slightly more subtle attempt to prod Israelis into wanting to swap him for Tzipi Livni.  If this is correct, we can expect to see more of this extreme (and unjustified) criticism of him on an ongoing basis.

A Mearsheimer-ish weekend NYTimes article suggested that Israel is a strategic liability and the US might throw Israel under the bus if there isn't a "2-state solution" soon.  The effect of articles like that might be similar ie. to frighten supporters of Israel into dumping Bibi and avoiding international pariah-hood.

Of course,  Israelis might return to a more dovish gov't if they actually thought that the "peace process" would lead to peace.  But since Obama is trying not to mediate but rather to impose his "obvious" solution  - when the PA will not even agree to sit down in the same room as the Israelis - there is no way this is going to happen.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Having a decent Google ranking due to some good links in 2002-2003 hasn't brought much traffic.  So I haven't had much enthusiasm for writing here.

The flotilla thing of the past week has added another layer of surreal-ness to the situation here.

What seems unprecedented to me is how the facts of the situation are now known - but the governments and media seem to be carrying on as if nothing was learned since the first (now-obsolete) accounts of the peaceniks were made public.  In particular the NYTimes writers (Ethan Bronner, Robert Mackey) seem to be aware of who the IHH are and what happened on the Mavi Marmara but are doing their best to obscure the situation. 

This is really messing me up personally and getting me unfocused and angry.  In a few days I will have gotten accustomed to this new level of unreality.  Reading the NYTimes today reminds me of listening to shortwave broadcasts of  Radio Moscow when I was a teenager.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mark Lilla has written a new article which takes a rather condescending if sometimes insightful view on the tea parties.   As is always the case with Lilla these days, you don't know whether his self-representation as a mainstream liberal is sincere or tactical.

Lilla thinks that "metastasizing" libertarian spirit "is the deepest reason why public reaction to the crash of 2008 and the election of Barack Obama took a populist turn and the Tea Party movement caught on.".

Well maybe that has something to do with it - but Lilla gives no consideration to the role of Obama and his policies.  This is particularly shocking as the article starts by revisiting Lilla's old thesis that the "sixties" and the Reagan Revolution are both irreversible fait accompli.  Supporters as well as critics of Obama see his economic policies as an attempt to reverse the Reagan Revolution.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

So the Obama-imposed solution to the Israel-Palestinian dispute is moving forward, or at least a trial balloon is moving forward (link).

It's good that Bibi hasn't yet done a major cave-in to Obama's thugocracy.  He's going to need a lot of spine to stand up to this, and Israel might face a lot of consequences in terms of removal of aid and vilification.

One thing we can be certain of is that no matter what happens, Israel will be widely blamed for the failure of Pax Obama (whether or not it is implemented). Another is that it will include gifts to the Palestinians never seen before (eg. ceding Jewish parts of Jerusalem, accepting large numbers (hundreds of thousands??) of "refugees" into Israel, and establishing a Palestinian state without the basis of peace, ending the conflict, or "mutual recognition).

The next 6 months are the most dangerous time I think ... as Obama probably sees the period between now and then as his last chance to make very radical steps without pushback from more moderate elements that will be elected in November.  Quite likely that Obama will attempt to "engage" with Hamas I think.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Haaretz article by Ari Shavit shares the concerns that I've been writing about.

Bibi has to say "no" to Obama's demands on Jerusalem and to indirect negotiations on core issues (which is equivalent to appointing Obama as binding arbitrator).  There could be awful consequences to doing this, and Bibi has to make some reasonable offer to compromise.  If Obama were forced to reiterate his demand for what amounts to binding arbitration, some more people might wake up and say hey what is going on here....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Obama is alinsky-izing us big time now.  He has put the global spotlight on us and is shouting:  look at these people who are flouting the will of literally the entire world.

Thing is:  if  Netanyahu stops building in Jerusalem, then boom the status quo has changed and the default position in subsequent negotations is that Ramat Shlomo, Western Wall etc. will go to the Palestinians.

Moreover, there is no indication whatsoever that Obama has anything other than the most hostile intentions to us.  He has made no attempt to speak to the Israeli people about making scrificaes for peace or similar Arafat/Clinton-isms.  His demands to Netanyahu indicate that he plans for the US to essentially do the negotiating on the behalf of the Palestinians (euphemistically called "proximity talks").  There seems to be a failure of imagination regarding how anti-Israel Obama could actually turn out to be.

If the Obama regime intends to railroad us into a situation where we have a hostile Palestinian state a few hundred meters away, and no real hope of US support in the event that they start a war (which they would do with help from Hezbollah and other quarters) ... then we are best off giving Obama a principled "No" even if that is going to lose American aid, turn us into a pariah etc.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Obama has been pretending that Israel is the party that has been refusing to negotiate or make concessions (I guess that means we are being Alinsky-ed).  Now he's demanding that the Israeli gov't form a detailed written summary of its negotiating position, which the US will present to the PA and the Arab League for review.

What comes after that is not clear, but probably a multilateral bludgeoning for concessions - including concessions on the refugee issue.  All the while Abbas can sit back and enjoy some photo ops and have Obama do the work for him.  No need for him to negotiate, make concessions, or commit to peace and coexistence.

It's quite tiresome to read these bien-pensants like Robert Wright talk about how Obama is actually being pro-Israel by castigating us and pandering to the demands of the PA for unilateral concessions.  Though I think that's simply what media does these days is apologize for their great leader - especially now that he seems powerful due to the healthcare victory.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

For an illustration of how facts really don't matter anymore (for lots of people anyway), read this article and look at the comments.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bibi has partially caved and is going to talk to the Palestinians about refugees and the status Jerusalem while the Palestinians will not even agree to sit in the same room as Israeli negotiators.  Also to "slow down" building in Jerusalem (though Arab neighborhoods in the capital won't be slowed down of course).

In 2002, the suicide bombings scared people a lot.  I'm more scared now.

In the space of a week, the Americans changed the status quo on Jerusalem for no obvious reason.

We don't know what is motivating Obama so there is ample reason to think that he might drop some more policy bombshells like:  allowing the Palestinians to forgo formal recognition of Israel,  demanding that Israel settle large numbers of Palestinians into its pre-67 borders.

We do know that Obama has no interest in the attempts at persuasion that characterized the Clinton era.  No appeals to Israeli citizens, "taking risks for peace", "peace of the brave" etc. etc.
David Hazony at the Contentions blog posted some background on the weird Haaretz poll that claimed that Israelis view Obama as fair and friendly.

One of the newspapers here featured a long weekend section titled "What does Obama really want?" with essays by various authors.  One theme was comparisons to previous American administrations - this misses the point it seems to me.  Obama wants to be Mr. Year Zero so to understand his approach to the Middle East it's necessary first of all to look at how he is approaching healthcare, Honduras etc.

Who aside from Obama is actually formulating the new American policies?  Hilary, Biden, and Mitchell?   Probably not.  Is Samantha Power in the picture?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This blog started in 2002 when things started to seem surreal .. ie. the suicide bombings and the way that I saw them being talked about.  The blog ended when I had nothing left to say.

Things are getting surreal again I'm afraid.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Crazy: this Haaretz poll published today showing that 70% of Israelis believe that Obama is friendly and even-handed.

Can't fathom it. There will be skepticism - especially after Michael Oren and Joe Biden have been so obviously false in claiming they have been misquoted.