May 23: I fail to understand the fuss over Obama’s speech

The Post admits that Obama said things that were pleasing to the ear but complains that there was too much “pro-Palestine” for Bibi to appreciate.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
May 22, 2011 23:45
letters March 2008

letters good 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Readers, here and there, speak out on borders

Sir, – All the legal frontiers in this region were established by the League of Nations in 1922. The 1967 borders are merely an armistice line based on the lines where the invading armies of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt were halted in 1949.

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These invaders expelled every Jew and razed all Jewish homes. They have attacked Israel several times since and have always been beaten back.

A return to this armistice line is equivalent to rewarding aggression, yet US President Barack Obama made it clear in his speech that he opposed aggression, violence and terrorism.

CHARLES OREN
Givatayim

Sir, – When the United States returns California and Texas (and a few other states) to Mexico, and when it grants native Americans complete sovereignty over lands the “white man” took from their ancestors, and then asks Israel to accept a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel – we will explain to the rest of the world how our situation is not even close to being analogous.

PHIL CHERNOFSKY
Jerusalem

Sir, – Was there nothing positive in President Obama’s speech? No element that could have focused the world’s attention on the support of the United States for our critical issues?

Netanyahu’s argument was foolish and unnecessary as far as our place in the world was concerned. But obviously the world was not Netanyahu’s main concern.

The points of emphasis we should be making is Obama’s use of the phrase “Jewish state,” as well as the public expression of the full and original UN resolution, “Two states... for two peoples.” These are the true points of importance. These are the positions Netanyahu himself has justly been declaring are critical. This is where we can legitimately challenge the perception that Israel is the “refusenik” when it comes to a just peace in the Middle East, and remind the world that it is the Arabs who refuse to comply with basic UN resolutions.

YORAM GETZLER
Moshav Amindav

Sir, – The US president’s vision for the future relationship between Israel and the Palestinians has been characterized as Obama-lite. The reason? So he can assure himself a decent chance of being re-elected for a second term.

If this is the case and Obama is indeed elected to a second term, shouldn’t we be concerned about what he’ll fashion for us once he has no re-election strategies to worry about?

STUART PILICHOWSKI
Mevaseret Zion

Sir, – When, oh when, will Prime Minister Netanyahu learn to keep his mouth shut and wait and see the Arab reaction first?

Does he really think that Hamas and even Abbas are going to accept what Obama said? Or Hezbollah? Or Syria? Iran? Wait and let them be the bad guys – there is always time later for him to give his views if necessary.

Let him remember the words of Abba Eban, a greater statesman than Netanyahu will ever be, that “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Now we have missed an opportunity!

PAUL WEISER
Herzliya Pituah

Sir, – Since the Six Day War, Israel’s foreign policy has been based on UN Resolution 242, the Road Map and successive US presidents’ assurances regarding our security. In one speech Obama has nullified all of this.

In addition he has promised massive financial help to North African regimes of unproven stability, which, given America’s parlous economic situation, will almost certainly be cancelled or severely reduced by a future president.

Who in the future will give any credence to America’s word?

OSCAR DAVIES
Jerusalem

Sir, – I fail to understand all the fuss over Obama’s speech. The Post admits that Obama said things that were pleasing to the ear but complains that there was too much “pro-Palestine” for Bibi to appreciate. Did Bibi and your newspaper really expect Obama to say nice things only about Israel?

Obama wants things to move! And Bibi should as well.

LEONARD ZURAKOV
Netanya

Sir, – Obama’s demand that the pre-1967 borders, fixed in the armistice of 1949, serve as the basis of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is outrageous.

Since 1949 there have been three additional wars, two actions in Lebanon, one action in Gaza and two intifadas – all initiated and lost by the Arabs. Does Obama expect the victor to capitulate to the losers? The man is clueless.

ROBERT SCHWIND
Smyrna, Georgia

Sir, – Why can’t the Post understand Israel’s isolation?

President Obama says in a major speech that “Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable”; “we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums”; “Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat”; “Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security”; and “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” – which are obviously nothing but the plain, old, basic Clinton parameters.

JAMES ADLER
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sir, – One phrase stood out like a red flag: “As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.”

Obama is the first US president who has not reaffirmed US military support for Israel’s existence if it ever needed it.

SANFORD F. KUVIN
Palm Beach, Florida

Sir, – I want to make it perfectly clear that I am outraged at the disrespect Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown the president of the United States. Barack Obama is my president and I take it as a personal and national insult.

The best thing Israel can do for itself at this point is to make peace and get off the front page. I can assure you that most Americans are quite finished with this nonsense and ready to move on.

STEPHEN GAUCI
Brooklyn, New York

Sir, – It pleases me to see and hear a real leader in Washington for a change. Our Obama could learn a lesson from your Netanyahu.

Americans support Israel, regardless of Obama’s wavering, halfhearted words. Stay the course, Israel. Keep that which is yours and do not compromise your security.

CLIFF SHIRLEY
Elk Grove, California

Sir, – I have been a strong supporter of Israel since I lived there in 1984-5. I lived on a kibbutz and studied at the University of Haifa. What impressed me about Israel was the intelligence of the people and the realpolitik practiced by the government.

That has changed. Like the US, Israel has a far-right that was in evidence with Netanyahu’s visit to the US this week.

I hope that Israel realizes it has a friend in the US, but we have our own interests as a nation, as do you. This does not entitle Israel to continued US support, and it certainly does not entitle an Israeli prime minister the right to disrespect a president of the US in public.

I am finding it more and more difficult to support Israel, and find other Americans who are questioning our support as well. This saddens me because Israel taught me what it means to love a land and the history of a people.

T. RAE BARRETT
Denver, Colorado


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