Feature

Israel: An end to the impasse?

It looks as if President Obama will “push all-out” for the creation of a Palestinian state when he meets with Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House next week.

For the first time in decades, the potential exists for a “serious rupture” in U.S.-Israeli relations, said Michael Hirsh in Newsweek.com. President George W. Bush was an “unswerving supporter” of Israel, but President Obama has already signaled that the U.S. and Israel will no longer walk in lock step. He has offered to open talks with Iran, despite that nation’s illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel’s destruction. And now it looks as if Obama will “push all-out” for the creation of a Palestinian state when he meets with Israel’s new, hard-line prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the White House next week.

We told you so, said Norman Podhoretz in The Wall Street Journal Online. Politically conservative Jews may not be large in number, but we warned that Obama had long associated with anti-Israeli figures like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi, an apologist for Palestinian terrorism. During the campaign, Obama vigorously reassured Jews of his unwavering support for Israel. But now that he’s in office, Obama is “pressuring Israel to make unilateral concessions to Palestinian demands.” Israel’s enemies are already exploiting that reckless stance, said Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post. Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that controls Gaza, has announced it will accept a two-state solution and cease all terrorist operations against Israel—but only for “10 years.” After that, having reclaimed the West Bank and pushed Israel back to its pre-1967 borders, Hamas will resume its perpetual war with Israel. How’s that for peace?

What is the alternative—to accept the blood-soaked status quo? asked the London Times in an editorial. With Gaza and Lebanon in turmoil, another Middle East war could break out within a year. Meanwhile, the Palestinian-Israeli dispute has become “emblematic of the rift between most of the Muslim world and the West,” and inspires jihadists around the globe. But at the same time, conditions for a breakthrough have become extremely favorable: King Abdullah of Jordan is calling for a “57-state solution,” with every Muslim country recognizing Israel in return for a Palestinian state. Even Netanyahu, a “shrewd political operator,” may seize this chance “to resurrect his reputation.” To know what’s next, we’ll have to wait until Obama sits down with Netanyahu, said Harvey Morris in the Financial Times. But the impasse that has long defined this conflict may soon come to an end.

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