Israeli media describes Obama's speech as a 'great achievement '

Saleh Naami , Saturday 21 May 2011

Israeli experts tell media that US president's new peace plan serves Israel's right wing interests, making expansion possible

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama delivers a policy address on events in the Middle East at the State Department in Washington (Photo: AP)

Contrary to Israel’s official response, the majority of the Israeli commentators hail US president Barak Obama’s most recent speech on Palestine-Israel, describing it as a “tremendous” achievement for Israel and the right wing in particular.

In a meeting on Friday night in the White House, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama’s vision for Middle East peace, especially regarding establishing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

"Peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle East reality," Netanyahu told Obama in the Oval Office.

However, Sefer Plotsker, a senior commentator in Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper said that none of the former US presidents embraced Tel Aviv’s demand to pressure the Palestinians to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, which means implicitly giving up the right of return for the refugees.

In an article entitled Lover of Israel Plotsker noted that Obama's argument about the exchange of land implies Washington’s willingness that Israel would annex settlement blocs in the West Bank in any future settlement. For his part, said author and commentator Gideon Levy, Obama has verily accomplished Netanyahu’s mission, stressing that this meeting exposed Obama’s favouritism of Israel.

In another article published in Haaretz Levy said that Obama has devastated Palestinians’ sole achievement, i.e., the plan to go to the United Nations for international recognition of the state under the expectation that Europe to follow Obama’s lead.

He considered that this is an enough reason for the right-wing government in Israel to breathe a sigh of relief.

Levy condemned Obama’s adoption to the Israeli stance of delaying negotiations on the future of Jerusalem and the refugees, stressing that Obama is keen on Israel’s security, yet showed neither interest nor concern about the security of the Palestinians.

Levy stressed that Obama's speech represents a huge list of achievements for Israel, all the while excluding the Palestinians from the list of the oppressed nations. He urged to work on freeing Palestine via democratisation.

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