Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Dissent and Compromise:
Obama's Retreats Before Netanyahu
By Paul Balles
Al-Jazeerah: CCUN, May 30, 2011
President Barak Obama is the great compromiser. For Obama, barter is
so essential that he's willing to sacrifice his integrity for compromise.
Obama is guided by beliefs like those of Israeli professor/writer Amos
"If we don't stop somewhere, if we don't accept an unhappy
compromise, unhappy for both sides, if we don't learn how to unhappily
coexist and contain our burned sense of injustice - if we don't learn how to
do that, we end up in a doomed state."
Obamaís biggest critics among
once heads of state would be Margaret Thatcher who said, "If you set out to
be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and
you would achieve nothing."
There's no such thing as compromise for
Benyamin Netanyahu. For Netanyahu absolute security is non-negotiable.
Compromise means that you don't get everything you want; and that principle
is total anathema to Netanyahu.
Obama wants desperately to be liked.
He wants the Palestinians, the Arabs generally, Europeans, Latin Americans,
Asians and Africans to like him.
Despite the impossible conflict,
Obama wants Israelis and American Zionists to like him.
doesn't concern or move Netanyahu. Israel's expansion and continued
occupation of Palestine do.
Netanyahu can say to the great
compromiserís face that there will be no yielding of settlements or
occupation or borders or return of refugees or Palestinian statehood.
For Obama, British statesman/philosopher Edmund Burke was right when he
said, ďAll government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every
virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter."
In his relationships with congress and with foreign countries, Obama models
his behaviour on Governor Donald L. Carcieriís belief that "Healthy
disagreement, debate, leading to compromise has always been the American
Author Robert Fritz had the prescription Netanyahu abides by:
"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you
disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is
What makes Netanyahu's position untenable? What
Israelis say and what they want are totally different things. The Israelis
say they want "peace" and "defensible borders". What they truly want is
permanent occupation and total exodus of the Palestinians.
Netanyahu says no to Israel's full withdrawal to the 1967 borders; no to
the division of Jerusalem; no to the right of return for Palestinian
refugees; and no to a Palestinian military presence in the new state.
That list of negatives makes a two-state solution impossible. Yet, Obama
calls for a two-state solution to appease others.
Obama in the eyes; and referring to his Middle East speech told him, ďA
peace based on illusions will crash upon the rocks of Middle Eastern
Netanyahu on Palestinianís right to return declared ďItís
not going to happen. Everybody knows itís not going to happen, and I think
itís time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly itís not going to happen.Ē
It was clear that Netanyahu was slapping Obama in the face for the
whole world to see.
For years, the West has been making furtive
references to the 1967 borders as the basis for Israel-Palestinian
The Palestinians may have bought it. Israel has never
had any such intention. For them, the land grab translates into permanent
According to Netanyahu, Israel simply followed in the
footsteps of America's annexation of Texas in 1845. Says Netanyahu,
"If America got away with it, I can see no reason why we cannot.Ē
Another slap in the compromiserís face by the dissenter. Obama could
learn from Margaret Thatcher that, at times, compromise achieves nothing.