Yesterday the Tundra Tabloids was invited to attend the Israeli Embassy sponsored event that celebrated Israel’s 61st year of independence. In conjunction with the celebration of Israeli independence, was the theme of shared cultures, with the inclusion of Arabic and Sephardi music. It featured an Israeli ensemble of musicians that played music with a Middle Eastern flavor, sung in both Hebrew and in Arabic, it was an evening of celebration, coexistence and friendship.
JERUSALEM — The new government of Israel is seeking to reorient the country’s foreign policy, arguing that to rely purely on the formulas of trading land for peace and promising a Palestinian state fails to grasp what it views as the deeper issues: Muslim rejection of a Jewish state and the rising hegemonic appetite of Iran.Advisers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are drafting policy suggestions aimed at forming a framework that he plans to present to President Obama at their first summit meeting, in Washington on May 18.In addition, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman left Sunday for Europe on his first official visit, and on Tuesday, President Shimon Peres is to meet with Mr. Obama in Washington.Such an ambitious effort to reformulate the conflict will be, by all accounts, tough to sell for two reasons. First, even though the standard approaches have not yielded success, no alternative has emerged.Second, the Obama administration has repeatedly backed the two-state solution, as have the Europeans. In other ways, too, this White House has seemed to be closer in outlook to Europe than the past administration was.Israel’s effort to switch the discussion to Iran is likely to be met in Washington and in European capitals with the assertion that it is precisely because of the need to build an alliance to confront Iran that Israel must move ahead vigorously with the Palestinians as well as with the Syrians.“President Obama views the region as a whole, and trying to isolate each problem does not reflect reality,” said a senior American official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the American policy was still in formation. “It will be a lot easier to build a coalition to deal with Iran if the peace process is moving forward.”A senior Israeli official, who also would speak only if not named because Israeli policy was being formed, said he believed that when Mr. Netanyahu met Mr.Obama, he would acknowledge that ultimately the goal was a Palestinian state. But it is expected that he would say that such a state was far in the future because Palestinian institutions and economic development required a great deal of work — as well as investment from Arab states — and that Palestinian education and public discourse needed to be more oriented toward coexistence.