The Tundra Tabloids agrees with Pipes that the acceptance of the “New Middle East” meme was not such a good idea, for the sole reason that the reality of it all consists of pure helium. It’s just an unnecessary euphemism for those pandering to the myth that the ME (as is) can, and is changing, for the better. A new day is just around the corner, and one only needs to be optimistic enough in order to bring that new day into reality. Bologna.
The Middle East is far, very far, from becoming a “New Middle East”, especially so, since Obama himself harpooned the notion that democracy and freedom in the ME is high on his administration’s agenda list. Obama effectively vindicated the dictatorial Arab leaders’ assumptions of what to expect from his presidency over the next four years, in his speech in Cairo.
The nascent US administration’s foreign policy for the region is based more on not trying to rock-the-boat for these regimes, (except where Israel is concerned) while pandering to their religious fundamentalist mentality. Islam is peace. So Daniel Pipes does indeed have a point here. Where the TT differs, is in his assumption that Netanyahu has truly accepted the “two state solution” in word and in deed. I think not.
I view Barry Rubin’s point of “not surrendering nor be confrontational with the US”, has been accepted by the Netanyahu government as a workable idea, in order to weather the storm in relations. Sounding like your accepting the notion of a two state solution is different from actually working towards that goal. Throwing down the gauntlet of the acceptance of the Jewish character of Israel before negotiations can begin, will be a very difficult, if not impossible stumbling block for the Arabs to overcome. In short, it will eat up some badly needed time and afford a breathing space.
I like however to point out the sections in the Netanyahu speech that Pipes takes note of and agrees with, they are worth looking at:
- The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons.”
•”the root of the conflict was, and remains, the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own, in their historic homeland.”
•”The closer we get to an agreement with [the Palestinians], the further they retreat and raise demands that are inconsistent with a true desire to end the conflict.
•”The claim that territorial withdrawals will bring peace with the Palestinians, or at least advance peace, has up till now not stood the test of reality.”
•”Palestinian moderates are not yet ready to say the simple words: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and it will stay that way.”
•”a fundamental prerequisite for ending the conflict is a public, binding and unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.”
•”there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel’s borders.”
•The principles that guide his government’s policy: “Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people” and “The territory under Palestinian control must be demilitarized with ironclad security provisions for Israel.”
To say that Bibi’s speech was more realistic in its approach to Middle East realities than Obama’s, would be an immense understatment. Israeli PM, Binyamin Netanyahu, brought the core reason to the conflict to the light of day for all to see, that the Arab world’s anti-Semitism and religious supremacy is the main reason why the conflict has lasted over 60 years, their rejection of the Jewish state of Israel. And that is anti-Semitism.
NOTE: Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs has Nidra Poller’s analysis, as well as the whole text of Netanyahu’s speech. Check it out as well. KGS