One of the mantras over the years has been “land for peace”. Whether you think the mantra is feasible, whether you think it’s realistic, whether you think that the Gaza withdrawal has shown its limitations – nonetheless, it has been there.
What has Pres Obama proposed in his speech – land for what? land for nothing, land for some vague statement of security. A key component of the “peace” in “land for peace” is surely the issue of nixing the “right of return” claim, and making the Palestinians realise that is totally unacceptable to Israel.
Obama completely failed to address this issue in his speech, wimping out on making it clear that this is integral to any peaceful settlement. The fear that Obama would try to pull Israel’s key card of “land” away from them upfront is realised. Fortunately, Netanyahu is not reluctant to make this glaring omission of Obama’s public and plain. Hopefully he will also stress the need upfront to torpedo this major issue in his speech to Congress.
David Horowitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, exposes the hollowness of Obama’s speech here. Horowitz suggests that Obama doesn’t get it; I think Obama totally “gets it”, doesn’t care, and indeed is trying to throw Israel “under a bus”. Hopefully, Obama has irritated the Palestinians sufficiently on other issues, that they will jump up and down.
For progress to happen, the Palestinians will have to realise that the “the return” is, as Savoy Brown would say, a Train to Nowhere