People who have read this blog before might disagree with me on first glance for stating this opinion, but bear with me.
First, let's start by asking: Why did Obama give a speech today? I've heard opinions that it's to preempt Netanyahu's speech to congress. Fair enough, if you consider it through the prism of "Obama hates Bibi and wants to destroy Israel". Let's examine another potential option:
Perhaps Obama became wary of Palestinian UN maneuvers in September which would throw the Middle East into a new Arab-Israeli mutli-national war, and eliminate any potential for future peace deal - whilst also putting an exclamation mark on Obama's failed Middle East and peace-process policy. It's a hail marry, last ditch, trying to save everyone from themselves before all are doomed to an abyss.
It is possibly simply an attempt to bring Abbas back to the negotiation table. I think I detected more than one attempt to please all sides while delivering a point that everything needs to be resolved through negotiation. Obama didn't invent the "1967 border" mantra, but today's headlines make it seem like he just forced Israel to accept those. Call me confused, but isn't this precisely the point where negotiations stopped between prior Israeli governments and the Palestinian authority? 1967 based compromise which includes land swaps?
Another point to consider is that Obama might be trying to leverage his bump in the polls after taking out Bin-Laden to take a last swipe at an issue which has before been a liability. It has to be considered that he is passionate about establishing a Palestinian state considering his acquaintances before and during the presidency. He put the Palestinian state goal on the shelf only to revive it now that he feels stronger politically. (Perhaps without much merit to notion of being stronger politically, just the self delusion of it)
Second, one has to ask: What did Obama ask Israel to do here? Give up land or negotiate peace? Would the negotiations start from a point where Israel has conceded land? I'm not sure it's the case. Also, Obama specifically mentioned Jerusalem as out of the "first stage" he proposes. Not that I think Israel should make any further steps - but go for only one final peace treaty, but Israel and her supporters today aren't protesting this. It's Jerusalem and the narrow 1967 waists that is strongly protested. If anything, Israel should protest the notion that any interim agreement can be signed in place of a true treaty which covers all claims and seals the conflict shut. Any interim one is just the "PLO stages" plan in disguise.
OK then, so how is Israel's response inappropriate? To start with, it's a full on assault on the president of the unites states - still perhaps the only ally of Israel (except Canada) in this hostile world. Another issue, is with the image of refusing to negotiate - refusing to make peace. I haven't turned into a hippie saying "give peace a chance", rather I'm saying this situation can be handled differently - it seems like a diplomatic blunder, has Israel created this blunder? I'm not so sure. But it shouldn't merrily step into it.
Say yes to Negotiations, let the other side show their true colors. I don't believe a peace agreement is achievable with the Nazis in Gaza, Hebron and Ramallah - and I oppose any unilateral withdrawal. Present your plans, extend your hand for peace and let the murderous liars reject them, again. Don't worry - they will.
Post-note, reviewing the following links - and asking once again, did Obama really post a demand to Israel to withdraw to 1967 borders and evacuate Jews from Jerusalem as some are suggesting?
* No, Obama didn’t demand pre-1967 borders for Israel (Hotair)
* Eldad Tzioni
Obama’s Speech was a Rebuke to J Street and Arab Hardliners(EoZ at newsrealblog)
* Obama granted Netanyahu a major diplomatic victory (Haaretz - a very left wing Israeli paper)
And finally, very last word: I support Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel here, in case it wasn't clear enough - I simply voice my opinion that the public response by Israel supporters and right wing Israeli politicians is way out of line.