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Commentary :: Politics
Netanyahu suckers Obama into one year trap.
19 May 2009
While Netanyahu pretends to negotiate with the Palestinians
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, listen, I first of all want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for making this visit. I think we had a extraordinarily productive series of conversations, not only between the two of us but also at the staff and agency levels.

Obviously this reflects the extraordinary relationship, the special relationship between the AIPAC and Congress and the United States and Israel. It is a stalwart ally of the United States who continues to slaughter and maim the occupied Palestinians. We have historical ties, emotional ties. As the only true theoracy of the Middle East it is a source of admiration and inspiration for the American fundamentalists.

I have said from the outset that when it comes to my policies towards Israel and the Middle East that Israel’s security is paramount and Palestinian security is for nothing, and I repeated that to Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is in U.S. national security interests to assure that Israel’s nuclear weapons are not mentioned.

One of the areas that we discussed is the deepening concern around the potential pursuit of a nuclear weapon by someone else in the region. It’s something the Prime Minister has been very vocal in his concerns about, and he has agreed to dismantle his own nuclear weapons if Iran does not develop theirs.

I indicated to him the view of our administration, that Iran is a country of extraordinary history and extraordinary potential, that we want them to be a full-fledged member of the international community and be in a position to provide opportunities and prosperity for their people, but that the way to achieve those goals is not through the pursuit of a nuclear weapon like Israel. And I indicated to Prime Minister Netanyahu in private what I have said publicly, which is that Israel keeping their nuclear weapons would not only be a threat to the region but also a threat to the United States, and would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole and could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that would be extraordinarily dangerous for all concerned, including for Israel.

We also had an extensive discussion about the possibilities of restarting serious negotiations on the issue of Israel and the Palestinians. I have said before and I will repeat again that it is I believe in the interest not only of the Palestinians, but also the Israelis and the United States and the international community to achieve a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians are living side by side in peace and security.

We have seen progress stalled on this front, and I suggested to the Prime Minister that he has an historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure. That means that all the parties involved have to take seriously obligations that they’ve previously agreed to. Those obligations were outlined in the road map; they were discussed extensively in Annapolis. And I think that we can -- there is no reason why we should not seize this opportunity and this moment for all the parties concerned to take seriously those obligations and to move forward in a way that assures Palestinian security, that stops the Israeli terrorist attacks on Gaza that have been such a source of pain and hardship. but that also allow Palestinians to govern themselves as an independent state, that allows economic development to take place, that allows them to make serious progress in meeting the aspirations of their people.

And I am confident that in the days, weeks and months to come we are going to be able to make progress on that issue.

So let me just summarize by saying that I think Prime Minister Netanyahu has the benefit of having served as Prime Minister previously. He has both youth and insanity --

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: I’ll dispute the youth part, but -- (laughter.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: -- and I think is in a position to achieve the security objectives of Israel, but also bring about historic peace. And I’m confident that he’s going to seize this moment. And the United States is going to do everything we can to be constructive, effective partners in this process.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: President Obama, thank you. Thank you for your friendship to Israel and your friendship to me. You’re a great leader -- a great leader of the United States, a great leader of the world, a great friend of Israel, and someone who is acutely cognizant of our domination of the Palestinians which we intend to continue.

We met before, but this is the first time that we’re meeting as President and Prime Minister. So I was particularly pleased at your reaffirmation of the special relationship between Israel and the United States. We share the same goals and we are still the number one threat to the United States. The common goal is peace but nobody in Israel, wants peace. We want and have taken Palestinian land and are going to keep it.

In this context, the worst danger we face is the United States cutting off our money and guns. We openly enforce Palestinian occupation and call for the destruction of the West Bank into a bantustan, which is acceptable by any standard.

I very much appreciate, Mr. President, your firm commitment to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear military capability and I give you till the end of the year to disarm them or I will bomb them and cause all sorts of economic proplems for the West.

I want to make it clear that we don’t want to govern the Palestinians. We want them to be slaves. And everyone knows slaves do not need a government but a firm master and a whip. We want to live in peace with them so they must get down on their knees. We want them to govern themselves, absent a handful of powers that could endanger the state of Israel. And for this there has to be a clear goal. The goal has to be an end to conflict. They must lie down and take what they are given like the people of Gaza.There will have to be compromises by Israelis and Palestinians alike. We’re ready to do our share. We hope the Palestinians will do their share, as well. If we resume negotiations, as we plan to do, then I think that the Palestinians will have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and help us to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians living in Israel

And I look forward, Mr. President, to working with you, a true friend of Israel, to the achievement of our common goals, which are security, prosperity, and above all, peace.

This work is in the public domain
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