The tension didn't kill us before the speech and we managed to survive it, too. We'll live to see how Israel manages to manage despite its prime minister. Yesterday's speech to Congress was a surrealistic performance in Orwellian style. He's the representative of a county that for 44 years has denied its Palestinian neighbors' freedom, an occupier boasting as if he was a liberator, speaking about freedom and reaping the rewards.
That same man, who wouldn't agree to another short settlement construction freeze, is promising to be "generous." Is the right-wing, anti-Obama applause evidence that members of Congress live on the moon? We, on the other hand, live here, and even sometimes die before our time. And as the prophet of Israeli insubordination once said, peace will not come of this, nor will any sort of agreement.
Yesterday Netanyahu revealed whether he wanted to be Menachem Begin or Yitzhak Shamir, and Shamir it was. The link between undivided Jewish Jerusalem and an Israeli army presence in the Jordan Valley and settlement blocs are the shoal on which declarations are dashed. If this had been the speech of his lifetime, that's one thing. Nothing really would have happened. But it was the speech of our lifetimes and it is our disaster. In the absence of a peace process, a process of belligerence develops that ultimately explodes. And there was nothing in the speech to constitute even a drop of fuel to jump-start the diplomatic process.
It's already time to open the emergency warehouses, and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar can expand his proposed school program through which our children would adopt the graves of the fallen. If it is truly impossible to defend Israel in the 1967 borders with agreed-upon swaps, this country is a lost cause.
Yesterday Netanyahu followed the advice of his advisers, who advised him to "walk between the raindrops." The problem is that such a stroll is as feasible as walking on water, which even then was considered a miracle. Maybe the prime minister won't get too wet, but Israel is liable to get swept away in the floodwaters.
There are times when leaders must place themselves in the eye of the storm or into the flames, and either get wet to the bone or burned. Netanyahu's speech did not project such readiness. Those same advisers from the government and the media implored him to say "yes, but," meaning "yes, but no," as if it is only they who hear the "no" and the whole world was deaf.
Is Obama's despair with Netanyahu as great as our own, and it's just that the president's experiencing it on his journey to Dublin and London is more comfortable? And what happened to those 30 words of redemption that were supposed to grip and amaze the world? It's not that expected surprise that gave Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad his heart attack.
About all we have left is prayer, to he who makes peace in the heavens, because he who makes peace on earth won't do a thing.
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