A strategically clever speech - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Keeping it real.
    • 25.05.11 | 09:45 (IDT)

    Lets be honest here. Netanyahu's speech was well delivered. It was extremely eloquent and had four main goals in mind (and I think he succeeded on all four in some limited fashion) -- 1) ring up American support for the Israeli cause (no matter what that cause may be), 2) put on public record the non-negotiables for all future dialogue about a sustainable Israeli/Palestinian peace (but the main takeaway is that he is willing to negotiate -- so its understandable that he set the bar pretty high if he's expected to come to a compromise at some point), 3) demonstrate empathy for the Palestinian plight to try and buffer sharp Arab criticism on #2 as well as soften Palestinian resolve from an extremist mindset, 4) and trigger the existing Palestinian Fatah government to either work with Israel and/or force Hamas into a rash move (so that Israel can quickly respond) that would effectively neuter it from meaningfully contending for real peace. (Why would Israel try and force Fatah's hand? IMHO, it would certainly bring to the forefront Hamas and seriously polarize Western sentiment against the successor's of Abbas's slow-to-be lame duck regime. Netanyahu knows that Fatah leadership is willing to dialogue -- but as long as there is a contrasting Hamas regime -- it doesn't mean squat) He framed the speech in a very compelling way and it was immensely clever. I don't think the United States Congress was blinding applauding -- because I think in reality -- America likes Israel's posture in the Middle East (as long as a Palestinian state is part of the plan). Israel (in the US eyes) is a countering force to Arab opposition and an extension of America's less than popular foreign policy for that region.

    from the article: Netanyahu's speech to Congress shows America will buy anything
    First published 00:57 25.05.11 | Last updated 00:57 25.05.11
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