Barack Obama in Saudi Arabia:
I thought it was very important to come to the place where Islam began and to seek his majesty’s counsel and to discuss with him many of the issues that we confront here in the Middle East. — NY Times
Pardon me while I experience another “this is why he is President and I’m not” moment, because I would probably have said something like this:
I thought it was very important to come to the place which has used its huge oil wealth, made possible by the West and particularly the US, to promulgate its hateful jihadist form of Islam throughout the world, a version of Islam which killed thousands of Americans on 9/11, and to seek the counsel of the hereditary despot of its corrupt royal family, the ruler of one of the most racist, antisemitic and misogynist states in the world and to discuss with him how to force the only democratic state in the region to make still more concessions to its enemies, who — as you know, since you financed them for years — cynically pretend to want a peaceful state, but really want to drive the Jews out of the Mideast.
The Times article continues,
On his Middle East tour, Mr. Obama is expected to press the Arab nations to offer a gesture to the Israelis to entice them to accelerate the peace process.
But in his meetings with the Saudi king, he should be prepared for a polite but firm refusal, Saudi officials and political experts say. The Arab countries, they say, believe they have already made their best offer and that it is now up to Israel to make a gesture, perhaps by dismantling settlements in the West Bank or committing to a two-state solution.
The Arabs’ “best offer” of course is the so-called Arab (or Saudi) Initiative, a plan which suggests that if Israel will take full responsibility for the conflict, retreat to pre-1967 borders including all of East Jerusalem and its holy sites, allow millions of hostile descendants of Arab refugees into what’s left, and acquiesce in the creation of a Jew-free Palestinian state — then and only then the Arabs might think about something called ‘normal relations’.
Earth to racist, antisemitic and misogynist hereditary despot: unconditional surrender is a non-starter.
Speaking of gestures Israel could make, does the withdrawal from Gaza count? And how did that work out?
One more point about “committing to a two-state solution” and then I’ll go away. The Arabs are making a big deal about the fact that PM Netanyahu will not say the magic formula “I accept a two-state solution”. In my opinion, here is what he should say (or what I would say if I were Prime Minister of Israel):
Someday there could be a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel — if the day comes when Palestinians can live alongside Israelis in peace. But today and in the foreseeable future, with these Palestinians, with the explicitly genocidal Hamas and the less out-front but equally genocidal Fatah, this can’t happen. So let’s try to find a way for the peoples to live in nonviolent proximity with economic prosperity and maybe someday there can be a sovereign state.
I know Palestinian aspirations are important to them. But we are not going to commit suicide so they can realize them.
Actually, I”ll go away after you look at the following image from the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan. It sort of puts the Saudi point of view into perspective:
A Saudi perspective on our recent election