Tag Archives: Palestinian state

Sanity presents itself in Trump White House

Donald Trump pledged to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Then the president thought better of it. He has signed a six-month extension to keep the embassy where it’s been since the founding of Israel in 1948, in Tel Aviv, a relatively safe distance from where terrorists and other sworn enemies of the United States and Israel commit their acts of violence.


The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to become capital of an independent state, when or if that occurs. The Israelis claim all of Jerusalem as their own holy place.

“We know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis,” Trump said in a speech in Jerusalem. “I am personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement.”

The idea is to broker a peace deal that determines the fate of the holy city, which has been the goal of U.S. presidents of both political parties all along.

Donald Trump has seen the reality of the situation and has backed off his overheated campaign pledge and has decided the status quo isn’t such a bad idea.

Good call, Mr. President.

Barack and Bibi: Let's make peace

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are speaking to each other.

That’s good.

Now it’s time for the next step. Let’s stop squabbling and get back to a public understanding that Israel remains this nation’s most critical Middle East ally and the two heads of government need to return to having each other’s back.


Netanyahu fanned the flames of anger between Washington and Jerusalem when, during the final days of his parliamentary election, he backed off on his previous support for a Palestinian state. Then his Likud Party won control of the Knesset and Bibi said, in effect, “I didn’t really mean what I said about the Palestinian state.”

As Politico reported, Bibi’s backtracking hasn’t exactly been accepted fully by the White House: “The White House has worked to cool down the rhetoric and public tension. But it’s not letting go. When Netanyahu insisted during the congratulatory phone call Obama waited to make that he was already backtracking and they’d get past this, an unimpressed Obama responded by saying, sure, but you said what you said. He and his aides believe it’s now up to Netanyahu to repair a rift that they stress is only about the peace process, not the larger commitment to Israel.”

Everyone on the planet knows that U.S.-Israeli ties are rock-solid, no matter what President Obama is saying these days about the frayed state of bilateral relations. If the shooting were to start, Bibi knows Barack — or whoever succeeds him in January 2017 — will be there.

It’s time to put this nastiness to rest. Make up in public, gentlemen.

Bibi changes his tune on Palestinian state

You have to hand it to Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister had us going for awhile. As the Israeli election drew near, he seemed to suggest that he was pulling back his support for a Palestinian state in the Middle East.

Then what happens? Bibi goes and wins re-election, his Likud Party keeps control of the Knesset and then he said, “Hey, I didn’t mean quite what I seemed to say just the other day.”


And to think some folks thought Bibi had emerged as the world’s premier statesman. It turns out he’s just like most of the rest of the world’s politicians: He’ll say just about anything to get elected.

Frankly, I’m glad he’s softening his tone on Palestine.

Bibi said on MSNBC: “I don’t want a one-state solution; I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change,” he said. “I was talking about what is achievable and what is not achievable. To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace.”

Ah, yes. But as the New York Times reported: “The White House and European leaders had expressed alarm over Mr. Netanyahu’s pre-election statement, on the eve of what had seemed like a close race, that there would never be a Palestinian state as long as he remained in office.”

He’s back-pedaling from his pre-election hard line.

The Obama administration still doesn’t seem to trust him fully. The White House doubts his commitment to a two-state solution.

Whatever the case, Bibi shows that even would-be statesmen are capable of saying one thing in public and meaning something else in private.