The Truth Hurts, Bibi

Obama Is Right When He Says Netanyahu Shoots Israel in Foot

Hard Truths: If Barack Obama did say that Israel was shooting itself in the foot by expanding the occupation of the West Bank, well, guess what? He’s right.
getty images
Hard Truths: If Barack Obama did say that Israel was shooting itself in the foot by expanding the occupation of the West Bank, well, guess what? He’s right.

By Leonard Fein

Published January 22, 2013, issue of January 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

So now we have the journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, presumably based on conversation(s) with officials of the Obama administration, perhaps with the president himself, quoting Obama: “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” And then, with “each new settlement announcement Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation.”

Needless to say, Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the report testily. An aide said that Netanyahu would “continue to resist pressure from America and other countries” and would “make no compromise that will harm its citizens’ security.” Netanyahu himself responded trenchantly: “I think that President Obama knows that the ones determining Israel’s vital interests are the citizens of Israel, and they will be the ones to choose who will protect those interests in the best possible way.”

And how does the prime minister define Israel’s interests? In an interview with Israel Hayom in the wake of the Goldberg column, he cites three main objectives: “Preventing Iran from arming themselves with nuclear weapons, not going back to the indefensible 1967 borders, and keeping Jerusalem united. These are fundamental objectives.”

We learn as much from what the prime minister failed to say as from what he did say. He failed to say anything about a two-state solution. And the reason for that is clear: He is opposed to a two-state solution — that is, to a two-state solution that allows for a viable Palestinian state with contiguous territory.

And, as The Economist recently observed, “A growing number of Israeli politicians on the right argue that if Israel ‘stands firm,’ Western governments will quietly acquiesce in the Palestinians’ failure to get a proper state, just as most Basques and Kurds have had to make do with autonomy at best rather than outright independence.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.