Barack Threatens: Obama Warns Of ‘Fallout’ For Israel If Peace Effort Fails


obama-netanyahu2By Jeffrey Goldberg

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House today, President Barack Obama will tell him that his country could face a bleak future — one of international isolation and demographic disaster — if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians. Obama will warn Netanyahu that time is running out for Israel as a Jewish-majority democracy. And the president will make the case that Netanyahu, alone among Israelis, has the strength and political credibility to lead his people away from the precipice.

In an hourlong interview Thursday in the Oval Office, Obama, borrowing from the Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel, told me that his message to Netanyahu will be this: “If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” He then took a sharper tone, saying that if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.” He added, “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.”

Unlike Netanyahu, Obama will not address the annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, this week — the administration is upset with Aipac for, in its view, trying to subvert American-led nuclear negotiations with Iran. In our interview, the president, while broadly supportive of Israel and a close U.S.-Israel relationship, made statements that would be met at an Aipac convention with cold silence.

Obama was blunter about Israel’s future than I’ve ever heard him. His language was striking, but of a piece with observations made in recent months by his secretary of state, John Kerry, who until this interview, had taken the lead in pressuring both Netanyahu and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to agree to a framework deal. Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have. It seemed obvious to me that the president believes that the next move is Netanyahu’s.

“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”

Read more at BLOOMBERG VIEW.

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  1. The charedi papers said that 800000 people
    By saying 500000 attended you are implying that
    There was bracha levatala for the bracha
    That requires 600000 people

  2. May Hashem help Netanyahu to stand strong.
    We are now in the month of Adar when the Mazel favors the Jewish people. Bibi must reject the Obama plan entirely.

  3. “In our interview, the president, while broadly supportive of Israel and a close U.S.-Israel relationship,”
    supportive in what way?
    This man with his failed foreign policies, that has made the us the laughing stock of the world over and over thinks he has one last play estrange the only ally in the region while assad continues killing his own and Putin takes over the Ukraine.
    I hope Netanyahu “learns’ Mr Obama a lesson on his credibility, and what a mockery he is.

  4. What a wonderful opportunity to convert seudas Acheshvarosh and Haman into seudas Mordechai v Esther.All in the month of Adar.