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Cousin Benjamin with a lemon meringue pie
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-03-26 07:33:03
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Seen the photos of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talking with US President Barack Obama you cannot avoid thinking what the hell are they talking about? I mean, are they talking about the weather? What they ate the night before or what brand of whisky they like most? Because if they are talking about Middle East, the Israeli Palestinian problems and the settlers then there is no room for all the smiles.

But when a bit further down you read that both governments agreed that the talks were in good atmosphere you feel reinsured that they were talking about the weather and the medium rare steak! I mean if the American foreign office didn’t know before Tuesday that the Israelis were going to approve the building of more apartments for settlers and if they were not expecting some kind of reaction from the Palestinians then they are a joke. The serious part is not if the Americans knew, the serious part is that the Israelis knew that the Americans wouldn’t react!

Apparently I found fascinating that even the joke general secretary of the United Nations reacted and he was even angry with the Israelis. So please can somebody from USA tell us what they want from Middle East so this story can finish? Except if terrorised Palestinians and threaten Israelis is a game for them and they enjoy it. Then it turns to entertainment and this is how they should see even the destruction of the Twin Towers.

The Palestinians’ said Mr. Netanyahu, policy was stalling the peace process. I think this could take the Oscar price of the dumbest thing ever said by an Israeli Pm but unfortunately is more likely that he will be nominated for a peace Nobel Prize! By the way it looks that there is one building still standing in the Palestinians territory, the building that houses the Palestinian administration. Why the Israelis don’t put some more settlers there? I mean obviously this is all part of the peace process as the Israelis imagine it why shouldn’t they use every single part of it? 

But the best of all it was still to come. An Israeli Likud MP, MK Yariv Levin, was quoted as saying the building approval was the "translation of Netanyahu's words into deeds" - referring to the PM's assertion on Monday of Israel's "right to build" in Jerusalem. So this it, the whole Middle East problem is about constriction! Pity that at the moment they are wasting their time into building graveyards!

In the meantime and according the representative of the White House the US president later went to his residence, but Mr Netanyahu requested another meeting and the two leaders spent another 30 minutes together. Which translates, after listening to all those really constructive for the peace process things Mr. Netanyahu had to say Mr. Obama had a diarrhoea problem and he had to run to the toilet. Most likely it was because all the talking about food.

By the way the whole visit for the Americans it reflects an uncomfortable fact: that in the wake of a full-scale diplomatic row, Mr Netanyahu came to Washington offering no obvious concessions.  I suppose we all know how things like that happen. The doorbell rings and here is Cousin Benjamin with a lemon meringue pie in hands saying that he was passing by and decided to visit us for a drink! Then he eats all the food and the lemon meringue pie! A piece of the Palestine is purely optional! Peace was eaten years ago!

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Emanuel Paparella2010-03-26 09:37:28
Plenty of food for thought here, meringue pie and all. Having been asked, here is how it looks from this side of the Atlantic pond, at least to this commentator, What the above analysis leaves out is the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pre-emptive speech at the annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) given only a few days before Netanyhau’s visit to the White House and warning of the consequences of continued settlement building on the interests of both US and Jews. As far as I know there was no meringue pie at such an event and Secretary Clinton was in fact applauded. Clinton's speech to the conference underlined the official US position on settlements, and the American administration's linkage between Israeli insistence on continuing settlement construction and threats to US interests abroad. Was it charade? Perhaps, but such language is unprecedented in American discourse, in public at least, and reflects a growing dissatisfaction with Israeli policy. Let us now look at the other side of the coin: a few days later the Israeli prime minister placed the issue in a more comprehensive historical setting declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the settlements there began three thousand years ago. I suppose that is the answer to the suggestion of the King of South Arabia to Roosevelt’s proposal to him to give a piece of Palestinian land to the Jews, that Europe who created the problem of the Holocaust by attempting the extermination of all Jews should now take a piece of land, say Switzerland, and find the final solution: settle all the Jews there. When one looks at both sides of the coin that of Netanyhau and that of King Fasal as expressed to Roosevelt, it is obvious that the two positions appear irreconcilable and they will continue to be so till we in the West summon a bit of historical imagination and stop “misremembering”; that is to say, stop paying lip service to the lessons of the Holocaust, erect monuments and museums, and then blame the Jews for not being good neighbours to the Palestinians, forgetting that many of those Jews came from Europe were they were second class unwelcome citizens for centuries, at least till 1945. Being "Newropeans" ought not mean amnesia of one's history prior to 1954. As I said, food for thought.

Emanuel Paparella2010-03-26 09:41:47
Errata: Saudi Arabia.

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