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Daily Beast: Netanyahu's Bizarre Response to Obama's Palestinian Proposal

Author: Peter Beinart
May 23, 2011

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Senior political writer for the Daily Beast and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Peter Beinart, writes that Netanyahu's response to Obama's parameters for Palestinian and Israeli peace was nothing short of bizarre.

President Obama's parameters for a new round of Mideast peace talks were designed to head off UN recognition of a Palestinian state based strictly on 1967 borders—which would be catastrophic for Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu's immediate rejection of the plan suggests he has no grasp of the real world.

A sailor throws a drowning man a life preserver. How dare you, screams the man. Because of you, people are going to think I can't swim.

That about sums up the relationship between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu. In a few months, the U.N. General Assembly will vote, probably overwhelmingly, to recognize a Palestinian state along Israel's 1967 borders. No one knows exactly what will happen after that, but from the Israeli government's point of view, it won't be good. According to international law, Israel will be occupying a sovereign nation. The result will likely be a bonanza of lawsuits, divestment campaigns and cancelled business deals. Israelis will feel more and more besieged. More and more of the country's educated, tech-savvy young will realize you can get pretty good falafel in Menlo Park.

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