- So Bibi has learned from Obama – that you can get a lot of attention with a speech at a university campus. Of course, Obama dared speak at Cairo University. Netanyahu is going to Israel’s most conservative campus, his home turf, on Sunday.
- We can’t be serious mountain dwellers all the time. Tel Aviv is celebrating its 100th. My take is up at Hadassah:
Just to make clear why Bibi shouldn’t try the “natural growth” argument again to justify continued settlement building, the lovely folks at Foreign Policy asked me to explain the myths built into this scam. For example:
Since we’re negotiating, building doesn’t matter: Most previous U.S. administrations have avoided confrontation over settlements if peace talks were in progress. Obama is right to avoid this mistake, because construction is aimed at preempting the negotiations.
Unintentionally, [Settlement Council Director-General Pinchas] Wallerstein made the point clear in his radio interview. There are already 300,000 Israelis living in the West Bank, he noted. (The figure doesn’t include the Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.) If we really make peace, he said, it won’t matter if the number has risen to 325,000. A few seconds later, he recalled the trauma to Israeli society caused by evacuating 9,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
The classic definition of chutzpah is murdering your parents and begging for the mercy of the court because you’re an orphan. Adding thousands of settlers to existing communities so that later you can claim that evacuating them would be too great a trauma could be another definition…
Read the whole thing here.
Tel Aviv celebrating its 100th birthday? Impossible. It’s like hearing that a friend from college in the ’60s— the one who had hair down to his waist then and who has a pierced eyebrow now, who was a Trotskyite then and has a software firm now—is throwing a bash for his sixtieth. He might turn 60, but he would not shout it out. He is always 19. One doesn’t think of Tel Aviv as having history or mythology. Tel Aviv is supposed to be a constant, off-balance lurch into the future. …
Read the rest here.