The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Obama vs. Netanyahu: Tale of the Tape

This afternoon’s joint White House appearance between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a pretty low-key affair, as predicted.

Karan Emery
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 19, 2009

This afternoon’s joint White House appearance between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a pretty low-key affair, as predicted. Hard disagreements got sanded down, platitude-level pleasantries got played up, and a placid time was had by all. Netanyahu can return home tomorrow night justifiably happy that Obama didn’t rebuke him in any public way. Disagreements were pretty subtle — but they were in evidence. Let’s tally them up from the transcript.

Explicit references from Obama to a Palestinian state or a two-state solution: Two.

Explicit references from Obama to George Mitchell, his peacenik envoy to the Middle East whom certain right-wing alleged friends of Israel think is too “fair-minded”: Two.

Preferred locution for the endpoint of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Netanyahu that doesn’t include any reference to Palestinian statehood: “A substantive solution that allows the two people to live side by side in security and peace.” Repeated twice.

Netanyahu’s description of the Iranian threat to Israel: “The worst danger we face is that Iran would develop nuclear military capabilities.”

Obama’s response, from a policy perspective: “Iran can achieve its interests of security and international respect and prosperity for its people through other means, and I am prepared to make what I believe will be a persuasive argument, that there should be a different course to be taken.”

Explicit references from Obama to the 2007 Annapolis peace process and/or the roadmap as binding commitments, which Netanyahu has disputed: Two, including three uses of the word “obligations.”

Karan Emery | I'm a research scientist interested in learning more about how neural activity influences and shapes human behavior. Project design and management, data analysis and interpretation, and the creation and implementation of testing tools are among my specialties. I enjoy coming up with new ideas and coming up with practical solutions to issues that are widely applicable. My colleagues would describe me as a driven, resourceful individual who maintains a positive, proactive attitude when faced with adversity. Currently, I’m seeking opportunities that will allow me to develop and promote technologies that benefit human health. Specific fields of interest include data analytics, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

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