Was the prime minister’s address on Capitol Hill interrupted by applause 38 times, as Maariv and Haaretz reported, or 41, as Yedioth Ahronoth said? Was it the “speech of his life” or his “victory lap?” Does it matter? Those who read the flood of praise heaped by a uniform chorus in the Israeli press on Ehud Olmert might think this was a historic visit that managed to significantly advance the achievement of peace in the Middle East. It was nothing of the kind.
In Washington, there was a meeting of the leaders of two countries that share, as the prime minister rightly said in his speech, “common principles and values.” The United States and Israel are two of the most hated countries in the world these days. Both are responsible for brutal occupations and the bloodshed of innocents; both are fighting terrorism without regard for its reasons and true root causes; both endanger world peace and their leaders scatter slogans about peace that are empty of any content; both are surrounding themselves with walls. The only difference between them is that if there are signs in the U.S. of an awakening from the deception of the criminal war in Iraq, three years after it began; in Israel, people are still sticking to all the lies of the past about the connection between the territories and security, even 39 years after the occupation began.