Jennifer Loewenstein (no relation) writes in Counterpunch that we shouldn’t expect too much from Obama when it comes to the Middle East:
Obama’s brilliance in embracing the self-same rejectionist stance of his predecessors, by employing the language of the two-state solution, is equaled only by Netanyahu’s honesty in rejecting any such reality. For Obama, the Palestinian State he seeks to create can be fostered by Israel’s willingness to cease any further settlement construction. Obama makes it clear that “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.” These settlements? What about the ones already existing? The ones that have utterly destroyed the territorial integrity of the West Bank over the last four decades? The ones comprising half a million illegal Jewish settlers – and growing – that are completing the annexation of East Jerusalem as I write; that are serving to justify continued home demolitions on a near daily basis; that have systematically and methodically displaced the people who have lived on this land for millennia? Where is Obama’s plan to restore these people to their land?
Barack Obama has sent Benjamin Netanyahu the message he most seeks, whether Netanyahu recognizes it or not: continue your colonial-settler project as you have been doing; just change the vocabulary you use to describe it. Then nobody will get upset or notice that the status quo will persists. In the meantime Nasrallah and his followers in Lebanon will be shaking their heads in disbelief at the service Obama has just performed on Hizbullah’s behalf.