Aluf Benn in Haaretz argues that the Israeli Prime Minister frames himself as a saviour of the Jewish people but in fact he only wants to defend occupying the Palestinians forever:
Benjamin Netanyahu’s whole career as a diplomat and politician prepared him for that moment: the moment he, as the Jewish people’s senior lobbyist, stands before the leader of the world and demands him to stop the approaching holocaust.
This is what happened at the meeting with Barack Obama on Friday. The prime minister came to the White House to lecture the U.S. president on 4,000 years of Jewish history, on persecution, expulsions, pogroms and the murder of millions, and to warn him against a peace based on illusions that could lead to another catastrophe. “History will not give the Jewish people another chance,” said Netanyahu, probably imagining himself as a modern-day Moses or Herzl.
Obama wants to establish an independent Palestine, in recognized borders and with territorial contiguity. He doesn’t strive to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict or achieve an overall Middle East peace. He buried the Arab peace initiative, which he mentioned in his Cairo speech two years ago but ignored completely on Thursday. By doing so, he took away one of the Israeli left’s most important banners.
The disagreement between Obama and Netanyahu isn’t a personal quarrel. They clearly can’t stand each other, but this is the smaller problem. What matters isn’t the body language, but the values. Obama is a revolutionary who wants to give power to the masses. Netanyahu is a conservative, sticking to the status quo and fearing change.
To Netanyahu, Israel has a right to rule the territories and settle there as much as it likes, and at most it could throw some bones to the Palestinians to satisfy their supporters in the West, who, like Obama, simply don’t understand what it’s all about and blindly support a bunch of inciters and murderers.
To Obama, the Israeli occupation is an ongoing wrong that should be stopped. He’s not ready for a situation in which the settlers in Psagot enjoy every right possible, while their Palestinian neighbors in Ramallah wait at a checkpoint, lacking self-determination. This is what he is fighting for.