With Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech coming up in front of the U.S. Congress, one wonders what he will say and mean (and even how boisterous a standing ovation he will receive in comparison to other foreign leaders or even our own POTUS):
Netanyahu’s real positions are basically analogous the three Arab “No” in the infamous 1967 Khartoum declaration: He says no to a viable Palestinian state; he doesn’t want an agreement with them; and, ultimately, he doesn’t really want negotiations with them. The whole rest, from the Bar-Ilan speech to his latest statement is make-believe to keep international pressure at bay and claim that he really wants a peace agreement.
But Netanyahu’s international credibility is at a total low. Foreign diplomats, politicians or journalists I speak to do not believe a word of Netanyahu’s rhetoric about the Palestinians as peace-refuseniks. By bogging down peace negotiations with his endless bickering about settlement construction, he was just trying to buy time. This, together with keeping Lieberman in the foreign ministry, has totally eroded his international trustworthiness.
Netanyahu will try to mobilize his last allies, AIPAC and the Republicans in Congress, to put pressure on Obama to torpedo recognition of Palestine. He will give his usual spiel about Israel’s being in existential danger; he will talk about the nature of worldwide terror. Most of all he will warn that Israel’s existential legitimacy is under threat.