19 May 2009

Obama vs Netanyahu: round 1?

Of course, the title above is full of crap, as are the long, essentially empty of any new content, articles. Unless you consider a headline like PM praised, upbraided after Obama meet (JP) to be news.

Of course, it wasn't a fistfight, if only for one simple reason: the opponents, if they may be called such, are in incomparable weight classes. And I don't mean the personal weight. Both sides know very well who butters whose slice of bread, and Bibi should remember well enough the past humiliations in the White House to know not to overstep. In any case, meetings like these, prepared well in advance, are not supposed to produce sensational results. At least not in the public deliveries (see the transcript).

What really counts is not what the protagonists say immediately after the meeting, but what they will do in the coming months. And there is no way to predict now, for instance, what will happen to the next wish list of IDF purchases from US. Or what will happen at the next UNSC session when another resolution concocted by Islamic countries is put on the table. Or...

We'll not know any too soon what was really said in the meeting, and whatever follow-up interviews by the participants will reveal could be safely discounted. The best we can hope for is that inevitable book of memoirs by Obama, but to figure out the possible date of publication is a bit difficult at the moment. In any case, I shall disregard the mandatory trumpeting to be produced by Bibi upon his return home.

There always remains hope, surely. Hope that Obama, after the first few months in the office, has learned that gung ho approach to the world problems doesn't work (and there are many signs that it is happening indeed). And hope that Bibi will find a way out of the impossible political trap he created for himself - but a very weak hope at that.

And anything else is just what it is: quesswork, as Ami Isseroff shows here.


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