Thursday, September 22, 2011

Following his UN "Zionist" speech, Israeli press grows nervous over extent to which Obama has unmasked himself as a groveling Israel-firster

Israeli press wary over US president’s ‘Zionist’ speech

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli newspapers were unanimous on Thursday in characterising US President Barack Obama’s UN speech as hugely supportive of Israel, but some argued it was perhaps too much of a good thing.

“The American embrace” was the front-page headline of the Maariv daily, while the top-selling Yediot Aharonot took a similar line, summing up the impact of Obama’s remarks for Israel and the Palestinians as “The hug and the snub”.

“Obama not only adopted all of the Israeli arguments against recognising a Palestinian state by means of the UN, he adopted the basic Israeli narrative,” Yediot said.

“It is no wonder that Abu Mazen, who sat in the auditorium during the speech, hung his head in his hands in disbelief and despair,” it said, using the nom de guerre of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Most papers made veiled reference to next year’s US presidential elections as a major factor in determining the tone and content of Obama’s address.

The right-leaning Jerusalem Post reprinted large chunks of his speech and, in a commentary titled “Obama tells Israelis what they have been waiting to hear”, said it contained “a dose of empathy and understanding” which had been missing from his previous addresses.

In his speech to the General Assembly, Obama reiterated his opposition to the Palestinians’ attempt to win UN membership for their state, saying there was no “shortcut” to peace.

The address included references to Israel’s hostile neighbours, to suicide bombs on its buses and to the trauma of the Holocaust - but made no mention of its settlement building on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

But Yediot columnist Eitan Haber cautioned that there would be a price for Israel to pay further down the line.

“The Zionist turns of phrase that were uttered yesterday have a price tag affixed to them, and payment will be due - if not tomorrow, then on the day after,” he wrote...MORE...LINK

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