On Real and Ideological Topography

June 8, 2009 at 16:48 2 comments

As I’ve noticed before, Obama’s June 4 speech to the Muslim world has received a lot of — well-deserved — positive attention in world media.

However, many of the European commentators who focus on President Obama’s words about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seem to be under the impression that he said something new or even revolutionary.

In fact, from the point of view of policy, what Obama said is basically what former President Bush said, what former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, and what the head of the Israeli opposition, Zipi Livni also says. That is, we need one more state and a lot less settlements.

Of course, the present Israeli government doesn’t share Obama’s, Bush’s Olmert’s and Livni’s take on things, but that doesn’t make the June 4 speech ground breaking — it just makes the Netanyahu government detached from reality.

A small detail that amused me when I browsed yet another of these comments, this time by Wolfgang Hansson in Aftonbladet, was Hansson’s claim that Obama’s insistence on a two state solution and dismantling of settlements had annoyed people in — Tel Aviv.

What? Has he ever been to Tel Aviv?, I asked myself at first. In fact, I can’t imagine a place in Israel where Netanyahu is less popular and where Obama is met with greater enthusiasm than in this great White City of ours.

Then I realized: Hansson probably isn’t referring to the actual Tel Aviv. He’s most likely referring to the imaginary Tel Aviv, which — in some parallel universe — is the capital of Israel. Some people who don’t think that Israel has a de jure right to Jerusalem like to pretend that it doesn’t have the de facto control, either.

And when reality doesn’t fit the ideological map, then just go with the map.

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Entry filed under: Media, Politics.

Beware of the Jews Tel Aviv Is Proud to Present

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marissa  |  June 9, 2009 at 10:28

    did you not read Dore Gold’s article today about how Obama’s proposed policy actually is very different from every president’s stance on the settlements dating back to 1967? I suggest you read it: http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=2995&TTL=U.S._Policy_on_Israeli_Settlements

    Being for a two-state solution doesnt mean that we need to freeze all the settlements.. in fact he’s not saying we need a lot less, hes saying we need none….

    Reply
  • […] August 28, 2009 Åsa Linderborg, the editor of the cultural section of Aftonbladet where the by now infamous article by Donald Boström was published, comments on the circus that the publication of said article initiated. She’s unrepentant, and instead she attacks those who have criticized her and the paper — everyone from her “liberal colleagues” to the “regime in Tel Aviv” (by which she presumably refers to the Israeli government. For similar geographical confusions at Aftonbladet see this earlier post). […]

    Reply

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