Apr 1, 2009 2:17 pm


It is not going to be easy. The knives are out. Israel haters are euphoric. They can say they only hate Israel's Likud government not the country itself. Right and my grandmother has wheels.

Israel lovers should be hopeful. First of all, Bibi is an experienced economist who has proven his ability to bring economic prosperity to the country. Together with Stanley Fisher, he should be able to keep the Israeli economy afloat during these troubled times. With Barack on his side, he is also the man to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat.

Finally, his public skepticism about the two state solution has already altered the dynamic of the debate. Suddenly, the debate no longer focuses on how narrow Israel should be but on the real question: Will Palestinians ever get themselves into a position to create their own viable state? After all, Israel (like Singapore) has demonstrated that size and shape have nothing to do with viability.

Viability has everything to do with productive citizenship and capable leadership at least at the beginning. The Palestinian/Israeli tragedy is that Arafat failed and no serious contender has emerged to take his place. No peace deal can be cut until such time and Bibi is right to argue that economic development is the right focus until then.

Barry Rubin's take on Obama and Bibi is on the mark.

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