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Netanyahu Trying to Discredit Obama

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TEHRAN, May 26 (ICANA) – Palestinians have slammed Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu for rejecting pre-1967 borders as the basis for talks.
Thursday, May 26, 2011 1:11:13 PM
Netanyahu Trying to Discredit Obama

Addressing the US Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu also pledged to keep key parts of the occupied West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) -- which is widely regarded as the future capital of an independent Palestinian state.

This is against the US government's call for talks with the Palestinians based on pre-1967 borders.

Press TV further discussed the issue with political activist from Palestine Solidarity Movement Henry Norr. The following is the script of the interview.

Q: Where does the Israeli defiance leave the US position as a broker in the Middle East conflict?

Norr: I don't think the US has ever really been a broker, it pretended to be a broker but really it has consistently supported the Israeli position. So to me this spat between [US President Barack] Obama and Netanyahu may have a personal element, they probably don't like each other. But in fact Obama has done very little, has departed only minimally from the Israeli position and Netanyahu is deliberately taking kind of a political offensive against Obama because his [Netanyahu's] natural allies are the Republicans and he wants to discredit Obama and push him out in the 2012 elections. That is my reading but I don't see any way in which the US has a substantive position that is different from Netanyahu's position.

Q: Where does this leave the solution of the standoff between the Palestinians and the Israelis, so to speak, with Israel being as defiant as we have just seen?

Norr: I think the good news here, if there is anything good that is coming out this, is that it helps the leadership of the Palestinian Authority perhaps to realize that the path they have been on for many years, basically counting on the US to be counterweight to Israel and provide some justice for Palestinians is an illusion. It is not going to work, it has not worked yet, it hasn't worked for decades and there is no reason to believe it is going to work now.

Many grassroots Palestinians have realized that and that is why you see a growing movement outside of the Palestinian Authority, grassroots non-violent direct action in the villages standing up against the wall and protesting and so on. That is the kind of movement that can bring change and as more Palestinians realize that their leadership has laid them at this dead end, that this path of relying on Americans is going nowhere, I think we will see an upsurge, we have seen that already on the recent Nakba Day, the marches from all directions towards the borders and demonstrations going on every week in the Palestinian villages.

Ordinary Palestinians are realizing that their only hope is to stand up together themselves as people and try to take the situation in hand. I really think that is a much bigger threat to Israelis than any nuances of Obama's rhetoric.

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