The Dueling UN Speeches, or, This Is Getting Tiresome

I'm running around a bit doing some other journalism today (there are apparently other issues in the world besides the demand to create a 23rd Arab state), but I'll try to watch the Abbas speech, and the Netanyahu speech, later on. I hope my expectations are wrong, and that these two sometimes-very small men manage to surprise us, though I doubt it. Mahmoud Abbas, in particular, doesn't seem -- these days especially -- interested in putting himself in the shoes of Israelis, when he declares that the occupation of his people's lands dates back 63 years -- namely, to the creation of Israel itself, not the Six Day War, which was provoked by the allies of the Palestinians, and then lost by the allies of the Palestinians.

I did just catch Netanyahu going out of his way to accuse the Palestinian Authority of demanding a Judenrein West Bank. That was the statement of one official, not an official PA policy. It looks as if Bibi is playing to the home audience as well.

This whole week has been nonsense and theater. Nothing good or constructive will come of it.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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