The Dueling UN Speeches, or, This Is Getting Tiresome

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/09/the-dueling-un-speeches-or-this-is-getting-tiresome/245589/