Yesterday Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC program. While not as obviously loony as some MSNBC hosts, Mitchell is a loyal Democratic Party soldier, and she aggressively parroted Barack Obama’s criticisms of Israel. With his usual cogency, Netanyahu set her straight. It would be nice if Obama would view the tape, but I suspect his ignorance is impenetrable.
First, a couple of the exchanges, then on to the video:
AM: But what do you say when the President says that this [apartments in Jerusalem] undercuts your commitment to peace and is poisonous to an agreement with the Palestinians?
BN: Well, I find that curious because the criticism was leveled, one, at a new neighborhood that was mixed. It had a substantial part of the apartments that apportioned, parceled out to Arabs, to Palestinians, alongside Jews. So why not have them live together? The second part of the criticism was actually baffling to me. Because it criticized individual Jews who bought apartments in an Arab neighborhood. Now, Jews buy apartments, private property, in Arab neighborhoods. Arabs buy apartments in Jewish neighborhoods. And I find – that’s the right thing to do. I mean, if I had to-
AM: It’s contested territory. It’s territory that is supposed to be negotiated.
BN: Well, even if it is, it doesn’t mean that you prevent an Arab from selling property to a Jew. If I said to you in any part of the United States or the world, “Jews cannot buy apartments here”?
Obama could learn a lot from Netanyahu, if he paid attention, and not just about the Middle East. But he seems to be a person who stopped learning long ago.