Avi Shamir
Avi Shamir

Trump’s Sly Remark and the Smirk on Bibi’s Face

In the fallout from the recent press conference in the White House staged by gracious host Donald Trump and his pleased as punch guest Bibi Netanyahu, speculations about Mister Trump’s evasive “one state, two state” remark are running wild. Picture that same confusing message released to the public under different circumstances:

Suppose that the left was in power, and a smug Israeli Prime Minister stood by Mr. Trump’s side as he said that the Israelis and Palestinians can reach an agreement on one state or two states, “the one that both parties like.” One can imagine what the Israeli right would have to say about a leftist leader who doesn’t let out a peep of protest against such an open-ended proposal that leaves Israel to an uncertain fate. They would call him a traitor, avow that he doesn’t have the right to give away parts of Eretz Yisrael and create a terrorist state between the river and the sea, and in the very next breath say that he is out of his mind if he thinks we can ever live in harmony with the Palestinians in one state.

But back to our right-wing government and “friendly” American president: Bibi just stood there with that revealing tickled pink body language and revolting shit-eating grin on his face as Donald Trump basically let him know what his choices are, and now his ministers and coalition partners are affirming that Israel in the Trump era has come to an “historic” turning point.

The logic behind this great defining moment in our history goes something like this: Obama tried to shove the two-state solution down our throats, and now Trump is giving us an alternative. Everyone knows that the one-state option isn’t workable as it goes against the very Zionist ideal of a democratic Jewish state. Hence, our only recourse is to prolong the status quo and continue building settlements until Bibi falls from power or hell freezes over, what ever comes first. This game plan was endorsed, for all intents and purposes, by Trump’s laughable aside to Bibi during the press conference: “hold back on settlements for a little bit.” The “little bit” part says it all.

What’s confusing is that just a few days after the press conference which in effect put the two-state solution in a deep freeze, Bibi is now claiming that he, not former US Secretary of State John Kerry, initiated a secret summit that was held in Aqaba last year with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah to revive negotiations with the Palestinians based on that very same two-state option. True to form, Bibi didn’t pursue the proposals made at the summit he says he launched, as his strong supporters wouldn’t have tolerated freezing settlement activity. Leave it to Bibi to talk his way out of missing an historic opportunity the way he best knows how to get a simple message across, with composure and in perfect English.

An accomplished barefaced liar, Bibi has been playing this “two-state, for and against” game for so long that no one, not even a shameless but still practicing liar like Donald Trump, can guess his next move. But anyone who knows Bibi, enemies and supporters alike, knows what his end game is: to hold on to power, and to hell with normalizing relations with the Palestinians and gaining what our forefathers once envisioned, regional acceptance and universal recognition of the State of Israel.

About the Author
Avi Shamir is a freelance writer, editor, translator and the author of "Saving the Game," a novel about baseball. A Brooklyn College graduate with a BA in English, Avi has contributed to the Jerusalem Post, The Nation, Israel Scene, In English and The World Zionist Press Service.