In an op-ed article in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, NIF President Prof. Naomi Chazan accurately anticipated the shortcomings of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar-Ilan University. Expecting Netanyahu to accept a Palestinian state but with conditions, she wrote, “This mixture of acquiescence, compromise and evasion hardly rises to the visionary breadth or strategic perspicacity required of an Israeli leader at this juncture.”
Praising President Obama’s speech in Cairo and his policies towards eventual peace, Prof. Chazan correctly forecast that Netanyahu would not reach out in the same way to the Palestinians. “Netanyahu has a tremendous opportunity to signal that Israel's interests cannot be pursued at the expense of those of the Palestinians and the Arab world. A few words, which evince empathy for the other and sensitivity to their plight, along with a call to move together to forge a different reality, can help dispel suspicions and generate a sincere quest for a lasting accommodation."
NIF President Prof. Naomi Chazan
Prof. Chazan concluded, “Netanyahu can keep Israel in glorious isolation - verifying the resistance, skepticism and suspicion that Obama anticipates - or he can join the president in building a different tomorrow by echoing his sentiments: "We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning."