Gawd! I've said it before (Cartoon Corner, 21/9/10) and I'll say it again: like the paper he cartoons for, the Sydney Morning Herald's Alan Moir simply hasn't a clue when it comes to Palestine/Israel.
Twice this week (24/27) now he's drawn cartoons based on the false and misleading premise that there has been some kind of major falling out between Obama and Netanyahu over the former's reference to Israel's pre-1967 border with the West Bank.
In the first, Netanyahu has fainted at Obama's mere mention of the 1967 borders. In the second, Obama and his wife are watching an erupting volcano through the window of an aircraft. Iceland? asks wifey. Netanyahu, replies the prez.
Why am I drawing your attention to this? They're only cartoons, aren't they? Sure, but while readers will happily skip the Herald's equally lame editorials on the same issue, all of them will view the cartoon and quite possibly be misled into thinking that what is in fact an obscenely close relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is actually on the rocks.
Now Netanyahu knows Bushama's a complete pushover:
"In a video aired on Israel's Channel 10 this summer, Netanyahu was seen during the second intifada bragging to West Bank settlers about how he had sabotaged the Oslo Accords. 'I'm going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the '67 borders', he told them. In that secretly-filmed conversation, Netanyahu also revealed his dismissive attitude towards the United States. 'I know what America is', he said. 'America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won't get in the way'." (Obama's Israel policy: Speak softly & carry a very big carrot, Maidhc O Cathail, middleeastmonitor.org.uk, 3/12/10)
And hell, if Bushama's not red hot to trot, then I really did come down in the last (cold) shower. I mean, check out the foreplay in his speech to AIPAC on 22 May:
"Good morning! Thank you, Rosy, for your very kind introduction. But even more, thank you for your many years friendship. Back in Chicago, when I was just getting started in national politics, I reached out to a lot of people for advice and counsel, and Rosy was one of the very first. When I made my first visit to Israel, after entering the Senate, Rosy - you were at my side every step of that very meaningful journey through the Holy Land. And I want to thank you for your enduring friendship, your leadership and for your warm welcome today. Thank you to David Victor, Howard Kohr and all the Board of Directors. And let me say that it's wonderful to look out and see so many great friends, including Alan Solow, Howard Green and a very large delegation from Chicago. I want to thank the members of Congress who are joining you today - who do so much to sustain the bonds between the United States and Israel - including Eric Cantor, Steny Hoyer, and the tireless leader I was proud to appoint as the new chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We're joined by Israel's representative to the United States, Ambassador Michael Oren. As well as one of my top advisors on Israel and the Middle East for the past 4 years, and who I know is going to be an outstanding ambassador to Israel - Dan Shapiro. Dan has always been a close and trusted advisor, and I know he'll do a terrific job. And at a time when so many young people around the world are standing up and making their voices heard, I also want to acknowledge all the college students from across the country who are here today. No one has a greater stake in the outcome of events that are unfolding today than your generation, and it's inspiring to see you devote your time and energy to help shape the future."
Can you feel the looove? Can you feel it? Make no mistake, this is river deep and mountain high, folks!
"[T]he bonds between the United States and Israel are unbreakable, and the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad."
Damn it, bro', this is Porgy and Bess! Cain't you feel every throbbing inch of it?
"America's commitment to Israel's security also flows from a deeper place - and that's the values we share. As two people who struggle to win our freedom against overwhelming odds, we understand that preserving the security for which our forefathers fought must be the work of every generation. As two vibrant democracies, we recognize that the liberties and freedom we cherish must be constantly nurtured. And as the nation that recognized the State of Israel moments after its independence, we have a profound commitment to its survival as a strong, secure homeland of the Jewish people."
Why, this is Tammy Wynette standin' by her man, man, and Patsy Cline falling to pieces all rolled into one with maple syrup on top:
"We also know how difficult that search for security can be, especially for a small nation like Israel in a tough neighborhood. I've seen it firsthand. When I touched my hand against the Western Wall and placed my prayer between its ancient stones, I thought of all the centuries that the children of Israel had longed to return to their ancient homeland. When I went to Sderot, I saw the daily struggle to survive in the eyes of an 8-year old boy who lost his leg to a Hamas rocket. And when I walked among the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, I grasped the existential fear of Israelis when a modern dictator seeks nuclear weapons and threatens to wipe Israel off the map."
Do I make myself clear?