[Newly appointed White House Chief of Staff William] Bill Daley...brings his own contentious history with Netanyahu to the job.
Commerce Secretary Daley sparked a tense exchange of words in 1998, when he answered a question after a speech at the Brookings Institution by suggesting that Netanyahu -- the prime minister at the time -- was less interested in peace than his people, and that an election could fix that.
"Every poll we've seen, every poll that has been reported about the people of Israel are overwhelmingly in favor of the peace process moving forward," he said. [G]enerally governments end up reflecting their people. It may take some elections to do that but that generally happens. ...And hopefully that the people of Israel, again, who overwhelmingly are supportive of peace will make their voices heard a little louder to the political establishment."
Netanyahu fired back at the time, demanding an apology.
"I don’t know whether he said the things that he hinted at or called for changes in the Israeli government. If he said these things, they’re grave remarks which are unacceptable to us," he said. "If these things were indeed said, I expect an apology and unequivocal correction of the comments."
American democracy, of a type, at work?
As for polls, please read this about support for over-the-Green-Line communities.
And one more.
But, more amazing is what Daley also said in that speech:
Let me end on this: the first American President ever to visit the Middle East was Franklin Roosevelt. He went there fifty-five years ago in the middle of World War II to meet with Winston Churchill and to plot war strategy. What inspired the President as he was flying in that very large army plane over the little town of Bethlehem was the thought that however great the cost, peace on earth and goodwill towards men could be realized one day even in the middle of that war.
At a on board the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake of the Suez canal, President Roosevelt tried to persuade Saud to acquiesce to a plan for Jewish emigration to Palestine, but Saud was adamant in his opposition. This is what Roosevelt learned:
If the Jews were to be compensated for the outrages perpetrated against them, then it should be the perpetrators who carried the cost. If the United States and its allies wished to see the Jews settled on land of their own, then it should be German land that was appropriated.
When Roosevelt broached the issue of Palestine, Ibn Saud was uncompromising. Why should the Palestinians be expected to atone for the sins of the Germans? Why should the United States look to its friends rather than to its enemies to make reparations for the crimes of its enemies?
FDR addressed Congress on March 1, 1945, to report on the Yalta conference and his other meetings abroad. Briefly referring to the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine, the president departed from his prepared text to offer this observation from his meeting with Ibn Saud, the kind of Saudi Arabia: "I learned more about the whole problem, the Moslem problem, the Jewish problem, by talking with Ibn Saud for five minutes than I could have learned in the exchange of two or three dozen letters."...When he met [Rabbi Stephen] Wise following the "five minutes with Ibn Saud" remark in March 1945, FDR began by berating the Jewish leader about the dangers of seeking Jewish statehood: "You are a minister of religion. Do you want me to encourage five or six hundred thousand Jews to die?"...Pic
...every once in a while, a president slips and says what he really thinks. FDR probably DID learn more in those five minutes than from any another source.
What Ibn Saud told him was that the Arab world would never accept a Jewish state of any size in the Holy Land. Saud also "objected violently" to proposals to create a temporary haven in Libya for Jews fleeing the Nazis. The king recommended settling all Holocaust survivors in Germany after the war. He even spurned FDR's talk of international aid to develop Arab countries; Saud feared the benefits of such development might be "inherited by the Jews," since Jewish immigrants to Palestine might be secretly planning to conquer the entire Mideast.
Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins, reflecting on the "five minutes" remark years later, still found it difficult to understand. "[T]he only thing he learned, which all people well acquainted with the Palestine cause know," Hopkins wrote, "is that the Arabs don't want any more Jews in Palestine."
And this is what he wrote to the King:
Letter From President Roosevelt to King Ibn Saud, April 5, 1945
GREAT AND GOOD FRIEND:
I have received the communication which Your Majesty sent me under date of March 10, 1945, in which you refer to the question of Palestine and to the continuing interest of the Arabs in current developments affecting that country.
...I have given the most careful attention to the statements which you make in your letter. I am also mindful of the memorable conversation which we had not so long ago and in the course of which I had an opportunity to obtain so vivid an impression of Your Majesty's sentiments on this question.
Your Majesty will recall that on previous occasions I communicated to you the attitude of the American Government toward Palestine and made clear our desire that no decision be taken with respect to the basic situation in that country without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews. Your Majesty will also doubtless recall that during our recent conversation I assured you that I would take no action, in my capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch of this Government, which might prove hostile to the Arab people.
That King as the British recorded in their British Foreign Office, no. 371/20822 E 7201/22/31 in Elie Kedourie, Islam in the Modern World (London: Mansell, 1980), pp. 69-72:-
...founder of the dynasty, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, for example, declared, "Our hatred for the Jews dates from God's condemnation of them for their persecution and rejection of Isa [Jesus] and their subsequent rejection of His chosen Prophet [Muhammad]," adding that "for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew, ensures him an immediate entry into heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty."
Benny Morris notes that Ibn Saud referred to (in Ibn Saud to Roosevelt, 30 April 1943, PRO CO 733\443\18) a
“religious hostility…between the Moslems and the Jews from the beginning of Islam…which arose from the treacherous conduct of the Jews towards Islam and Moslems and their prophet,”
So, now, what was Daley talking about?