All eyes in Israel are on Netanyahu’s meeting tomorrow with President Obama. Expectations are that the meeting will likely go off without confrontation. Netanyahu is expected to suggest that the United States and Israel create joint committees to establish a new roadmap-- a neat way of putting off any confrontation. Obama is expected to accept that suggestion, but insist on a complete freeze of settlement activity, as well as action on the illegal settlements. Netanyhu is expected to request concessions from Arab governments in return, something that Obama is said to support. We will see.
There was an interesting article in the New York Times today, by Jeffrey Goldberg, called "Israel Fear, Amalek’s Arsenal". In the article Goldberg quotes sources close to Netanyahu as calling Iran "Amalek", and stating that Iran’s acquisition of weapons could result in the end of Israel.
Goldberg further quoted President Obama with a very interesting insight relayed to Goldberg during the campaign: “I know that there are those who would argue that in some ways America has become a safe refuge for the Jewish people, but if you’ve gone through the Holocaust, then that does not offer the same sense of confidence and security as the idea that the Jewish people can take care of themselves no matter what happens. ”
The economic downturn is hitting Israel hard. The GDP in the last quarter went down 3.6% with the standard of living dropping 6.2%. Exports dropped a staggering 46% with investment down 38%.