Count on Jeffrey Goldberg to come up small in the biggest moments:
I'm running around a bit doing some other journalism today (there are apparently other issues in the world besides the demand to create a 23rd Arab state)
-- Um. That's the most offensive possible way to put it. I'll be charitable and presume that Goldberg's running around and didn't think that phrase through. Since I'm constantly told what a fair-minded observer he is, I'm sure he doesn't actually believe that the aspirations of millions of Palestinians are just about getting yet another "Arab state." Nor does he truly believe that 22 states are indistinguishable aside from the fact that there's a bunch of A-rabs in 'em.
But c'mon, man. You should know better than this:
...but I'll try to watch the Abbas speech, and the Netanyahu speech, later on. I hope my expectations are wrong, and that these two sometimes-very small men manage to surprise us, though I doubt it. Mahmoud Abbas, in particular, doesn't seem -- these days especially -- interested in putting himself in the shoes of Israelis, when he declares that the occupation of his people's lands dates back 63 years -- namely, to the creation of Israel itself, not the Six Day War, which was provoked by the allies of the Palestinians, and then lost by the allies of the Palestinians.
Do herrings come any redder? Whatever Abbas' rhetoric -- and his rhetoric was pretty damn good, to a liberal American Jew's ears -- Abbas' actions should give any sane Israeli leader a boner. Check the Palestine Papers for his extraordinary sensitivity to Israeli, uh, sensitivities. If Abbas put himself in Israelis' shoes any more, he'd have his own foot on his neck at a West Bank checkpoint.
Anyone who thinks that Netanyahu would make a deal with Abbas if only Abbas rhetorically started the Palestinian experience in 1967 is clowning himself. And the Israelis have occupied the West Bank for over four decades. It's not Palestinians who need to put themselves in Israeli shoes. And if Netanyahu ever came close to even a moment of empathy, that would be the first emotional fact that would dawn on him.