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In today's pages: Barack meets Bibi, Pelosi meets torture, voters meet fatigue

May 18, 2009 |  9:18 am

Netanyahu ap photo amar awad pool Monday's Los Angeles Times Opinion pages feature Palestinian parliament member Mustafa Bargouthi, who calls on President Obama to be firm in his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Don't be like Clinton, Bargouthi writes, and don't be like Bush:

I am increasingly convinced that if Obama fails to speak out now, it will doom the two-state solution forever. Further fiddling in Washington -- after eight years of it -- will consign Jerusalem, the West Bank and the two-state solution to an Israeli expansionism that will overwhelm the ability of cartographers to concoct a viable Palestinian state.

Bargouthi was runner-up to Mahmoud Abbas for president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005 voting. He has written for the Times opinion pages before, here and here.

A quite different view is offered by Netanyahu's former ambassador to the United Nations, Dore Gold, who argues that -- two-state solution aside -- the U.S. and Israel are on the same page. Dore says the Israeli prime minister wants something, if not statehood, for Palestine:

The reality is that although Netanyahu has not embraced this formula, he has stated that Israel does not want to rule over the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He has added that he wants the Palestinians to have all the power necessary to rule themselves, but none of the power to undermine the security of Israel. What that means is that if a Palestinian state were to arise, it would have to be demilitarized and could not sign defense pacts with, say, Iran, allowing it to receive a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards (as Lebanon did in 1982).

Dore Gold, who heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was in the Los Angeles Times opinion pages in 1998.

More Obama: The editorial page applauds the U.S. reversing a Bush policy and joining the United Nations Human Rights Council. Now, how about setting a human rights agenda, and following it at home?

Obama administration decisions last week to withhold photographs of detainees being abused and to continue Bush-era military commissions for prosecuting terrorism suspects cast doubt on the president's commitment to cleaning house. So too does a threat to halt intelligence-sharing with Britain if a British court makes public details of interrogation techniques used against a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner.

More torture: What did Nancy Pelosi know, and when did she know it?

And, oh yeah, elections. Again. Gregory Rodriguez checks out tomorrow's election day and says enough is enough. And it's true, enough is enough, but that doesn't stop us from telling you how we think you should vote.

Photo: AP Photo / Amar Awad / pool

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