Skip to comments.Netanyahuís Hollow Victory
Posted on 03/26/2010 5:37:02 AM PDT by IbJensen
The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago, and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.
With this defiant declaration, to a thunderous ovation at AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu informed the United States that East Jerusalem, taken from Jordan in the Six Day War, is not occupied land. It is Israeli land and Israels forever, and no Palestinian state will share Jerusalem. Israel alone decides what is built, and where, in the Holy City.
With his declaration and refusal to walk back the decision to build 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, which blew up the Biden mission, Bibi goes home a winner over Barack Obama.
But it is a temporary triumph and hollow victoryover Israels indispensable ally. For the clash revealed that the perceived vital interests of Israel now collide with vital U.S. interests in the Middle East.
We have clarity. There is now visible daylight between U.S. and Israeli policy for all the world to see. And America cannot back down without eviscerating her credibility in the Arab and Muslim world. What are the major points of contention?
To Netanyahu, withdrawal from Gaza was a strategic blunder that led to a Hamas takeover and rockets on Israel. That blunder will not be repeated with the West Bank. Israel had a hellish time forcing 8,000 Jews to leave Gaza and will not force 250,000 Jews to leave ancestral lands on the West Bank to create a Palestinian state where the possibility will always exist that Hamas will win at the ballot box and become the government. As for Jerusalem, its city limits are now Israels permanent borders. Annexation is irreversible.
The American position? The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory. Building there violates international law. Peace requires a sharing of Jerusalem, return of almost all of the West Bank and withdrawal of the Jewish settlers. And any land annexed by Israel must be compensated for with Israeli land ceded to the Palestinians.
That the U.S. position is not anti-Israel is attested to by the fact that Prime Ministers Ehud Barack and Ehud Olmert came close to a peace with the Palestinians based on these principles.
Netanyahu, however, does not accept them. For he won office denouncing them, and in his ruling coalition are parties that not only opposed withdrawal from Gaza, they oppose a Palestinian state.
Given the irreconcilable positions, the deadlock, why will Israel not prevail as she always prevails in such collisions? Why would Bibis No to Obamas demand for a halt to the building of settlements and a cancellation of the 1,600 housing units in Jerusalem not be the final and irrevocable answer that Obama must grudgingly accept?
Answer: There is a new party to the quarrel: the U.S. military, in the person of Gen. David Petraeus.
According to Foreign Policy magazine, in January, a delegation of senior officers from Petraeus command were sent to brief Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen.
The briefers reported that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CentComs mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israels intransigence on the Arab-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region, and that (George) Mitchell himself was ... too old, too slow and too late.
Mullen took this stark messagethat America was seen as too weak to stand up to Israel, and the U.S. military posture was eroding in the Arab world as a resultstraight to the White House. Hence, when Joe Biden was sandbagged in Israel, he apparently tore into Bibi in private.
This is starting to get dangerous for us, Biden reportedly told Netanyahu. What youre doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Yedioth Ahronoth further reported: The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israels actions and U.S. policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops. Biden was saying Israeli intransigence could cost American lives.
Each new report of settlement expansion, each new seizure of Palestinian property, each new West Bank clash between Palestinians and Israeli troops inflames the Arab street, humiliates our Arab allies, exposes America as a weakling that cannot stand up to Israel, and imperils our troops and their mission in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As this message has now been delivered by Gen. Petraeus to his commander in chief, Obama simply cannot back down again. If he does not stand up now for U.S. interests, which are being imperiled by Israeli actions, he will lose the backing of his soldiers.
U.S.-Israeli relations are approaching a Whose side are you on? moment. Either Bibi backs down this timeor Obama loses his soldiers.
Patrick’s gone round the bend.
Petraeus disputes this. He says he was taken out of context.
PJB is .... doing what PJB does best. Side with Nazis.
This is not my policy. I stand with Bibi. There is no "Peace Process". There never has been. Pat writes a lot of good stuff but he completely fails to grasp that peace for the Arabs means pushing the Jews into the sea. Wake up Pat.
Occasionally, Buchanan gets it right. However he has a deep and abiding dislike - I’ll stop short of ‘hatred’ - of Israel. I don’t pay him any heed here.
Note to self: ALWAYS check author prior to reading.
I wasted valuable time there. Buchanan is basically a Scud missile: inaccurate, ineffective, but always taking pot shots at Israel.
4th graph should end with
“...Obama’s vital interests in the Middle East.”
Too bad America isn’t led by such a man! Gee. What am I saying? Sarah Palin is such a man!
You were right the first time America isn’t led my such a man. But maybe Sarah will lead in the near future. For the time being, ZERO is in charge. Funny how tough he is on our allies...
Pat Buchanan reminding me once again why I don’t like him very much.
He’s pretty much always been “around the bend” when it comes to Israel and anything involving Jews. He is an otherwise very intelligent, sometimes brilliant man, but his anti-Semitism so clouds his judgment, that it causes him irrationally hate America’s greatest ally, while supporting the terrorist thugs who would destroy America, if they could.
This guy wrote a book basically saying if we had been nicer to Hitler we could have avoided WWII.
Uh, Pat, if you believe that there was "almost" peace at any point I have some swamp land to sell you.
For another 2.5 years - tops.
Buchanan is on the wrong side of this issue and of history.
The sad thing is that I’m not sure he fails to grasp it.
It does present opinions to be debated.
Hey Pat. Tell zer0 not to build any more houses in DC. I fart in your general direction.
Buckley pretty much pegged him about fifteen years ago.
Pat has been spot on since the 70s. He has been proven right on so many of the major issues that we disregard him at our own peril. Immigration, Iraq, decline of manufacturing, etc.
To reject his opinions without a meaningful debate is foolishness. Whistling past the graveyard.
Whose side are you on?
The same could be asked of you Pat.
I applaud Israel’s stand, it’s time they stood up
to world bullying and told the world, Jeruselem
is OUR capital, none others. If you think it belongs
to you, come and take it, but if you try and you lose
land, DON’T expect it back. The same goes for the Golan,
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