Skip to comments.US tensions
Posted on 01/21/2013 5:56:00 AM PST by SJackson
Before jumping to conclusions regarding Israelis ability to recognize their own interests, Israels friends and critics should at the very least appreciate their legitimate concerns.
Perhaps the leak was not calculated to weaken Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies. Perhaps it was by chance that just one week before Israelis go to the polls, US President Barack Obama was quoted by Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg as saying that Netanyahu was moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation and that Israel under Netanyahu does not know what its best interests are.
True, if Obama did indeed criticize Netanyahu for announcing plans to build 3,000 homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to the Palestinians successful November 29 UN bid for non-member state status, he did so over a month ago. But sometimes it takes time for these sorts of potentially damaging comments to be made public.
Of course, if the leak was timed by sources within the White House or by Goldberg as a means of meddling in the Israeli election, it is a tactic worthy of condemnation.
At any rate the leak is unlikely to have much of an impact on election results. Voter movement among political parties with similar agendas keeps poll results interesting.
The Right bloc, however Likud Beytenu, haredi parties and Bayit Yehudi has consistently maintained its dominance with a majority of the 120 Knesset seats.
But Obamas comments, if genuine (the White House has not denied the report) do appear to be a harbinger of tense relations between what is almost certain to be another Netanyahu-led government and the Obama administration.
In many important ways the ties between Israel and the US will almost certainly remain strong. Obama is, after all, a president who has assured Israel of his unshakable commitment to the Jewish state; he has meticulously maintained our strategic advantage in the region by providing military cooperation and funding for important projects such as the Iron Dome anti-rocket system; he has promised not to allow Iran to cross the nuclear-weapons threshold; and he has provided Israel with critical diplomatic backing, most recently by voting against the Palestinian UN bid and asking allies to do the same.
At the same time, Obamas first term was not without its share of tense moments for Israel. Obama rejected Netanyahus pleas to give the Iranians an ultimatum on halting their nuclear weapons drive. He transformed the issue of settlements into an insurmountable obstacle to peace by making a construction freeze including in consensus Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Ramat Shlomo a precondition for talks with the Palestinians. With Netanyahu set to head another right-wing government coalition, we can expect more rocky times ahead.
But instead of claiming that Israels democratically elected government doesnt know what its best interests are, perhaps critics should show a little more empathy for Israelis legitimate concerns.
Regionally, the Islamists are on the rise from Egypt and Jordan to Tunisia and Libya. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the only significant moderate element in Palestinian politics, is hopelessly unpopular and weak, while the violently anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic Hamas as other Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated movements across the region is on the rise.
Official PA media, when not inciting against the Jewish state, is morbidly preoccupied with Yasser Arafats assassination.
Abbas, who like Arafat before him has rejected generous Israeli peace offers, is stubbornly unwilling to enter into negotiations unless Israel freezes all building beyond the Green Line, which includes neighborhoods that are an integral part of Jewish Jerusalem, and has done nothing to prepare his people for peace with Israel.
Under the circumstances, it should come as no surprise that Labors campaign has focused on socio-economics and has toned down talk of a negotiated peace with Palestinians rightly seen by most Israelis as unrealistic at least under the present geopolitical circumstances.
Most Israelis understand that in the long-run, a two-state solution is probably the only way to keep Israel both Jewish and democratic. But can they be blamed for preferring short-term security to potentially explosive peace initiatives that have been tried and have failed? Before jumping to conclusions regarding Israelis ability to recognize their own interests, Israels friends and critics should at the very least appreciate their legitimate concerns.
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If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Now that the world knows what Obama thinks of Netanyahu, I would love to hear an unedited version of what Netanyahu thinks of Obama.
Probably about the same as I feel about him as Obama leads us into bankruptcy and a Godless America.
“US President Barack Obama was quoted by Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg as saying that Netanyahu was moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation “
The prophet Balaam described the people of Israel as “the nation shall dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations” (Bamidbar 23:9)
“Obama leads us into bankruptcy and a Godless America”
We were headed there long before Obama. He’s the symptom, not the problem. The problem is the “character”, “morals”, and “values” of those who support him.
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