Friday, July 31, 2009

Wash Post crticizes Obama's policy on Israel

Wash Post

ONE OF THE MORE striking results of the Obama administration's first six months is that only one country has worse relations with the United States than it did in January: Israel. The new administration has pushed a reset button with Russia and sent new ambassadors to Syria and Venezuela; it has offered olive branches to Cuba and Burma. But for nearly three months it has been locked in a public confrontation with Israel over Jewish housing construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank. To a less visible extent, the two governments also have differed over policy toward Iran.

This week a parade of senior U.S. officials has been visiting Jerusalem to tackle the issues: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Middle East envoy George J. Mitchell, national security adviser James L. Jones and senior aide Dennis Ross. But the tensions persist, and public opinion is following: The Pew Global Attitudes Project reported last week that Israel was the only country among 25 surveyed where the public's image of the United States was getting worse rather than better.

In part the trouble was unavoidable: Taking office with a commitment to pursuing Middle East peace, Mr. Obama faced a new, right-wing Israeli government whose prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has refused to accept the goal of Palestinian statehood. In part it was tactical: By making plain his disagreements with Mr. Netanyahu on statehood and Jewish settlements, Mr. Obama hoped to force an Israeli retreat while building credibility with Arab governments -- two advances that he arguably needs to set the stage for a serious peace process.

But the administration also is guilty of missteps. Rather than pocketing Mr. Netanyahu's initial concessions -- he gave a speech on Palestinian statehood and suggested parameters for curtailing settlements accepted by previous U.S. administrations -- Mr. Obama chose to insist on an absolutist demand for a settlement "freeze." Palestinian and Arab leaders who had accepted previous compromises immediately hardened their positions; they also balked at delivering the "confidence-building" concessions to Israel that the administration seeks. Israeli public opinion, which normally leans against the settler movement, has rallied behind Mr. Netanyahu. And Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which were active during the Bush administration's final year, have yet to resume.[...]

1 comment :

  1. If you love your little brother, you won't let him go out and start up with a gang of kids twice his size. You also can't keep fighting his endless battles for him. Eventually, he needs to grow up and learn how to live in the world.

    The Evangelical Christian Right that so many American Jews think is their best friend WANTS Israel to destroy itself in the War of Armageddan (this is their prophecy).

    Everyone else only wants Israel to survive as the tiny tiny little country of 5.5 million Jews that it is (1 percent of the pop. of the Middle East) among her Arab neighbors.

    The only way that Israel can hope to survive is by forming peaceful economically beneficial (to both sides) alliances with her Arab neighbors.

    President Obama and the current administration are the best friends that Israel has had in the past 40 years and someday, I believe that this will become more evident.

    When you are planning on slaughtering a cow, you feed it nothing but sugary feed to fatten it up.

    In contrast, the cow that is being raised for milk, for the long term gets nothing but grass and high protein feed. Yuck.

    The bull in the feed lot on his way to slaughter might think to himself, wow, I am the lucky one, Mr. Farmer really loves me and gives me everything I want. He never ever says "no".

    But it is the cow who must forage for her own food, whose diet is restricted to proteins and grass that is is being nutured for the long term.

    As long as the goal for Israel is long term survival and not complete annihilation in a Holy War of Armageddan against Islam, Israel will need to learn to live peacefully with her neighbors and that includes eating some hay, unfortunately.


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