January 31, 2015

Netanyahu Missteps: Challenging Hezbollah Is One Thing, Challenging The President of The United States Is Another

The growing crisis in relations between the United States and Israel is a great thing for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, for stability in the Middle East, and for world peace in general. Of course, we shouldn't get too ahead of ourselves. But the tide is turning. Hopefully, the Israel Lobby will soon be history. The sanity train is maybe, just maybe, coming to Washington. It may arrive an hour late, but it will get there eventually. And who would've guessed that a Netanyahu misstep would start the train rolling? All men must be good for something.

Below are articles about the breakdown in US-Israeli relations and their repercussions.

An excerpt from, "A Strained Alliance: Obama-Netanyahu Rift Grew Over Years" by Peter Baker and Jodi Rudoren, New York Times, January 30, 2015:
Rather than defuse the latest explosion, each side has chosen to escalate. The Obama administration made it clear this week that it no longer has any use for Mr. Netanyahu's ambassador in Washington. Israeli officials defied American opposition on Friday to announce 450 new settlement units in the West Bank and privately whispered to their media that Mr. Obama had given Iran 80 percent of what it wants. 
"Of course this is a crisis," said Eytan Gilboa, an expert on Israeli-American relations at Bar-Ilan University. "This is even a more serious one, first of all because of what it is and secondly because it comes on top of many previous crises. This is a different kind of story. This is a different kind of crisis." 
An excerpt from, "Benjamin Netanyahu: the Anti-American Obstructionist" by Melvin A. Goodman, Counterpunch.org., January 29, 2015:
Over the past several years, Netanyahu has gone out of his way to embarrass virtually every U.S. official, including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. There are Israeli officials who believe that Netanyahu has gone too far this time. The only way to lend some credibility to our concerns and the concerns of those Israelis is to adopt a tougher stand on issues of concern. President Obama may find that there is more support than he expects, both at home and abroad for standing up to the intransigence of the Israeli Prime Minister.
An excerpt from, "Netanyahu speech could allow Obama to ‘take on the Jewish lobby’ as he took on Cuba lobby — Indyk" by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, January 30, 2015:
Back to the issue of the Israel lobby. I’d point out to you that Martin Indyk states, “both sides have an interest in” that special relationship. But he never actually describes what the U.S. interest is here. If you read his statements, the relationship really only flows one way. The U.S. supports Israel. What does Israel do for the U.S.? Except destroy our reputation across the Arab world, and kill Rachel Corrie and the 34 men of the USS Liberty, etc? Don’t Americans get to make that assessment? If Americans actually questioned the precious relationship, according to Indyk’s analysis, Israelis would turn on a dime toward actual reform. 
Col. Patrick Lang: 
Does it amuse others that Dermer threw Boehner under the bus in this interview? To paraphrase - We Israelis always wanted to seek White House agreement but that nasty Boehner didn't let us. All the world is against us...

What Israel seems to want for the rest of the ME is a super-sized Morgenthau Plan that would reduce the surrounding countries to unindustrialized pastoral regions without the potential for manufacturing weapons.

At the same time Israel seems to want the US to continue to march in lock step with it on any issue of interest.

To that end they wish to address the Congress of the United States for the purpose of lobbying against the president of the US.

I will say it again. Obama should deny Bibi a visa.