Monday, March 15, 2010


Taking us for granted

It is shocking to me to read about the reaction in Congress to the latest kerfluffle with Israel. To review the sequence of events, I recall the following:
  1. Vice-President Joe Biden, on a visit to Israel, stated that there is no difference between the US and Israel regarding policy. Israel is our ally and we will defend its right to exist, etc., etc., etc. Or something to that effect.
  2. Israel then announced that it was proceeding with the construction of several hundred housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is the Arab quarter of Jerusalem and the Israeli government had previously agreed not to start any new settlements in the imediate future. The US has stated repeatedly that the continuing settlement activity, the continual taking of land from the Palestinians for Jewish settlements are an obstacle to peace. Presidents Bush and Obama are in complete agreement on that.
  3. Mr. Biden, who was then scheduled to visit the Palestinian Authority, was caught off guard by the announcement. It was an embarassment to him and to the United States. Our ally Israel was showing the world that it had the United States in its pocket and it could do anything it wanted. Mr. Obama chastized Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, for making such an announcement at a time that it showed contempt for the United States and its effort to get the peace process moving.
  4. Here's the real shocking part: members of Congress criticized President Obama and Vice President Biden for objecting to the Israeli announcement and for chastizing the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The criticism of Obama was not partisan. Rather it came from unapologetic supporters of Israel in the federal congress.

So, Israel can thumb its nose at us and we should eat the humiliation?

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