Sunday, May 31, 2009

U.S. - Israel on the Rocks.

I find it fascinating that the Obama administration are pushing on with their desire for peace in the Middle East, despite Netanyahu's objections. In fact, I find it notable that the Obama administration are starting to really push back against Israel's intransigence.

Tensions have been mounting between the U.S. and its usual BFF, Israel. President Obama’s demand for an end to the construction of settlements in the West Bank was rejected by Israel earlier this week. Obama has responded by suggesting that Israel’s intransigence endangers U.S. security.
I regard that comment from Obama to be something of a game changer. President Bush went to great lengths to imply that the 9-11 attacks were brought about because the terrorists, "hate our freedoms." He really couldn't have been more vague about why those attacks happened.

But, anyone who had read what Osama bin Laden had actually said about those attacks knew that he justified them based on, primarily, American presence in Saudi Arabia and the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

Now, Obama has not explicitly made the link here, but, for the first time, he has made a link between American security and Israeli intransigence. He is saying that what happens in this part of the Middle East effects the safety of Americans at home. This is new territory for the Americans. As is Hillary's reaction to the Israeli intransigence. This is what she had to say regarding Israel's comments that settlement building would continue:
“With respect to settlements, the president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions. We think it is in the best interests of the effort that we are engaged in that settlement expansion cease. That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly, not only to the Israelis but to the Palestinians and others. And we intend to press that point.”
That's impressive. And it's highly unusual. One can see from the comments of her Egyptian counterpart, how much this new approach is appreciated.

Traditionally, in these matters, the US bends to Israel's will. The Obama administration are demanding the opposite. And they are stating that this is necessary for US security.

Obama has not made any explicit links, but Netanyahu must know what he is hinting at.

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