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Finally, America vs. Israel

What Joe Biden told the Israelis:

    “This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.”

What Hillary Clinton told CNN:

    “The announcement of the settlements the very day that the vice president was there was insulting.”

What Hillary Clinton told the Israelis (paraphrased by State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley):

    “The secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security.”

What a senior U.S. official told the Washington Post:

    “We think the burden is on the Israelis to do something that could restore confidence in the process and to restore confidence in the relationship with the United States.”

What Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren told his colleagues:

    “Israel’s ties with the United States are in their worst crisis since 1975…a crisis of historic proportions.”

What General David Petraeus told his superiors back in January (paraphrased by Mark Perry in Foreign Policy):

    “The message couldn’t be plainer: Israel’s intransigence could cost American lives.”

So American interests and Israeli interests are not identical? Finally, a confrontation where it counts!


Comment from Ehab
Time: March 15, 2010, 13:52

I wouldn’t get carried away if I were you, or an Arab for that matter. Worst relationship between the US and Israel is the equivalent of two lovers not having sex for a week due to a down period! A blue pill can restore everything. FOX and SKY are more than happy to provide a jar of these pills, along with the AIPAC.

Comment from Imad
Time: March 17, 2010, 03:57

I try not to be cynical, but i don’t think that this incident will be so significant as to change permanently the current, special US-Israel relationship. All we got was rhetoric, not action.

So no, i think that it’s not US vs. Israel, as titled. Not yet anyways. But i think that this is more like strike two, strike one being Netanyahu’s proposed “settlement freeze” last year which didn’t include East Jerusalem, the most contested piece of land in the conflict.

I think that should this Israeli government slap the face of the US in the peace process one more time, THEN consequences will begin to amount to action not just rhetoric.

Comment from eatbees
Time: March 17, 2010, 07:25

Even though all we’re seeing so far is a war of words, it’s still unique in the last 20–30 years to have the Secretary of State go on television to call Israeli actions “insulting,” or to remind them that they need to earn their special relationship with the U.S.

Pro-Israel congressmen in Obama’s own party are starting to call for him to “take a step back.” They’re hearing from AIPAC, of course, which “calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State” — as if the administration was a child that spoke out of turn, and must now beg for forgiveness.

What has happened is that the arrogance of Netanyahu and Lieberman has become so great that even the U.S. can no longer smile and pretend nothing is wrong. I would have liked the break to come over something more substantive, like the war in Gaza, but the fact that it happened at all is amazing. Even if things are quickly patched up on the surface, at I expect, there are deeper issues at stake.

Everyone should read the article by Mark Perry I referenced in my post, and this follow-up to see what I mean. Last month General Petraeus briefed his boss, Admiral Mullen, to say that Israel’s actions have become a risk to the lives of American troops. He said it in private, but after the Biden embarassment, he made sure it got into the media. Top generals calling Israeli actions a risk to American security is something new. And as Perry points out in his article, if there is any lobby with more power in Washington than the Israel lobby, it is the U.S. military.

I’ll be interested to see if Israel realizes something has changed, and starts taking steps to fix the problem, or if they’ll continue to blame everyone but themselves.

Comment from kh
Time: November 17, 2012, 18:54

for my exprince about amreicans I find out that Americans are the most stubid people in the worhd.. two words can brianwash their minds..

Comment from Craig
Time: November 19, 2012, 03:12

Kh, yes our blatant stupidity is on display for all the world to see in the sorry state our country has been in for so many years compared to all the other smart people, such as Arabs.

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