Monday, March 15, 2010

Abe Nonplussed, Melanie, er, Plussed by Obnoxious Obami

Abe Foxman says he's shocked--that's right, shocked--by the Obama administration's treatment of Israel. "One can only wonder," wonders Abe (who, like the vast majority of Americn Jews, voted for Obama), "how far the US is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table."

To which the unflappable Melanie Phillips, who's completely unphased by the whole affair, replies

Any Israel-supporting American Jew who casts another vote for Obama ought to be heavily medicated and tossed in a rubber room.
All the way, Abe, all the way. And just when Iran is on the verge of getting the nuclear bomb with which it is threatening to destroy Israel and America, too. Great time to throw Israel under the bus, huh?

And maybe that’s the real point. Maybe this is even worse yet than the shocked Abe Foxman thinks. Because it’s not just that Israel apologised for a diplomatic blunder. The key point is that there was actually nothing to apologise for, since it was explicitly agreed between America and Israel that, as a concession to kick-start peace negotiations, Israel would stop building in the West Bank although it would continue to build in east Jerusalem. Indeed, Hillary Clinton herself, no less, praised Israel for this agreement.

America has thus effectively unilaterally repudiated that agreement. In other words, this whole uproar has been artificially manufactured by America to produce a crisis with Israel – while refusing, astonishingly, to condemn the Palestinians at all for their refusal to enter peace talks, their honouring of one of their worst terrorists by naming a square after her, their violent attacks on the Temple Mount in recent days, and so on...
Update: Marty Peretz says the idea that the American didn't know about Israel's construction plans until Joe Biden was on the scene to get "humiliated" is utter bollocks.

Update: Noah Pollack writes:

We have reached a strange new chapter in American diplomacy in which our greatest outrage and our greatest denunciations are reserved for our allies. Maybe that’s not quite right: they’re reserved for one of our allies.
Update: Jennifer Rubin writes:
...(A)n apology is not what the administration needs or wants. It wants a fight, a scene, a sign to its beloved Palestinian friends that it can be tough, tougher than on any other nation on the planet, with Israel. What we have here is a heartfelt desire to cozy up to the Palestinians; what’s missing is a cogent explanation for what this gets us. No Israeli prime minister has suspended or will suspend building in its capital. No amount of unilateral concessions, even if offered, would unlock the “peace process.” So the point of this is what then? To permanently shift American policy toward Israel? To create havoc and further uncertainty as to where the U.S. stands regarding Israeli security? We are seeing the full flowering of what many of us during the campaign suspected and what was revealed in the Cairo speech: Obama has a deep affinity with the victimology mythology of the Palestinians. We have never had such a president and never had such an Israel policy. This is precisely why “change” can be a very, very bad thing indeed.
Update: Great news. Our "friends" at Foggy Bottom have announced they still consider Israel to be a "strategic" ally. Those who are sensitive to the nuances of diplo-speak might hesitate at the usage of "strategic," implying as it does that the alliance could become defunct should it no longer prove "strategic".

Update: "U.S. administration is ignoring a host of Palestinian provocations"

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