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16 March 2010

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lina

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”

[The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland]

Jackie

Sir,
If the Israelis voted for the U.S. president, I would worry about bad poll numbers there. But since they don't...I'm not too concerned.

Clifford Kiracofe

Well, if I want an Israeli perspective, I read Ha'aretz, which is a good paper.

As for the Meyer family rag:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Isaac_Meyer

re Hiatt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hiatt

Polls of whom? American Jews? American "Christian" Zionists?

chimenyswift

I have been a strong supporter of President Obama's foreign policy. This is especially true with regard to his outreach to the Muslim world. If we are going to have a world in which conflicts are negotiated by diplomacy, then we need to have good faith actors. I believe that the Obama plan has been to recast the United States as a good faith actor. (You can see this same approach in how he works with the Congress, as well.)

Also, this administration has been inching closer to a conflict with Israel since very near the beginning of the term. Good for them. It is overdue. However, it only works if there is leverage. What will the consequences be for Netanyahu? Unfortunately, I think that most of the power to mete out punishment lies in the Congress' power of the purse. And Congress (more clearly a cheap and craven bunch of fools every day) is widely and deeply aligned with AIPAC money and power.

I want for team Obama to "get 'em!" but with what?

J

Who gives a care about the poll numbers in Israel? Sadly it appears most of our Congressional politicians. Take a look at one U.S. Senator who it appears believes that he is a member of the Israeli Knesset instead of the U.S. Congress. I'm talking about the one and only Jo-E Lieberman who was a Democrat and then an Independent and now nobody knows what he is. Lieberman needs to be given a one way plane ticket to Israel after he is forced to resign his U.S. Senator position. Lieberman is now defending Israel against our U.S.

William R. Cumming

President's are elected by coalitions with many reasons for those coalitions supporting the man as opposed to his policies. Looking increasingly like the Obama coalition now falling apart. Perhaps others will disagree but I believe the long term realignment of the parties is now almost two decades old and 2012 and 2016 will accelerate what is difficult to grasp while in the middle. Could be wrong of course. Voting the ins out this fall may well be sign of that realignment.

Fred Strack

US policy towards Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc, are all failures because Obama won't do what Israel says in its continued expansion? Yes, it's all Obama's fault, and of course "...tough tactics don't always work." so maybe Obama should become an 'appeaser' like the Washington Post?

Just how much oil does the US (and her allies) get from Israel (vs. Saudi Arabia) and just how much did the USA like $4 gas last year? (I'm sure the inside the beltway millionaires can buy gas at any price, my neighbors and I can't.)

When is the Post going to do a follow up on Israel's continued betrayal of American security by spying and selling our secrets to foreign governments, i.e. the Nozette trial?
http://washingtondc.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel09/wfo101909a.htm
(not to mention the past ones with Jonathan Pollard, who some in Israel want released http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155528.html);

Maybe someone could remind Fred Hiatt which nation's capital his paper is printed in.

b

There is an interesting move ongoing with the military now supporting Obama on the Israel issue.

Petraeus statement to the Senate today:


While this statement will describe in greater detail the dynamics and challenges in the sub-regions of the AOR, there are a number of cross-cutting issues that serve as major drivers of instability, inter-state tensions, and conflict. These factors can serve as root causes of instability or as obstacles to security.

- Insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace. The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.

- Militant Islamist movements. The CENTCOM AOR is home to militant ...
...

On Iran Petraeus says:

Pursuing our longstanding regional goals and improving key relationships within and outside the AOR help to limit the negative impact of Iran’s policies. A credible U.S. effort on Arab-Israeli issues that provides regional governments and populations a way to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the disputes would undercut Iran’s policy of militant “resistance,” which the Iranian regime and insurgent groups have been free to exploit. Additionally, progress on the Israel-Syria peace track could disrupt Iran’s lines of support to Hamas and Hizballah.
...

Obama should use that argument often and loud.

Paul

Except for the dual passport politicians nobody gives a shit what Obama's numbers are in Israel. If Hiatt loves Israel so much he should relocate.

Pan

Really, what's up with the Washington Post Editorial Pages under Hiatt? If it weren't for the Sunday coupons and Dilbert, I'd cancel the rag years ago.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Both right wing Jews and Christians are hell bent on Jewish settlement of all the Land of Israel (for various biblical reasons). Joe Biden just ran into this fact. Corporate Media and bought Politicians obscure it. America’s Middle East occupations fit into their Holy War concept and also fattens corporate wallets.

The thing is if you try to talk rationally to any of them about the illogic fictional Rapture you get absolutely nowhere. This is a belief not an observable repeatable fact. Except, they can drag us all into their Delusions. Next stop is Iran.

Chris Stiles

How long before some columnist blames this sort of thing on Obamha's policy? :


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7063635.ece

Clifford Kiracofe

"While Jerusalem was flourishing, and while the Jews were in a peaceful state, still the religious ceremonies and observances of that people were very much at variance with the splendour of this empire and the dignity of our name and the institutions of our ancestors. And they are the more odious to us now because that nation has shown by arms what were its feelings towards our supremacy. How dear it was to the immortal gods is proved by its having been defeated, by its revenues having been farmed out to our contractors, by its being reduced to a state of subjection."
Cicero, In Defense of Flaccus (section 69)

J

And, I don't think that Obama is too worried about Israeli poll numbers, as he has/is bucking the U.S. citizenry/polls who are against ObamaCare. Many suggest that Obama has a narcissistic Nero complex. If so, then Obama won't be worried at all regarding any Israeli poll numbers.

Phil Giraldi

Today’s Fred Hiatt editorial was totally over the top but no worse than Sunday’s article asking “Are America and Israel Drifting Apart?” The framing of the question itself to a certain extent limits the possible answers. The correct question that should be asked in an American newspaper is “Does Washington gain anything from the status quo with Israel?”

To answer its question the Post assembled six “experts,” three of whom were Elliot Abrams, Daniel Makovsky, and Danielle Pletka. All three are Jewish and they all see the relationship from a more-or-less Israel-centric point of view. Abrams describes Israel as “the single, reliable democratic ally in the Middle East.” Makovsky cautions Israel to “develop a more calibrated approach regarding new housing in East Jerusalem.” Pletka sees “..bankruptcy of leadership in the Arab world” as a “more pressing problem than the transgressions of a few million Jews, but it has always been easier to blame Israel than to sell reform to tyrants.” Among the three, there is unanimity of opinion that Israel is the aggrieved party in the relationship with Washington, with Obama making unrealistic demands on it. No one challenges the relationship itself.

Pletka, Makovsky, and Abrams are all leading members of the Israel Lobby but they were not identified as such by the Post. They are well known cheerleaders for Israel who have close and continuing relationships with the Israeli government. They all support a military attack on Iran. Makovsky is at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Pletka is at the American Enterprise Institute. WINEP is a think tank that was founded by the Israel lobby AIPAC while AEI is funded largely by defense contractors and is both markedly pro-Israel and supportive of nation building in the Muslim world. Paul Wolfowitz is currently at AEI.

Abrams, who is unfortunately at the Council on Foreign Relations, is frank about his overriding devotion to Judaism and the state of Israel, so much so that he criticizes Jews who marry Christians.

I am not saying that American Jews who are passionately attached to Israel should not be allowed to engage in advocacy for that nation, but there should at least be some understanding that when they do so in the media they might not exactly be engaging in an impartial and objective exchange of views. When the Washington Post consistently loads its opinion and editorial pages to make sure than one particular view predominates it is doing no service to its readers. There are many critics of the US-Israeli relationship floating around these days and their numbers appear to be increasing. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of them appearing in the Post?

Jane

I think this ends any prospect of peace negotiations during Obama's administration. From the Palestinian point of view why negotiate with Israel if Obama will do it for you and from the Israeli point of view, if there is pressure to give way on sensitive points, why not wait until there is a more supportive President -- which might only take 3 years?

WP

There is no way towards peace in the Middle East as long as Israel continues to oppress the Palestinians. As long as we fund Israel, the Israelis will continue to oppress the Palestinians. Were I President, my position would be quite simple. The only money we send to Israel would be to compensate the Israeli settlers for the land they have stolen in the West Bank as they are force to move out. All other aid would cease until the West Bank is empty of Israelis, except those who choose voluntarily to live under Palestinian control. To the extent that the US is aiding the Palestinians, I would cease all aid there if violence flares again. Also, I would carve out a space in Galilee for those who live in Gaza and give them support in moving out. Then, I would give Gaza to Israle. The area exchange should be 3 hectares removed from Galilee for each hectare given up in Gaza. I would pay compensation to those who lose land and to those who move. The cost of resettlement would be far less than the continued strife.

There would be two states or no money, arms, or support to Israel. Israel is reaping what it has sown.

This may be a naieve view, but the abuse of both sides against the other can only be solved by giving each their own homeland.

It was a huge affront to U.S. to announce new settlements while Biden was there. Had I been President, not a dime more aid or arms money would have left the US after that afternoon.

We have been unduely kind to Israel and it spit in our face last week while we were serving it dinner on a silver platter and it still demands dessert.

Notwithstanding the Jewish lobby, the American People as a whole would support a President who took those steps. Too many Americans who are affiliated with Christian aid organizations have come to know the thruth through their missionaries to Palestine of the horrible treatment dished out by Israel. We remember what Bethlehem used to be before it became an internment camp.

This approach is in Israel's best interest, just like it is often in the best interest of a spoiled teenager to ground him when he misbehaves.

Tough stuff, but righteous.

The two peoples are unwilling to coexist on the same land, so the land must be divided. Holy places should be under international control and protection open to all.

It is time for U.S. to end the pain, now! The flow of money and arms should halt immediately until Israelis start leaving the West Bank.

Leanderthal

The fact that Obama has low approval numbers in Israel is a good sign. Netanyahu's not exactly our messiah either. It's time Israel's hard liners and ultra orthodox Jews, still believing in the commands in Leviticus, are put in short pants. The tail has wagged the dog for far too long.

Lysander

If the US has made a pledge to maintain Israel in a dominant position militarily and otherwise, and the US is able to honor that pledge, then quite frankly, why should Israel ever compromise on anything?

The bottom line is that Israel will give up nothing unless the regional balance of power changes to its disfavor. If and when it does, you will see Israel more reasonable in negotiations. If not, then not.

Clifford Kiracofe

Serious analysts do not believe a so-called "two-state" solution is possible any more. Simply put, the Israeli Zionists by now have stolen too much Palestinian land.

There are only two possible options it would seem:
1. a one-state solution
2. the Israelis expelling Palestinians from Israel and the occupied West Bank. That is to say ethnic cleansing which hardliners call "transfer."

The charade of proximity talks is only for domestic consumption here in the USA where the pro-Zionist newsmedia can feed it to the public. The politics being that the dumbed down American goyim won't really have a clue and who cares anyways as they are irrelevant and their "leaders" submissive.

For example, here is a realistic perspective:

"The Obama administration, for its part, is under no illusions regarding the currently-proposed "proximity talks." They know that such talks are a sham and will lead nowhere – which is why they were reluctant to propose them for so long - but the lack of even seeming progress has become a serious political embarrassment for them.

Proximity talks, if they could get them, would at least convey the impression that the administration was doing something, no matter how substantively feckless.

All of which brings us back to last Tuesday.

As poor Joe Biden struggled gamely to initiate proximity talks (even the scope and structure of which had yet to be agreed between the parties), the Israeli allies whose unshakable closeness he had been celebrating all day, apparently not content with the substantive victory they had achieved over Obama, chose – whether with or without Netanyahu's complicity – to rub the Americans' collective nose in it, lest they fail to get the message.

As the Palestinians recoil from talks, and as tensions mount on the West Bank, the Americans are denied even the illusion of progress.

It is the insult the White House is reacting to, not the injury. When the recent diplomatic unpleasantness has faded into memory, the injury will remain. Notwithstanding his evident discomfort over the timing of Tuesday's announcement, Netanyahu clearly has no intention of reversing it.

The advice he administered to his cabinet on Sunday could as easily apply to us: "I suggest not to get carried away," he said, "and to calm down."
Robert Grenier was the CIA's chief of station in Islamabad, Pakistan, from 1999 to 2002. He was also the director of CIA's counter-terrorism centre.
http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/03/201031654729763691.html

Fred

Phil, you mentioned Elliot Abrams? The same guy involved in Iran-Contra and pardoned by Bush (1)? There's a real supporter of democracy and the 'rule of law'. Pardon my ignorance, but I don't recall hearing about David (not Daniel) Makovsky until now. Interesting what one finds on Wiki:
Here's a quote from one of the books by Makovsky - "I rely on the work of Dennis Ross and David Makovsky for deep strategic thinking. I value their research and analysis. I consider their work a national treasure of the United States.”[7] —Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority...If this quote is real then maybe this is one more general Obama should invite to retire.

Danielle Pletka, the pro-torture Chalibi supporter, at least according to Wikipedia. Perhaps they should get on line and do some edits.

I would not hold out much hope for good reporting from the Post.

Nancy K

Who really cares what Israel thinks about Obama. What do they have to do with us anyway. We support them financially what have they done for us lately.
I find it insulting that they call our President a PLO lover and show him dressed as a Palistian, not that I think there is anything wrong with Palistinian's but Israeli's obviously mean it as an insult. They are biting the hand that feeds them and they should never forget that.

jonst

So, we, the US, blinked first. Where, and when, did the US set out on this desultory road?

Bravo Madame Secretary. Let's see in the future what your capitulation bought you. And bought the US.

WP

CK thinks Haaretz reflects what is going on in Israel. Well, this is what they think. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1157061.html

This is a direct and personal insult to Obama and to the US.

It is time for Obama to "Go to China" and to clip Isreal's wings. All he has to do is to stop the money remittances and military support going to Israel. It would be interesting if our banks just let all clearings to the State of Israel, Israeli banks, and Israeli merchants just sit in transit waiting to clear for a few days. The country is not our friend, we are only its patsy. Enough is enough.

If Obama wants to prove he is strong, then he must not let these personal insults against him and U.S. continue. He needs to paint AIPAC as they are, traitors.

Unfortunately, the U.S. cannot act in its own interest because it has too many with divided loyalties in the highest levels of its government.

Patrick Lang

jonst

I am not so sure that HC's statement is not just a rhetorical gesture in the process. Makovsky looked worried on the Newshour last night. pl

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