Archive for the ‘Jerusalem’ Category

The Israel-Palestine usually takes up a disproportionate amount of attention in two of the three branches of the US government. Now,5985153020_c01b765b85_b the third is getting into the mix. The radical irresponsibility of the Roberts Court, which has already gone a long way to robbing Americans of the principle of “one person, one vote” is now quite inappropriately sticking its nose into a dispute between Congress and the State Department over identifying Jerusalem as Israel for the purposes of US passports.

There are some serious implications here. I explore them at LobeLog.

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The annual Jewish day of lamentation, Tisha B’Av is upon us again. What does that mean for present-day Israeli reality? I explore in Souciant today.

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The idea of Israel building in E-1 has got world leaders in quite a lather. But is it really because it is the death knell for the two-state solution or is it because even raising the issue betrays the reality that there never was a serious effort to reach a two-state resolution to this conflict to begin with, despite the rhetoric? I argue it is both.

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Today, the day of President Barack Obama’s long-anticipated “Middle East reboot” speech and one day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to meet with Obama, the Israeli Prime Minister’s office (PMO) took up discussionon two major East Jerusalem settlement expansion projects, in Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Homa.

Bibi never misses an opportunity to insult not only Obama but the US

This is not coincidence, nor bureaucratic happenstance. Terrestrial Jerusalem posted information about this more than a week ago. The discussion was intentionally put off before in order not to upset Netanyahu’s discussions with European leaders.

Upsetting the Americans is not a concern.

Truly Israeli hubris knows no bounds. But then, why should it?

Should this cause a controversy, defenders of the occupation will come out of the woodwork to say “it’s no big deal, it’s the Palestinians who are blocking progress, why are you pressuring Israel?” And Congress and, perhaps grudgingly, the President and State Department too will support that line of thinking.

So why should Israel limit its hubris? We encourage it, we allow Netanyahu to embarrass our president, our diplomatic corps, indeed our entire foreign policy in the region. We allow a country we call a friend and ally to doom itself to perpetual conflict, which it eventually cannot win, while pursuing policies that keep a dangerous region dangerous, jeopardizing both American influence in the region and American citizens, in and out of its military, on the ground.

As Daniel Levy has frequently pointed out, every successive commander of CENTCOM (The United States Central Command, the main command post in the Middle East) has agreed that Israeli policies are dangerous for US troops and interests. As every American foreign service officer, including former ambassadors, I’ve discussed this with agrees, Israeli actions severely undermine the US position in the region. (more…)

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Well, AIPAC got the message. At around 7 PM tonight, I received another e-mail from them, following the sleazy attempt to rake in the bucks off of today’s bombing in Jerusalem. It reads, in full:

Dear Friends of Israel:

Today, you received an email from us about the dangers facing Israel right now and ways in which you can help ensure American support for Israel at a difficult and dangerous time.  We included information about the horrific bombing in Jerusalem. In hindsight, it was wrong of us to mention this terrible tragedy the same day it occurred in the context of this email.  We are deeply sorry.
We express our sympathies to all those impacted by today’s events and extend our heartfelt apologies to you.

I’d love to think they give a damn about what I say, but I’m sure this was so far beyond the line that many of their own supporters complained. Hence the apology, which doesn’t actually admit what they did, which was blatantly to use the bombing today as a fundraising tool. They say it was “information” they merely “included.”

Still, I suppose that this message at least shows there is some shred of decency, if not in AIPAC itself, at least among their supporters. No doubt such would not have been on display if the victims were not Jews, but one can hardly wish for the moon here.

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