Posted in US-Israel Lobby, tagged AIPAC, Avigdor Lieberman, Axis of Evil, Bahrain, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, France, Geneva, George W. Bush, Iran, Iraq, Israel, John Kerry, Middle east, Naftali Bennett, nuclear, P5+1, Palestine, Saddam Hussein, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tehran on November 15, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
The Obama Administration has never had the best relationship with Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu has never hidden his disdain for Barack Obama, and worked for his defeat in 2012. But the level of invective between the US and Israel in recent days is quite unprecedented.
No doubt, a lot of this has to do with Netanyahu’s inability to chart a course for Israel that includes resolution of any of its conflicts–either diplomatically as the center-left would prefer or by massive exercise of force, as the right favors. Instead, he has chosen a path of perpetual conflict, which has not sat well in Washington and Brussels, where the past decade has whetted their appetites to turn attention elsewhere and, most of all, to extricate themselves from the spreading conflicts and increasingly hostile politics in the Middle East.
But a good deal also is due to an apparent determination on the parts of Obama and John Kerry to change the way the US pursues its agenda in the Mideast. Despite the hysteria of those, such as Abe Foxman, Malcolm Hoenlein, David Harris and Netanyahu himself, who prefer to see Israel in perpetual conflict, the US is not about to abandon Israel, nor its new BFF, Saudi Arabia. But Obama’s opponent in ’12, Mitt Romney, actually laid out the issue very well. When he describes how he would decide on US foreign policy in the Mideast, he said his first step would be to phone his friend, Netanyahu. That’s actually how it has worked for some time, and Obama is trying to change that, though the odds are against his success. I explore in Souciant.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Settlements, United States, tagged AP, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, Carter administration, Gaza, Geneva Conventions, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Green Line, international law, Israeli Settlements, Jen Psaki, Jerusalem, Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Matt Lee, Matthew Lee, Netanyahu, Ronald Reagan, State Department, US Policy on Israeli Settlements, West Bank, White House on August 18, 2013 |
4 Comments »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog. There is an indispensable wealth of material there on recent events in Israel/Palestine, Iran, Egypt and others. I urge you to check it out.
Some days, it must be really difficult to be the State Department’s spokesperson. It doesn’t seem like a bad job to have at all, but on certain questions it’s impossible to not look like an idiot. A lot of those questions are connected to de facto policies which differ from de jure ones.
Look up the hill from the West Bank town of Tuwani and you see the Israeli settlement, Maon
And there is no better example of that than US policy on Israeli settlements.
Back in the early years after the 1967 war, the United States made it clear that the settlements were illegal according to international law. As recently as 1978, the State Department legal adviser confirmed that all Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line are illegal, and through the Carter administration, this was explicit US policy. That policy has never been explicitly revoked, but beginning with the Reagan administration, de facto policy has been ambiguous. Reagan began the trend when he stated that while the settlements were ill-advised, provocative and that further settlement was not necessary for Israel’s security “I disagreed when, the previous Administration refereed to them as illegal, they’re not illegal. Not under the U.N. resolution that leaves the West Bank open to all people—Arab and Israeli alike, Christian alike.”
The problematic nature of Reagan’s statement — implying that “Arab” equals “Muslim” and “Israeli” equals “Jew”, and more importantly, citing the “U.N. Resolution”, which is not the basis for the illegality of the settlements (the Fourth Geneva Convention is) — notwithstanding, this was the beginning of the US’ refusal to label settlements illegal, terming them instead, at most, “illegitimate.” (more…)
Read Full Post »
Posted in Middle East, tagged Balfour Declaration, Barack Obama, Cold War, George W. Bush, Hussein bin Ali, Hussein-McMahon, Israel, League of Nations, Margaret Thatcher, Middle east, Palestine, Patrick Buchanan, Ronald Reagan, Sharif of Mecca, Sir Henry McMahon, Sykes-Picot Agreement, Syria, United States, USSR, World War I, World War II on May 31, 2013 |
2 Comments »
There’s a lot of talk out there about the death of the Sykes-Picot agreement in the Mideast. There may be a lot of truth in that, but in any case, it does not mean the US and the West in general has no responsibility to help fix the mess they’ve made of the region. I expound this week in Souciant.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Israel, Palestine, United States, tagged AIPAC, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, diplomacy, European Union, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Iran, Iran nuclear, Israel, Israel Lobby, Israeli Settlements, James Baker, John Kerry, Palestine, settlement freeze, Syria, Tzipi Livni, Yitzhak Shamir on May 22, 2013 |
1 Comment »
John Kerry’s charade in Israel and Palestine is growing exceedingly tiresome. As I explain in Lobelog today, Israelis are laughing at him, other US diplomats are sneering and Palestinians, as usual, are just frustrated.
Read Full Post »