The Syria debate in the United States brought a lot of surprises, not the least of which was the behavior of various sectors of the “pro-Israel” Lobby. Despite the Russians coming along and at least temporarily bailing Obama out of the hole he dug for himself, AIPAC in particular took hit. The damage that caused should not be overstated, but it was real. I explore this at LobeLog.
Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged AIPAC, AUMF, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Chemi Shalev, Congress, House, Iran, J Street, Lavrov Proposal, Netanyahu, Obama, Ron Kampeas, Russia, Senate, Syria, Syrian civil war, Syrian Intervention, Syrian opposition, United Nations, United States on September 11, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
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.
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…)
Posted in United States, US-Israel Lobby, tagged Abbas, ARab League, Barack Obama, Henry Siegman, Israel - Palestine, Israel Lobby, Israeli Settlements, John Kerry, Middle East Institute, Mondoweiss, Netanyahu, Palestine, Qatar, Two-state solution, United States, Zionism on April 30, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Israel, tagged AIPAC, Aviv Kochavi, Barack Obama, Benny Begin, Benny Gantz, Dan Meridor, diplomacy, Ehud Barak, FDD, foreign policy, foundation for defense of democracies, IAEA, Iran, Iran nuclear, Iran sanctions, Iran threat, Iraq, Israel, Jennifer Rubin, Moshe Ya'alon, Mossad, Naftali Bennett, Neoconservatives, Netanyahu, New York Times, nuclear, Obama, P5+1, Sanctions, Shin Bet, Tamir Pardo, Tzipi Livni, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Yair Lapid, Yoram Cohen on March 28, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog.
The new Israeli government features a security braintrust that might be a bit more reasonable on Iran, but is likely to be even more hawkish both in the immediate region
and within the country itself. Gone are voices from the Israeli right who favored a more reasoned and diplomatic approach to their right-wing agenda. They have been replaced by figures who want more direct action and refuse even the pretense of a two-state solution.
On Iran, the retirement of Ehud Barak removes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leading supporter in his effort for a strike on Iran sooner rather than later, whether that be carried out by Israel or, preferably, the United States. He is replaced by Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon. Bogey is also an Iran hawk, but is not in favor of Israel launching an attack other than as a last resort. He is far more content than Barak to allow the United States to take the lead and wants Israel to act only if it becomes apparent that the US will not. That puts him pretty well in line with the Israeli military and intelligence leadership in practice, though he sees Iran as more of a threat than they do.
In fact, no one in the current or even the outgoing inner circle came close to matching Barak’s eagerness for military action against Iran. Only Netanyahu himself could match him, and he remains daunted by the lack of support for his position in Israel. The ongoing hawkishness in the US Congress and President Barack Obama’s repeated statements holding firm to a military option and refusing a policy of containment also blunt Netanyahu’s resolve. It would seem that, at least for the time being, the calls for war on Iran will be fueled more in the United States than in Israel.
Ya’alon is a former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, but he did not have a distinguished term of service there, was not well-liked and returns without a great deal of good will among the military and intelligence services’ leadership. In fact, colleagues in Israel tell me there is a good deal of consternation in those services regarding Bogey’s appointment. But for now, they will wait and see how he acts. For a deeper look at Ya’alon, see my recent piece on him here. (more…)
Posted in Apartheid, tagged apartheid, Barack Obama, democracy, human rights, Israel, Jewish State, Justice, Middle east, Netanyahu, Obama, Occupation, Palestine, Palestinians, pro-Israel on March 22, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
A small group of Israelis put this video together. Says it so well…
Posted in Elections, Israel, tagged Avigdor Lieberman, Barack Obama, Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, democracy, Iran, Israel, Jewish State, Labor, Likud Beiteinu, Middle east, Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu, Obama, Occupation, Palestinians, Republicans, Shelly Yachimovich, Two-state solution, Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid on January 23, 2013 | 1 Comment »
This article was published at LobeLog
Well, here it is, the day after. The Israeli elections are over, but the form of the next government is not at all clear. Most likely, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Beiteinu party
will form a government with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party being the main partner. This is by far the most likely scenario, though others possibilities exist, even a million-to-one long shot that Lapid could form a government. Labor is likely to be leading the opposition, unless Lapid surprises everyone and stays out of a Netanyahu-led government.
The new Knesset will be somewhat less tilted to the right than the last one, but this is not likely to make a big difference in terms of Israel’s approach to the Palestinians. Indeed, in some ways, it might serve Netanyahu to have a friendlier face in Lapid to cover policies that might be slightly different rhetorically but essentially the same on the ground. More than anything else, the shift in government is going to be felt domestically, in terms of greater attention to civic and economic issues. Indeed, no Israeli election in my memory compares to this one for the dominance of domestic over security issues.
Given that there’s still more to see before the full ramifications of the election are known, I’ll engage here with a few winners and losers. (more…)