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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Israel still doesn't get it

Writing in YNet, Yair Ettinger explains that it's time for Israel to stop kowtowing to the rapidly unpopular Barack Hussein Obama and to stand up for its rights. But apparently, Binyamin Netanyahu just doesn't get it.
Since assuming power in January, 2009, Obama has received slaps in the face from Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, Venezuela, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has also been targeted by French and West European cynicism. However, Jerusalem is acting as if it is facing an Imperial President.


In 1992, at the height of the Shamir-Bush battle over loan guarantees, I was told by then Majority Leader, Senator George Mitchell: "Doesn't Israel know that the US is not a monarchy, that the president is not omnipotent and that the Legislature is equal in power to the Executive?!"

In 2010, Israel still does not get it. Instead of leveraging critical public and Congressional platforms of support – which will determine the success or oblivion of Obama's policy – Israel approaches Congress as the best supporting-actor in Washington, DC. Jerusalem is intimidated by Emanuel's warning to "avoid bypassing the Administration via Congress." Jerusalem fails to realize that kowtowing to Emanuel's warning amounts to a slap in the face for US democracy, the US public and its representatives on Capitol Hill, while severely undermining Israel's own cardinal interests.

Senator Mitchell's PBS interview reflects Obama's determination to dictate to the Jewish State a full withdrawal to the 1949 and 1967 ceasefire lines, the uprooting of Jewish communities in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, the repartitioning of Jerusalem, the negotiation of the "claim of return" by 1948 Arab refugees and the exchange of land.

Such an approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict is a derivative of Obama’s worldview, which highlights the UN as a quarterback of international relations, considers Europe as a role model and Foggy Bottom bureaucracy as luminaries on international relations, burdens the West with partial-blame for international terrorism, regards the Jewish State as part of the exploiting West and the Arabs part of the exploited Third World.

In facing Obama's pressure, Israel should follow in the footsteps of all Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion to Yitzhak Shamir (1948-1992): Advancing Israel's national security while fending off US presidential pressure. For instance, Ben Gurion declared independence in 1948 and constructed Israel's nuclear reactor in defiance of brutal pressure by Secretary of State George Marshall and President Kennedy respectively. Levy Eshkol and Golda Meir built the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramot, Neve Ya'akov and Gilo in response to presidential pressure. And, Menachem Begin destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor irrespective of painful US, European, global and domestic pressure. He initialed the Israel-Egypt peace process by overcoming opposition by President Carter, who preferred an international conference over direct negotiations.

Read the whole thing.


At 3:05 AM, Blogger Dr. T said...

Yoram, not Yair


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