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Monday, March 15, 2010

Axelrod calls Ramat Shlomo announcement an 'affront' and an 'insult'

President Obama's top adviser, David Axelrod, told ABC's Jake Tapper on This Week, that Israel's announcement of new housing units in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood during President Biden's visit constitutes an 'affront' and an 'insult' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
“What it did was it made more difficult a very difficult process,” Axelrod said in my “This Week” interview. Axelrod added that the move “seemed calculated to undermine” the so-called proximity talks going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
But what you miss if you don't watch the video is the loaded manner in which Tapper asked Axelrod the question.

Let's go to the videotape.

Not satisfied with how badly Axelrod hammered Israel, Tapper follows up:
TAPPER: I hate to say this, but yes or no, David, does the intransigence of the Israeli government on the housing issue, yes or no, does it put U.S. troops lives at risk?

AXELROD: I believe that that region and that issue is a flare point throughout the region, and so I'm not going to put it in those terms. But I do believe that it is absolutely imperative, not just for the security of Israel and the Palestinian people, who were, remember, at war just a year ago, but it is important for our own security that we move forward and resolve this very difficult issue.
Jennifer Rubin attributes Axelrod's attack on Israel and the way in which the White House is orchestrating the fight generally to Chicago style politics.
It’s attack, attack, attack — just as they do any domestic critic (even the Supreme Court Chief Justice). It’s about bullying and discrediting, trying to force the opponent into a corner. And in this case, their opponent is plainly the Israeli government. For that is the party the Obami is now demanding make further concessions to… well, to what end is not clear. Perhaps we are back to regime change — an effort to topple the duly elected government of Israel to obtain a negotiating partner more willing to yield to American bullying.

The language the Obami employ – ”personal,” “insulting,” and “affront” – suggests an unusual degree of personal peevishness and hostility toward an ally. That, I suppose, is the mentality of Chicago pols and of those who regard Israel not as a valued friend but as an irritant. And it is the language not of negotiators but of intimidators.
Jennifer also quotes Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, who is a candidate for President Obama's former Senate seat, who adds:
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, making it official United States policy that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel,” Congressman Kirk said. “As a staff member, I helped draft this historic legislation; as a Congressman I continue to urge its enforcement. History teaches us that a divided Jerusalem leads to conflict while a unified Jerusalem protects the rights of all faiths. I urge the Administration to spend more time working to stop Iran from building nuclear bombs and less time concerned with zoning issues in Jerusalem. As Iran accelerates its uranium enrichment, we should not be condemning one of America’s strongest democratic allies in the Middle East.
Kirk is one of the good guys. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be a whole lot of them these days.

I was in Israel in 1991 when the George H.W. Bush administration withheld loan guarantees from us at the height of the arrival of thousands of Soviet Jews. Israel needed that money to resettle the new immigrants. Instead, it got the White House phone number from James "F**k the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway" Baker, who said that we should call when we were ready to make peace. It was less than a year after Israel took one on the chin for US troops in Iraq. The isolation we feel here today is far worse - in my opinion - than the isolation we felt then.

What should have become clear over the past 16 years is that Israel is not the party that is holding up peace. No offer has ever been enough for the 'Palestinians' and no offer is ever likely to be enough. What the 'Palestinians' really want is to destroy the State of Israel. Most Israeli Jews seem to get that. Very few people outside of Israel understand.


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