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Monday, March 22, 2010

Critical questions

David Horovitz discusses some of the things that need to be resolved between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama this week.
The third and final area of dispute, however, is by far the most significant and problematic. It concerns the way in which the personal Obama-Netanyahu animus and the row over Jerusalem have been conflated with Centcom commander Gen. David Petraeus’s testimony last week to the effect that American troops are being placed in greater danger on the front lines because of “Arab anger over the Palestinian question” and the sense of “US favoritism for Israel.”

The bottom line here is that, yes, Israel’s Arab enemies don’t like America for supporting Israel. They also don’t like America for intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Whisper it softly, but Islamic extremists don’t like Israeli Jews for being Jewish. And they don’t like American Christians for being Christian.

Is the US going to be deterred from supporting Israel because that support irritates our mutual enemies? Is the Obama administration prepared to weaken Israel, and by how much, as it seeks relentlessly to engage with some of these enemies – as it seeks, through a thus-far spurned effort at reconciliation, to defuse the threat they pose to the very democracy and freedom for which Israel stands?

Those are the most critical questions at the heart of the current American-Israeli tensions. And while all sides will doubtless make their best efforts at cosmetic surgery to cover up the strains at the AIPAC event this week, and may prefer to try to slide past the controversy, Netanyahu, for his part, and Clinton, who addresses the conference Monday, and other administration officials, for theirs, could do a lot to truly revitalize the relationship by addressing it head-on, and positively.

Because for all of Washington’s assurances that the relationship is “unshakable” and “unbreakable,” it is most certainly trembling right now. And forces that are hostile to both the US and Israel are salivating at the prospect of a real breach.

Read it all.


At 12:31 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

It all hinges on America understanding that Israel does have "red lines" and conveying that to the Palestinians so the other side knows exactly what Israel's limits are. Unfortunately, Israel's leadership has not done a good job over the last decade in defining Israel's core national interests and letting the world know what is non-negotiable. The impression has been given that Israel will yield on just about anything. Its time to change that picture for good and this crisis will give Netanyahu the opportunity to declare exactly what Israel is going to keep in talks with the Palestinians.

That should be the focus of his address to AIPAC this coming week.

At 2:32 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

A more critical question is: is the future of the Jews in Jerusalem secure? The rededication of the Hurva Synagogue answers that question in the affirmative. Its opening on the first day of the month of Nissan shows much G-d is at work in the world. More here:

Rebuilding Jerusalem

I think Sara Yoheved Rigler has it right. The Jewish spirit can be temporarily thwarted but it cannot be destroyed. No matter what the world does, Jerusalem is being rebuilt. What a moving story.

Read it all.


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