No, you silly kids, not with the Iranians. With Israel.

First the carrot:

The United States will continue funding Israel’s Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, U.S. defense officials decided during their annual strategic dialogue at the Pentagon this week.

The Arrow III – which is expected to have the capability of intercepting a ballistic missile at an early stage of its flight path, allowing for the possibility of more attempts at interception if the first one fails – is under development, but without U.S. funding, it would have been difficult to continue developing the missile system upgrade.

And then the stick:

Sharp differences emerged between the US and Israel over the settlement issue on Wednesday – one day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu concluded his first official visit to the White House – with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for an absolute stop to all settlement activity and sources close to the prime minister saying the terms of a settlement freeze still needed to be defined.

“We want to see a stop to settlement construction, additions, natural growth – any kind of settlement activity,” declared Clinton in some of the Obama administration’s clearest comments to date on what it expects from Israel. She was speaking to Al-Jazeera in an interview, of which the State Department released a transcript on Wednesday.

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  • Middle, why are you constantly posting all of this stuff about Obama doing his best to screw Israel? Are you mad at him for doing it? Do you oppose what he is doing?

    Or do you have a guilty conscience because you now realize that your vote allowed a man who is trying to out-Arab the Arabs into the White House and you think that that mewling about it ex post facto on a blog will somehow show your courage in Speaking Truth To Power and allow you to do t’shuva or something?

    Really, it’s unseemly. Anyone is better qualified than you to point out what a disaster for Israel Obama is turning out to be.

    I submit that all future “I told you that Obama is an anti-Semitic tool” posts should be written by our own Tom Morrisey.

  • So telling Israel to stop settlement activity is somehow unique for American presidents?

    Care to tell me what the Bush Administrations thought about the settlements?

    Or Carter?

    Or Reagan?

    Carter declared settlements illegal and demanded Israel stop building.

    Reagan declared them legal but stated they were an obstacle to peace and his administration ordered Israel to freeze them.

    Bush 2 said Israel could keep key blocs but also had a stated policy requiring settlement freeze, no construction on E1, and said, “The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear: There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967.”

    Bush 1: “It would make a big contribution to peace if these settlements would stop. ” and “the United States has opposed, and will continue to oppose, settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 which remain an obstacle to peace.”

    I can go back to Ford and Nixon as well, if you like.

    In fact, the only Administration in the past several decades that has been friendly to settlements both in policy and in public pronouncements is the previous Democratic administration, that of Bill Clinton…whose wife is the Sec. of State to Obama and who made the statement about the settlement freeze on Al Jazeera.

  • Oh, and I still haven’t declared Obama a disaster. I can be critical of some of his actions and favorably disposed towards others. It’s called being nuanced and fair-minded. I am also not sure why Israel should continue growing settlements unless they are within the blocs around Jerusalem or within 3 or 4% line of the West Bank away from the Green Line.

    You had to be wacko to vote for a Republican again. It’ll take years – if it’s at all possible – to fix what this last Republican administration did to the US. Do you realize the Chinese are slowing (and soon will be stopping) their purchases of American debt because of all the measures being taken to correct the past 8 years? Just wait until they stop and the government has no choice but to increase rates to finance its deficit. Do you realize how many years it will take to get us out of this hole, if ever?

  • Israel cannot and should not rely upon any other country for help. This behavior from this admin was not unexpected. But I wouldn’t have been surprised to see this from a McCain admin either.

  • I’m not talking about settlements, Middle. I’m talking about deciding that Israel has to give up its religious rights in Jerusalem and surrender them to some sort of international regime. Even Bush didn’t suggest anything so outrageous. And Obama pointedly did not discuss this with Israel, but decided it by imperial fiat after consultations with the Arabs alone. The man is unspeakably arrogant. His nose is always in the air (except when it’s buried up Abduallah’s or Imanutjob’s ass).

    Look into how the housing mess started, Middle. You’ll find that Democrats are just as complicit as Republicans. All attempts by the republicans to look into the situation and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were stymied by Democrats led by Barney Frank. Up until the whole thing collapsed they were insisting that there was no problem.

  • Yeah, yeah, I read the same propaganda missives by the Republicans and I know how tough it was for them having 8 years of the Presidency with 6 of those in control of both Houses to make changes in the rules. That Barney Frank is such a monster that he was able to single-handedly dictate to a trifecta Republican government which rules that they abhor they need to keep.

    Give me a break.

    Besides, housing is only one element of what has happened to our economy. Remember the debt and deficit projections Bush inherited? Darn it, we just had to give the wealthy another massive tax cut. That’s right, Warren Buffet needs to pay less in taxes than me because his income is all from investments. You know who else’s income was all from investments? All the other really rich folks in this country who laugh all the way to the bank when their horses are in office.

    Massive national debt grew exponentially? Check.
    Deficit grew astronomically? Check.
    The Iraq War has created an open ended financial sinkhole? Check.
    Tax breaks helped artificially inflate the economy briefly but expanded the deficits? Check.
    We made enemies across the world including among friends? Check.
    We broke our own laws in ways that make no sense and aren’t fair? Check.

    I could go on and on but you’ll just throw some Rovian bullshit my way.

    The US is far worse off than it was in 2000 and had the SC not stolen the election and given it to Bush, Gore would have left a much more stable, healthy, wealthy, green and peaceful country to the current President. What a massive historical blunder.

    But don’t worry guys, at least you got two SC judges with staunch partisan views in there. Because, you know, that’s how we should choose our justices.

  • There’s plenty of blame to go around, Middle. Everybody is spinning like crazy. I don’t trust Republicans or Democrats to tell the truth.

    I’m not denying Bush ran up a deficit. I’m equally not sure whether it is even possible or advisable to triple and quadruple it by trying to spend our way out of it either, especially since all of these bailout funds seem to have so many political strings attached.

    Obama is into cronysim just as Bush was. If you like his cronies better, fine.

    Regardless of domestic politics, I still think that as far as Israel is concerned, Obama is shaping up to be more of a disaster than I think McCain would have been. But McCain had no chance of winning. Say what you want about Obama, a stupid politician he isn’t.

    But since you are obviously one of those people who believes that the US needs to “get tough” with Israel for the sake of “peace” I assume you are as happy as a hog in shit.

    So, please, stop posting all of these “look what Obama is doing to Israel now!” posts. As far as I can tell, you think he’s doing the right thing.

  • I’ll post what I want to post, Ephraim.

    If you recall, I actually didn’t advocate for Obama but for Clinton. Since Obama got the nod, if I feel any satisfaction it’s primarily because another Republican Prez was the last thing we needed and especially a doctrinaire one on fiscal issues like McCain. The mega-spending on the bailout began with the Bush Admin, btw. Remember Paulson?

    I don’t believe the US needs to “get tough” with Israel. As I’ve written before, mistakes happen that way, such as letting Hamas run in an election the Israelis don’t want them in.

    On the other hand, if you think Israel can survive with the settlement project intact, then you are welcome to go and live in the future Israel which will either be a new Arab Muslim country or a Jewish dictatorship. I’d rather avoid both outcomes and that means moving the settlements west of the Fence. I don’t think Obama has it in him to push Netanyahu that hard and I don’t want to see Israel be forced into mistakes. Hopefully, Netanyahu will conclude the same as Sharon did. You need to separate as soon as possible.

  • You post what you want, and I’ll call bullshit when I want, too. You made your bed, now sleep in it.

    Just to repeat what I’ve said a bazillion times before, I am a registered Democrat, and as far as a domestic policies are concerned, I am generally quite middle-of-the-road. However, the Democratic party has become a festering swamp of anti-Semitism and soft-on-terror appeasers. having said that, I cannot say that, in the end, Bush didn’t reverse himself on many important Israel-related issues after Condosleeza Lice went to State and drank the Arabist Kool Aid. But at least it took them almost a term and and a half for all the wheels to come completely off. Obama has showed his fangs in his 1st 100 days.

    I hope you’re right about Obama not having it in him to push Netanyahu. Still, if the policies he’s endorsing are what he really thinks is “justice”, then Israel must resist them. There is nothing just about them.

  • Middle: “The US is far worse off than it was in 2000 and had the SC not stolen the election and given it to Bush, Gore would have left a much more stable, healthy, wealthy, green and peaceful country to the current President. What a massive historical blunder.”

    Haha. Ok, now I remember why I left in the first place. Forget it. It’s pointless. And let’s remember why we are talking about Bush again, because no one wants to talk about what a historical blunder Obama is, and we’re just getting started. I really hope you enjoy your hope and change while it lasts Middle.

  • Hey Alex, the hole from which this country is trying to dig itself out is so deep its scary. Maybe Obama is a historical blunder, we’ll see what the future brings. But we’ve got our hindsight now and it’s clear that Bush was an abysmal failure.

    Btw, what did Rove say about those fired prosecutors?

    Ephraim, I didn’t make any bed. Your Scalia’s Republican President did, and we’re all lying in it. You don’t like my posts, tough luck. You’re always welcome to comment on them but you’ll be hard pressed to find “bullshit.”

  • Dude, please. You can’t possibly be as daft as too think all of today’s problems are one party’s or Bush’s fault, can you? And what, Clinton did no damage? Barack hasn’t already done damage? Seriously?

    And nothing is clear. Bush did a lot of damage, but nothing is clear this soon. But yeah, countries look real strong and confident when they reverse all of the previous administration’s policies and then eventually go back to them a month or two later. Real strength and stability displayed by The One there. Please. I call this Obligatory American Jewish Defense of Outdated Ideologies. And I wish you well in your recovery process. 🙂

  • Middle worries that Bush made us enemies all over the world? No wonder he loves Obama’s trial balloon. A score or more Arab/Muslim states will like us a lot more when we force this on Israel.

    We’ll then have their help on far more important issues, like global warming.

  • Your posts are full of bullshit, Middle. But it’s usually just different variations on the same old turd: the idea that forcing Israel to accept a diktat cooked up to please the Arabs is going to bring peace.

    Remember when you said that once Israel left Gaza the “international community” would understand if Israel retaliated for terrorist attacks?

    How’d that work out?

  • Middle worries that Bush made us enemies all over the world? No wonder he loves Obama’s trial balloon. A score or more Arab/Muslim states will like us a lot more when we force this on Israel.

    We’ll then have their help on far more important issues, like global warming.


  • Obama, from a just-plublished book by Richard Wolffe:

    “If I had a Muslim summit, I think that I can speak credibly to them about the fact that I respect their culture,” Obama said, “that I understand their religion, that I have lived in a Muslim country, and as a consequence I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence. And I think I can speak with added credibility.”

    And you thought the Messiah would appear among the Jews.

  • Jesus, what an overweening self-regard this man has. A true narcissist.

    Why does he think that the Muslims give a shit that he “respects their culture”? He obviously has that ridiculous Eurocentric idea that it is all up to us, that the Muslims are lashing out because we’re hurt their feelings by not respecting them, and if we did they would love us.

    We are well and truly doomed.

  • No kidding. The One should be institutionalized for his delusions of grandeur. What an egotistical, cocky semi-shooter.