So I called the Israeli government amateurish and blamed them for recent debacles relating to Israel, especially the announcement of 1600 new units in Ramat Shlomo, Jerusalem, on the eve of new peace talks with the Palestinians while US VP Biden was on a “let’s get everybody on the same page” tour of the Holy Land.

One of the points I made in the ensuing debates is that Israel snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. After a year of stalling by the Palestinians, the Israelis with a right wing government in place managed to enlighten the world that there were no peace talks because of the Palestinians, not the Israelis. The world believed and pushed the Palestinians back to the table.

Needless to say, the new construction announcement has given them a perfect excuse to avoid talks again, and allows them to put the blame on Israel. Not only can they blame Israel for the breakdown in talks, but they can retroactively claim that their previously-expressed reservations about going into talks with Israel were justified, as were their demands to halt all “settlement” construction not only in Judea and Samaria/West Bank but also in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Post tells us:

…On Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he and Tunisia’s leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, have begun to discuss how the Arab League should respond to an Israeli plan for new construction in Ramat Shlomo.

Speaking during a visit to Tunisia, Abbas said Israel’s move “got in the way of” plans to begin US-mediated indirect talks with Israel.

And the Americans are laying it on thick, trying to reclaim the supposedly deteriorated confidence of the Arabs,

In a bid to salvage those negotiations, Mitchell and the top US diplomat for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Arab League chief Amr Moussa and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates over the past two days, Crowley said.

“We have reached out … to a range of leaders,” he said. “We jointly remain committed to this process, acknowledging that, obviously, it is a difficult environment, given the Israeli statement.”

Boo hoo and sob! Amr Moussa’s poor old feelings must be shattered. He deserves a massage and champagne, preferably provided by an attractive US State Department employee.

Of course, one US government female employee isn’t available to provide this service to Mr. Moussa and his cronies. She’s busy yelling at Netanyahu.

The US State Department said Clinton spoke to Netanyahu by phone for 43 minutes to vent US frustration with Tuesday’s announcement that cast a pall over a visit to Israel by US Vice President Joe Biden and endangered the indirect peace talks with the Palestinians that the Obama administration had announced just a day earlier.

Clinton called “to make clear that the United States considered the announcement to be a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship and counter to the spirit of the vice president’s trip,” department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters.

“The secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security and she made clear that the Israeli government needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process,” he said.

43 minutes!!! Clinton yelled at him for 43 minutes! You’d think he was given oral sex by Monica Lewinsky.

Well, actually, this is worse. Nobody in Israel can claim to have enjoyed blissful physical pleasure by announcing the construction on that particular day. I mean, Bill Clinton can at least explain what happened by alluding to the loneliness of being President, the need to have his ego massaged, the type of mid-life crisis many men go through at that age and the fact that except in some authors’ or screenwriters’ active imaginations, it really is unusual to have a woman agree to provide oral sex under the desk like a good little servant while the man is on the phone doing business.

Forty three minutes of yelling would seem fair under those circumstances. Netanyahu, of course, must be pretty pissed off since he got the 43 minutes of yelling, but received no reward. In fact, he must be pretty afraid at this point that the Americans will force another Wye Accords-type agreement down this throat, just as they did in 1998 when he agreed to remove Israeli forces from key areas of Judea and Samaria/West Bank.

Hmmmm…how to repay Netanyahu for all of the pressure and yelling coming at him from the Americans?

Hey, I know! Let’s get Eli Yishai, the minister whose ministry announced the construction right in the middle of Biden’s visit, to repay him somehow. Repay with something that’s worth 43 minutes of berating by Hillary.

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themiddle

26 Comments

  • Begs the Palestinians for forgiveness???

    And the concern is the timing of the announcement of the settlements? How about the real issue? The fact that they are being built to begin with by the thieving not so Jewish covetous Israel. Ugh… so sick of Israel claiming to be both Jewish and Democratic… It resembles neither and does a disservice to both by claiming so.

    • Joshua, I’m sorry you have a problem with what this government just did to shoot itself and Israel in the foot, but don’t blame the messenger. I’m just bringing you news from the Holy Land. I didn’t call Netanyahu to berate him for 3/4 of an hour. I didn’t make him and Sara wait for an hour and a half while I come for an official dinner, and then launch an attack on Israel before the food is served. I didn’t back out of peace talks and blame Israel’s announcement and I didn’t make any demands from Arab, American or Israeli leaders. I just reported the above.

      Oh, and one more thing, judging by the absence of institutions other than yeshivas in the buildings across from the Western Wall, not to mention the large-scale construction of those yeshivas, I suspect that parts of Jerusalem are for sale.

  • Hey, I know! Let’s get Eli Yishai, the minister whose ministry announced the construction right in the middle of Biden’s visit, to repay him somehow. Repay with something that’s worth 43 minutes of berating by Hillary.

    If this is what it took for Middle to finally realize that Hillary is nothing but a tool, whose use is restricted to that of Berater-in-Chief, then the incident can’t have been all bad.

  • Methinks Rahm or someone in the administration came up with the brilliant idea of Hillary as a nagging, degrading yenta, whom no Jew would cross for fear of drudging up psychological burdens too ugly and painful to bear.

    It should be interesting to watch how this plays out. I hope to not have to wait for a salacious Halperin/Heilemann expose before getting the full scoop on it.

  • My bad on the lack of thesaurus. Replace “salacious” with “lurid”, or someothersuch tabloid-esque reference to sensationalism.

  • Hillary would have made a far superior president to your hero, Obama. The evidence is before us daily.

    Nowhere in the post do I suggest that she’s a tool. Eli Yishai might be, but not Hillary.

  • I’ll bet the administration– Obama above all– can’t believe its good fortune in being handed an excuse to create distance– “daylight”, in Obama’s words– between the US and Israel. Whether Israel suffers any real-world consequences remains to be seen; given the administration’s foreign policy ineptitude, it’s likely Bibi will manage to slip this sucker punch, too.

    At a minimum, though, it’s been a sensational week for the Euro-lefties, the Guardian, Goldstone, HRW, and everyone who wants to make Israel responsible for the Mideast stalemate.

  • (Glad to see you’re including sex scenes in your posts, Middle. Keep ’em, uh, coming.)

  • Hillary would have made a far superior president to your hero, Obama. The evidence is before us daily.

    Let’s have that evidence, Middle.

    I suspect you don’t provide it because you know her approach to politics would have perpetuated giving the right the legitimacy it needs in order to remain viable. She’s someone obsessed with keeping her enemies alive because doing so makes her feel oh so alive!

    The right, including Ailes, favored her because of this. If that’s an approach you endorse, let us know. But I suspect all this political philosophy and strategy talk will just go miles above your head and you’d prefer to whatever address fictitious comparisons of mundane policy choices demonstrate her supposedly self-evident, yet somehow mythological, superiority as a political leader and chief executive.

    Come on, Middle. Let us know about how the wife of the president who signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, while endorsing relaxed lending standards for housing applicants, whose support for Greenspan knew no limits of logic or knowledge of depression-era economic history… let us know about how that special interest tool would have done a better job, of anything.

    Let us know how the devoted(? – well, at least politically devoted) wife of the president who ushered in Oslo and signed treaties staged with Yasir Arafat on the White House lawn, let us know how this person is so practical and yet insightful, to have made an important difference to U.S., Israeli and international interests in anything other than name only.

    Or just stay silent and make a baseless assertion that resorts to the days when tactics, symbolism and short-term thinking meant as much to you as they continue to mean to the Republican party.

  • Panic? What fucking panic? Try ANGER! This had to have been the most idiotic thing, in a string of idiotic things, done by the Israeli government in a long time. What ineptitude. What an opening to Israel’s enemies.

    MUL, glad to see you still have some love left in you for perhaps the most inept president that I’ve seen in my lifetime. Shrub could give him lessons. You realize that even if he passes health care, it won’t just cost the Dems the House, it will be a shadow of what it could have been had he not been so wishy washy? Do you realize that had he not been so wishy washy, we wouldn’t be watching the country have such a challenging time getting out of the recession and the jobless quagmire while the banking industry (and AIG) whoop it up? Do you realize that it took a year to get the Palestinians to do less about moving forward on peace than what they were doing before Obama came to office?

    Oh, but thank god under his auspices there’s a $15 billion jobs plan!! Woohoo! That’s a 12th of what they committed to AIG. This is while we’re at 10% unemployment and 17% real unemployment. Oh, and praise the lord for the new homeowner assistance scheme he pushed the Dems to pass. A family losing their home can get a $1500 break! Woohoo! $1500!!!!!! Yeah baby, that’ll solve some real problems in America.

    How long did it take him to realize that his efforts at bipartisanship were dead before they began? What has the cost been to the Democratic party and how deeply painful are the upcoming elections going to be as a result?

    That alone would have been a good reason to elect Hillary. She was there in ’94 and could have applied that experience. She was there while the Republicans spent 8 years foaming at the mouth at her husband, and she would have anticipated their behavior and addressed it without letting them gain the advantage they have by attempts at bipartisanship that only weaken Democrats.

    Whatever. Let’s just hope these next couple of years are superior to what we’ve seen thus far.

  • Remember though, Middle, that Hillary’s husband was busy cooperating (and coopting) Gingrich et al., even as he piled up impeachment-related legal bills. Bill’s really Obama’s foil– a president who cut deals with Republicans, or some of them. He understood the country has to be governed from the center out.

    What we’ve seen with Obama is the failure to govern what remains a center-right country while relying exclusively on Democrats in Congress to pass a left-of-center agenda. Whatever you think of HCR on the merits, it’s clear now that the strategy adopted to get reform done was deeply flawed and will likely cost Obama the rest of his domestic reform agenda.

    Hillary had good relations with Republicans, and would’ve understood you’ve got to at least bring people like Snowe and Collins and Graham along on major pieces of legislation. Time for a strategic re-think at the WH. before the voters compel it in November.

  • Well Tom, one day, after we get 12 more years of Republican presidents, we’ll have a new Democrat in the White House (so we’re talking about 2025, which should be just about when you need diapers again – buy P&G stock!) and maybe she will learn NOT to start world-changing with health care reform. It killed Clinton and the Dems, and now it killed Obama (along with other notable missteps) and is about to demolish that little majority they hold. Maybe they can still recover. All this recent flurry of unilateral efforts to generate and pass bills along party lines is a positive development considering the hole they’re in, so maybe they’ll have a chance in the election. But as of now, they are in a hole and they need to get out fast.

  • MUL, glad to see you still have some love left in you for perhaps the most inept president that I’ve seen in my lifetime. Shrub could give him lessons.

    Lessons in what, for instance? Nice bar you choose.

    You realize that even if he passes health care, it won’t just cost the Dems the House,

    Oh no! Standing up for the principle of something might have political costs! How will these Democrats live with themselves once spines have been inserted into their backs?

    What would JFK, the author of Profiles in Courage, say?

    Do you realize that had he not been so wishy washy, we wouldn’t be watching the country have such a challenging time getting out of the recession and the jobless quagmire while the banking industry (and AIG) whoop it up?

    Tell that to my 401(k) after it increased in value by over 100% in 2009.

    Do you realize that it took a year to get the Palestinians to do less about moving forward on peace than what they were doing before Obama came to office?

    Oh, right. More assumptions that outside parties such as the U.S. have much sway over the Palestinians and their stupidity. Or the Israelis, for that matter. As if 18 years of experience haven’t shown us otherwise.

    Oh, but thank god under his auspices there’s a $15 billion jobs plan!! Woohoo! That’s a 12th of what they committed to AIG. This is while we’re at 10% unemployment and 17% real unemployment. Oh, and praise the lord for the new homeowner assistance scheme he pushed the Dems to pass. A family losing their home can get a $1500 break! Woohoo! $1500!!!!!! Yeah baby, that’ll solve some real problems in America.

    Again, the comparison is to what someone as corrupt and ignorant of economics as Hillary Clinton would have wrought. But nice hysterics there. I’ve got my concerns about Obama’s handling of the financial sector, myself. But I also know how to recognize someone whose political competence deserves the benefit of the doubt after merely a single year in office, especially given how handily he’s been able to mop up the floor with his foes in the past, against all predictions by the conventional wisdom to the contrary.

    How long did it take him to realize that his efforts at bipartisanship were dead before they began?

    Better he just came across as a blindly naked partisan and not show the good faith of at least attempting to co-opt parties that were later revealed to be obstinate, first. Right?

    What has the cost been to the Democratic party and how deeply painful are the upcoming elections going to be as a result?

    I feel less pained by a potential flushing of weak-willed and spineless politicians from the system than you do, apparently. They do more harm than good. Plus, I haven’t taken the psychic precognition classes that you have taken so I’ll leave my tea leaf reading until after November.

    That alone would have been a good reason to elect Hillary.

    First time I’ve seen the phrase “would have been” in reference to events not yet taken place months in the future.

    Boy, do those scary REPUBLICANS and MODERATE VOTERS have you RUNNING SCARED!!! THEY SCARE YOU SO MUCH THAT YOU PLAN OUT YOUR POLITICAL PROSPECTUS EIGHT MONTHS IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO PREPARE FOR MOURNING.

    Their operatives must be very heartened by the degree to which you will live out such a depressing self-fulfilling prophecy.

    She was there in ‘94 and could have applied that experience.

    And what a hell of a successful experience it was!

    She was there while the Republicans spent 8 years foaming at the mouth at her husband, and she would have anticipated their behavior and addressed it without letting them gain the advantage they have by attempts at bipartisanship that only weaken Democrats.

    Whatever. Let’s just hope these next couple of years are superior to what we’ve seen thus far.

    Yes, whatever. There’s no point in predicting the outcome of seven years based on one. Obama seems to be doing a lot of active stuff behind the scenes, though (watch his weekly addresses), and previous efforts to write him off in tighter circumstances were certainly shortsighted.

    Also, a good portion of Clinton’s woes were bred of the lack of respect he engendered personally and his inability to stare down his adversaries head-on as Obama has shown he can do recently in Maryland and D.C. Instead, the two-faced Clinton just ran and cried to the electorate. Obama’s ability to directly face his foes when he wants to, combined with slow, steady leadership on other promises (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, etc.) gives me enough room to question the reliability of his predictions for failure when it comes to health care, and certainly when it comes to financial sector reform.

  • You know, I read that carefully. You didn’t convince me on any point except for those where I was already convinced.

    You want to keep claiming that this has been a good year and that great successes are forthcoming? Go ahead. Just pay attention to health care if it passes, and ask yourself how it could have been different had he acted with gumption from the beginning. Success is not measured by getting something passed, but rather by what is passed.

    And be prepared. Unless the Dems show some serious balls in the next 3-4 months, expect a very different House in November. Then you can talk to me about “staring down” opponents.

  • Then there’s Obama’s foreign policy, but I suppose that’s best passed over in silence….

  • Notwithstanding your willingness to reject anything you weren’t already convinced of beforehand, I don’t see how a Clintonesque strongarming of health care in 2009 would have been more successful than the Clintons’ strongarming of healthcare in 1994. But then again, you are pretty much proclaiming strong convictions at the outset.

    Whether they are impervious to any reasoning, or just my own, so be it.

    But whatever. Not everything in life is as crystal clear as Bush and Rove wish it were. I don’t think Obama’s instincts are as poor as you seem to believe. So, as I said, if there were evidence that a strongarming of healthcare would have resulted in something other than a pyrrhic victory or a quixotic loss, I wish you’d supply it. But until some more time passes and the spineless Dems are called to account as much as obstructionist R’s are, then I’ll remain secure in my assumption that less incremental moves and a build-up over time weren’t as disastrous as broad strokes might have been – especially given how many Dems had to be bought off to sweeten the deal anyway.

  • Um, I don’t think the word is strong-arming and I also don’t think Hilary is so obtuse that she would repeat her ’94 mistakes. It’s the opposite. She proved as a senator that she could work across the aisle very effectively when needed. She also has shown she can be fiercely partisan when she needs to be. She also has few illusions about the nature of her opponents, lest we forget her “right wing conspiracy” claim. She would know when to strong-arm and when to press the other side.

    Furthermore, Obama has just proven Israel’s supporters’ worst case fears about this administration were right. The Dems have to deal with a pro-Israel group that is becoming angrier by the day about the aggressive and unreasonable response to what happened in Israel on Biden’s trip.

    Let’s just say that after this first year, I would much rather have has Hilary and Obama in reversed roles.

  • hey, themiddle, you should visit the “American Thinker” website if you haven’t done so already. A lot of their readers support Israel.

  • The whole event, if taken in a different light, could have simply been a poorly played move. It gives Netanyahu the ability to say “I tried settlement freezes, the Palestinians refused to come to the table. People in my government and my citizens are, clearly, getting restless, as can be observed by the announcement to build in Jerusalem (which is part of Israel proper, according to Israeli law). I’m not sure I’ll have the power to negotiate at all if the Palestinians keep stalling.” Interesting point, though it doesn’t look like that card was played correctly

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