No, not Israel! Obama.

Look, Israel made a mistake. Heck, I wrote two posts about that idiotic mistake because it was so huge. Then, Israel apologized profusely for the mistake.

However, the Obama administration decided that this gave them a pretext for taking a very aggressive stance toward the Netanyahu government. Essentially, we saw a repeat of last year’s settlement freeze fiasco, multiplied by a factor of two or three. Suddenly Israeli officials were being lambasted by American politicians and officials, new demands were on the table, the press was being leaked “Obama furious stories,” and it became very clear that this US administration would indeed treat Israel differently than any other country in the world.

That isn’t the worst of it, however. This NY Times article shows the worst part of it.

But in discussions in recent days, some senior officials have amplified their argument that the American approach needs to change. They said that Israel’s announcement that it would build 1,600 new houses in a disputed area of Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, undermining a trip by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., further called into question the Netanyahu government’s commitment to seriously engaging in the peace talks.

Do you get that?

It’s Israel’s fault there are no peace talks.

At this point, in order to win this idiotic battle, that might only change the course of history, the Obama administration is rewriting history in order to explain its policy.

To remind the Obama folks, Israel WANTED peace talks. Netanyahu actually stood on a podium and accepted the premise of a two state solution. He backed off his demand that the Palestinians enter negotiations only after acknowledging that Israel is a Jewish state. He spoke often of having talks with Mahmoud Abbas. He even agreed to slow or freeze settlement construction.

What did the Palestinians do? They walked away from a peace offer in 2008, announced in the Washington Post that they now planned to wait because they thought that Obama-Netanyahu tensions were certain to follow as a result and within 2 years Netanyahu’s government would fall. They upped their demands of a settlement freeze to include a Jerusalem construction freeze. They continued to incite internationally and at home against Israel. And they did nothing about making peace.

It is so obvious that they would rather pursue a single state solution that I’ve had the pleasure of writing 4 posts about how they believe they are currently in their endgame (put “endgame” into our search box). They believe time is on their side, and Israel is reeling from numerous blows in recent years that have weakened its society and its motivation to continue the fight. However, their ace in the hole, the Palestinians believe, is Obama.

He is proving that they are right. The US could have been an honest broker here. The Year 2000 Clinton Parameters, for example, exhibit a great sensitivity and understanding regarding the needs and concerns of both the Israelis and Palestinians. Obama, however, has placed a great deal of pressure upon Israel, with very little on the Palestinians. This is now happening again, and he has made it so public, that whoever comes down from the tree first, will harbor great anger at the other side. That is to say, he has intentionally sown the seeds of a long-term conflicted relationship with the US that will be very hard to repair. He did this when peace talks are supposed to restart – peace talks that were proceeding despite the absence of a moratorium on east Jerusalem construction.

“There’s an issue of street credibility here,” said Aaron David Miller, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who was deeply involved in the Camp David talks during the Clinton administration.

Mr. Miller said that while the administration had “been thinking for months” about the advantages and risks of putting its own plan on the table, “they are worried about being accused of imposing their own solution.”

But such a plan could also, in the minds of some senior American officials, force Mr. Netanyahu to choose between the peace talks and the right-wing elements of his coalition, or to try to form a new coalition with the more centrist Kadima Party, led by Tzipi Livni, the former foreign minister.

If that’s really what they’re thinking in the White House today, they fail to understand that the problem isn’t the Likud. The problem is the White House. Israel has already offered REASONABLE peace twice in the past decade and once less reasonably (though certainly not justified in launching the war the Palestinians launched in 2000). Everybody knows the approximate parameters of a final deal. Netanyahu even said that he accepts a two state solution and is willing to negotiate. His ambassador to the US has stated that Israel is willing to make tough compromises.

Now Obama thinks he can produce a deal that will be superior to Clinton’s? After he has attacked Israel and its leadership so publicly? He thinks he can bring down the coalition in Israel and usher in a new age with Likud and Kadima?

Perhaps Obama should be focusing on the crew that has rejected negotiations, rejected previous peace offers, publicly stated a reluctance to enter new negotiations, and is benefiting from US military training and Israeli opening of avenues that enable the robust growth of the Palestinian economy.

It seems like a no brainer.

Unless you have a different plan in mind.

Obama has a different plan: to force and compel Israel to give up things, while he asks nothing from the Palestinians except to show up. Obviously, any Israeli government entering negotiations with this handicap, will seek to avoid closing any deal at all. They’d be crazy not to sabotage the talks.

In the meantime, with all this time wasted, Obama has forbidden Israel to tackle Iran militarily. The joke here is on Israel, since Obama won’t have to deal with the danger of an Iranian rocket reaching US shores for some years. The joke is, of course, that he actually treats the Iranians better than he treats the Israelis.

It may be time for those Jews who vote to think carefully about which party deserves their vote in November.

About the author

themiddle

34 Comments

  • Obama has already backed down. But it is only natural to assume that Netanyahu does not have the courage or the will to stop Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, a demand the Obama administration has made early in its term. His coalition is maintained by nationalist and religious parties that have shown little interest in the peace process.

    While the US (and somewhat Israel) are satisfied with Fayyad and Abbas as leaders of the PA, many Israelis know that Abbas and Fayyad do not have the legitimacy and control of much of Palestinian society. That’s why Netanyahu is hesitant to comply with Palestinian demands. Unfortunately, this is also an opportunity for Hamas to condemn the peace talks (which is the Fatah policy) and lead a “day of rage”.

  • You’ve hit at the essence of the White House’s ignorance — Abbas and Bibi could agree on anything, a Palestinian state could exist tomorrow, and the day after that, Hamas could overthrow Fatah like they did in Gaza in ’07 and tear up the peace agreement. Neither Israel or the PA wants a Palestinian state at the moment. Bibi doesn’t want to deal with another rogue state bordering Israel (not to mention the rockets and missiles that would be aimed at Israel from that rogue state), and Abbas is clearly stalling for time until he and his “security forces” are strong enough to crush or contain Hamas on their own. The only people who don’t understand this are Obama and his gang.

  • Well said Barry. We need to get over this fascination with this mythical “peace process”. It’s as realistic as Hanukkah Harry or successful communism. It’s not possible right now so move on already. The only thing Obama has to hear from Bibi when he meddles in Israeli politics and policy, is a big fat FU! Obama can’t even get his own house or country in order. Who the F*** is he to tell Israelis where they can and can’t build. He’s a royal piece of dirt.

    Furthermore, Middle, you wrote a million frantic posts on this issue, and like many of us predicted, the pantywaist president and his band of corruptocrats already backed down and made the necessary statements. Nothing to worry yourself over. Just like I predicted, nothing changed. Americans love and support Israel more than they do our president, so F*** him. He’s got nothing. No need to worry.

    • Alex, did you miss the part where Israel was blamed for the delay or failure of peace talks? Did you miss the part about the refusal to give in on anything until Ms. Clinton receives a “formal” response to her harangue? Did you miss the portion where Mitchell isn’t going back and the blame is put on Israel’s feet?

      It’s not over. The Obamanians are backing down because they were wrong and they figured it out after people like me shouted loudly enough about it, but they haven’t backed down completely and don’t intend to. Relations are very problematic for Israel with this administration and again you miss the most important element of such a breakdown in relations: Iran.

  • I’m disgusted by what Israel did to Biden and Obama.

    Our support of Israel is one of the things that caused 9/11 (Bin Laden himself named it as a factor in the attacks). Now Israel continues these ILLEGAL Jewish settlments in Jerusalem despite Obama and the whole international community asking them to stop. Progressive Democrats are sick and tired of supporting Israel with our hard earned tax dollars, only to have our president insulted in turn.

    With the growing Muslim constituency, the importance of the zionist voting block for the democrats is going to drop off. Support for Israel among Democratic party voters is at 50% in polls, way lower then Repukes (at 78%). So yeah, Obama is not your servant, he’s a servant of the American people, not a country in the middle east founded through the theft of land from palestinians, nor is he a servant of 2% of the population. Soon there will be more Muslims then Jews in America – this will be a great day!

    (By the way, I’m an atheist, I’m just tired of Zionist domination of our politics).

  • Oh yeah, and why is Obama and basically the whole international community focusing on Israeli settlements? Answer: THE SETTLEMENTS ARE the problem and roadblock to peace in the middle east. If these right wing Jews would be reigned in… then we could begin a real peace process. But their actions are so offensive that so long as they continue there won’t be any progress. So Obama has the focus firmly and entirely where it should be: On the right wing regime in Israel and what Israel must do.

  • Thanks Bruce for proving my point: that most anti-Semites in this country are liberals or “progressives”. Fine company most American Jews run in…

    So Bruce, if some guy attacked you and he told you it was because of your hair color, would you immediately run and get your hair colored, and then run back and apologize to him? Just wondering how your logic works since I’m surprised you are smart enough to know how to string together complete sentences.

  • Middle, I didn’t miss any of that. It’s simply a bunch of talk and no action like this administration is based on. Just hold tight, they’ll retract everything. Don’t you know by now that ALL of Obambi’s proclamations and promises come with an expiration date?

    As far as Iran goes, forget about any US involvement or help. Obambi’s already thrown in the towel on Iran. If he couldn’t even offer one word of support for the protesters what’s he got for Israel? Simply put, the guy wants Bibi out and that’s it. He’ll also lay it on thick in case Israel attacks Iran. It’s all standard OBama. You don’t need to worry.

  • So Bruce, if some guy attacked you and he told you it was because of your hair color, would you immediately run and get your hair colored, and then run back and apologize to him? Just wondering how your logic works

    What? What does that have to do with anything? You right wing zionists have really lost it.

    To answer youre odd question, no, I wouldn’t. Nor should the palestinians throw out Hamas and Fatah because Israel tells them they are no good.

  • OK, I get it Bruce. When Bin laden tells you to jump, you say “how high?” I mean, he told you Israel was bad and look how you carried that water. Thanks for letting us know you take direct orders from Bin Laden himself, you dumb piece of crap.

  • Bruce, Alex really burned you there and he’s a right wing loonie. Please try to come off as a more capable adversary lest we think you really are as stupid as you sound in the fifth and sixth comments above this one.

  • Ah, now I see your point. Well, no, I’m not saying we should cut off support to Israel because Bin Laden says we should… but because it is the right thing to do. The recent undermining of Biden and Obama just confirms that Israel is no ally of progressives. And, the illegal settlements and human rights violations prove that supporting Israel is not the moral thing to do. So… since it is already morally right to rethink our relationship with Israel, the fact that it would reduce terrorism and anger at the US is just a bonus.

    • Bruce, I looked up your previous comments and they include this little bit of junk:

      But in hindsight, I think I should have said “somewhat” on Jewish bankers. Jewish banks hedge funds and so forth did not create the circumstance for the crisis. It was Republicans de-regulating it, Jewish frims like Lehmen Brothers just saw and opportunity and took it. They put themselves first because they dont feel like they are part of this country. That’s my biggest complaint with organizations like AIPAC and many of the powerful Jews in America, is that they seem to owe allegiance to Israel first. I’ve heard it said… AIPAC should be IAPAC, they do after all put Israel first.

      In keeping with my premise that a site called Jewlicious should not promote the kind of shit you’re espousing, I will inform you that you may soon find your contributions to our site disappearing. Don’t let your feeling be too hurt.

  • ” The joke is, of course, that he actually treats the Iranians better than he treats the Israelis.”

    Huh?? Care to justify this whopper, middleman? When Iran starts receiving the amount of military and economic aid that Israel gets from its big brother, let’s talk about who gets treated better.

    • Whoa GM, let’s consider the past week. In the past week, Israel announced construction in its capital and as a consequence, even after apologizing profusely and explaining it happened in error, received a 45 minute tongue lashing from Hillary, an hour and a half dinner delay plus a critical public speech from Biden, news-program criticisms from the President’s right-hand man, an angry monologue from an apparatchik directed at the ambassador to the US, and a constant leaking of false charges and expressions of anger by administration leakers to the media. In the meantime, Iran announces its genocidal intentions every two weeks or so, tests new rockets with the intention of informing the world how deep their range is and is openly working on a nuke program that cannot be claimed is a peaceful one. Does Hillary have a 45 minute scalp from her berating a single Iranian? Has the administration leaked to the press their grave concerns about Iran’s ill will toward making peace?

      And Muffti, the “amount of military and economic aid” that Israel receives is rewarded with a close economic relationship with the US, a close intelligence relationship and the sharing of democratic values. Israel doesn’t call America a “devil” or the embodiment of evil, but Israel does spend 75% of its military assistance on US military supplies. It seems to me that a case can be made that one country is treated like a fellow country and one country is treated like a petulant child. One country is treated like it’s a betrayer and the other country is treated as if a date is still a possibility despite all the criticisms about America being ugly.

  • You’re comparing 45 mins and a few harsh words w strong language about embargoes?

    You’ve really lost all sense of perspective dude.

  • I’ll tell you what. On the day I see Obama or one of his minions speak to the Iranians the way Israel was spoken to this past week, I’ll take it back. You do understand that all Israel did was announce additional homes in an area that is a Jewish area and which will remain Jewish. Iran keeps talking about genocide.

  • yeah, ok, Middle…and the day Muffti sees the secretary of state of the united states say ‘Iran and the US have an ‘unshakeable bond’, even if they announce inflamatory housing projects right when the administration tries to restart peace talks, Muffti will take what you say on this issue seriously.

  • Themiddle, if that’s true, that’s very sad. You’ve mis-understood me. I’m not anything against Jews as a whole, just the ones at these gangster firms that ripped America off. And I blame the Christians who are running any of those firms just as much as the Jews… I think religion IN GENERAL is a negative influence. Even so, there are some progressive Jews that I hold in high regard, I saw Max Blumenthal at Netroots Nation 2009 and he’s a great guy.

    Of course, the charge of anti-semitism is a great way of silencing a voice you don’t like… I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me at all. When the facts are not on yourside, then it’s best to simply shut down the discussion, right?

    • Bruce, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. After all, when you wrote, “Jewish frims like Lehmen Brothers just saw and opportunity and took it. They put themselves first because they dont feel like they are part of this country,” you didn’t mention Christians or Buddhists, you mentioned Jews. As I result, I thought you were disparaging, you know, Jews.

      Now, as you know, Lehman is one of many financial firms that failed or that made significant mistakes in recent years. Many of these firms were not firms that were started by Jewish families and yet you didn’t bring them up.

      Anyway, Lehman was permitted to die by the US government, not because of some death wish. The US government saved many other enterprises that made the same mistake as Lehman.

      But that’s not even what is so offensive about what you wrote. According to Wikipedia, the following names represent the last board of directors of the company and key executives:

      * Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer[92]
      * Michael L. Ainslie[92]
      * John F. Akers[92]
      * Roger S. Berlind[92]
      * Thomas Cruikshank[92]
      * Marsha Johnson Evans[92]
      * Sir Christopher Gent[92]
      * Roland A. Hernandez[92]
      * Dr. Henry Kaufman[92]
      * John D. Macomber[92]

      Former officers

      * Richard S. Fuld, Jr.
      * Tom Russo
      * Scott J. Freidheim
      * Bart McDade
      * Joe Gregory
      * Ion Lowitt
      * Jessie Bhattal
      * Jeremy Isaacs
      * Skip McGee
      * George Walker
      * Michael Gelband

      Now surely, there are some Jewish names in there, but they are not the majority. In fact, considering that New York has a sizable Jewish population and this was a NY firm, I’d say Jews are under-represented on this list. So the claim that this is a Jewish firm is false,

      Calling a firm Jewish without any reason and then blaming its demise on the Jewish nature of the firm is antisemitic. If you didn’t know before, you know now.

      However, that wasn’t the worst of what you said. You elaborated for us and let us know that they didn’t feel a part of this country just like groups such as AIPAC which place Israel ahead of the US.

      That’s my biggest complaint with organizations like AIPAC and many of the powerful Jews in America, is that they seem to owe allegiance to Israel first. I’ve heard it said… AIPAC should be IAPAC, they do after all put Israel first.

      That was antisemitic as well.

      The notion that a Jew, unless of course he is a “good Jew” like the progressives you have for friends, is loyal to another country just because he is a Jew, is antisemitic. The generalization is antisemitic. And you’re wrong again, which makes your claim even more offensive.

      AIPAC is an American organization, populated by Americans. It does not place Israel ahead of the US and never has. It advocates for Israel, and if you look at their materials, they do so with the intention of making America become a better place or do the thing that is in its interest. That is precisely how they approach their advocacy – as Americans who believe that America’s best interest is to be in support of Israel.

      Now you may argue with that claim, and that is your privilege. Just as it is their privilege to be able to lobby their government with their beliefs. Every AIPAC member I’ve known about, except for Martin Indyk who was born in Australia, was born in the US, was an American through and through, was usually passionate and extremely knowledgeable about American politics. While they typically support Israel strongly, if there is one idea that unifies AIPAC folks is their belief that supporting Israel IS the American thing to do.

      One other area where your statement suggested antisemitic sentiments is the claim that these Jews who care about Israel are somehow disloyal to the US. Why didn’t you mention the millions of Christians in the US who support Israel? Aren’t they exactly the same as the Jews except members of a separate faith? Are Asians of Chinese origin who support China also disloyal?

      As for silencing you, I don’t see what you’re complaining about. Your contribution to the discussion was hateful and full of errors. Despite that, I didn’t erase you, just gave a fair warning. We’re not here to serve as a platform for people who wish to express hateful ideas against Jews. While you may think your views are normal in every regard and that you can spout anti-Jewish sentiments without being anti-Jewish, the fact is that there are people out there who pick up on these hateful ideas and sometimes even act on them.

  • Just read that Obama has refused to ship some promised bunker-buster bombs to Israel, on top of all of the other things he’s refused to let Israel have. It looks as though there is a real embargo in place, and nobody’s talking about it.

    Anybody who thinks this spat is about settlements, the “piece process”, or homes for Jews in Jerusalem is an idiot. The Ramat Shlomo thing was just a convenient peg for Obama to hang his prefabricated, one-size-fits-all anti-Israel policy on. This is all about preventing Israel from bombing Iran’s nuke program. Obama chickened out on sanctions, which anybody with any brains knew he would (actually, scratch that: he didn’t chicken out, he never had any intention of going through with sanctions in the first place) and he’s desperate to prevent Israel from drawing the appropriate conclusions and going it alone.

    I’ve decided Obama is actually an anti-Semite. I don’t think there’s any other way to interpret this. As far as Israel is concerned, he’s one of the worst presidents we’ve had in a long time.

    Either that, or he really is stupid enough to think that forcing Israel back to the pre-June ’67 lines and re-dividing Jerusalem is the way to bring peace.

    You know, like there was peace before 1967.

  • Just to follow up on my post way up at the top, I wasn’t saying that it’s time to ditch the whole peace process. I’m saying that Obama et al need to better understand who they’re dealing with (both on the Israeli and Palestinian sides). He came into office and made a big deal about needing to listen to both sides before taking any action — well, I guess he didn’t like the answers he heard and thought that he could start from scratch and do better than every head of state who preceded him. He needs to spend less time trying to redefine what is a “settlement” and what isn’t, and more time getting briefed on DAYS OF RAGE.

  • Uh Muffti, they don’t have an unshakable bond with Iran. Yet, of the two countries, the one they’ve treated with utter disrespect is the one with whom they SAY they have an unshakable bond. We are all trying to figure out what their policy is, because it hasn’t been all that friendly since this administration has come to power. It would be nice to see them worked up in this way about, say, the violations that took place in the Iranian elections and aftermath, or every time an Iranian leader vows that Israel’s demise is coming soon.

  • I see several people here bad-mouthing Obama and the peace process. Bruce stands up against them and is accused of being an antisemite and spreading bleep. Look who’s talking! This so-called “prophecy” of victory and an enlarged Israel is NOT of Jewish origin. Peace is the only way for the Jewish People to survive, and the only way for civilization as we know it to survive. Isreal was negotiating a peace, and then it stopped. Not because of Obama, but because of the rhetoric from people like you, who can’t even say his name without putting something nasty onto it. The question is which matters more, avoiding a war that will reduce the world to a shambles, or satisfying the prejudice against Obama and the Democrats?

  • Alex, you just proved my point. It is YOUR side that cannot conduct a civilized debate.

  • My side? What’s that? You don’t know me from Shlomo so why would you assume I speak for anybody other than myself? Go find yourself one of the millions of peacenik Jews and use them for an example. Nah, you’ve already made up your mind, so you need a neocon zionist like me as your proof. Fine, use me, who gives a fuck? I could be a Palestinian pretending to be a zionist. How would you know? I don’t need to justify my existence to anyone lest you, some random internet commenter probably from some shitty socialist country in Europe with a love for who you assume are the victims in a country far from you involved in an ages long conflict you hardly understand. Big fucking deal. Blow me.

  • What’s your side? How about the neocon side; you said it first. I never questioned your “existence”. I questioned your use of insults instead of reasoning. But if you consider that the purpose of your existence, once again, you said it first. I have no reason to argue with someone who defines himself by his prowess of verbal abuse.

  • No, I don’t understand the conflict. But you’ve shown me that understanding it makes you foul-mouthed. That’s actually promoting peace, because we Jews will not base our future on your putative calculus of leshon hara.

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