Friday, March 12, 2010

Has Hillary Given Israel an Ultimatum?

It appears that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton read the Riot Act to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone in response to the announcement Israel would construct 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem. The announcement was made while Vice-President Joe Biden was in Israel earlier this week.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the announcement sent "a deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship and counter to the spirit of the vice president's trip." Crowley went on to say that Clinton told Netanyahu his government "needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process."

Committed to this relationship? Does this mean Hillary and Bibi are dating?

So what specific actions is Hillary and by extension President Obama expecting Netanyahu to take?

At the very minimum I am sure they are demanding Netanyahu cancel this project. Yet somehow I don't think that will be sufficient for the Obama Administration. My guess is they will likely parrot the Palestinian Authority's position and call for a freeze to all settlement construction. They might even call for the dismantling of all settlements in the West Bank. Well, settlement evacuation really worked wonders in Gaza didn't it?

Who knows? Maybe Hillary will threaten Israel with UN sanctions. I'm sure even the Obama Administration could get the international community to agree to that.

I will repeat this again and again until the Obama Administration gets it through their thick skulls.


The settlements do not matter in the grand scheme of things. If all the Jewish settlements in Israel were to disappear tomorrow it would make no difference to the Palestinians. The Palestinians don't want to be neighbors with a Jewish state much less have Jews inside their borders. The settlements are not an impediment to the peace process because Palestinians have no desire to co-exist with Jews in any way, shape or form.

The Obama Administration is sending a very bad signal in publicly exerting far more pressure on an ally like Israel than it would ever entertain doing unto a sworn enemy like Iran. Instead of putting the pressure where it belongs the Obama Administration is once again flexing its moral cowardice that threatens to be its lingering legacy.

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