It may seem as though the US and Israel are at loggerheads at the moment over Israel’s decision to build in occupied East Jerusalem and to continue expanding settlements in the West Bank. The perception is that the two of them have each painted themselves into a corner with neither now able to move.
It is, though, only a perception. The reality is that Obama needs to placate US public opinion about Israel being the fly in the ointment of bringing about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and Netanyahu, for his part, needs to placate the right-wing Zionists of both Israel and the US over settlements and building in East Jerusalem.
However, all is not as it seems.
Netanyahu himself is a right-wing Zionist dedicated to the cause of creating a Greater Israel who, by his actions historically, and despite rhetoric designed specifically to appease the US, has demonstrated his commitment to never allowing a Palestinian state to exist.
While Obama makes the appropriate noises about insisting that Netanyahu backs down on the settlements issues, Obama knows that Israel has most of Congress in its pocket, including Democrats, who remain one hundred percent supportive of the Zionists and their resolve to create a Greater Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people. Obama also knows that Netanyahu will not back down from his stance. So, the question is; why has Obama allowed this situation to develop? The answer lies in American public opinion.
Israel’s overtly bad behaviour in the way it deals with its enemies over the last few years, starting noticeably in the 2006 war against Hezbollah in which Israel indiscriminately bombed civilians in Lebanon, and then again later in the 2008/2009 war against the people of the Gaza in which thousands of innocent men, women and children were killed and wounded in yet another indiscriminate onslaught, has alienated Americans – indeed, the world – from further supporting Israel. They see Israel as having shown its true colours and many are concerned that Israel’s agenda is costing America dearly both in blood and treasure at a time when the American people themselves are suffering financially. As a result, Obama has no choice but to be seen making a stand against Israeli intransigence.
So, given that, despite the apparent impasse, America, via its Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has declared its undying support for Israel, how does Obama get out of the predicament?
What Obama and Netanyahu need now is something to happen that is of such a magnitude that it will render the rift into something bordering on utterly trivial and a non-event.
The link above is interesting. Just about all of the congress people that have commented giving their unconditional support to Israel have mentioned Iran as being both Israel and America’s most serious problem. It is clear that they have no interest in the plight of the Palestinians and that they support the notion of a Greater Israel existing in a Middle East that includes an Iranian government that is no longer able to support the Palestinians or Israel’s near-neighbour Arabs in Lebanon.
When the final confrontation between Israel, the US, and Iran happens, the last thing anyone is going to be thinking about is how many new homes the Israelis are going to build in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and south Lebanon after it’s all over – assuming, that is, that there’s anything left for anyone to build on anyway.