10.29.2014

CRISIS IN AMERICAN-ISRAELI RELATIONS: RESORTING TO NAME CALLING

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu in the Oval Office (i24 News)
An unnamed official in the Obama Administration has made demeaning remarks about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to him as a 'chickenshit'.

Written by R. James Towe  james@sollicitus.us

It's no secret that the US relationship with Israel has been strained over the past six years. The American administration publicly finds fault in Israeli policies regarding the West Bank. One can only imagine the vitriol that flows behind closed doors.

A point of contention continues to be Jewish settlement growth in occupied Arab or Palestinian areas of the West Bank (captured by Israel from Jordan during the 1967 War).

A right leaning prime minister seeks to appease the hard right by approving settlements in outlying areas of Jerusalem.

Building settlements in the West Bank serves two purposes. As stated, it appeases the hard right in Israel. Mr Netanyahu depends upon this bloc for his governing coalition. It also serves to pressure the Palestinians by expressing that negotiations cannot continue, on and off, in perpetuity.

The administration's aggressive tactics have failed to pigeonhole the Israeli leader.

Mr Netanyahu has exhibited composure regarding Iran's nuclear program. He has not gone to war. He strengthened Israel's insistence of a fair deal with the Palestinians (recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and abandoning the 'right of return' contention for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel proper).

Mr Netanyahu is no fanatic. He simply refuses to be pushed into a sloppily thought out 'two-state solution'. So 'chickenshit' is nothing beyond a level of frustration displayed by an administration outflanked. Then again, this president has been outflanked by just about every regime and government it has confronted. I don't understand why they take this one so personally.

Mr Obama must have taken office with the idea that Israel was a vassal state of sorts. To his dismay, the Israelis didn't bow to the pressure of a naive president playing a dangerous game.