Obama runs out of patience with Israel
Settlement issue provokes 'biggest crisis in relations for 35 years'
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem and Hugh MacLeod in Doha
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday strongly defended Jewish settlement construction in East Jerusalem in the face of US pressure and what one of his own top diplomats described as the worst crisis in relations with Washington for more than three decades.
A defiant Mr Netanyahu appeared to be digging in despite clear indications that the Obama administration is now demanding the scrapping of plans for 1,600 new Jewish homes, whose announcement overshadowed last week's visit to Israel by the US Vice-President Joe Biden. Mr Netanyahu's stance appeared to guarantee, after a highly charged week, the protraction of a stand-off in which a full-scale diplomatic row blew up at the start of Mr Biden's visit and appeared to abate at the end of it. But it was then reignited by demands from Hillary Clinton and an angry White House that Israel make amends for the "insulting" announcement just as indirect negotiations with the Palestinians had finally been arranged...link to complete article
Monday, March 15, 2010
Taking on Israel?
It is amazing that the United States has taken so long to actually stand up to Israel. Although some people say that we will ultimately back down, it will be interesting to see what Obama will do with this one.
Actually it is surprising that Biden didn't say more while he was in Israel as the whole disaster with the new settlements was occurring. But then, that is no surprise considering how afraid the U.S. Congress has been about saying anything about Israel that is not 100% positive.
While I am very aware of the hatred on both sides, and of course, very sensitive to Jewish history (I am writing about Jews during the late Renaissance) - I still say what is happening to the Palestinians is an atrocity.