Bibi’s Hollow Victory
(The American Conservative) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan --
...The American position?
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory. Building there violates international law. Peace requires a sharing of Jerusalem, return of almost all of the West Bank and withdrawal of the Jewish settlers. And any land annexed by Israel must be compensated for with Israeli land ceded to the Palestinians.
That the U.S. position is not anti-Israel is attested to by the fact that Prime Ministers Ehud Barack and Ehud Olmert came close to a peace with the Palestinians based on these principles.
Netanyahu, however, does not accept them. For he won office denouncing them, and in his ruling coalition are parties that not only opposed withdrawal from Gaza, they oppose a Palestinian state.
Given the irreconcilable positions, the deadlock, why will Israel not prevail as she always prevails in such collisions? Why would Bibi’s “No” to Obama’s demand for a halt to the building of settlements and a cancellation of the 1,600 housing units in Jerusalem not be the final and irrevocable answer that Obama must grudgingly accept?
Answer: There is a new party to the quarrel: the U.S. military, in the person of Gen. David Petraeus.
According to Foreign Policy magazine, in January, a delegation of senior officers from Petraeus’ command were sent to brief Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen.
“The briefers reported that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CentCom’s mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israel’s intransigence on the Arab-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region, and that (George) Mitchell himself was … ‘too old, too slow and too late.’”
Mullen took this stark message — that America was seen as too weak to stand up to Israel, and the U.S. military posture was eroding in the Arab world as a result — straight to the White House. Hence, when Joe Biden was sandbagged in Israel, he apparently tore into Bibi in private.
“This is starting to get dangerous for us,” Biden reportedly told Netanyahu. “What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Yedioth Ahronoth further reported: “The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israel’s actions and U.S. policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops.”
Biden was saying Israeli intransigence could cost American lives.
Each new report of settlement expansion, each new seizure of Palestinian property, each new West Bank clash between Palestinians and Israeli troops inflames the Arab street, humiliates our Arab allies, exposes America as a weakling that cannot stand up to Israel, and imperils our troops and their mission in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As this message has now been delivered by Gen. Petraeus to his commander in chief, Obama simply cannot back down again. If he does not stand up now for U.S. interests, which are being imperiled by Israeli actions, he will lose the backing of his soldiers.
U.S.-Israeli relations are approaching a “Whose side are you on?” moment. Either Bibi backs down this time — or Obama loses his soldiers...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
The Israel lobby is essentially an arm of the Israeli government. And of course, the Israel government has no qualms whatsoever about sending American troops off to fight Israel’s battles by way of its American minions lobbying for war, because it bears no political consequences for the actions, or the deaths of U.S. soldiers. The only downside for Israel is that if Americans ever fully find out about its treachery, this could theoretically impact its foreign aid/welfare -- and its lobby and minions help prevent Americans from fully finding out with their outsized influence in Washington and mass media.
American troops are basically being held hostage by corrupt Washington dancing to the tune of the Israeli government, and they increasingly realize this. They don’t want to get stuck fighting another war for Israel -- this time against Iran -- which isn’t even in America’s interests, and for many of them would be a death sentence.
The entire scenario with its corrupt Senators, its influence peddling fifth column, and its restive legions is starting to get the feel of a Shakespearian Roman tragedy.