A fractured friendship?

An unusual, unwelcome chill has descended on U.S.-Israeli relations

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The good news is that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing back against his foreign adversaries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endured a chilly reception recently at the White House.  File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endured a chilly reception recently at the White House.

The bad news is, they work for the U.S. government.

The Obama administration has taken an almost hostile tack against the only democracy in the Middle East, most recently with condemnation of Jewish "settlements" in Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem is not a 'settlement.' It's our capital," Netanyahu told an appreciative audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington.

Both Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to say the unusual prickliness between two historically fierce allies was already behind both parties. And yet, President Obama wouldn't deign to meet with Netanyahu in public -- their meeting was closed to the press. That's a bizarre act for supposed friends.

The Obama administration's very public criticism of Israel is all the more out of proportion when one considers that the land being built upon is not seriously in question.

You have to wonder if the Obama administration is doing more than being a go-between in the Mideast -- and whether it has quietly taken sides.

We hope the administration would avoid emboldening enemies of Israel. And we would hope that in the future, this president wouldn't be so camera-shy when our best friends are in town.

Still, in a column headlined "Allies everywhere feeling snubbed by President Obama," Washington Post writer Robert Kagan notes, "Israelis shouldn't feel that they have been singled out."

The British and French, Kagan writes, don't see a special friendship here anymore. Eastern Europe is nervous after Obama overturned U.S. missile defense policy there. "Europeans in general, while still fond of Obama, have concluded that he is not so fond of them," Kagan maintains, adding that U.S. relations in Japan and India are rocky, too.

Meanwhile, Kagan points out, "The president has shown seemingly limitless patience with the Russians as they stall an arms-control deal that could have been done in December. He accepted a year of Iranian insults and refusal to negotiate before hesitantly moving toward sanctions. The administration continues to woo Syria and Burma without much sign of reciprocation in Damascus or Rangoon.

"This administration pays lip-service to 'multilateralism,' but it is a multilateralism of accommodating autocratic rivals, not of solidifying relations with longtime democratic allies.

"Israel is not the only unhappy ally, therefore; it's just the most vulnerable."

Yes. And perhaps only more vulnerable now.

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Riverman1
86916
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Riverman1 03/28/10 - 11:38 pm
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Akiva Eldar, an editorial

Akiva Eldar, an editorial writer for the Israeli national daily, "Ha'aretz," is a dove, but he said on Charlie Rose in November one thing I agree with. He said Netanyahu and the Israeli government believe Obama is a one term president.

Obama is listening to the J-Street Conference crowd and trying to force Netanyahu to form a coalition with Kadima.

Nat the Cat
1
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Nat the Cat 03/29/10 - 12:41 am
0
0
President Obama's foreign

President Obama's foreign policies are becoming more inexplicable than his domestic policies.
I cannot wait to hear the following comments which will attempt to somehow defend Obama's allienation of our most trusted allies, not just Israel. I am certain that the President's most mesmerized followers will find some sort of redeeming value in Obama's curious, but deadly, foreign policy of coddling Russia, Syria, and Iran. Maybe it will be that the President secretly showed up in Afghanistan yesterday to rally our Troops like President Bush used to do [At least President Obama landed in a plane not in a parachute]. Or maybe they will just tell the truth...that the President doesn't like Jewish people or the Nation of Israel, and the President doesn't want to eat dinner with their leaders or be seen with them in public for fear of insulting his Muslim friends.

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 03/29/10 - 03:35 am
0
0
I wonder of Dr Greenbaum will

I wonder of Dr Greenbaum will read and comprehend this piece? The fact that folks of the Jewish faith still support Obama is amazing to me.

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
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Tigger_The_Tiger 03/29/10 - 04:49 am
0
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Now cue Cain's typical anti

Now cue Cain's typical anti Semitic post consisting of how Israel has no right to exist, yet HE has a right to exist on his stolen land.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 03/29/10 - 05:33 am
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The obamassiah has a

The obamassiah has a politically tin ear and hears only clangs of his own making. When he issues an order he expects it to be followed and when it isn't he's unhappy. Combine that with his dislike of Israel and you have an understanding of his behavior toward our most staunch ally. For the past year we've seen daily examples of this tin ear. The obamassiah's attempt to emulate Bush (again) with his surprise landing fell as flat as his groveling to foreign leaders has. 2012 can't get here soon enough. This irritating diversity mistake is an embarrassment on the international stage.

Lobosolo
5
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Lobosolo 03/29/10 - 05:43 am
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That's a good one... but I

That's a good one... but I guess you're an expert on foreign policy since you drink up the Drudge every day, along with your being an expert on everything else. You people feign blind support for Israel even as you won't let Jewish people into your little clubs and circles. Your hypocrisy is sadly comical.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 03/29/10 - 05:54 am
0
0
If Rahm is advising Obama to

If Rahm is advising Obama to take the stand he has taken with Israel then Rahm is a traitor to his heritage and to the stability of American foreign policy. Next Obama will be apologizing to his Muslim friends for the past support America his given Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

justus4
105
Points
justus4 03/29/10 - 06:48 am
0
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If this presidency is unique
Unpublished

If this presidency is unique and the nation's first, then why would the nat'l printing operation use the same evaluation, the same tired lingo, and repeat the same stories without admitting their bias. The article infers that European leaders were "snub", well who thought the Nobel Peace Prize was a good idea? (the financial crisis caused by greed on Wall St hit Europe very hard and is causing a re-evaluation of allies and mostly to blame) Israel continues to build settlements against the UN Resolution #242 which is a violation. Other nations see the violations. Then they announce NEW buildings while the US Vice President is on their soil, trying to get them to tear down old ones that were built in violation. Disrespectful at the least or blatant arrogance toward, as the article states "longtime democratic allies" so Netanyahu must explain how such events could happen on his watch. Is he in control of his government? Does he want a two-state solution? (And what about that mystery assassination in the UAI) And so, this president MUST demonstrate strength and establish who exactly is the boss, whose taxpayer citizens provide the aid and whose young boys & girls go off to fight and die. That MUST be the president's priority and world leaders MUST understand those facts, and that includes Israel.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/29/10 - 08:42 am
0
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Israel was founded through

Israel was founded through the use of violence by eastern Europeans. Before the modern day state of Israel was created in 1948 and before the advent of Zionism in the late 1800s, Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived side by side in relative peace and harmony in Palestine. The Jewish state of Israel was created by the UN against the wishes of every neighboring state in region. None of those states directly affected by the creation of Israel had veto power at the UN. They were powerless of stop the UN mandate.

Benjamin Netanyahu's effort to lay exclusive possession of Jerusalem based on a 3000 year claim is absurd. The first crusade was begun in 1095 to regain Christian access to their "Holy City" of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is in fact not the exclusive possession of Israeli Jews but an international city that is holy to the faiths of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Netanyahu's effort to expand Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, the future capital of a Palestinian state, amounts to a purge at best and ethnic cleansing at worst. The deadliest clashes in Gaza in over a year have been the reaction to Netanyahu's capricious actions regardless of the fact that they are supported by the body politic of Israeli Jews. Muslim residents of Israel have been relegated to second class status at best.

Ironically support for a one state solution is growing. The one state solution is advocated by Israeli writer and peace activist Amos Oz. A two state solution may be a necessary intermediate step, but ultimately there must be a one state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Christian Zionists only exacerbate the tensions by urging Israel to rebuild Solomon's temple which they delusionally think is required for Christ to return to earth and reign for a thousand years. Crazy Christian Zionists actually welcome Armageddon and do everything in their power to make it happen because this too will hasten Christ's return. Member(s) of the influential editorial board of The Chronicle may be among these self-deceived Christian Zionists which explains the tenor of this editorial. Robert Kagan is a neoconservative. Many, perhaps most, neocons are American Jews who owe primary allegiance to the Jewish state of Israel. The remaining neocons are largely crazy Christian Zionists who think they will be raptured up into heaven. It is high time that United States' policy towards Israelis and Palestinians be based on sane, rational, even-handed policy not unequivocal support for Israeli power and Christian mythology.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 03/29/10 - 07:23 am
0
0
clang, clang, clunk.

clang, clang, clunk. obamamusic for policies, both foreign and domestic. Of course, there's always something to be said for consistency. Wrong every time.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 03/29/10 - 07:25 am
0
0
master of mythology?

master of mythology?

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
Points
Tigger_The_Tiger 03/29/10 - 07:42 am
0
0
Cain....right on cue. Just as

Cain....right on cue. Just as anti-semitic as always, and feeling perfectly justified to live on land that was stolen from natives. What a hypocrite.

slippery 25
0
Points
slippery 25 03/29/10 - 07:53 am
0
0
I think the main problem

I think the main problem Obama has with Netanyahu is that he disagrees with him. He is not tolerant with those who do not. I am sure although he didn't listen, some of Rev. Wright's sermons are guiding his beliefs.

Riverman1
86916
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Riverman1 03/29/10 - 08:11 am
0
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Such elementary

Such elementary misunderstandings being displayed by one poster today. It is just like saying we got Manhatten Island by deceit from the Indians. Nevermind the accomplishments Europeans brought to the new world.

As far as the one state solution, that has become a Muslim political tactic. If they don't get a fully independent state without controls and without the requirement they recognize Israel, they say they want to become Israeli citizens. A takeover from within. When do the Mexicans become the majority in the U.S.?

Riverman1
86916
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Riverman1 03/29/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
In 1967, Jerusalem was Arab

In 1967, Jerusalem was Arab and so was Gaza. A Palestinian state could have been created giving the Arabs more than they can dream about today. But they weren't ready to accept Israel on any terms. They chose war and war has consequences.

Riverman1
86916
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Riverman1 03/29/10 - 08:14 am
0
0
"Many, perhaps most, neocons

"Many, perhaps most, neocons are American Jews who owe primary allegiance to the Jewish state of Israel."

Huh? I don't know about y'all, but I'm a Southern Baptist of sorts. Plus, American Jews voted Democratic the last time...to their chagrin. I bet it won't happen again.

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 03/29/10 - 08:15 am
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0
Slippery, you have correctly

Slippery, you have correctly sized up Obama's main character flaw — conceit. When you combine that flaw with his arrogance and intolerance, you have one sad and pitiful man.

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 03/29/10 - 08:18 am
0
0
Take a look at Rev. Cain's

Take a look at Rev. Cain's comment:

Israel was founded through the use of violence by eastern Europeans.

I dare say that every government in existence today was founded by violence. What difference does it make that the violence came from eastern Europe? You have to use force to take land, claim it for your own, and hold it. That is what makes a nation.

Ga Values
27
Points
Ga Values 03/29/10 - 08:29 am
0
0
themaninthemirror
0
Points
themaninthemirror 03/29/10 - 08:56 am
0
0
What is so sad, is that all

What is so sad, is that all the democrats seem to be supporting Obama 100%. They are following the devil straight to the firepit.

Southern_Patriot
0
Points
Southern_Patriot 03/29/10 - 09:05 am
0
0
If obozo goes against Israel

If obozo goes against Israel America will pay dearly. If this doesn't prove there is a radical muslim in the white house nothing does.

iakovos
0
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iakovos 03/29/10 - 09:10 am
0
0
The USA will not die for

The USA will not die for Israel or any other Nation that want to use our good will and Money to their needs only. We've been a freind for years and they slap us in the face when is enough is enough you can't have it both ways.

Ga Values
27
Points
Ga Values 03/29/10 - 09:31 am
0
0
The Jewish Anti-Defamation

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League — which has been aggressive in defending Benjamin Netanyahu this week — took an unexpected jab at David Petraeus today for his “dangerous and counterproductive” suggestion that the conflict in the Middle East, and the perception of American favoritism, make it harder for the U.S. to work in the region.

Gen. Petraeus has simply erred in linking the challenges faced by the U.S. and coalition forces in the region to a solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and blaming extremist activities on the absence of peace and the perceived U.S. favoritism for Israel. This linkage is dangerous and counterproductive.

The subtext here is that critics of Israel’s government have begun making the case that the necessity for a harder line on Bibi is a military one, and citing commanders in the region as allies. This seems to be a warning shot across Petraeus’s bow that, if he even hints publicly at that view, he’s diving into the kind of public debate soldiers tend to avoid

afadel
518
Points
afadel 03/29/10 - 10:05 am
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the main flaw in the

the main flaw in the editorial is this statement:

The Obama administration's very public criticism of Israel is all the more out of proportion when one considers that the land being built upon is not seriously in question.

Juan Cole's Ten reasons why East Jerusalem does not belong to Israel http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/feature/2010/03/23/jerusalem_israel/in...

Also, see The right-wing need for victimization and Israel http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/03/27/israel/inde...

Riverman1
86916
Points
Riverman1 03/29/10 - 10:17 am
0
0
Afadel, when you make war and

Afadel, when you make war and lose there are consequences.

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 03/29/10 - 10:42 am
0
0
By linking to Juan Cole's Ten

By linking to Juan Cole's Ten Reasons, Mr. Fadel seems to be saying, "The mythology in my Koran trumps the mythology in your Law and Prophets."

East Jerusalem belongs to Israel simply because they possess it and are willing to fight to hold on to it. If some Arabian-financed army can come in and take East Jerusalem from the Israelis, so be it. I will support the victor.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 03/29/10 - 10:53 am
0
0
JRHC-They are not "crazy

JRHC-They are not "crazy Christian Zionists", that believe they are going to be raptured . They are biblically illiterate, as you and some others are. These people have listened to wrong teaching on those verses in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. No one is going to go to meet JESUS, HE is coming here to take Jerusalem from `the bad one' and the deceived people that have fallen for him(the anti-CHRIST) that came here to earth FIRST. You're a fairly smart person, but you aren't as amart as you think you are. Try reading with understanding.........................Clouds and air are not meant literally, they have different meanings in the Greek manuscripts.

afadel
518
Points
afadel 03/29/10 - 12:12 pm
0
0
@Little Lamb, your position

@Little Lamb, your position is fairer than the U.S. Congress. So I assume you support cutting off government aid to Israeli and Egypt and Jordan and eliminating tax-exempt status for U.S. charities funding Jewish colonization of occupied Palestinian territories?

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 03/29/10 - 01:15 pm
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0
Good points, Ga Values. It's
Unpublished

Good points, Ga Values. It's hardly surprising that the Jewish Lobby USA has now turned their sights towards discrediting Gen. Petreaus. His estimation that Israel's stonewalling of a solution to the Israel-Arab conflict contributes significantly to our global inability to gain more widespread Muslim confidence in the benefits of our military efforts has definite merit. Of course, it is only Petraeus' specific responsibility to evaluate situations which contribute to increased risk of harm to American servicemen and women abroad. Why not evaluate the distinct possibility that the Obama Administration's recent implicit messages to Israel contain both legitimate and logical strategy before hopping to the usual conclusions? Read a comprehensive description of the unfolding events at: http://www.zcommunications.org/israel-wont-change-unless-the-status-quo-..., and THEN report back if there is no method to the 'madness.'

disssman
6
Points
disssman 03/29/10 - 01:18 pm
0
0
Southernpatriot. Lets be a

Southernpatriot. Lets be a little grown up here. Just who in the he## is Obozo? I have never read about him or seen him in the paper. Perhaps it is something you heard on the radio. Please explain who you mean in language that someone with a 3d grade education could understand.

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