Obama, Biden cave to Netanyahu

So Vice-President Biden arrives in Israel– and the very same day the Israeli government announces it will build 112 new apartments in the settlement of Beitar Illit.
This despite PM Netanyahu’s “pledge” to halt the building of settlements in the West Bank (outside of East Jerusalem) for ten months– and despite the Israeli government’s broader commitment to halt all settlement construction under the 2002 Road Map.
Does Biden get on the next plane out of the country the moment he heard of the Beitar illit plan?
The Israeli defense ministry said building the 112 apartments was needed “to plug a potentially dangerous 40-yard gap between two existing buildings.”
But oh my gosh! I understand that there are still a few other places in the West Bank where there are gaps between one settlement building and another… Or– even more dangerous!– gaps between one settlement and another! Evidently all these “gaps” need to be built on immediately! How can the settlers possibly be secure at any point before the whole occupied West Bank is covered with their apartment blocks???
(Irony alert.)
Honestly, if the Obama administration accepted this form of argumentation, as apparently it did, then it is being run by people who are either extremely stupid or irresponsible to the point of criminality.
I’m trying to get my head around why they feel they need to cave so completely to the Netanyahu government. It cannot only be the prospect of the upcoming mid-term elections here in the U.S. Could it be that Netanyahu is threatening that, unless the US goes along with his plans in the West Bank, then he cannot be responsive to the requests they make of him for restraint regarding Iran?
If so, this is outrageous blackmail. Obama and Biden should call Netanyahu on it immediately.

16 thoughts on “Obama, Biden cave to Netanyahu

  1. Erik

    “Outrageous blackmail. Obama and Biden should call Netanyahu on it immediately”
    Yes they should, but they won’t, most likely.
    Speaking of these types of things, what about the proposed “Museum of Tolerance” at the Mamilla Cemetery?
    These people have no sense of irony. It’s like the joke about the definition of Chutzpah where a person murders his parents and asks the court for mercy on the grounds he’s an orphan.
    In the end, any equity for palestinians will have to wait until the United States either collapses as a great power or experiences an internal political epiphany that leads to public obloquy for the morally squalid adventure of Israeli “Zionism”. Absent any of that they will keep on with settlement until there’s no place left for Non Jews to live anywhere in the West Bank and they’ll keep on with convoluted doublespeak. H.C…You are courageous to continue your public criticism. So few “Public Intellectuals” are able to get away with it.

  2. epppie

    Obama has a long history, going back to his state senate days, of talking talk that pleases progressives, and other reasonable people, while doing deeds that please the corporatist right wing. Perhaps this blatantly obvious pattern – a good source on this is Paul Street – is hard for folks to see because over the past few decade we have gotten so used to this kind of thing from Democrats. It’s expected. So it’s invisible.

  3. Murphy

    “Could it be that Netanyahu is threatening that, unless the US goes along with his plans in the West Bank, then he cannot be responsive to the requests they make of him for restraint regarding Iran?”
    I suppose it could be, but I don’t think it’s likely. I do not think Israel has the remotest intention of bomboing Iran, though it would quite like the US to do so on their behalf. If Israel had wanted to bomb Iran, it would have done so years ago. And if it wants to do so now, no ‘deals’ with the US will stop it.
    Anyway, since when have US politicians needed an ‘excuse’ to behave in a craven manner towards Israel? Obama has ALWAYS been a stoodge for AIPAC, and I could never understand those who thought otherwise.

  4. Monkey's Uncle

    Opposition to Israel and ordinary Americans who
    support Israel and people who “just happen” to
    be Jews is always very palpable on this site.
    It’s almost as if one could reach out and touch
    the hate.
    But now your anger and hostility is even spilling
    over in the direction of President Obama for apparently not hating Israel as much as you do.

  5. bevin

    What is farcical about this situation is that it so ‘over engineered’ in diplomatic terms. Not only does the US do whatever the Likudniks require but Fatah is also a complete puppet which does exactly what it is paid/intimidated to do. And so do Jordan and Egypt.
    The descent, in the past decade, to complete madness has been rapid and dramatic. It is as if a death wish has come over Israel, which probes and tests to see if there is anything that it cannot get away with. Any enormity so gross that it will wake up public opinion. Any insult that the King Abdullahs might respond to. Any orders to Cairo that will explode under the Mubaraks’ throne. Any extortion that the hard pressed, but obsequious, American taxpayer will not hasten to fulfil.
    The underlying and ugly reality is that while Palestine suffers agonies a terrible, and entirely novel, antisemitism is likely to develop in places where it has never before existed, as billions of poor people see in Palestine a representation of the injustices which haunt them and blight their lives.

  6. Pliny the Elder

    That was very good Bevin about the “billions of poor people (who) see in Palestine a representation of the injustices which haunt them and blight their lives.”
    Since you are obviously one of those suffering poor people with a blighted life, could you give us some more details about what it’s been like for you to combat the “ugly reality” of Israel? You can’t just give us your incisive commentary and then leave us in the lurch as to the great personal cost that you yourself must be bearing.
    So what exactly is Israel and the American Jewish lobby doing to you at the present time? Job not working out? Bad grades? Unemployment check late again? Landlord threatening to evict? Girl friend locked you out? Car won’t start?
    Check any that apply or “all of the above”.

  7. delia ruhe

    I think Erik is quite right to suspect blackmail. The Israeli spy network is clearly entrenched throughout the US that it must have plenty with which to blackmail any number of US politicians and policy-makers.

  8. Jack

    Helena, I’m sorry , but you are leaving out the most obvious reason. Netanyahu has found that Obama is a spineless, sniveling excuse for a President and is rubbing it in to make a point to the rest of the world about the power of Israel and the Zionist Lobby. The announcement of the 1600 new units in East Jerusalem, timed to be made during Biden’s visit,seals the deal. There could be no greater insult to the US. If Obama, Biden, Abbas and company swallow this, then there is clearly no hope.

  9. bevin

    The problem , Pliny, is that Israel has taken on the role that South Africa used to play: it is the poster boy for arrogance, injustice, land piracy and violence, in the world today.
    The manner in which it treats the indigenous people of Palestine is one that millions of First Nations people, peasants made landless and reduced to slum life (the sorts who crowded Port au Prince), and others relate to.
    The world (you might note that I am upping the ante now from mere billions) sees the struggle in Palestine as an example of all that is wrong in the international community: double standards, lies, violence trumping morality, racism etc.
    As to your kind concern for my personal situation, you will be happy to learn that things could not be much better. My children are in good health, have rewarding careers and enviable material circumstances. The grandchildren are learning Woody Guthrie’s songs, so that they will be ready for siblings in kindergarten.
    All is wonderful and it would be a betrayal of life itself not to protest against the way that those whom you support treat the people of Gaza. And then there is the sense, that all reasonable people surely share, that if children can be massacred in Gaza the same can happen anywhere, even in Ontario.
    The truth is that no-one can honestly justify the treatment of Palestinians by Israel, unless they do so from the spurious bases of racist theory, in which case they may be honest but they are stupid.
    You would do well to examine the intellectual and moral poverty of your position before you essay into the business of snobbish, affectedly aristocratic, ad hominem remarks. The boots that you are licking are soaked in the blood of little children.

  10. Pliny the Elder

    I’m glad Bevin to hear that your kids are doing well. It’s sad that all kids everywhere aren’t
    doing well, like those kids in Israel, who for
    years and years, have had to endure periodic rocket fire from your pals and heroes while you
    cheered the attackers on from a safe distance.
    Did you know that Woody Guthrie wrote Chanukah, Holocaust and Jewish children’s songs and had
    staunch Zionist in-laws? Obviously not. I’m sorry
    to be the bearer of sad tidings.

  11. Helena

    Pliny, you’re adding nothing to the discussion of the main topic, but engaging merely in childish ad-hominems and ridiculous diversions. Please re-read the guidelines.

  12. Pliny the Elder

    I’m sorry Helena to have gotten off the topic and promise to avoid coming back here in the future.
    I guess I just forgot for a moment that what really drives the discussion on this blog are statements like Bevin’s about Zionists — many of whom “just happen” to be Jews — licking blood-soaked boots. Well have a happy Passover. The blood …. you know …. goes especially well with Matzoh.

  13. mike

    love to see this discussion! It’s great to see you all working through the issues and also, it’s great to see recommendations for testing. In the end, it’s what your actual users do and prefer that should be your biggest driver in making these decisions.
    reading from home

  14. hmmm

    Wow Bevin, you managed to connect Zionism with Port-au-Prince. How does that link of culpability go?
    Neither senility nor blind hate make for a nurturing grandfather.

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