So does Biden finally get it? Does Obama??

Shimon Shiffer, writing in Yediot Aharonot today (HT: Laura Rozen):

    While standing in front of the cameras, the U.S. vice president made an effort to smile at Binyamin Netanyahu even after having learned on Tuesday that the Interior Ministry had approved plans to build 1,600 housing units in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. But in closed conversations, Joe Biden took an entirely different tone. …
    People who heard what Biden said were stunned. “This is starting to get dangerous for us,” Biden castigated his interlocutors. “What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.”
    The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israel’s actions and US policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops fighting against Islamic terrorism.

Helena Cobban, writing in The Christian Science Monitor November 24, 2009:

    President Obama urgently needs to distance Washington from the provocative – and illegal – actions the Israeli government has been undertaking in Jerusalem.
    He needs to do this to save the two-state solution that he supports between Israelis and Palestinians. He needs to do it, too, because it will help protect US troops around the world. Jerusalem is a core concern for many of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, and with US forces now facing tense situations in several majority-Muslim countries, Washington has a stronger need than ever to keep the goodwill of the peoples of those lands

I also wrote there that Pres. Obama should take concrete action,

    by linking US aid to Israel to its compliance with international law in the city, by supporting action by the UN Security Council to uphold international standards there, and in other ways.

It is that concrete action that we have not yet seen. If we fail to see it, then sadly we’ll have to conclude that it is not just the government of Israel that is putting the lives of U.S. service-members at risk, but also Pres. Obama, through the extreme timidity he has shown in his dealings with the government of Israel.

9 thoughts on “So does Biden finally get it? Does Obama??

  1. Don Bacon

    The two-state solution is a chimera wrapped in an allusion. As Juan Cole wrote yesterday: “The Israelis have steadily and determinedly usurped Palestinian territory throughout the last nearly a century, and by now it is highly unlikely that what is left of the Palestinian West Bank and the besieged, half-starving Gaza Strip can plausibly be cobbled together into a ‘state.'”
    The two-state solution is US policy exactly because it is an impossibility. It allows the US to claim a goal knowing all the while that it is impossible, and in this way Israel is supported. And so is Hamas, for that matter, which also eschews the two-state solution.
    Obviously a one-state solution is the only viable alternative.

  2. Don Bacon

    In other news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed that she will address a plenary session at AIPAC Policy Conference 2010, which will be held March 21-23 in Washington, D.C. This will be her first policy address on the U.S.-Israel relationship since joining the Obama administration. Secretary Clinton joins a list of other dignitaries who have confirmed their attendance, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

  3. Roger

    You’ve really got to feel sorry for the current Administration.
    Either they are terminally clueless. Or are doing some seriously strong drugs. The kind that do permanent damage to the mind. Airplane glue and crack.
    What US Administration with the slightest amount of political savvy picks a fight with Israel right before an election?
    Picks a fight when its party is facing a serious electoral challenge in mid term elections?
    Picks a fight when the possibility of changing US ME policy has less chance than persuading 6 Republicans to vote for its health “reform” bill?
    Picks a fight when it has shown no stomach for following through on any fight it has picked?

  4. Murphy

    I thought Biden’s speech at Tel Aviv Uni was the most unctious piece of drivel I’ve heard in some time. I had to put it on silent after a few minuetes and wait for the ‘highlights’ later. All he did was reiterate that schmaltzy nonsense about ‘the eternal friendship with Israel’ and how the US is ‘100 committed to Israel’s security’ and so on and so forth.
    The ‘rebuke’ such as it was, was so mild, and so hedged by qualifiers about how ‘it’s best for Israel and the US too’ and ‘we understand your predicatment’ and the like. The speech underscores why the US should not be let anywehre near any ‘peace talks’ since they are – by their own admission – hopelessly biased to one side. Would anyone take Iran seriously as a ‘facilitator’ of peace talks? No. So why should we take the US seriously?

  5. Crimson Ghost

    Biden is one of countless US politicians who have sworn eternal loyalty to Irael.
    But how many Israeli politicians have sworn eternal loyalty to the United Staes?

  6. hmmm

    Biden is one of countless US politicians who have sworn eternal loyalty to Irael.
    But how many Israeli politicians have sworn eternal loyalty to the United Staes?

    All of them are on the US side, since the cold war days, on to the clash of civilizations. Always on the good side of history.
    All, except the Arab politicians, possibly.

  7. Murphy

    “All of them are on the US side, since the cold war days, on to the clash of civilizations”
    “clash of civilizations”?
    I must have slept through that one.

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