Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Keeping the Knife in Your Belly"

Josh Marshall at TPM underscores what the existential threat to Israel really is:
I've had so many conversations with American and Israeli hardliners who say essentially, why give up this land as long as the Palestinians won't do this or that thing? Such folly. As though the settlements of the West Bank were a thing of great value as opposed to a lethal threat. Like you insist on keeping the knife in your belly as opposed to removing it at the first opportunity because someone else you're negotiating with won't do what you want.
As Obama reiterated to AIPAC today, US support for Israel remains "ironclad." Addressing the firestorm of "controversy" that erupted on the extreme right, he said:
If there’s a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance. What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I have done so because we cannot afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades, to achieve peace. The world is moving too fast. The extraordinary challenges facing Israel would only grow. Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve.
And yet, despite Netanyahu's assurances that his disagreement with Obama is "among friends," he has the gall to "expect" Obama reaffirm US commitments made to Israel in 2004. It's not like the US depends on Israel for its survival, while the inverse is certainly true. So for the Prime Minister to thumb his nose at the US President, simply assuming that Israel can do what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants, and the US will be obliged to go along -- I'm just not sure I agree that children don't sometimes need a backhand across the buttocks to get them in line.

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