19 March 2015

Netanyahu sabotages U.S. Palestine policy ... a good thing?

How much will the Americans put up with from this yahoo? He is the most arrogant leader in the international community, making even Vladimir Putin look modest by comparison. He has the most powerful nation in the world as his country's best friend and benefactor, so what does he do? First, he humiliates its president, then he disdainfully dismisses its most important policy for his region.

The U.S. believes in a two-state solution to the seemingly endless conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The newly re-elected prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced that under his watch there will be no Palestinian state. Furthermore, as to the American opposition to Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, those will continue.

He puts the Americans in an impossible position when it comes to recognizing Palestine on the world stage. They have justified their opposition by insisting that Palestinian recognition can only be achieved by negotiation with Israel, but Netanyahu has made it clear that such negotiation is pointless. The U.S. now has no justification in opposing Palestinians pursuing their statehood independently of Israel. How ironic if the main beneficiaries of Netanyahu's hubris are his enemies.

Netanyahu is obviously confident the Israeli tail will continue to wag the American dog. And he might be right—after all, he owns Congress. On the other hand, President Obama may now feel liberated from any obligation to Israel in his negotiations with Iran, something that would help greatly in striking a deal. If that should prove the case, the Israeli prime minister will have inadvertently done us all a favour.


  1. He may have just done it this time, Bill. Already deputy prime minister Nick Clegg is saying that Britain should recognize the state of Palestine. The French would go along with that as would Russia and China. At the Security Council the only veto left would be Obama's and he might not be in the mood to intercede again.

    Netanyahu is back peddling furiously today but I doubt it will work. Everyone knows what he said and everyone knows his illegal settlements policy. His actions are entirely consistent with his no 2-state proclamation and he's just going to have to live with it.

  2. Considering that the majority of Jews in the U.S. vote Democrat, no, it is not a good thing to sabotage the policies of a Democratic President. Or to humiliate a Democratic President especially at a time when Democrats had just been humiliated in the recent mid term elections.

    The above is a no brainer. Unless you are betting that the Republicans will sweep the Presidency and keep both houses of Congress in 2016, something most unlikely to happen.

    Obama is out of excuses not to support human and land rights for the Palestinians now that Bibi has made it clear that he would never accept a Palestinian state. No one would believe Bibi's reversal today that he supports a two state solution after all (forget Harper, no rational person pays attention to him with his pro Israel all the time policy).

    If the opposition had won, it would have strengthened Obama's call to the rest of the world to negotiate with Israel. Now, however, he will be laughed out of the room if he insists that Bibi is still interested in a Palestinian state.

    In the short term, it might look like Bibi won but Israel and the rational Israelis who opposed the mistreatment of the Palestinians under Bibi lost.

    In the long term, however, I am not sure even Bibi has won, especially if the U.S. votes for another Democrat President and reverts to a Democrat controlled Senate.

    I suspect that this, ironically, is a victory for the suffering Palestinians as it will hasten, and harden, global action against Israeli government under Bibi.