Why did Joe Biden insult America’s friends?

In an interview on CNN, Hillary Clinton was refreshingly blunt in saying that Israel insulted the US:

But now that’s been clearly stated, why did Joe Biden have to cap the first insult by adding another when he said: “the United States has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel”?

That’s not true — and most Americans know it. Canada, Britain, Germany and Japan are all viewed more favorably by Americans than is Israel.

Is it because Israel is the most ill-mannered among America’s friends that it has to be flattered with this “best friend” status? Is it because Israel remains perpetually on the verge of throwing a tantrum that its wet nurse feels compelled to constantly sing sweet words to this troublesome infant?

At least there are a few Israelis who can see through this farce.

Akiva Eldar writes:

The apology offered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Eli Yishai recalls the joke about the servant who pinched the king’s bottom. En route to the gallows, the servant apologized: He thought it was the queen’s bottom.

The statement issued by Netanyahu’s bureau said that in light of the ongoing dispute between Israel and the United States over construction in East Jerusalem, the plans for new housing in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood should not have been approved this particular week. It also said the premier had ordered Yishai to draft procedures that would prevent a recurrence. In other words, Yishai is welcome to submit more plans for Jewish construction in East Jerusalem next week, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will no longer be here.

Based on Biden’s reaction, it seems that he (and, presumably, his boss) has decided that it is better to leave with a few sour grapes than to quarrel with the vineyard guard. In his speech at Tel Aviv University, he said he appreciated Netanyahu’s pledge that there would be no recurrence. But what exactly does that mean? That next time he comes, the Planning and Building Committee will be asked to defer discussion of similar plans until the honored guest has left? With the media storm dying down, Netanyahu can breathe a sigh of relief.

In a sense, the uproar actually helped him: To wipe the spit off his face, Biden had to say it was only rain. Therefore, he lauded Netanyahu’s assertion that actual construction in Ramat Shlomo would begin only in another several years.

Thus Israel essentially received an American green light for approving even more building plans in East Jerusalem.

Biden might not know it, but the Palestinians certainly remember that this is exactly how East Jerusalem’s Har Homa neighborhood began: Then, too, Netanyahu persuaded the White House that construction would begin only in another several years.

When Biden arrived, the Arab League had just recommended that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accede to Washington’s proposal for indirect talks with Israel.

But instead of being able to leave with an announcement that the talks have officially begun, Biden is leaving with the news that the Arab League has suspended its recommendation.

Netanyahu can thus hope that the Ramat Shlomo imbroglio has deferred the moment of truth when he must reveal his interpretation of “two states for two peoples.” And just in case anyone failed to realize how impartial a mediator the U.S. is, Biden said in his Tel Aviv speech that the U.S. has “no better friend” than Israel.

For Netanyahu, the cherry on top was that the onus for advancing the negotiations has now been put on the Arab states – just two weeks before the Arab League summit in Tripoli, where the league’s 2002 peace initiative will again be up for discussion. For months, U.S. President Barack Obama has been trying to persuade Arab leaders not to disconnect this important initiative from life support. His argument is that nothing would make Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad happier than a final blow-up of the peace process and the outbreak of a third intifada. And his joy would be redoubled if the fire started in Jerusalem.

But while the U.S. may be papering over the rift for now, Western diplomats said the bill will come due once the talks with the PA begin (assuming they do). The U.S. has already said it will submit bridging proposals of its own during these talks, and its anger and frustration over the Ramat Shlomo incident are likely to make it far more sympathetic to the Palestinians’ positions, the diplomats said.

For instance, Netanyahu wants security issues to top the talks’ agenda, an Israeli source said. But the Palestinians want the first issue to be borders, including in Jerusalem.

And the European Union, which had planned to upgrade various agreements with Israel this week in honor of the resumed talks, has now postponed the upgrade until it becomes clear whether the talks will in fact take place.

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8 thoughts on “Why did Joe Biden insult America’s friends?

  1. pabelmont

    The EU and US are shameful. Each recognizes (and the EU does so openly, refusing trade benefits to Israel for goods made in occupied territories) that ALL the Israeli settlements are illegal and all 500,000 settlers are present in occupied West bank (including occupied East Jerusalem) illegally.

    And yet, no EU (or US) politician will come out and call for the resumption of the enforcement of the Rule of Law, now on “vacation” for 43 years, as the EU and US refuse to comply with their own duties to “ensure respect for” the Fourth Geneva Convention 0f 1949 “under all circumstances.”

    The removal of all the settlers and all the wall from all occupied territories is of far greater importance than the negotiation of a peace treatry (even if anyone were doing the latter), adn a requirement that the settlers and wall be removed (say, by 1/1/2011) would do more to invigorate those negotiations than any amount of typical diplomacy.

    But I do not expect to see such a thing in the lifetime of anyone now living. Nations which have set their faces away from the Rule of Law seldom see any reason to do otherwise.

  2. delia ruhe

    “…Canada, Britain, Germany and Japan are all viewed more favorably by Americans than is Israel.”

    We’re also much better at taking orders from Washington. If Israel’s administration weren’t leaning so hard on us too, I think I would have a secret admiration for it. Serves all of us vassal states right for outsourcing so much of our foreign policy.

    Despite the unhelpful interference of a couple of presidents — Carter and maybe Bush Sr. — the US has never really wanted anything from Israel except that it get on with its colonization of historic Palestine. God knows Washington has always given Israel more than enough cover for finishing that job. All this current drama of snubs and insults and offended sensibilities appears to be doing precisely what it was intended to do, namely, speed up the completion of Palestinian dispossession. Like the health care plan without a hint of a public option, Israel without a hint of justice for Palestinians may just help to win Obama a second term.

  3. Christopher Hoare

    Perhaps the American public is not as stupid as politicians who imagine that Israel is an American friend. Who needs friends like Israel?

    Israel is a freeloader and an ever increasing and unsustainable liability.

  4. Kent Otho Doering

    The insult of Biden was doubled. Immediaely after VP President Biden left, to my knowledge, Av – Ding – Dong Lieberman, not such a ” lieber Mann” after all, Israels own “right wing nut” foriegn minister” received a visit from Texas Republican “wing nut” -John Hagee – who espouses the strange doctrines of Christian Zionism. (The first coming of the Jewish Messiah will be the seond coming of Jeus Christ or something like that, “rapture” U.S. Pentacostalist Beat Ya with the Bible Belt – nonsense like that.

    Bibi and AV Ding Dong? Two complementary nutcases. – “authoritarian narcissistic”.

    The only sane response to the double insult be to say – “we always have the option of cutting our military aid to Israel if you behave that way. Then the infamous “Schnoorer Staat” just might start better towing the line.

    Not too kosher pig crap to my way of thinking. Really, when Bush and Cheney were still in office… Ding Dong Liebrmann was touring Germany bragging about how he was going to have his frriend Dick Cheney bomb nuclear research and gas enrichment facilities in Iran. (Forgetting that only the U.S. congress has the authority to declare war, not the later Israeli foreign minister. )

    Like the last thing we need is a war with Iran on top of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the clown was running around telling Audiences he would use his influence on cheney to bomb Iran – a “earl harbour” of sorts that would definitely open armed hostilities on the hground, sea, and the air. With what Army would we fight such a conflict. OUr fighting forces are worn out from a two theter conflict.

    Ot os aösp mp secret that Israel already has the bomb, revealed by an Israeli nuclear scientist. And last yer, Avi hysterically screeched to Egypt that if it ever resumed hostilities against the state, they would simply “bomb”, i.e. nuke the Assuan dam.
    Nuts – meschugge – the both of the Tuchas Schmucks.

    I used to be leaning towards Israel in the Israeli – Palestinean conflict. But after our country was lured into invading Iraq based on an outright lie of Iraq having developing nuclear weapons, I feel as fucked by Mossad as do Maddofs suckers feel fucked by Bernie.

    The Jerusalem settlement and the receiving the redneck Repubnican Jim Hagee insults back to back. The Israeli foreign policy is burdened by the west bank settlers, and those same three hundred thousand people are foolish enough to believe they can continue to influence the foreign policie of a nation of three hundred million – hence the desperate bets on Hagee`s strange form of “rapture” Pentacostalism – Christian Zionism.

    Those were not just insults of Obama and Biden, but also insults of everybody who voted for them. After Gaza, I am all in favour of radically cutting back on U.S. military aid to Israel and spending on better care for the Iraq II and Afghanistan veterans of war, thank you.

    Israeli – U.S. relationships have never been so low as they are now. Izt is not the fault of the Americans. Bibi and Av – Ding-Dong Lieberman are as nutty as Jim Hagee inmy book..

    A more balanced and neutral middle east policy is the best guarantee of a larger peace of the United States with the Moslem world.

    All the religious based conflicts over the millenia are almost enough to make me want to convert to the ancient Greco-Roman worshiüp of Jupiter or maybe a utopian socialist thing like a Benedictine monastery? (Maybe I´d even do without pussy in my old age if it were to advance the cause of a just peace in the Middle East.)

    All the Best to this website and the people behind it. Allahim Salaam: Kent Otho Doering

  5. DE Teodoru

    Hillary Clinton did nothing as SecState but prove why she should never become President in 2012 as her Clintonistas in the White House are maneuvering to bring about. Her Kabuki Theater with Netanyahu is reverse alchemy, making something into nothing. But it won’t work. Note that Netanyahu’s “outrage” is over timing of the crime, not the criminal nature of the deed. So in effect, his “investigation” sums up to Clintonista theatric as shown by the cognitive dissonance expressed in the video above. WE have real powers to regain our status with. In one of Singer’s stories the resident of a Shetl asks the wise rabbi: rabbi why does the dog wag its tail; the rabbi responds: would you rather have the tail wag the dog? Have you not had enough of our little Israeli tail wagging our nation as if just a “dumb goyim” dog? It’s time to plant our feet in the ground and, if necessary, like a lizard, rid ourselves of this tail that keeps shaking our nation so much. It’s all in Netanyahu’s court. Either he clears the vermin from the West Bank or he’s on his own.

  6. American Muse

    Israel is a vainglorious country heading toward ultimate disaster. The Zionist vision is clearly racist and exclusionary. When a group brazenly anoints itself as “God’s chosen people” in its own self-serving scriptures, it communicates utter contempt for the rest of humankind. I think Jesus, a Jew himself, tried to correct this delusion.

  7. Alec

    [What recently crossed my vision while computering is what I hereby share.]


    Many are still unaware of the eccentric, 180-year-old British theory underlying the politics of American evangelicals and Christian Zionists.
    Journalist and historian Dave MacPherson has spent more than 40 years focusing on the origin and spread of what is known as the apocalyptic “pretribulation rapture” – the inspiration behind Hal Lindsey’s bestsellers of the 1970s and Tim LaHaye’s today.
    Although promoters of this endtime evacuation from earth constantly repeat their slogan that “it’s imminent and always has been” (which critics view more as a sales pitch than a scriptural statement), it was unknown in all official theology and organized religion before 1830.
    And MacPherson’s research also reveals how hostile the pretrib rapture view has been to other faiths:
    It is anti-Islam. TV preacher John Hagee has been advocating “a pre-emptive military strike against Iran.” (Google “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism.”)
    It is anti-Jewish. MacPherson’s book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books etc.) exposes hypocritical anti-Jewishness in even the theory’s foundation.
    It is anti-Catholic. Lindsey and C. I. Scofield are two of many leaders who claim that the final Antichrist will be a Roman Catholic. (Google “Pretrib Hypocrisy.”)
    It is anti-Protestant. For this reason no major Protestant denomination has ever adopted this escapist view.
    It even has some anti-evangelical aspects. The first publication promoting this novel endtime view spoke degradingly of “the name by which the mixed multitude of modern Moabites love to be distinguished, – the Evangelical World.” (MacPherson’s “Plot,” p. 85)
    Despite the above, MacPherson proves that the “glue” that holds constantly in-fighting evangelicals together long enough to be victorious voting blocs in elections is the same “fly away” view. He notes that Jerry Falwell, when giving political speeches just before an election, would unfailingly state: “We believe in the pretribulational rapture!”
    In addition to “The Rapture Plot,” MacPherson’s many internet articles include “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” (massive plagiarism, phony doctorates, changing of early “rapture” documents in order to falsely credit John Darby with this view, etc.!).
    Because of his devastating discoveries, MacPherson is now No. 1 on the “hate” list of pretrib rapture leaders!
    There’s no question that the leading promoters of this bizarre 19th century end-of-the-world doctrine are solidly pro-Israel and necessarily anti-Palestinian. In light of recently uncovered facts about this fringe-British-invented belief which has always been riddled with dishonesty, many are wondering why it should ever have any influence on Middle East affairs.
    This Johnny-come-lately view raises millions of dollars for political agendas. Only when scholars of all faiths begin to look deeply at it and widely air its “dirty linen” will it cease to be a power. It is the one theological view no one needs!
    With apologies to Winston Churchill – never has so much deception been foisted on so many by so few!

    [Also Google “David Letterman’s Hate, Etc.”]

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