Netanyahu assumes command in Washington

After winning the US midterm elections, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hardly needs to worry about holding his own coalition government together. The fact that he so transparently now has Washington in his pocket should duly impress anyone who might have doubted America’s willingness to tolerate its increasingly servile relationship with Israel.

Even so, after the announcement that 1,345 new housing units will be built for Jewish occupants in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, President Obama’s reaction — to suggest that this move is “unhelpful” during peace negotiations — set off alarm bells. The White House was swift to assure those concerned, that the administration is not stepping out of line.

On a conference call with American Jewish leaders today, a White House official said the administration hadn’t sought a confrontation with the Israelis over a new construction announcement.

President Barack Obama answered a question at a press conference on the subject straightforwardly but hadn’t specifically planned to make a statement criticizing new Israeli building, National Security Council official Dan Shapiro said on the call, according to a participant.

Perhaps the press can avoid causing Obama any further embarrassment by henceforth not asking questions on such sensitive topics.

Still, this administration remains an object of mistrust and so when Netanyahu met his leading representative in Washington a few days ago, Eric Cantor, the congressman and likely GOP majority leader assured his prime minister that the Republican party will now be able impose the required discipline.

Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington. He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.

Unfortunately, a few Americans might be perplexed by this claim that the security of the United States is dependent on the security of Israel. Cantor believes “most Americans understand that Israel’s security is synonymous with America’s security.”

Mutual dependence and the security of these two nations being synonymous are not quite the same thing.

It’s easy to see that Israel is capable of having such a disruptive impact on the Middle East that this will damage US interests and in that sense that the US depends on Israel not to undermine its national security even more than it already does.

But to say that Israel’s security is synonymous with America’s security suggests another possibility. If our interests do indeed so perfectly overlap, then we really don’t need to think about Israel’s security. If America focuses on its own interests, Israel’s — in as much as their interests are identical — will be taken care of. In as much as our interests differ — well that’s Israel’s problem, not ours.

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7 thoughts on “Netanyahu assumes command in Washington

  1. Christopher Hoare

    Which shows the inherent weakness in a system of government where the administration is insulated from the ongoing political dialogue and the actual elected man and woman power that oversees the mechanics of power. The real leader of a nation should be the person who deals directly with the daily political action — and the heads of the administration departments need to be seen at their seats providing the material support.
    The US might as well close the White House and have Congress deal directly with Netanyahu. What does Israel lack today? Only a miserable $3Billion to finance the Zionist theft of Palestine — how about $30 Billion? Only a piddling $400 Millions’ worth of armaments to be stored there by the Pentagon — what about $400 Billion?

    What will it take before Americans realize they’ve been taken to the cleaners?

  2. omop

    Eric Cantor who has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the USA gas committed an act of treason and reported on The RAW Story website;

    November 13, 2010
    If our political system made more sense, this would be an astounding scandal that would dominate the discourse.

    Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday during a meeting in New York that the new GOP majority in the House will “serve as a check” on the Obama administration, a statement unusual for its blunt disagreement with U.S. policy delivered directly to a foreign leader.

    “Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington,” read a statement from Cantor’s office on the one-on-one meeting. “He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.”

    This just isn’t normal. Laura Rozen called the meeting itself “unusual, if not unheard of.” But it’s what Cantor said that’s astounding.

    Chickens finally coming home to roost. Do WE all now have to pledge allegiance to Camtor’s buddy?

  3. Norman

    Treason indeed. This is the result of having elected a P.O.T.U.S. who is all mouth and no brawn. Too bad, for he won’t be reelected in 2012, neither will a Republican. The Democrats will allow the Republicans to dig their hole as deep as they want, but to all a surprise, neither will run the Government. A third party is a reality here, so, either these individuals get their act together and uphold the Constitution they took an oath to, or they can go to Israel and live, which is probably what Lieberman will do when he loses. Either these politician get their collective heads out of where the sun don’t shine, or they will go down to defeat.

    There are over 300 million people in the U.S.A. today, and allowing the present “Mad Hatters” in Israel special status that the U.S. will defend to the detriment, is beyond stupidity. If the “O” wants peace as much as he says he does, then it’s time he started acting like a P.O.T.U.S. and told Israel to take a hike.

  4. BillVZ

    “third party is a reality here”

    A third party is not only a reality here,it is already present, organised,funded and has been covertly maturing over the years – in preparation to step into the breach,to seize power.
    I am speaking of the Christian fundamentalist of the extreme right that,as Ted Rall has insightfully exposed in his recent book”Anti-american Manesfesto”,have allied with the governments right-wing Republicans,Israel’s Zionists,the corporations,J Street and all other disparate brands of conservatism to become a deep concern to be reckoned with.
    Yes, the movement has been alluded to and often pooh-pooed for some time but given the ways that are becoming apparent regarding their power and support at present– I can see a true force,an alternative‘party’ movement that could easily become a replacement to the dead two party system.Greens and whoever else that might contend would not stand a chance.

  5. Ian Arbuckle

    As far as I have gathered from Al Jazeera, the Israel cabinet is still considering a 90 days (only) freeze settlement proposal, the moratorium not to include east Jerusalem, made by the US in exchange for unprecedented guarantees .

    Quoting from the Al Jazeera report “Israel mulls US settlement deal”

    “We know the US has been pushing Israel to extend that moratorium. We are hearing the incentives include security arrangements that could include 20 fighter jets that the US would supply to Israel,” Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the West Bank, said.

    “Israel also wants guarantees from the US that it would veto resolutions being brought to the UN [that are not in their favour]. Such as the Goldstone report on Israel’s war on Gaza, which was very critical of Israel and Hamas and accused them of crimes against humanity.

    “And another UN resolution on Israel’s deadly raid on the Gaza bound aid flotilla on 31 May. We don’t have confirmation from the US side that this is what they are offering.”
    Khaled Elgindy, an adviser to the Palestinian leadership on negotiations with Israel in 2007, said that the settlements issue had been a “nuisance” to US efforts to bring Israeli and Palestinian officials to the table.

    “The plan of the administration for the past year has been to get an agreement on borders and security so as to obviate the need for a settlement freeze,” he told Al Jazeera.

    “They understand that genuine talks cannot continue while their is settlement activity, it undermines the process.”

    Israel insists the issue of settlements will become null and void once final borders are agreed upon.

    I would suggest that the apparent “bending over backwards” or just bending to assume the demanded position, depending on how your see things, is directly related to this, so called, negotiation. This negotiation in my opinion, which I have no doubt, coincides with the opinions of the vast majority of Palestinians, is being handled in terms which will be totally unacceptable to Palestinian interests, other than those already corrupted by American and Israeli Zionists.

  6. Renfro

    So much for US deficit reduction……we’re gonna give Israel 3 billion
    in fighter planes to not build settlements for 90 days when they never quit
    building settlement in the first place…while Americans get put on a
    catfood diet.
    Counting their regular aid of 3 billion, plus earmarks in congress for other
    Israeli projects and trade, energy research, education and etc. grants to Israel brings this years total to Israel to about 7 billion.
    the US once again gets blackmailed, the taxpayers pay the blackmailer and the politicans get to keep their Jewish campaign donations.

    Netanyahu presents security cabinet with Clinton’s incentive of 20 F-35
    fighter planes and security guarantees in exchange for 90-day West Bank
    building moratorium.

    By Barak Ravid and Natasha Mozgovaya

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s seven-member inner cabinet discussed
    Saturday an offer by the United States to reinstate a freeze on West Bank
    Settlement construction in return for a package of incentives.

    Netanyahu presented Saturday the U.S. offer, which was discussed by
    Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday, to the
    forum of seven.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin
    Netanyahu at their meeting in New York, November 11, 2010.

    Photo by: Reuters

    According to the offer Israel would stop construction in the West Bank for
    90 days. The freeze includes construction that began after the end of the
    first settlement moratorium on September 26.

    The moratorium would not apply to construction in East Jerusalem. The U.S.
    will not ask Israel to extend the new moratorium when it expires.

    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator, said the Americans had not
    officially informed the Palestinians about the details of the proposal, “but
    they know we have a major problem in not including east Jerusalem”.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will put the U.S. plan before
    decision-makers and call for an immediate session of Arab League officials
    before announcing an official decision, Erekat said.

    In return for an Israeli freeze, the U.S. government would deliver 20 F-35
    fighter jets to Israel, a deal worth $3 billion. Moreover, if an
    Israeli-Palestinian agreement is achieved, the U.S. would sign a
    comprehensive security agreement with Israel. The U.S. and Israel are to
    discuss the nature of the new security arrangements in the next few weeks.

    According to “The Cable” blog, White House Middle East adviser Dan Shapiro
    told a group of American Jewish leaders on Friday that U.S. was committed to
    fighting delegitimization of Israel, and listed recent efforts to advocate
    on behalf of Israel.

    Such efforts included: curbing actions by the United Nations on the
    Goldstone Report; blocking anti-Israel UN resolutions concerning the Gaza
    flotilla raid; defeating international resolutions aimed at exposing
    Israel’s nuclear program at the International Atomic Energy Agency; and
    strengthening pressure on Iran and Syria in regards to their nuclear and
    proliferation activities.

    Plus….the US is increasing it’s store of US weapons catched in and
    available for Israel ‘s use to 1 billion……a 400 million increase.

  7. Norman

    So, the Coup has started. All ready the minions are giving away the store, while “O” is out of the country. for what? This is the most absurd sounding proposal that I’ve ever heard. What are these so called people who pretend to belong to the United States Government think they are doing? I suppose they are in the process of changing the name from the U.S.A. to the U.S.I. Yes, the united states of israel. Whoppee, now we can all be jews. O.M.G. where have the morals & common sense gone to in this Government. What is taking place today in this “KABUKI” is nothing short of Treason.

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