Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

Obama, and Israel’s /Domestic/ West Bank Policy

From Politico:

“There’s a line between articulating U.S. policy and seeming to be pressuring a democracy on what are their domestic policies, and the president is tiptoeing right up to that line,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who said he’d heard complaints from constituents during the congressional recess. “I would have liked to hear the president talk more about the Palestinian obligation to cut down on terrorism.”

Can someone explain to me how the colonization of the West bank is a domestic policy issue?

It’s definitely a domestic /politics/ issue, but then so, in America, is the war in Iraq.

I don’t think that it’s particularly controversial to state that it has long been an official American foreign policy priority to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In light of that, a few more questions:

  • How are the West bank settlements, recognized by the UNSC among other major international bodies to be illegal, not unequivocally destructive with regards to this end?
  • Who doesn’t think that Bibi knows this full well?
  • Who doesn’t think that in a lot of ways, the heightened Iran rhetoric is a smoke screen for this issue? Also quoted in the Politico article, Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.):

“I think it would serve America’s interest better if we were pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran, and less time pressuring our allies and the only democracy in the Middle East to stop the natural growth of their settlements.”

The demand to prevent natural growth in settlements is unreasonable and is akin to Pharaoh’s demand that all firstborn sons be thrown into the Nile River,” said Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz  ahead of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.

Now that‘s an argument that’s gonna change minds!

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2 Responses to “Obama, and Israel’s /Domestic/ West Bank Policy”

  1. Right-on Ben. If it was a domestic issue (which clearly it isn’t), then is this the first time America interferes with a democracy when it doesn’t like what it’s doing? Here I think Palestinian Elections in 2007, Lebanese Elections today, and a long line of America bullying people not to vote against its will in the Cold War Days.

    Seen as though settlements are built on the illegal expropriation of land, the destruction of homes, the razing of fields, and the uprooting of entire communities of Palestinians – this shouldn’t even be an issue that is debated in America. Yet the fact that it is, and that politicians are upset about Obama’s initial overtures (which have only been words, not actions) says alot about how honest of a mediator America is for Middle East peace.

    The audacity of people calling for the unequivocal support for colonization (as you aptly described it) is beyond me.

  2. The only arguments for it are religious, and the unfortunate reality is that the fundamentalist element in Israel that supports the settlements on religious grounds is the fastest growing Jewish demographic in the state.


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