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There Is No “Coming Break” with Israel

Reihan Salam gets [1] a bit carried away:

So no, [Obama’s] efforts to radically remake our relationship with Israel isn’t a reflection of ignorance or a lack of familiarity with the basics of the conflict. If the president chooses to pursue this dangerous course, let no American who values our alliance with Israel, or for that matter our national honor, ever forget it.

If Obama decides to lend U.S. support to a new Security Council resolution on Israel and Palestine (or, more likely, if the U.S. refuses to veto such a resolution), that is hardly going to “radically make” the relationship. It would be one thing if Obama were actually proposing a “break” with Israel as significant as the one Salam claims, but that isn’t even under consideration. Hawkish critics have a bad habit of attributing “radical” goals to Obama when he is usually pursuing much more modest goals that they happen to dislike. There isn’t a “coming break” with Israel, but there might be a temporary end to some of the usual reflexive support.

Supposing that Obama does what Salam fears, what is likely to happen? If the Security Council passes a new resolution that sets out the terms of a final settlement, we can be certain that Israel will ignore this resolution as well. If Israel is then in greater danger of being treated as a “pariah state,” that will be due in large part to its own behavior. The U.S. has been doing Israel a disservice for a long time by shielding it from the consequences of its policies, which has allowed its government to continue policies that are incompatible with a resolution of the conflict. If there is to be any chance of changing those policies, the Israeli government has to be confronted with the full costs of pursuing them, and that won’t happen as long as it can always count on the U.S. to cover for them.

6 Comments (Open | Close)

6 Comments To "There Is No “Coming Break” with Israel"

#1 Comment By collin On March 30, 2015 @ 11:11 am

While I agree that Palestine has been occupied so long it would short term create a national security risk to Israel, but how does anybody negotiate with Israel anymore on this issue? Bibi’s pre-election did not seem like a campaign promise but the simple truth of Israel’s position. It is time for Israel to responsibility of ~48 years occupation.

#2 Comment By icarusr On March 30, 2015 @ 11:19 am

Where does “national honor” come into this? An Israeli leader come to Congress and lambasts the Head of State; Israel actively spies on the US to sabotage a stated policy; and there is no impact on “national honor”. How the US votes is now a matter of “national honor”?

#3 Comment By Gerry On March 30, 2015 @ 12:17 pm

Holy God, the comments section is like a fever-dream. It’s getting more like WND every day

#4 Comment By Gerry On March 30, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

I meant at NRO, of course, not here

#5 Comment By cfountain72 On March 30, 2015 @ 12:36 pm

Daniel should get hazard-duty pay for wading into the swamp that NRO has become. (Subscribe y’all!)

I must admit that I have a sincere ignorance on this topic in that I have no idea how our ‘national honor’ is impacted by this vote. I happen to think our national honor has been torpedoed by actions dating back to at least Vietnam, and as recent as Iraq and Afghanistan. How does our support (or lack thereof) for Israel impact it? What obligations or promises have we made to Israel?

Peace be with you.

#6 Comment By Skynyrd Kind of Man On March 30, 2015 @ 4:40 pm

I wish there were a “coming break with Israel”. I’m tired of paying for Israel with American money and blood. We’ve done it for 40 years, and when push came to shove after 9/11 we didn’t get a damn thing in return. Just more whining, more demands, more spying, more wars.