Israel Again Proves a Difficult “Ally. “Why Now? Is Iran the Reason?

Posted on March 13, 2010


Israel has yet to accept the Obama Administrations’ warning on new settlements in occupied Arab lands from any administration representative from the Secretary of State to the Vice President .

As Biden arrived to shore up the possibility of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Israeli government announced  the construction of 1,600 homes in a settlement block in mostly Arab East Jerusalem.  The Administration was blindsided, the response was immediate and unmistakable:

‘The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust [emphasis mine] we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.’ [McClatchy]

Snubs counter snubs will no doubt continue with the “war” with Palestine reduced to a chess game with one master – Israel. The UN has made it’s position clear over the years:

Since the war of 1967, Palestinians have come to accept the reality of Israel within the 1948 boundaries. The land dispute has increasingly focused on Israel’s occupation of the remaining territories — the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. UN Resolutions 242 and 338 stipulate that Israel must withdraw completely from these territories. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip on 12 September 2005, but continues to build many Jewish settlements in the other territories, actions deemed illegal by virtually all other states. The Oslo Accords (1993) and the Road Map (2003) have failed to reach a land agreement between the parties or to bring Israeli withdrawal.[Global Policy Forum]

The Global Policy Forum has gone on to characterize the situation further:

Since 2002, the Israeli government has been building a “security fence” that winds deep into Palestinian territory, claiming the barrier would keep Palestinian suicide bombers from striking Israeli citizens. But this separation wall is a major de facto annexation of Palestinian territories. By building the wall and increasing settlement expansion, Israel retains control over important Palestinian economic areas, agricultural grounds and natural resources like water. The International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel’s West Bank barrier violates international law, but the unequal struggle over the land of Palestine continues.

It would be understandable for Israel to enter into the proposed indirect or “proximity” talks with the current number of settlements. But to announce an increase of them, no doubt intended to give Israel even more leverage, has only expanded an already grave situation to include tense relations with the US.

Certainly the Israeli move has locked the US into tying up valuable diplomatic and other resources during our own conflicts in the area. It makes fly over permission and  help from Israel yet another leverage point in Israel’s favor.  The US can only express it’s deep disappointment and its feeling of having been “insulted” through Hillary Clinton our chief diplomat but the reality is that Israel remains a strategic ally.

Will a stalemate benefit Israel more than negotiations?  It would appear it could. It would give Israel needed time to plan an attack on Iran.  With the US having difficulty with Israel, their approval of such an action could not be as easily assumed. Have the US and the Palestinians been locked down to this Purpose?  This  time of year has traditionally been the window of opportunity Israel has utilized for major attacks on its enemies in the region. Many have theorized that there will, in point of fact, be an Israeli move against Iran this year.

On the other hand, it is not in the US interest to have another front open up. While we have always covertly if not overtly supported Israel, our wars in Afghanistan and Iran must have wound down before we could support Israel in such an action.

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