Obama’s Israeli Policies

by Vince

Glenn Greenwald has a long piece on Obama’s stance towards Israel/Palestine that is worth a full read. Money quote:

I don’t believe Obama is guided in these efforts by any principled concern or moral empathy for the plight of Palestinians or the injustice of the 45-year-old occupation; it seems clear that he isn’t ever driven by considerations of that sort.  But what he is, at least compared to the prior President, is a competent technocrat, a more calculating imperial manager, able to rationally assess costs and benefits with a ruthless analytical stoicism.  And Obama has been surrounded by top advisers — such as Gen. James Jones and David Petraeus — who clearly recognize, and have publicly said, that the festering Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and the (obviously accurate) perception in the Muslim world that the U.S. enables Israel, is harmful in numerous ways to U.S. interests in the region.  Especially with largely anti-Israel Arab public opinion starting to supplant easily manipulated, U.S.-serving Arab tyrants, it is vital — for what the U.S. government perceives to be its interests in the region — that Israel reach a peace agreement, and that in turn requires that the U.S. use its leverage to pressure Israel to do things it plainly does not want to do.

Regardless of Obama’s intentions here — and that remains unclear — a prerequisite to any meaningful change in U.S./Israel policy is the defeat of those who want to suppress the debate entirely.  Those are the people now wildly demonizing the President for his tepid Middle East speech, and it’s why it is incumbent upon anyone who desires real change in this area to defend him from those attacks.  At the very least, the notion that defying the Israeli Government is some sort of supreme evil — and, conversely, that loyalty to that government is a solemn duty — needs to be demolished.

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