In the Arena

Israel First, Yet Again

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It is hard to imagine what uber-patriotic Republicans would be doing if Democrats were intervening on behalf of a foreign country against the United States government. But here we have the Republicans, newly tumescent with their House majority, attempting to interpose themselves on the side of Israel against the President. And here we have useful idiot Abe Foxman of the (Anti)-Defamation League joining the chorus:

“The administration has to take into account that Israel now has a friendlier forum,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy organization. “It will therefore think carefully about doing things.”

Just to review the situation, here are the “things” the Obama administration has done:

1. aggressively worked to produce peace talks, to the point where Obama has tried to bribe the Israelis with several billion in weapons in return for merely sitting down with the Palestinians.

2. taken the exact same position that every Administration since Nixon has taken–in opposition to more illegal Israel settlements–without really getting tough about it and witholding aid, as the first Bush Administration did.

3. tried to negotiate with Iran, instead of bombing them, a policy that has resulted in global unity on a strict sanctions regime (plus a robust sabotage program against Iran’s nuclear program, undertaken with the Israelis). The absence of kinetics and loss of life has terribly dismayed the Bomber Boys–Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer and UnGuided Missile Girl Jennifer Rubin (now of the Washington Post, which apparently felt the lack of a fire-breathing Israel-firster in its blogging roster)–and, of course, John McCain and Joe Lieberman.

It is hard to imagine this sort of behavior being tolerated from any other other group acting as agents for any other country. But, as a strong supporter of Israel and a two-state solution, let me repeat: Israel is a foreign country. It is an ally, but its interests don’t always coincide with ours. There are words to describe those who intervene on behalf of a foreign country against the United States Government. The words Patriotic and American aren’t among them.  (And if Teasies, like Rand Paul, stand against Neo-Likud foreign policy adventurism, good for them.)

Update: Meanwhile, a new report that the Palestinian Authority has published, claiming that the Western Wall isn’t the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple mount but the wall of the Al Aksa mosque, is sheer nitrogylcerine nonsense, ahistorical rubbish and the sort of thing that can only make matters worse. It is a reminder that even this eminently responsible West Bank government can be stupidly irresponsible at times.

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