In the Arena

Petraeus on Israel

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The neoconservatives who worship General David Petraeus may not be too pleased with this–a briefing Petraeus prepared for his boss, Admiral Mike Mullen, on the regional problems being raised by Israel’s instransigence on the settlements issue. If Israel were taking a moral position that upset the regional Arabs, like defending its right to exist (a limited strike in self-defense against the Hamas rocketers in Gaza, for example), I’d say that Arab disapproval would be a geo-strategic cost that we, as Israel’s ally, would have to live with.

But this is different: Israel is clearly in the wrong and, according to the Petraeus briefing, it is hurting American foreign policy in the region. In fact, Israel is doubly wrong: its non-stop lobbying for war with Iran is also exceedingly dangerous (the US Joint Chiefs of Staff have unanimously counseled against war with Iran). The fact that David Petraeus, a hero to many on the right, is concerned about Israel’s intransigence should give AIPAC and the neocons pause. It won’t, but it should.