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Obama on Israel: ‘No Wedge Will Be Driven Between Us’

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-23-10 11:20 AM
Original message
Obama on Israel: ‘No Wedge Will Be Driven Between Us’
Washington — Responding to concerns of the Jewish community over pressuring Israel’s government, President Obama has written a letter to Jewish leaders, assuring them that special relations between the United States and Israel will not change.

Obama addressed the letter to Alan Solow, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and a personal acquaintance of Obama from Chicago.

“I am sure you can distinguish between the noise and distortion about my views that have appeared recently, and the actual approach of my Administration toward the Middle East,” Obama wrote in the April 20 letter.

Obama stated that pursuing a two-state solution in the Middle East “is in the national security interest of the United States.” He stressed that although peacemaking is a top priority of his administration, he recognizes that “peace cannot be imposed from the outside; it must be negotiated directly by the leaders who are required to make the hard choices and compromises that take on history.”

The president’s letter, written in response to concerns raised by Jewish communal leaders in talks with Obama’s aides, focused on reassuring the community that relations with Israel are as strong as ever, despite differences regarding the peace process and settlements.

“As we continue to strive for lasting peace agreements between Israel, the Palestinians, and Israel’s neighbors, all sides should understand that our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable and that no wedge will be driven between us,” Obama wrote. “We will have our differences, but when we do, we will work to resolve them as close allies.”

http://www.forward.com/articles/127506/
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-10 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. Obama and the Democrats will never abandon Israel
That has been made clear over and over again.
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cqo_000 Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-10 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. "abandonment" is a straw man
Israel Won't Change Unless the Status Quo Has a Downside
By Tony Karon

<snip>

The origins of the peace process the Obama administration is now trying so desperately to resuscitate do not lie in the unconditional American support for Israel that has become a third rail in national politics over the past two decades. They lie in the national interest-based tough love of the administration of President George H.W. Bush

...

-- the first Bush administration recognized the need to balance Israel's reasonable interests with those of its Arab neighbors. That's why, in 1991, it dragged Israel's hawkish Likud government under Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to the Madrid conference, and so broke Israel’s "security" taboo on direct engagement with Yasir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The Bush administration also made it clear that there would be immediate and painful consequences for Israel if it continued building settlements on land conquered in the war of 1967, construction which the U.S. was then willing to term not only "unhelpful" -- the preferred euphemism of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama -- but illegal. Under the direction of Bush family consigliere and Secretary of State Jim Baker, Washington threatened to withdraw $10 billion in loan guarantees if Israeli colonization of Palestinian territory continued. In the resulting political crisis, Israelis -- mindful of their dependency on U.S. support -- voted Shamir out of office and chose Yitzhak Rabin as prime minister.


Rabin has been rightly lionized as a leader who took a courageous decision to change course in the face of bitter domestic opposition. To understand how Israel started down the path of peace, however, it’s necessary to clean the Vaseline off the lens of history and quiet the string section.

Only three years earlier, Rabin had ordered Israeli troops to use baseball bats to break the limbs of stone-throwing teenagers in hopes of stopping the Palestinian intifada or uprising. He certainly did not embrace the Oslo peace process with the PLO out of some moral epiphany. He changed course thanks to a cold-blooded assessment of Israel's strategic position at the time.

...

If U.S. pressure and the specter of isolation and opprobrium pushed Israel onto the path of a two-state solution, the easing of that pressure and the creation of the "familial" notion of U.S.-Israel ties have coincided with a steady movement away from completing the peace process.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175222/
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-10 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. Let's be honest! Who among us can trust the words of man that has broken so many promises?
If you all want to put Israel's safety on the hands of such an unreliable partner, be my guest!
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cqo_000 Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-26-10 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Let's be clear! Your argument is an appeal to fear
Engaging the peace process and Israel's safety are NOT mutually exclusive. The peace process can only move forward with America's tough love NOT Obama's empty rhetoric.
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