Tensions with Netanyahu and TheOne

Mr Obama and Mr Netanyahu share the view that Tehran must be stopped from acquiring nuclear weapons capability, a scenario both maintain would destabilise the wider Middle East and embolden Israel’s most committed foes. But there is a fundamental, and increasingly visible, rift on how best to respond. Crudely put, the Americans view Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts as the key ingredient in building an Arab coalition to curb Iran. Israel, by contrast, argues that a lasting Middle East peace is only attainable once the world has dealt with the threat from Tehran.

In his own speech to Aipac, the Israeli prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] brushed aside any suggestion that the broader conflict between the Muslim world and the west was linked to Israel: “Militant Islam does not hate the west because of Israel. It hates Israel because of the west – because it sees Israel as an outpost of freedom and democracy that prevents them from overrunning the Middle East.”

Many people maintain that Israel and the US will ultimately be able to patch up their differences and resume their traditional close relations. Powerful forces in Washington feel uncomfortable with the current tensions. Many conservatives view Israel as an ally unlike any other, a fellow democracy in a sea of authoritarian states. The administration’s stance has found opposition or only muted support on Capitol Hill, where Aipac remains a formidable force despite increasing divisions among Jewish-Americans themselves. Leading Republicans have voiced sharp criticism of the tougher line on Israel.

That kind of support leads some Israelis to believe Mr Netanyahu can, and should, defy US pressure. As Dore Gold, the president of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs and a former Netanyahu adviser, says: “The relationship between the US and Israel is not restricted to their governments . . . The people of the US are with us and Congress is certainly with us.”

The American Jewish community may not be on the side of Israel, but the Israeli’s seem to get it and they know that America (and not it’s president) is on their side. I wish Netanyahu was our president.

Full story here at the Financial Times

6 responses to “Tensions with Netanyahu and TheOne

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