January 31, 2015
To the Editor,
The News Analysis of January 31, “A Strained Alliance, Obama-Netanyahu Rift Grew Over Years” misinterprets a consequential matter. Our rift with Israel is not personal, but a structural, political one.
The governing Israeli Right, trading on American guarantees of support, is maintaining an aggressive position in relation to the Palestinians. Mr. Netanyahu ignores U.S. signals that his policies are far out beyond U.S. guarantees.
This is a fragile ticking-bomb contradiction, with two possible resolutions: either Israel reverses field, stopping West Bank construction and negotiating with the Palestinians, or the U.S. clarifies that it does not guarantee Israeli policies which it cannot influence, and cuts military supply and diplomatic support to Israel.
Pulling back from Israel would be extraordinarily painful and difficult for us, but is necessary unless Israel changes its stance.
In March, this is before the Israeli electorate. The brouhaha about Mr. Netanyahu’s speech to the Congress is illustrative, and may help the Israeli public understand the stakes of the election.
1584 Le Roy Avenue,
Berkeley, CA 94708