Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Obama and Kerry's predicament

This is a letter to the NYT--had to be squeezed a good deal to get toward the word limit.   I thought actually that it wasn't bad (although not published) and that the problem that Likudist Israel has become for the Administration, and for the U.S. in general, is a very real one.

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.

Peter Lydon
1584 Le Roy Avenue,
Berkeley, CA  94708

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