“Enough Already”.. The American Reaction Round Up.
I gambled a bit on Sunday night Israel time, in my scathing analysis of the unwarranted weekend of fury toward Israel which poured out of the White House. I chalked it up to an artificial crisis designed to bleed out concessions, and pressure Netanyahu’s coalition for a possible topple.
It appears 3 days later this is the consensus building for these events. I pledged to see what the pro-Israel reactions might be in the USA going forward, to gage whether or not Obama’s strategy might backfire.. Judge for yourself.
Major American Jewish Organizations
[...] The controversy which has arisen regarding Israel’s planning process for future development in its capital city in the form of the construction of 1600 new housing units within the declared municipal boundaries of Jerusalem was addressed during Vice President Biden’s trip by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apology and Vice President Biden’s statement of understanding and recognition of the importance of a continuing close relationship. The unusually harsh comments made since then by members of the Administration have resulted in increased tensions. The interests of all concerned would best be served by a prompt commencement of the proximity talks that had been previously agreed to by all parties, and all parties should act in a manner that does not undercut such talks. We urge the United States and Israel to resolve the controversy with the use of language reflecting their historic friendship [...]
[...] “Ideally, differences with allies, which do occur even between the closest of friends, should be discussed and resolved in private,” said Harris. “We urge the White House to reconsider its latest, repeated verbal assaults on the Israeli government. It is not beneficial to pummel Israel with language that has rarely been used in U.S. foreign policy. And it may, however unintentionally, send the wrong signal to Israel’s adversaries in the region, further complicating an already complex landscape.”
We are shocked and stunned at the Administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem. We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States. One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table. [...]
AIPAC (One of the 1st to react)
The Obama Administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern. AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State.
Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in America’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region. Those strategic interests, which we share with Israel, extend to every facet of American life and our relationship with the Jewish State, which enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.
The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests. The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors. [...]
The Obama administration has used harsh and intentionally undiplomatic language to exacerbate tensions with our ally Israel in the wake of Vice President Biden’s visit there. The strident and unwarranted escalation of tension, which has turned a minor diplomatic embarrassment into a major international incident, has raised serious concerns about the administration’s Israel policy from a variety of mainstream voices [...]
We call on the Obama administration to halt immediately its unwarranted pressure against Israel, to take steps to heal the dangerous rift it has created between the two countries, and to return to the policy of its predecessors in supporting Israel’s security and well-being as an important strategic ally.
Plenty of consensus there. More organizations like Jstreet & Americans for Peace Now celebrated the assault (shocker huh?). The NJDC seems embarrassed more than anything, choosing to lay very low. Other than Obama’s base of hard core ultra liberal fringe, and their lovey dovey media people aren’t pleased.
“Just 90 minutes after CUFI’s action alert was distributed, more than 5,000 of our members sent e-mails to the White House asking the president to ‘end this unnecessary crisis, return to a more productive approach, and stand with our ally Israel.’ As of last count we are averaging an e-mail every second, and I see no indication that this will slow down anytime soon.” [...]
The US House & Senate
An outpouring of support for the US Israel relationship has come from senior leadership in response, most of it follows a similar theme..
Quote bits, EACH from a different US leader.
They are bi-partisan:
- “Israel is a sovereign nation and an ally, not a punching bag. Enough already.”
- “Troubling eagerness to undercut our allies and friends”
- “I am deeply concerned”
- “Rethink counterproductive rhetoric”
- “We need to disentangle bilateral relations from the peace process”
- “Now is not the time to falter in our steadfast support”
- “Verbal attacks on our staunch ally and friend”
- “An affront to the values and foundation of our long-term relationship”
- “We should be worrying about what is going on in Iran”
- “Israel is a critical ally of the United States”
- “The national security of the United States is directly tied to the strength and security of the State of Israel”
- “The Palestinians have refused to sit with the Israelis”
- “The most critical foreign policy issue facing both counties — Iran’s nuclear threat.”
- “Defuse this situation”
- “Stop this infighting and concentrate on our shared goals”
- “We should not be condemning one of America’s strongest democratic allies in the Middle East.”
- “Israel stands with the United States on the frontier of freedom”
- “The security threats that the United States and Israel face are too great and too urgent to be overwhelmed by a disagreement among friends.”
- “Sometimes silence really is golden”
- “The stakes are too high and the threats are too urgent to allow the unfortunate recent exchange between Israel and the United States.”
- “The Administration’s approach to U.S. foreign policy has, so far, been disconcerting.”
- “It is time to dial down this ugly rhetoric and gain the proper perspective on the true threats in the region.”
- “Excessive criticisms of Israel over this incident is an unnecessary distraction”
- “One has to wonder whether folks in the White House understand just how much damage this type of rhetoric is doing.”
- “It is time to put aside the rhetoric and reaffirm our bonds with Israel.”
- “Our nation’s security cannot afford a foreign policy which isolates our allies and moves toward appeasing enemies of the U.S.”
- “Any effort to cut aid would lead to fierce resistance in Congress”
Senators McCain & Lieberman also provided some interesting video from the floor..
Ill conceived animus
Clearly, whatever the reasoning, whatever the goal.. There is mounting concern over the uneven-handed treatment of Israel by this White House. There is mounting concern over the Iranian threat, there is mounting concern over this pattern of abusing allies & ingratiating America to her enemies.
With Netanyahu coming to the US next week, and so far a solid front in Israel to reject most of the Obama administration’s newly concocted demands. It remains to be seen how this artificial crisis engineered in the White House will benefit anyone really. Palestinian response thus far has been to riot, burn things, and call for a day of rage.. Go figure.
*Link Updated Above.