Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday sharply rebuked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying moves to expand a Jerusalem settlement sent "a deeply negative signal" on Israel's ties to the US.Yeah, I'm sure Israel is really quaking in their boots. Look folks, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can do to Israel. They own us. Cutting one dollar of funding would immediately be opposed by two thirds of the House and Senate, and 100% of the Republican Party, and most importantly 100% of the Village press. There's not one single stick we can use against Tel Aviv. Period. It would never be allowed. Ever.
Israel announced Tuesday during an official visit to the country by US Vice President Joe Biden that 1,600 new settler homes would be built in predominantly Arab east Jerusalem.
The announcement sent a "deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship," Clinton told Netanyahu in an early morning phone call Friday and was "contrary to the spirit" of Biden's trip.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley added that Clinton stressed "this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America's interest."
It was an unusually strong rebuke from the United States for its main regional ally and came as Israel Friday sealed off the West Bank amid tension in Jerusalem over the plans.
So yes, our Israeli allies will continue to laugh at our VP, laugh at our SecState, and ignore our President. They're waiting for the Republicans to be back in charge, because frankly they don't think they should have to deal with this Obama guy. At all. Actually speaking to Muslims? What kind of bullshit is that, the Israelis say. Let us know when a Republican president is back in charge. Until then, screw you.
Or maybe, they'll just force our hand on Iran anyway. They clearly don't give a damn about settlements on the West Bank, and they clearly don't give a damn about US requests. They know there's precisely zero percent chance we'll do anything about the Netanyahu government. Zero. None. Zilch.
You have a better chance of getting single payer health care passed than even a slap on the wrist for Israel.
That's what's wrong with our foreign policy. Daniel Pipes's response to today's events is typical:
The center-left approach is better than the far-left approach, but neither has a chance of succeeding. What Israel needs is not hectoring about its residential housing policies but an American ally that encourages it to win its war against the irredentist Palestinians of both Fatah and Hamas.Until Israel gets a US government that will give it the green light to exterminate the Palestinians, they will continue to ignore America. They're expecting one in 2010, and especially in 2012.