Obama, show Israel tough love – with the emphasis on tough (Roger Cohen in New York Times)

Nog een Israel zeer toegewijde deskundige die aandringt op rigoreuze beleidsverandering tav zionistisch Israel – in het belang van Israel zelf.

Imagine Ehud Olmert, the outgoing Israeli prime minister, saying this to Barack Obama:

“The United States has been wrong to write Israel a blank check every year; wrong to turn a blind eye to the settlements in the West Bank; wrong not to be more explicit about the need to divide Jerusalem; wrong to equip us with weaponry so sophisticated we now believe military might is the answer to all our problems; and wrong in not helping us reach out to Syria. Your chosen secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said during the campaign that ‘the United States stands with Israel, now and forever.’ Well, that’s not good enough. You need to stand against us sometimes so we can avoid the curse of eternal militarism.”

Perhaps that seems unimaginable. But Olmert has already said something close to this. In a frank September interview with the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, reprinted this month by The New York Review of Books, the Israeli leader chose to exit with a mea culpa for his country’s policies.

Those policies have been encouraged by the Bush administration, whose war on terror was embraced by the Israeli government as a means to frame Israel’s confrontation with the Palestinians as part of the same struggle. No matter that Al Qaeda and the Palestinian national movement are distinct. The facile conflation got Bush in lock step with whatever Israel did.

So, by saying Israel has been wrong, Olmert was also saying the United States has been wrong, even if he never mentioned America…

I am fiercely attached to Israel’s security. Everything depends, however, on how that security is viewed. Israel can continue humiliating the Palestinians, flaunting its power with a bully’s braggadocio. It will survive that way — and be desperately corroded from within. Neither domination nor demography favors Israel over time…

Getting to such a two-state deal at, or close to, the 1967 borders will require concerted U.S. involvement from day one of the Obama administration. Its tone should be one of tough love, with the emphasis on tough.

Try Tough Love, Hillary (By Roger Cohen, Op-Ed Columnist New York Times)

Hoe zal president Obama’s Midden-Oosten beleid zijn?

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