Friday, March 19, 2010

Bringing Down the House (of Israel)

You knew it had to happen. Those of us who dare to defend Israel's right to exist knew it was just a matter of time before the Obama Administration created a "crisis" that put them at odds with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's conservative government in Jerusalem. They are using an announcement that Israel will build new housing units in Israel's capital city (oh the horror of it all) as a path to denounce Israel.

It's a manufactured rift. These "new" housing permits are actually the third stage of internal bureaucratic process going back several years. Additionally these new buildings will not be built for several years. There will be no territorial expansion of settlements, just new buildings in an existing settlement. These so-called "settlements" are surrounded by existing Jewish settlements they don't even border on Palestinian land. So what's the beef?

Embarrassment? VP Biden's trip to Israel was overshadowed by this announcement. The timing might have been bad on Israel's part but it is not a crisis! More likely it was a way for the administration to feign offense so that the eager (anti-Israel) U.S. media could jump all over Netanyahu's government. The actual truth does not matter, obviously, the media (and the Administration) banks on the American people not digging too deep and just accept that Israel is evil, and conversely the Palestinians are victims.

Again, you have to wonder if it's amateur hour in the White House. If the Adminstration thinks they are sowing the seeds of Netanyahu's demise they are wrong. This will only strengthen him in the eyes of the Israelis. As such the implied threats of American retribution only serve to confirm the worst Israeli fears. They believe, and rightly so, the Obama adminstration is hostile to Israel while seeking favor with the Arab world and the Palestinians. It only makes the Prime Minister look like a national hero. Besides, if Netanyahu goes a more conservative government is likely to follow.

So much for a new beginning on the never ending Israeli/Palestinian peace talks.