Is The US-Israel Relationship At the Point Of No Return?
The respected Haaretz thinks in the affirmative. Obama may be the first American president to stand up to Israel, but he has a few strategic allies.
Bibi is between rock and hard place. He has to maintain a delicate balance of keeping his hard liner backers happy to maintain his power. He had promised them Jerusalem as undivided capital of Israel, which the US is strongly against.
Akiva Eldar wrote in Haaretz that the US-Israeli relationship has reached a point of no return, “But with America’s strategic interest on the line, Bibi’s favorite political game (playing the Jewish community and Congress against the White House and the State Department) isn’t working anymore. Obama decided his moderate Middle East coalition is more important than Netanyahu's extremist one.”
This is still unthinkable, for no U.S. president had dared to cross Israel in modern time, and Congress is solidly behind Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Nonetheless, the US is now looking at the bigger picture with intent to improve its standing in the Middle East and the Muslim world.
Netanyahu received a standing ovation at the AIPAC conference, but the White House gave him a cold shoulder during his last trip to Washington.
The famous Iraq turnover general David Petraeus recently described Israel as a strategic burden on the U.S. He blamed the continued violence in the region for the decline of American influence. The comment received support from no less a person than the pragmatic Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Netanyahu is desperately hoping to buy time until November’s Congressional elections. This coincides with his own deadline for the freeze on Jewish settlement in the occupied area.
Bibi may be fighting the toughest fight of his life.