Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Israel Crisis

I can't figure out if the dispute with Israel will lead to any progress on actually stopping the new settlements or not. And I don't know if it will make any difference to the Palestinians suffering in the West Bank and Gaza. I liked the idea that Secretary of State Clinton harangued them for 45 minutes on the phone, but I don't know if I like the focus on how the announcement "embarrassed" the US. Like, selfish, huh? But then again, too many people in the US are all about, "Israel's our ally. We should do everything possible to protect them, even if it's against our interests!" Even if Israel is capable of protecting itself. I've seen some journalists suggest that Americans won't care enough about Israel oppressing Palestinians unless we frame it in terms of Israel spiting our interests. Israeli hardliners always claim that they are for the peace process, yet they directly sabotage it because they think we won't call them on it.

Apparently George Mitchell is canceling a trip as some sort of gesture of rebuke or punishment. When do we get to more concrete punishment, like withholding some of the billions of aid we give to Israel? I don't know. Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic claims that Obama is trying to maneuver and pressure Israel into forming a more moderate government, a coalition including a centrist party, instead of the usual right-wing hardliners. I don't know. All I know is that something's got to change.

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