by Yoram Ettinger
Israeli leadership must end ongoing retreat in face of Obama pressure
The threat issued by Special Presidential Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to withhold US loan guarantees, in order to extract excessive concessions from Israel, constitutes a wake-up call for wishful-thinkers.
Senator Mitchell's January 7, 2010 interview with PBS' Charlie Rose refutes the notion that the Obama Administration will accept anything but full Israeli compliance with
Obama's confidant, George Mitchell, known for his deliberate style, made clear that submission to pressure is not rewarded but punishable by further pressure. That is certainly the case with a White House run by Rahm Emanuel, who is "the meanest shark in town."
Emanuel and President Obama, his Chicago-politics pal, were elated when Prime Minister Netanyahu rushed on June 14, 2009 to
Leveraging their initial success, they now employ the threat of withholding loan guarantees and intensify the pressure on
Obama's Liberal power-base is unhappy with legislative compromises concluded with Blue Dog Democrats. Republicans are energized by Obama's difficulties and the 30% bloc of Independents, which accorded Obama the 2008 victory, is turning its back on Obama in 2010. Since assuming power in January, 2009, Obama has received slaps in the face from
still doesn’t get it Israel
In 1992, at the height of the Shamir-Bush battle over loan guarantees, I was told by then Majority Leader, Senator George Mitchell: "Doesn't Israel know that the US is not a monarchy, that the president is not omnipotent and that the Legislature is equal in power to the Executive?!"
Senator Mitchell's PBS interview reflects Obama's determination to dictate to the Jewish State a full withdrawal to the 1949 and 1967 ceasefire lines, the uprooting of Jewish communities in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, the repartitioning of Jerusalem, the negotiation of the "claim of return" by 1948 Arab refugees and the exchange of land.
Such an approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict is a derivative of Obama’s worldview, which highlights the UN as a quarterback of international relations, considers Europe as a role model and Foggy Bottom bureaucracy as luminaries on international relations, burdens the West with partial-blame for international terrorism, regards the Jewish State as part of the exploiting West and the Arabs part of the exploited Third World.
In facing Obama's pressure,
Such steadfastness yielded short-term US-Israel tension. However, it was rapidly transformed into long-term enhanced strategic respect, by American and Middle Eastern leaders, toward the Jewish State.
In 2010, Israeli leaders are endowed with a critical mass – which was not enjoyed by the 1948-1992 leaders - demographically (6 million Jews!), economically, technologically and militarily, bolstered by a formidable infrastructure of support in the
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