US orders Israel to get in step; AIPAC kvetches

al Haq

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Israel envoy: U.S. ties at their lowest ebb in 35 years
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service


Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has told the country's diplomats there that U.S.-Israeli relations face their worst crisis in 35 years, despite attempts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office to project a sense of "business as usual."

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On Sunday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee condemned recent statements by the U.S. government regarding its ties with Israel, amid tensions over Israel's recent announcement of its plan to build 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem.

"The Obama Administration's recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern," said AIPAC in a statement issued on Sunday.

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"AIPAC calls on the administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State," the statement said.

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"The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests," the AIPAC statement said.

Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu continued to consult with the forum of seven senior cabinet ministers over a list of demands that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made in a telephone conversation Friday.

Clinton harshly criticized the announcement last week of plans to expand the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in East Jerusalem while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Israel.

Haaretz has learned that Clinton's list includes at least four steps the United States expects Netanyahu to carry out to restore confidence in bilateral relations and permit the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

1. Investigate the process that led to the announcement of the Ramat Shlomo construction plans in the middle of Biden's visit. The Americans seek an official response from Israel on whether this was a bureaucratic mistake or a deliberate act carried out for political reasons. Already on Saturday night, Netanyahu announced the convening of a committee to look into the issue.

2. Reverse the decision by the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee to approve construction of 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo.

3. Make a substantial gesture toward the Palestinians enabling the renewal of peace talks. The Americans suggested that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners be released, that the Israel Defense Forces withdraw from additional areas of the West Bank and transfer them to Palestinian control, that the siege of the Gaza Strip be eased and further roadblocks in the West Bank be removed.

4. Issue an official declaration that the talks with the Palestinians, even indirect talks, will deal with all the conflict's core issues - borders, refugees, Jerusalem, security arrangements, water and settlements.


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In Oren's Saturday conference call with the Israeli consuls general, he said that the current crisis was the most serious with the Americans since a confrontation between Henry Kissinger and Yitzhak Rabin in 1975 over an American demand for a partial withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula.

Linkie:
Israel envoy: U.S. ties at their lowest ebb in 35 years - Haaretz - Israel News
 

CrusaderFrank

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See what happens who you have a Muslim Marxists for POTUS?
 

mudwhistle

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Let's face it....the White House and most of the people in the Obama Administration are Muslim simpathizers......almost to the point they're pro-terrorist.

What a change since the days following 9/11.

How stupid can we be to elect this asshole to the most important office in our country.

The proof is in the lawyers that are currently in the Department of Justice under Eric Holder. Bunch of former ACLU members....many who have defended GITMO detainees.
 

Winston Smith

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The demands show how little Obama knows not only about Netanyahu, but also about Israel and Parliamentary politics at large. The Fact is that no Israeli leader can pass all four of these measures in the forseeble future (one would be hard enough), not the least Netanyahu. Obama is intentionally inlating this incident in order to topple the Israeli government, plain and simple. All he is Achieving is uniting all Israelis behind their Netanyahu, even those, who under normal circumstances would have never voted or supported him (including me).

Obama has put demands to Netanyahu that no President has ever posed to an Israeli PM. He never gave Netanyahu a chance to achieve anything and attacked him from day one. If Obama thinks that the giving Israel aid will make it his lackey - he is seriously delusioned.
 

mudwhistle

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The demands show how little Obama knows not only about Netanyahu, but also about Israel and Parliamentary politics at large. The Fact is that no Israeli leader can pass all four of these measures in the forseeble future (one would be hard enough), not the least Netanyahu. Obama is intentionally inlating this incident in order to topple the Israeli government, plain and simple. All he is Achieving is uniting all Israelis behind their Netanyahu, even those, who under normal circumstances would have never voted or supported him (including me).

Obama has put demands to Netanyahu that no President has ever posed to an Israeli PM. He never gave Netanyahu a chance to achieve anything and attacked him from day one. If Obama thinks that the giving Israel aid will make it his lackey - he is seriously delusioned.

I think Obama feels the same way about Israel as he does for the military.

He does'nt care for ether.
 
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al Haq

al Haq

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Israeli-US crisis worst since Sinai withdrawal

Israel's ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, has said the row over new housing in East Jerusalem has triggered the worst crisis in US-Israeli relations in 35 years, despite attempts by Binyamin Netanyahu to project a sense of "business as usual". The question is whether the US will move beyond criticism to take punitive action if its demands are not met.

Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid – $2.4bn annually, rising to $3bn in 2011 – much of it for the military. No US president since George Bush Sr has tried to make aid to Israel contingent on the country's adherence to international law.

Oren, a historian before taking up Israel's most important diplomatic post, reportedly characterised the crisis as the most serious since a 1975 confrontation between Henry Kissinger and the prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, over a US demand for a partial Israeli withdrawal from Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

President Gerald Ford then embarked on a "reassessment" of US policy, expressing "profound disappointment" over Israel's attitude in negotiations with Egypt. For six months the US refused to conclude new arms agreements with Israel. Rabin called it "one of the worst periods in American-Israeli relations".

Ford came under pressure from Jewish and pro-Israel groups at home and Israel eventually relented, allowing the pullback to take place. That paved the way for Anwar Sadat's initiative in 1977, which culminated in the Camp David accords brokered by President Jimmy Carter, and the 1979 peace treaty. It also led the way for a second disengagement of forces on the Golan Heights, an arrangement that has held to this day.

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The next low point came in 1991, in the wake of the Gulf war, when the Likud prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, requested $10bn in US loan guarantees to help absorb Soviet and Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. There was a showdown when Bush withheld the guarantees in response to Shamir's intransigence over settlements in the occupied territories. The freeze ended in 1992 when Rabin's newly elected Labour-led coalition approved a partial housing construction freeze in the territories – the very same issue at the heart of the current US-Israeli friction.

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It is too soon to say whether US-Israeli relations will change significantly under Barack Obama. But the current level of anger in Washington suggests this could be the moment that they do.

Linkie:
Israeli-US crisis worst since Sinai withdrawal | World news | guardian.co.uk
 

P F Tinmore

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It is all mouth until Obama cuts off Israel's welfare checks.
 

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