In a rather strange and striking parallel, the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl, writing on behalf of the Netanyahu government, has inadvertently likened settlement building to the “love that dare not speak its name” (homosexuality). Both apparently bring shame in certain quarters.
Diehl reports that Bibi Netanyahu, cognizant of his missteps with the Obama administration over the past week or so, has thrown a few sops to the angry Americans. Among them is this one which would make me laugh my head off if it wasn’t so friggin’ sad:
Coupled to that would be an Israeli pledge to avoid publicizing further construction decisions in Jerusalem. The result would not be a freeze, but something like a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for settlements.
As in “what you don’t know won’t hurt you?” But the problem is that Obama will know because there are Israeli NGOs like Peace Now and Ir Amin that record every planning approval and housing start for new settlements. This is a piece of garbage that should insult Obama. What do the Israelis take Obama for? Do they think American opposition to settlements is something cosmetic that can be papered over with such narischkeit?? Even Diehl has the good sense to write:
It’s not clear whether Obama will accept such a fudge
“Fudge” indeed. I can think of other more colorful words for it. But the fact that a Jewish fundamentalist government (remember homosexuality is banned in the Bible) is likening settlements to being gay without even realizing it is doing so tickles me. If I was gay I’d be angry beyond belief to have my sexual orientation yoked to such a nasty habit (settlement building, that is).
The other sad thing about this charade is that Bibi actually has the gall to call this proposal a “confidence building measure.” He really believes attempting to build settlements in secret will improve U.S.-Israel relations. One of my readers, Shirin, likes to call such Israeli attitudes narcissistic in the extreme. I agree with her. Israeli leaders only think about how they can manipulate American presidents into getting what they want. Don’t ask, don’t tell in a settlement context is pure manipulation.