Someone must not’ve told Nancy Pelosi about the tense discussions taking place this week between Bibi Netanyahu and her Democratic counterparts in the Obama administration. She must’ve missed the memo warning of deep dissatisfaction in the executive branch with Bibi’s commitment to peace and serious negotiations with the Palestinians. If they had, she certainly wouldn’t have fawned over Bibi today as she met with him and her Republican counterpart, John Boehner. Here is a sampling of her sycophancy:
It is an honor and privilege, once again, to welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu to the Capitol of the United States…
He is a strong leader for the Israeli people, a man prepared to make sacrifices for the sake of peace and security of his country. The long friendship between the United States and Israel is founded on common values of democracy, pluralism, and freedom, and common hopes for peace and security for our children. We in Congress stand by Israel, something we have a joint bipartisan commitment — no separation between us on this subject. In Congress, we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel.
I’m all for bi-partisanship when the two parties have something in common. But if Pelosi seriously believes half the things she said above then she is seriously deluded about what Israel truly is. And her bipartisan agreement with the Republicans is a pact with the devil. Not to mention, that this is historically what Bibi does when he’s at odds with a U.S. president. He turns to the rock-solid support Israel enjoys in Congress and goes over the president’s head. If Obama is strong, it can’t work. If he wavers, his goose is cooked and Bibi will feast on his carcass for dinner.
Pelosi clearly is thinking not about what’s going on behind closed doors at the White House, but of the November elections. She foresees that $1-million dollars in advertising Shelly Adelson and the Republican Jewish Coalition waste every year attempting to prove that Democrats are Arab lovers and hate Israel, and that Republicans are uber Zionists and hate Palestinians. This is yet another instance in which politics trumps truth. She figures she can speak a few white lies for the sake of retaining her Congressional majority. The problem is those little white lies come back to haunt you and anyone who knows anything about the Israeli Palestinian conflict knows that they’re lies.
At least we can be comforted that Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton don’t share Pelosi’s certainty on these issues. Clinton was even willing to take the unprecedented step of telling Aipac delegates that she had serious disagreements with Bibi. I don’t believe such a speech has ever been given at an Aipac conference. Even though the level of disagreement was relatively mild, even raising the issue was shocking (and welcome).
It remains to be seen whether the disagreements which characterized this week’s meetings and last week’s imbroglio during Biden’s Israel visit mark a change of tone and approach by Obama to Israel; or whether they mark an ebb and flow in the relationship which eventually returns to equilibrium. If the latter, we can wash our hands of Obama and any serious achievements regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. If the former, then there will have to be many more such disagreements openly stated and confronted before Israel and its government will understand what it must do for peace.
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