In Rare Show of Bold Diplomacy, Israeli PM Netanyahu Publicly Kicks U.S. VP Biden “In the Balls”
Not my words. Andrew Sullivan’s. He also claims today, "Joe Biden was kicked in the balls as he came to Israel, with a simultaneous "fuck you" by the Israeli government announcing new settlements – 1600 houses – in East Jerusalem."
No sooner did Biden boldly make Netanyahu wait 90 minutes for Biden to show up for dinner, than Biden totally accommodated the Israelis by delivering a message designed to show our properly deferential role to Israel in dealing with those pesky Palestinians:
United States Vice President Joe Biden warned Israelis in a direct address from Tel Aviv on Thursday that the status quo in the Middle East was not sustainable, and vowed that the United States would do everything in its power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
He also urged both Israelis and the Palestinians look toward direct negotiations to end the long-standing conflict.
"The demographic realities make it difficult for Israel to be a Jewish homeland and a democratic country," said Biden in his speech to foreign dignitaries, Israeli officials and students at Tel Aviv University. "The status quo is not sustainable."
"To end this historic conflict, both sides must be historically bold," he said.
That’s pretty bold, eh? The Israelis’ answer to Biden’s challenge to be "bold"? This announcement, made early today:
Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval, planning officials told Haaretz. They said Jerusalem’s construction plans for the next few years, even decades, are expected to focus on East Jerusalem.
Most of the housing units will be built in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods beyond the Green Line, while a smaller number of them will be built in Arab neighborhoods. The plans for some 20,000 of the apartments are already in advanced stages of approval and implementation, while plans for the remainder have yet to be submitted to the planning committees.
The planned construction includes the 1,600 homes in the ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo that were approved Tuesday. Saying the decision undermines peace talks, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has publicly condemned the move, which the Interior Ministry announced during his visit to Israel.
Sullivan goes on to write:
I cannot read Netanyahu’s mind. But I can observe Israel’s actions. They intend to occupy and colonize the entire West Bank for ever. [emphasis added] They may allow some parceled enclaves for Palestinians, but they will maintain a big military presence on the Eastern border of West Bank, and they will sustain this with raw military power and force. I certainly cannot see any other rationale for their actions these past few years that makes any sense at all. Many Israeli politicians now use the term "apartheid" for this future.
The Israelis’ bold move may be intended to do more than just kick the Vice President of the United States in the nuts.
Biden mentions "bold." The Israelis accommodate him. But the Palestinians are quite limited in the range of ways they can show "boldness."
It may well be a provocation designed to not only make it impossible for the Palestinian Authority to negotiate at all with the Israelis, but also to force the level of demonstrations in the West Bank to escalate beyond their current relative peacefulness, to levels where the IDF can claim it has to perform a Cast Lead type operation in the regions where the expansionism is already going ahead full bore.
The Israeli government is mounting an intense campaign in the United States to keep Americans from being allowed to stop militant expansionist Zionism. Without even attempting to hide the direct links between the Israeli government and the campaign’s enablers, militant Zionist expansion organizations have pretty much taken over the anti-BDS campaign, with a lot of Israeli (and American) money.
This article at mondoweiss, links to a paper being disseminated now by something called the "BDS Working Group." The pamphlet is called "Delegitimization of Israel: “Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions,” and is credited to Co-Chairs: Dr. Mitchell Bard and Professor Gil Troy.
Go to mondoweiss and read the document. If you teach college, are involved in union activism, or will be participating at upcoming Democratic Party caucuses, you may begin to see the products of the "BDS Working Group" real soon. Mixed in with more rhetoric about bombing Iran.
And just so it is clear, I am not in favor of the BDS campaign as it is now configured.