Time for U.S. to stop shielding Israel
January 23rd, 2013
08:22 PM ET

Time for U.S. to stop shielding Israel

By Ibrahim Sharqieh, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Ibrahim Sharqieh is deputy director of the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

We are now set for a third term for Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu. And, although Netanyahu’s Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu coalition seems to have underperformed expectations, a plurality of the vote will allow him to once again lead Israel’s government.

But even a somewhat moderated Netanyahu government will continue to advance radical positions that put regional and global security in danger. The question, then, is how the United States can best push another right-wing administration to behave in accordance with the principles of the international security system – and its own national interests.

Over the past two Netanyahu terms, the international community, and the United States in particular, adopted an approach based on accommodation when dealing with the Netanyahu government. The hope was that this approach would contain the risks this extremist government posed to international security. Yet just as that strategy did not work then, it will not work now. The United States must therefore now take a harder line with Israel’s coming government – it must switch from a strategy of accommodation to one of confrontation, and it should start by letting fall its diplomatic shield.

In order to protect Israel from international pressure, the United States has repeatedly vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions that criticize Israeli government actions – including resolutions on settlement construction that the United States itself publicly rejects. In return, Netanyahu has publicly flouted American priorities. Europe has also accommodated the Netanyahu government. In exchange, Netanyahu refused a request from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, his strongest European ally, to temporarily freeze settlement construction. The negotiating “Quartet,” meanwhile, has yielded to the Israeli government’s position since its inception. The Quartet – made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations – was repaid in last January’s Amman talks. It requested that each negotiating party submit in writing its vision for final status talks; while the Palestinians complied, Netanyahu declined, dealing the Quartet a humiliating defeat.

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This international forbearance has tipped the already skewed balance of power between Israel and the Palestinians and essentially left Israel with no incentive to negotiate or compromise. A Netanyahu-led Israel whose military, economic, and now diplomatic power dwarfs that of the Palestinians no longer sees any reason to be part of a sustainable solution.

Continuing to enable the latest iteration of the Netanyahu government threatens a host of dangerous, unpredictable consequences. Netanyahu’s plans to continue settlement expansion will effectively put an end to peace efforts in the region. Just Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Israel’s settlement policy “will make a two-state solution impossible.” Now, a further deterioration of peace prospects could produce the long-overdue “Palestinian Spring.” We may see the first stirrings of this sort of mass, nonviolent protest in Bab al-Shams and Bab al-Karama – two tent cities that have sprung up to obstruct Israeli expansion plans in the occupied West Bank. More dangerously, though, settlement growth will likely lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, something the United States has gone to great lengths to protect and support. The vacuum left by the Authority’s implosion could lead to a surge of violence, which may seem to many Palestinians like their only legitimate alternative. The same void would effectively invalidate the Quartet’s reason for existence – and even require direct international intervention to restore order. And all this is to say nothing of the possibility Netanyahu could drag the United States into a new region-spanning war with Iran, just as America is winding down its long, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Of course, there is now reason to think that Israel’s ironclad international support may be changing. Europe made an obvious and historic shift in its diplomacy when its member states either voted yes or abstained in the recent United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood. President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, coupled with his refusal to withdraw the nomination in the face of sharp opposition, also suggests a possible policy evolution. Obama has entered his second term with a freer hand on foreign policy. Hagel’s anti-war positions and his openness to dialogue with Iran imply that Obama may be willing to challenge Netanyahu at some point; if so, he will have European and international backing.

The Obama administration has leverage, and it should use it. Further accommodation of Netanyahu and his right wing policies will only exacerbate the already complicated and difficult issues underlying the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The United States has to draw the line sometime – and that time should be now. It can start by practicing more assertive diplomacy, namely by refusing to provide diplomatic cover for dangerous, unproductive moves – settlement expansion is only one example. If Netanyahu wants to continue on this road, he must understand that he’ll have to do so alone. The American veto policy of unconditional support for illegal Israeli practices must end, and, like the Europeans, the Obama administration must let Benjamin Netanyahu face the consequences of his own policies.

By letting slip its diplomatic shield, the United States can leave behind a failed policy of accommodation.  In doing so, it can once again provide hope for a just, sustainable solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and at the same time protect its national interests in the Middle East.

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. poggytutu

    i agree – we should have done this years ago.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • MBenFaivol

      Lets see if we understand what the wise "poggytutu" agrees with and supports: is it that a sovereign nation that supported pulling its citizens out of Gaza for a peace agreement–mere paper–and got more than 3,000 rockets fired from this local because they left, should undertake a strategy to insure that every airplane that lands there will be subjected to be shot down and all citizens of this country will be subject to constant rocket fire at the whim of thieving fascist leaders of the stone age fedayim–medieval surfs? Maybe you forgot already that when Arafat died, his wife Suha Arafat, was threatened with death if she didn't return the $5.2 billion of Arafat's estate Huh? Not bad for a "freedom fighter" or were those funds the money ensnarled from the US from Obama and others and from the EU? If you remember, she kept $200 million and the rest of the unaccounted for money disappeared with the PA. Or is it that in 1979, when Ayatollah Rumallah Khomeini came to power in a coup in the Islamic Republic of Iran, that he declared death to the Big Satan (America) and the Little Satin (Israel), and now the messianic apocalyptic cult leaders. And now IIran's leaders are about to build a nuclear bomb stating that Iran will blow Israel off the world's map and poggytutu agree's. And is the US and the Eu far behind? Somebody is listening to too many unthinking talking heads whose failing papers consider them as wise instead of using their own brain. Well, anyway, kudos to Fareed Zakaria (Arab or Iranian?) and his tallking head rugurgitator for Barack Hussein Obama, and Zakaria's sponsor of this article for those who value vile and false propaganda over completeness and truth.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Reply
      • Bocknobby

        Eventually Americans will figure it out. Eventually Americans will see there are two sides to this conflict. Eventually Americans will understand how isolated they are in this illogical policy in support of Israel. No need here to restate facts and statistics.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • Thinker23

        Of course there are two sides in this conflict and the US clearly supports the side that was promoting democracy and peaceful coexistence for more than 60 years. Can you explain the reasons you believe that it would be more "logical" for the US to support Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and similar organizations instead?

        January 24, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • j. von hettlingen

        Yes, there's some truth in what the author wrote. Yet, his advice will fall on deaf ears. The US will not leave Israel to its own devices. Too strong are the ties between the two countries. Besides the US has vital interests in keeping Israel strong in the region, which is becoming increasingly volatile and unstable.

        January 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • wbilct

        "pulling its citizens out of Gaza". I never bought the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. I believe it was a deal between Bush and Sharon in which the quip pro quo for the deal was the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. The fact that the withdrawal was announced in 2004 and implimented in 2005 was to give the appearance of unilateralness. It enabled Bush to say that Sharon was a "man of peace'.

        January 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • Jeanmarie

        The simple question should be: why does the US care about protecting another nation so much? Let those whose loyalty lies to Israel move there and become Israeli citizens. We live in the US as Americans, our own country (America) should come first to us all.

        I'm a liberal, white, upper-class, (very) educated American ... and I simply do not understand why Israelis and those loyal to Israel first don't 'get' that my loyalty lies to MY country, not theirs.

        January 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Mariano Palacios

    The only line the USA needs to draw is to Iran and every single Arab government or ultra conservative, fundamentalist, muslin-nuts group that thinks we should abandon Israel. Of choose this article needed to come from an Arab. What we need to start doing is bomb Iran and keep on drone-striking every single terrorist out there.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Reply
    • tms5510

      Any attack on Iran will be responded by attacking oil facilities all over the Persian gulf and ME. So any attack will naturally needs to be of ground nature. Any ground attack to Iran cost more than 10 trillion dollars and needs more 1 million personnel. I don't think US is in a position to spend that sort of Money so stop wet dreaming

      January 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Reply
      • MBenFaivol

        Don't you just love it when someone with no real connection to the conflict and who is not the next party (or his family the next party) in imminent danger of death is making decisions about the life and death of 7.5 million people he really could care less about except to think that thoughts about their survival are wet dreams. Hell, lets elect "tms550" as US President, he won't be thinking any different than Hagel or Barack Hussein Obama

        January 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
      • Thinker23

        tms5510... No one will use force against Iran unless as a last resort when there will be no other way to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. If it happens, however, use of force will become a matter of survival and not a matter of choice.

        January 24, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • tms5510

        Thinker : At worst case scenario that Iran build the bomb it will not be a survival threat. It only limits US/Israeli option in ME. Go and look at all Israeli analysis about this possibility. So stop propagating BS

        January 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • tms5510

        Moreover you should know that Iran already has microbiological weapons ( it is also possible that they have few nuclear warheads from NK or Soviets but lets assume they don't) Actually microbiological weapons are more dangerous than nukes so your argument is again nullified

        January 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • Thinker23

        tms5510... Iranian leaders repeatedly promised to the Arab states as well as to their own people that Israel would be "erased from the map". If Iran will be allowed to acquire nukes the people of Iran will demand their leaders to make true of these promises... and in case these leaders will hesitate there will be no shortage of contenders who will declare the hesitating leaders 'traitors' and 'Zionist agents' and will use the situation in order to replace them.

        Frankly, I do not have any reasons to believe that YOU know better than the intentions of Iranian leaders themselves what their intentions are... with all due respect, of course.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • tms5510

        That's just propaganda and lie. Iran's government openly wish the Israel regime will end just like Soviets ended and Apartheid regime in SA ended.

        January 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Thinker23

        tms5510... As I've said I did not have any reasons to believe that YOU know better than the Iranian leaders themselves what their intentions were... With all due respect, of course. On the other hand, if your neighbor was running around with a gun yelling that he is going to kill you I'm sure that you would trust his friends' promises that he was just joking...

        January 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • E W

        The idea that "Iran will respond by attacking oil facilities all over the Persian gulf and ME" is silly, unless Iran intends to fight a war with (at minimum) the US, Israel, and the oil producing nations it attacks (presumably, any combination or Iraq, Kuwait, UNE). In addition, such an action could bring in support from the countries who receive said oil (Europe, China). I know these guys seem crazy sometimes, but even for crazy guys, those have to see like long odds.

        I also have no idea where that 10 trillion cost figure came from, but it seems rather high considering the total cost of ww2 for the US (involving million of soldiers and invading western Europe, + pacific war) cost roughly 4 trillion adjusted for inflation. Obviosly wars cost more these days cause smart bombs are expensive and whatnot, but nontheless seems silly. Particularly when most plans involve simply bombing all of Irans facilities to decimate the program.

        January 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  3. Hmm

    War (with Iran or anyone else) should always be approached with the understanding of what it will entail. The idea that America, or Israel, should press for armed conflict with Iran is preposterous. This article articulates many important points and should be honestly considered. If Israel is doing something right, and the rest of the world is against it, we should side with Israel. That's what it means to be a leader: doing the right thing, no matter the cost. Many Israeli actions are not condoned by the US government. It should not receive our blessing or backing in these actions, as it belittles the ways that we have stood up to the blatant anti-semitism and hypocrisy of the United Nations. Netanyahu needs to show us he's serious about peace. Consequently, we need to talk about just how much both Hamas and the PA have not acted in the interests of the Palestinian people. When you look at the money, how much and who to, you can easily see how much better life in the territories should be. Horrifying lack of prioritizing, corruption, and hatred of Israel over love for Palestinians has screwed over thousands. We give millions to the PA. Just like Israel, we need to see where the money is going, and if we don't like what we see, turn off the faucet. Standing by your allies, or supporting the peace process, is not synonymous with money gifts that we give to the wrong people for the wrong reasons. We need to hold the Israelis and the Palestinians accountable for the money we're giving them.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  4. rightospeak

    The problem is that our pimp in Middle East tell our congressmen what position to take and it is a danger to our national security. Mr. Natanyahu may get his suicidal wish of war with Iran and not only wipe out his own nation , but also destroy our own country. I am for all of us to live, so please stop the warmongering, imperial posturing. Bring all the troops home before they are left to fend for themselves by a bankrupt Washington, DC.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • MBenFaivol

      I'm glad that "rightospeak" has an opinion; so did Adolph Hitler and so does the other fool on the corner telling you that the sky is falling. Just because he can speak doesn't mean that he has an opinion worthy of being considered. For instance, this "intellectual believes that the elected officials that America puts in Congress and the Senate are clearly the paid puppets of some government that's only desire is to live in peace; why if they are so crooked, why doesn't the pure Barack Hussein Obama and his AG indict them and put them all in jail? And why dies "rightospeak" and the rest of America keep electing and re-electing people with no character as "rightospeak" would have you believe. You don't see Israel starting anything but you do see Israel responding to all threats and provocations. I guess suicide bombings and rockets and missiles fired at Israel need not be considered by this "wise person". And most of all, may I wish t hat "rightospeak" gets an education about what is really going on before he shoots his/her mouth off about something he/she knows little or nothing about. Wasn't it President Lincoln that had great words of wisdom for "rightospeakl": Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

      January 23, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        Racism always goes hand-in-hand with lies and stupidity. The reason is pretty simple: Generally, smart, educated and hard working individuals are those who succeed while stupid lasy losers do not. It is easy for the losers to blame someone else (in this case, the Jews) for their own failures but they are too stupid to realize that getting rid of the smartest and best educated part of the society will not make the losers any more successful. One can look at the countries that forced their Jews out and how successful they've become as the result... Look at Germany in the 1940s, Poland in 1950s, Arab states today and compare the lives of people these with Israel, today's Germany, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand...

        January 24, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • rightospeak

      Thank you for calling me an intellectual , Ben. You and thinker 23 sound like paid tralls-just look at your comments – nothing to be proud of.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply
      • Thinker23

        Did you disagree with something I've said, "rightospeak"? If so WHAT WAS IT?

        January 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • rightospeak

        If I disagreed with you ,thinker 23 , I would be called anti-Semitic. I agree, "racism always goes hand in hand with lies and stupidity" so stop raining on people's parades, please.

        January 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • Thinker23

        Rightospeak - Antisemitism is a form of racism and racism is DISCRIMINATION. As long as your disagreements will be based on FACTS and as long as you'll use the same rules and criteria for all countries and peoples including Israel and the Jews, respectively, NO ONE will call you an antisemite... but hey, why don't you give it a try for a change and tell me what I've said that you DID NOT AGREE with? Yoiu've already pointed out what you DID agree with and this is a welcomed first step. Good luck!

        January 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  5. RT

    G-d had been shielding Israel and He will continue to do so.
    NO one has the right to divide G-d's land – NOT OBAMA.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:01 am | Reply
  6. Thinker23

    As long as the Palestinians and Arabs in general are willing the war to continue it will continue and so will its results including the settlements and everything else the Palestinians and their supporters love to complain about. If and wnen the Palestinians will produce a government ABLE AND WILLING to stop violence, recognize Israel and negotiate a peace agreement the resulting peace agreement will define the exact borders between Israel and the Palestinian state and not a single settlement (or even a single Jew) will be found within the borders of the Palestinian state.

    On the other hand, if the US will drop its support for Israel the Arab states and Iran will conclude that it's time to try and destroy the Jewish state again as they've done in 1948, 1967 and 1973. The resulting large scale (possibly nuclear) war in the Middle East will cause hundreds of thousands (possible milions) of mostly Arab casualties and will turn the largest oil fields on the planet into a radioactive wasteland throwing the world economy into a crisis of epic proportions. This is the main reason the US (and hopefully, the rest of the world) will shield Israel from Arab adn Iranian aggression.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:52 am | Reply
    • MB

      Which Arab country is looking to go to war with Israel? I'm not aware of any. If you're referring to Iran...they're not Arabs.
      In any case, settlements on occupied land are ILLEGAL under international law. Just because the U.S. vetoes resolutions, it does not make such settlements legitimate. So much for Israeli "sincerity" in negotiating a peace process.

      Netanyahu is a political w-e, who will go to bed with anyone so that he can stay in power. From what I've read, some of the new characters in Israel's parliament (and very likely Bibby's new coalition partners) want to "encourage" Palestinians to emigrate out of the region. Does the rhetoric sound familiar?
      It seems people don't learn from history...Israelis included.

      The U.S. should stop spending a dime propping up Israel for as long as its population insists on electing garbage like Netanyahu and his ilk.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
      • paul II

        You mean the US should stop supporting Egypt as long as they elect Islamists like Morsi.

        As for the settlements, they are not such an obstacle to peace as you and so many others claim. Settlements
        can be turned over as part of a true peace agreement. Israel has abandoned settlements in Gaza and
        let it return to local rule (didn't turn out to be such a good move on their part).

        January 24, 2013 at 11:04 am |
      • Thinker23

        MB... For starters, ALL members of the Arab league are (at least formally) AT WAR with Israel with two exceptions since 1967 when the Arab League issued its Khartoum Declaration which is still current as we speak.

        Further, there is no law (international or otherwise) preventing Jews from building homes in the West Bank while allowing Arabs to do it... As long as these lands do not belong to any state Israeli settlements there are no less legal than settlements built by Jordanian citizens.

        Still further, what sounds familiar is the FACT that the Nazis managed to reduce the number of Jews in Europe by 70%. The number of Jews in the pillar of Islamic democracy Iran dropped by 85% since the Islamic Revolution. The number of Jews in the Arab countries dropped by 99% since 1948. The number of Jews living in the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank and Gaza is EXACTLY ZERO. Now you may compare these figures with the number of Arabs living in Israel as full fledged citizens which INCREASED EIGHT TIMES since 1948 and you'll get an idea what "sounds familiar" and what does not.

        January 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  7. paul II

    This article is a classic "straw man" argument. It starts out with a serious of unsupported (and false) accusations against the govt of Israel "radical" "extremist" et cetera, then jumps into the real agenda of the author which is to weaken the link between the US and Israel. My guess is the author would have written the same article regardless of the Israeli election results.

    January 24, 2013 at 8:55 am | Reply
  8. tms5510

    US has no b business in ME. Israel will figure out how to survive. According to the evolution theory if it is fit enough it will survive if not then it will be destroyed so let the nature do its job and stop meddling

    January 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      tms5510... Israel does not have aircraft carriers, strategic bombers or millions of troops. This means that its options to defend itself in case of an imminent Iranian attack are rather limited... Would you like to pay $50 for a gallon of gas in case the US would follow your advice and will let Israel to "figure out how to survive"?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
      • tms5510

        you are obviously an Israeli propagandist. It is not worth to waste breath on you

        January 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Thinker23

        tms5510... Of course, it's not is not worth to waste breath on me for the simple reason no amount of your breath would prove anything I've said to be incorrect... LOL

        January 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
      • E W

        tms5510 By this 'evolution' argument, Palestine has been weeded, as Isreal did win the war and occupy the land (and continues to do so). Just noticing...

        January 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • paul II

      By your argument you must have no problem with the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Comment?

      January 25, 2013 at 8:32 am | Reply
  9. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Solution: Start a war with Iran (totally unfunded and "off the books" of course). Then get the poor people to fight/die in the war while giving the rich people/war corporations (Haliburton) "no bid" contracts and tax breaks. Thus killing two GOP birds with one stone. Then use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil!!! Just like in Iraq!!! Oh wait.........never mind.

    January 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • The Democrat Truth

      Didn't most democrats also vote for war? Lets Check:
      For invasion of Afghanistan, House vote was 420- yes, 1-no, 10 abstain
      Senate Vote was 98 – yes, 2 no

      So yes, democrats overwhelmingly voted to invade Afghanistan.

      For invasion of Iraq, House vote was 297 for, 133 nay. Among democrats, about 40% voted yes
      Senate Vote was 77 for, 23 nay. Among democrats, 29 voted yes, 21 voted no

      So in the house a majority did vote against, but in the senate a majority voted for. So at best, a claim could be made that democrats were divided on the issue. Certainly much less convenient that just blaming the GOP, but then the GOP like to blame the auto bailout on Obama, even though Bush started it. meh

      January 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  10. Hate Wins

    Just look and read HATE IN THE LEAD ONCE MORE.
    If the U.S. should stop spending a dime propping up Israel for as long as its population insists on electing garbage like Netanyahu and his ilk.
    Why should anyone with half a brain support a state run by the likes of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and similar organizations instead? The only reason is they HATE what Israel has been able to do and accomplish. No Arab state with out oil can claim their accomplishments.
    If you do not support killers why support these groups?
    They ask LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS to do the job their men are afraid to do "BLOW THEMSELFES UP".

    January 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  11. Just for Fun

    Yes little boy Arab boys and girls go blow up little Jew boys and girls and they will be your slaves in paradise.
    Little Jew boys and girls go to school grow up and become doctors, engineers, lawyers, husbands and wives.
    What is wrong with this pitcher?

    January 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • joe d

      jews grow up to be financial terrorists,sneaky backstabbing spies,profesional liars..they have done more harm then good.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  12. Did

    Did you get new wheels for your house yet? Let me translate: di ju git nu weelz fer ur hows?

    January 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  13. Len

    Ibrahim Sharqieh begins with a false premiss, that is, ".Iit is not in America's interest to support Israel" which by the way is the only stable country in the Middle East," which by the way is the only democracy in the region. And which by the way is the only true friend of America in the region and which by the way is militarily an ally great value in a region where there are many in power who wish to destroy us as well as Israel. Ibrahim Sharqieh, if you check nearly all of the comments above you will see the proportion of readers who see through your articulate though false arguments.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • rightospeak

      DEMOCRACY Len ? What have you been smoking ?. It is a JEWISH STATE -FOR JEWS ONLY, a rabid Fascist State with apartheid wall as Jimmy Carter put it which has terrorized Middle East with preemptive strikes to expand its territory.They must have learned all this from Nazis. They harbor former war criminals like Solomon Morel ( he may have gone to Hell ), , Swiatlo, Rosanski and many others that could not be extradited for crimes commited in Poland.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
      • tms5510

        well said. Many problems of US with ME countries are actually came from its unjustified stance on the Palestinian problem. To ask to be neutral is not too much but bankers who govern this country don't agree.

        January 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
      • Thinker23

        tms5510: "Many problems of US with ME countries are actually came from its unjustified stance on the Palestinian problem."

        Would you prefer Israelis to treat Palestinians the same way Palestinians treat Israelis? Would you consider such stance to be "justified"? YES OR NO?

        January 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
      • tms5510

        Israel is treating Palestinian like animals. Most Palestinians living in occupied lands have no citizenship, no one defend their rights, lives under siege and economic sanctions. Getting killed randomly by Zionists .... If Israel give citizenship to all Palestinian living in Gaza and west bank and other parts of Israel I will support Israel but till then I regard Israel as a Racist regime.

        January 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
      • Len

        Righttospeak, you need to make an adhominum argument and that reveals either a profound paucity of knowledge or your own smoking habits using the pages of "Mien Kamp" and "The Protocls Of The Elders Of Zion" to roll your own smokes.

        January 25, 2013 at 2:50 am |
      • paul II

        1 in 5 Israelis are Palestinian (the media prefers "Arab-Israeli"). Within Israel they live their lives pretty much as they please. There is also a significant Christian population. Israel is not for Jews "only". It is far far more democratic and tolerant of religious minorities than any other country in the region.

        January 25, 2013 at 8:29 am |
      • Thinker23

        tms5510: "Israel is treating Palestinian like animals." Would you prefer Israel to treat Palestinians the same way Palestinians treat Israelis, like corpses? YES OR NO?

        "Most Palestinians living in occupied lands have no citizenship". Well, if these people decided to have a STATE they would also have the citizenship of that state. It's up to them to decide. The fact is that these people DO NOT live in Israel and have no reason whatsoever to demand Israeli citizenship.

        "...no one defend their rights, lives under siege and economic sanctions." What do you mean "no one defend their rights"??? What about Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other gangs of mass murderers? Further, if the Palestinians did not like the current arrangement they would NEGOTIATE A BETTER DEAL long ago. They had plenty of opportunities.

        January 26, 2013 at 7:47 am |
  14. Nathan

    U guys have to remember we are all American (CHARITY START AT HOME )we are destroying US by helping other countries ,as far as i am concern they all can go to hell .WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN.never mind ISRAEL<IRAN,and--– They don't give a hook for us.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Maybe, you should move to the Moon, Nathan... There you will have no other countries to deal with.

      On planet Earth, however, every country has no choice but to interact with other countries and by doing it every country has to tailor its interactions in such a way as to help its friends and confront its enemies.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:32 am | Reply
  15. Nathan

    when some one tell the truth there is no respond,all the Jewish people fell sleep to the truth,

    January 25, 2013 at 12:15 am | Reply
  16. victor

    There are only two infinite things,
    The universe and the Human Stupidity, but I am not sure of the first one, of the
    second you can observe as we destroy ourselves only to demonstrate who is the stronger.

    Albert Einstein

    January 27, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  17. bribarian

    Finally an article we as Americans can agree on. America comes first. israel is apartheid, no reason to be in the same camp as these people.

    January 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  18. bribarian

    Americans should always come before apartheid regimes in the middle east, like israel.

    January 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  19. lex

    This guyu gets paidf to spew out this jibberish. What have the palestinians done fpr the causwe of peace. Nothing. Nada. And their two governments (the bad guys and the really bad guysw) ain't no democracies.

    So let's get this straight. The US should abandon a democracy that is a success and favor evil bad guys who don't even care about their own people except to use them as human shiields.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  20. SnowElves

    Completely agree. Israel is the worst ally in the history of US allies. Their treatment of Palestinians makes us look awful to the rest of the world for supporting them with foreign aid. Speaking of foreign aid Israel receives $3 billion a year from us and just a few hours ago they sold $2 billion worth of US bonds. So basically we are giving them free money and they in turn take more money out of our economy while American's taxes are rising? WAKE UP PEOPLE. Israel is eating us alive. Its time to cut the cord.

    January 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  21. joe d

    time to kick the israeli/jew parasites to the curb

    January 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  22. LT Fang

    It's time to send the message to the warmonger Netanyahu: adhere to international laws and conventions, or else you will not get a dime of assistance from the West.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  23. PeeBee

    Well, the bottom line is if you wish to mediate solving a bilateral issue, you SHOULD NOT take a side. Once you do that your prospect to solve the problem is doomed. The side you take will seek further advantage and the other side won't be able to trust you. I believe US knows well how to broker peace between two parties but the Washington politics is so tied with taking side with Israel, its hard to deliver for US. Obama has a chance as he showed antipathy to the extremist policies of Netanyahu to unilaterally define a future sovereign state of Palestine. Please do not read me that I am supporting Hamas rocket or suicide bomber killing Israeli innocents. World needs to provide Palestinians peaceful means to deter these unilateral actions.

    January 31, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
  24. What the .......;........

    just nuke the F ing camel jokies

    January 31, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  25. econprofessor

    Reblogged this on Econoblog and commented:
    This needs to stop. Israel's policy has isolated the U.S. globally.

    January 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  26. Freedom Fascist

    Does not matter how you spin it. The Israeli injustice already perpetrated to the Palestinians (and despite what Faux News wants you to know, the Israelis in the last fiftyyears have been cold blooded killers) is damage that cannot be undone. Israeli forced itself into this corner. They owe the refugees living in horrid conditons: 1) an apology 2) compensation and 3) respect. Not going to give it to them...let the rockets rain. We do the same thing the Palestinians do to countries we don't like with far more ruthless technology...but GWB wasn't a terrorist, war criminal or dictator...was he? Grow up. Anyone still supporting Israel would have worn a swastika in the 1940's. Best thing to do DON'T TAKE A SIDE! The other down side is as long as we support Israel the global community will hate us. We have isolated ourselves supporting a stupid, worthless beachehad that is going to fall the day after we finally go broke and can't send aid. Israel is doomed and they know it. They will pay for the things they have done wrong (just like the Germans did after the Holocaust and WWII). Let the Israelis face their punishment and turn the page of history. Israel is an illegal cancer...my tax money is better spent DEFENDING this country (not attacking other ones).

    February 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  27. Wook

    The Jews learned nothing from WW2 or the time given to them. Its unfortunate to see the Israelis for what they truly are: greedy, selfish, murdering pigs. To deny Palestine their rightful statehood is an excersice in futility. Its shameful to see such a culture rich in history fall so far. The US should let them fend for themselves. I do not shed one tear for any Israeli that dies over this conflict. These are innocent people the Jews are killing and displacing. In short, Jewish culture has become the very evil it swore to oppose. It should make anyone with a soul think thrice before supporting Israel. May Palestinians kill every one of these animals that attempt to do them harm. I can understand why Iran hates them so much.

    February 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  28. rsol55

    Israeli diplomatic power dwarfs the Palestinians? Come on, look what happened in the UN and what's happened in other countries re official recognition of the PA. Look at Israel not even being allowed a rotating seat on the UN Security Council while such exemplars as Syria and Libya have gotten their seats.

    As far as wealth goes, the Palestinians are the largest per capita aid recipients in the world. They've chosen to fritter it on war and corruption.

    Israel has done nothing but pull out of land and gotten attacked for its pains – war crime rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians. There's been no negotiations because the Palestinians demand the Israelis yield almost everything as a precondition to talks, and the Palestinian public isn't willing to accept any terms that don't result in the end of Israel, in the shorter or longer terms. Look at what happened with Oslo, constant terrorist bombings with the worst occurring under the most appeasing Israeli PM of all time, Peres.

    February 5, 2013 at 5:24 am | Reply
  29. Hans

    NATO does not need USA. In case USA does not want to shield Israel, NATO will defend Israel from enemies.

    February 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  30. Zhang

    Israel will backstab the Americans eventually, it is only natural.

    July 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply

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