Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It will be interesting to see who blinks first, won't it? The time is now

Netanyahu to Biden: We Don’t Need America
A Rotten Deal
Israel didn't just spit in Joe Biden's face last week. It jeopardized America's willingness to protect it from Iran.

Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel last week was rightly hailed as a catastrophe—but not because of settlements. After a tense year in which Washington had failed to stop Prime Minister Benyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu from settling more occupied land, Biden had come to shore up the relationship. Instead, officials in Netanyahu's government caught both men off guard by announcing plans to build more in contested East Jerusalem. True, that was a snafu. But the real disaster was what it may cost Israel. Biden had come to offer not just friendship, but support (and protection) against Iran—Israel's greatest bogeyman—in exchange for a few concessions from Netanyahu. Instead, he got a finger in the eye.


So now it's down to a high-stakes test of wills: will Netanyahu, following his show of partisanship, concede on settlement building—or will Obama back down under the pro-Israel-lobby pressure? Isolating Israel could push it to attack Iran's nuclear plants. But caving to Israel could strengthen anti-American feelings throughout the Middle East. It's not clear who will blink first, but it's obvious that, where once there was an understanding, today there is only a contest. LinkHere


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