Article by Justin Raimondo.
When the President of the United States reiterated longstanding American policy in the Middle East – that the borders of Israel and a Palestinian state must be based on the 1967 borders, give or take a few land swaps here and there – was he really “not surprised,” as he claimed in his speech to AIPAC a few days later, by the ensuing uproar? That’s what he says, but the reality is harder to discern: after all, this was the premise behind George W. Bush’s – and, before him, Bill Clinton’s – public statements on the issue, and the President had every reason to believe this time would be no different.
Yet it was indeed different, because – as I pointed out here – Israel is different, all these years later. And so is the United States. President Obama was caught flat-footed because he and his advisors failed to consider the full import of these changes.
In Israel, a right-wing government has as its relatively “moderate” element Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud-led government is backed in a coalition government by a number of extreme right-wingers who make the hawkish Likudniks look reasonable. Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is a thuggish radical whose racist anti-Arab diatribes have even Israel’s hard-line partisans in the US desperate to keep him in the background. Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu, is a neo-fascist outfit which advocates the ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and the creation of a “Greater Israel.” According to them, there are no Palestinians – only Jordanians who have infiltrated Israel.
In America, the power of the Israel lobby is much greater than at any time in the past, and certainly since the 1967 war. We are faced, here in this country, with the extraordinary spectacle of a US President confronting a foreign leader with a list of reasonable requests – negotiation in good faith, the abandonment of encroaching “settlements,” an end to the arbitrary humiliations endured by a people under occupation – and the leaders of the opposition are taking the side of the foreign leader. This from a party that revels in its alleged super-“patriotism”! Romney, Huckabee, and the whole Fox network team went into overdrive, following the President’s Mideast speech, flaying him for “betraying” Israel. Fox News even ran a story warning that “Jewish donors” would not back the President’s reelection campaign on account of his supposedly “new” stance.