What a difference one election has made in the brash arrogance of Israel's PM Netanyahu, with regards to the current administration led by President Obama. A September 2016 agreement that landed Israel the largest U.S. Military aid package ever, $38 billion over ten years, is suddenly forgotten. With friends like Israel...
Even W.H. Press Secretary Josh Earnest said,
“We did receive public assurances from the Israeli government that contradict this announcement (to expand settlements),” Mr. Earnest said. “I guess when we’re talking about how good friends treat one another, that’s a source of serious concern as well.”
Not only is Israel's Right-wing PM pretending he's not living up to his end of the bargain, he's going down a dangerous road, disregarding diplomacy that has existed with Israel for decades. We can thank the looming inauguration of a pro-war, impetuous toddler-president-elect who is eager to appease right wing pro-Israel groups in the U.S. The U.N. Security Council voted 14 to 0 that Israel is committing a “flagrant violation” of international law by building settlements on land Palestinians previously held. You never hear that part of the story, even on CNN and MSNBC.
It's even worse on Fox "News," where Brian Kilmeade claims that the idea of one president at a time is suddenly fiction.
KILMEAD: One president at a time. Really? We're gonna debate that next.
Wait a second, Kilmeade. You're saying that if Obama usurped GWB 43's authority during the 'transition' time, I'm sure that the GOP would have been just fine with that. Fat chance. This takes disrespect to a new low.
Chuck Rocha, the resident liberal on the panel, took up for the respect that ought to be bestowed upon the Office of the Presidency.
ROCHA: He's gonna make every decision that he commands as commander-in-chief to try to keep us safe because that is his intention of the job and we have opposed these from the beginning. I don't want to debate the policy with you; the fact is he gets to make that decision whether you like it or not.
GOP Strategist and intolerant diplomatic neophyte, Mercedes Schlapp can't wait to get the tangerine toddler in the White House so that all the years of diplomacy between so many previous U.S. Presidents can be trashed within a few weeks. She utters typically annoying falsehoods, omitting the fact that Israel is not meeting the terms of the agreement. If Israel does it, it is automatically okay? Nope.
PM Netanyahu is in violation of agreements he made a few months ago, apparently only to obtain a generous military aid package from the U.S. What makes things even more favorable for Netanyahu is Putin's imposition of Trump. It was a tremendous windfall to the Israeli Prime Minister who is essentially an extension of the Republican Party. It's no coincidence that both Putin and Netanyahu and AIPAC have shown serious elements of racial animus towards people of color. It's also not a coincidence that Putin and Netanyahu formed an unusual alliance in June.
This is not President Obama turning on Israel. This is an emboldened Netanyahu betting on the Trump administration to rubber-stamp all efforts at expansion of Jewish settlements. In another unprecedented kick to the gut of U.S. diplomacy, Bibi circumvented protocol by dealing directly with the president-elect. Trump currently has no authority to act or speak on behalf of the United States. Yet another downside of this Trump election 'victory' is the demise of any hopes for a two state solution. Bibi will likely get all his billions in military aid, or double that. It seems every negative we imagine with Trump is twice as awful as we could have ever expected.
We were in a very different place just a few months ago when it seemed as if Trump had no chance of becoming POTUS. Even Netanayu expected him to fade away, like the rest of us. Little did we know what was in store for the unsuspecting, terrified population of America. Just observe the striking difference between today's condemnation of the U.S. and the Israeli brown-nosing of just a few months earlier.
"I want you to know Barack that you will always be a welcome guest in Israel," Netanyahu said. "We'll set up a tee time," Obama joked.
Washington, meanwhile, has criticized Israel's ongoing and accelerating building of settler homes on occupied Palestinian land, arguing that this could put hopes of a negotiated settlement to the dispute beyond reach.
Meanwhile our President-elect is on the Twitter, of course:
I'm sure Sadat and Begin are spinning in their graves.