Sunday, June 07, 2009

If Obama Is Not Out To Bring Down Bibi--What Is He Up Too?

I've written before that there is a seizable number of bloggers who believe that Obama is out to bring down Netanyahu's government. As a matter of fact, one of the most recent is Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic:
It seems to me that Obama is trying to force the collapse of Netanyahu's government. I base this mostly on intuition. Of course, the Obama Administration would never claim to be interfering in the internal politics of another country, but it seems obvious that Netanyahu's narrow coalition won't survive sustained American pressure on the settlements question. Netanyahu is in a terrible spot: He must preserve, at all costs, Israel's strategic relationship with Washington; on the other hand, he has right-wing coalition partners who are myopically obsessed with the status of the Neve Manyak outposts. Something is bound to break, and when it does, the Netanyahu government collapses. Which doesn't mean that Netanyahu is out of power. It means that he then shares power with Tzipi Livni's centrist Kadima Party. If I were an American policymaker, that's the Israeli coalition I would hope for: Netanyahu-Barak-Livni, rather than Netanyahu-Barak-Lieberman. You watch: It's coming.
Carol Glick counters that first of all, it is unlikely that Netanyahu's coalition partners would abandon him and secondly, based on Kadima's past record, it is unlikely that a new coalition would provide Obama with what he wants.

For Caroline Glick, this raises the obvious question:
So if the aim of the administration in attacking Israel is neither to foster peace nor to bring down the Netanyahu government, what can explain its behavior?

The only reasonable explanation is that the administration is baiting Israel because it wishes to abandon the Jewish state as an ally in favor of warmer ties with the Arabs. It has chosen to attack Israel on the issue of Jewish construction because it believes that by concentrating on this issue, it will minimize the political price it will be forced to pay at home for jettisoning America's alliance with Israel. By claiming that he is only pressuring Israel to enable a peaceful "two-state solution," Obama assumes that he will be able to maintain his support base among American Jews who will overlook the underlying hostility his "pro-peace" stance papers over.
It won't be long before we know if Glick is correct.
Nor will it be long before we know if Obama is correct, either.

Greater independence from the US would not be a bad thing for Israel, but not with Obama setting the terms.

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