15 thoughts on “Obama and the Israelis: It’s Leverage That Matters.

  1. 108 says:

    1973: “Everything was about protecting the home land, and the arch-religiosi exploited every threat to maximum political advantage.

    What do you suggest everything should have been about given the circumstances?

    Meir was Labor. Rabin followed her as PM, and he was Labor. So arch-religiosi exploited what to what end exactly?

    1. As I say, even the moderate governments, the ones who knew/know they’ll have to negotiate this eventually, were hamstrung by coalitions with the usual religious/defense groups.

  2. 108 says:

    “Netanyahu’s latest attempt at stalling and prevarication”.

    What’s the stall, and more importantly what’s the lie? He’s got a crystal clear position he’s standing on that he shows no willingness for backpedal.

    Is this just habit for you? How’s talk radio and the intellectual stuntedness of Israeli conservatives play into this?

    Obama has leverage over the internal debate within the Democratic party. He has no leverage over Netanyahu.

  3. john sherman says:

    I guess I can sit back and wait for your ritual vilification; there seems to be a rule that anyone, even good yeshiva boys like Eric Alterman, who writes on the Middle East and doesn’t have an “I heart Bibi” button is Osama’s BFF.

    In a general sort of way everybody know what the solution is, if there is one: two states, secure borders, dropping a bag over the head of all fundamentalists including the Christian ones cheering on Armageddon.

    It also requires sane leaders for the Palestinians and the Israelis, and an energetic and competent U.S. president. I had hopes just before Rabin was killed, but since then at least one part of the equation has been missing. It’s a good thing it’s the Holy Land, otherwise, I’d suspect it of suffering some sort of divine curse.

    1. “The Israel issue” is one of the great taboos in American diplomacy — and media. Woe to the journalist who makes a habit of criticizing Israeli policy.

  4. Mike Kennedy says:

    It looks stronger at least for another eight months, at which time we shall see if the president can pull anything off. The fact he won on health care is tempered by the fact he has a big majority. Can we finally not hear the whining from the left anymore about Republicans not coming along. As I said many times, he never needed them from the start.

    The fact he barely got this through without them is something to ponder, I think.

    The true test for leadership is whether he can do anything with an opposition party controlling the lawmaking process, if such a thing should come to pass. So far, he hasn’t managed to do that on any issue.

    Say what you want about the Gipper, he snared members of the opposition party and when that didn’t work, he sold his agenda to the American people — effectively, with humor and self deprecation (qualities Mr. Obama could use).

    Oh and can we take a break on the hyperventilating about how fragmented we are. Who would want to live in a country where people from all stripes march out to see like lemmings going off a cliff.

    The violence and name calling has no place. But opposition and fiery debate does. Everyone get a grip. Go back and read some of the nasty things politicians used to say to each other — there was even a beating on the senate floor and challenges to fight or duel with guns.

    The fact someone doesn’t agree with you, whether you are liberal or conservative, is part of the process. Get over it.

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Of course, but the view-point expressed in some of poll questions (preceding) are beyond any intelligent thought. That’s what becomes scary. I’ve got this wrong but someone once said (Ayn Rand?) that it’s impossible for two people to have a conversation, let alone debate, when one of them is irrational–and what we may come to regard as rational is not simply a matter of subjectivity.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        My comments were more about Brian’s post and his thoughts on Obama rather on the responses from the polls. I don’t get involved in politics from an activist standpoint, but I do watch as a spectator, and I think it will be interesting watching during the next several years.

    2. Mike: Come on. “A big majority”. Not when you’ve got an opposition party willing to tie up literally every Senate vote with a filibuster. You’ve seen the exponential increase in the use of that tactic, haven’t you. Obama’s “big majority” in the Senate, if you’re talking reliable, is about six seats … max.,

  5. Newt says:

    Bibi is annoyed knowing that Obama won’t get suckered into doing Israel’s handy work – attacking Iran.

    The question is: Can Israel afford to wait for a GOP president to do the work for them?

    1. An unambiguous Western attack on Iran is good for ginning up defense appropriations dollars, but I doubt even Dick Cheney seriously considered such a thing. Now “ambiguous” is something else. If an Iranian nuclear facility goes “kablooey” in the middle of the night — an “accident” … I can see some America neo-con or Israeli radical seeing the wisdom in that.

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