Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reporting on Clinton's AIPAC Speech

The news headline of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech at the annual AIPAC meeting varied. The U.S. headlines included:

Clinton urges Israel to make concessions-Baltimore Sun

Clinton says Israel saps US peace role-Detroit Free Press

Settlement fight harms US interests, Clinton argues-Boston Globe

Netanyahu Says Israel Won't Stop its Construction in Jerusalem-BusinessWeek

Israeli papers lead with:

"Israel's Security Strengthens U.S."-Jerusalem Post

Clinton: US commitment to Israel is 'rock solid'-Jerusalem Post

The varying narrative means what? Does the Obama administration want space should Israel take action to stop Iran's nuclear plant from opening this summer,as noted by Russia's Vladimir Putin? Strong financial sanctions won't do it. Bombs will. The U.S. could offer plausible deniability on an Israeli strike. But we would rush to their defense, containing any blowback. Israel is our recalcitrant best friend in the Middle East.

If the parties wanted a country to help forge peace, Sweden or Switzerland might be a better choice. The U.S. record of making war is clear.

Israel backed away from the negotiating table before it's prior military actions in the region, Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-2009. Hillary Clinton approved the change in strategy on Gaza, according to Tony Blair. Blair spoke at AIPAC today.

As for the current conundrum, the AP reported:

Netanyahu asserted that Israel had been building in east Jerusalem since the 1967 Mideast war, when it captured the West Bank from Jordan.

The international community, including the U.S., has never recognized Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem and sees the Jewish concentrations there as no different from West Bank settlements.

The Palestinian demand for a halt to building in Jerusalem as a precondition for peace talks, Netanyahu said, will serve only to delay peace talks further. Netanyahu said the sides "must not be trapped by an unreasonable and illogical demand."

You don't go to the negotiating table when your country is on a war footing. Bibi talked Iran, Iran and Iran in his visit with members of Congress.

The forces that threaten Israel, also threaten the United States of America.

Hillary Clinton AIPAC 2010