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Al Quds, Palestine

Obama and Israel’s Interest

Translated By Melissa Gallo

25 January 2013

Edited by Drue Fergison

Palestine - Al Quds - Original Article (Arabic)

Leading up to the American presidential elections, it was apparent that the relationship between President Barack Obama and the Prime Minister of Israel had become very tepid and that Netanyahu favored the rival candidate Mitt Romney, who bragged of his blind support for Israel and attempted to distort the national and historical Palestinian image.

Before continuing to talk about the relations of these two leaders, it is necessary to emphasize the deep alliance and cooperation between Israel and the U.S. No differences or problems ever mean a severance in relations or actions against Israeli interests, especially since the Arab side seems an obedient follower of the U.S. and doesn’t put any pressure on Washington’s official policies.

In leaked comments from private meetings, Obama said that Israel, with Netanyahu’s leadership, does not know its own best interests and that its policy of building settlements will lead to more international isolation, i.e. that it is in Israel’s interest to halt settlement building and to avoid this isolation. Some American commentators expect that although there will be tension between Obama and Netanyahu, it will not, of course, affect the near complete American support for Israeli policies.

These leaks come in the midst of Knesset elections and the preparations and heated competitions between the different parties. Therefore, Hatnuah leader Tzipi Livni was quick to point out that Obama’s comments are a wake-up call for Israelis and that Netanyahu is acting against Israel’s interests.

Also, these comments were leaked at a time of increased talks of an EU initiative calling for resuming negotiations on the basis of June 1967 borders, an agreed land exchange and a set timetable. It is well-known that the EU does not operate apart from the American position, so it is possible to say that Obama's leaked comments and the EU initiative are two sides of the same coin, or the same stance. On the one hand, there is exasperation at and rejection of Israeli practices, and a search for a way out, within the framework of excellent relations with Israel. On the other hand, they are seeking to overcome the current political impasse in the peace process. This is a seemingly difficult equation. Israeli settlements are increasing in all areas, especially the plans for settlements in the E1 zone. Netanyahu doesn't seem to be concerned with what they are saying about him but rather, the complete opposite is perhaps correct: He is racing against time to impose a fait accompli and thwart any possibility of a two-state solution.

The American and European desire is to make Israel feel the seriousness of moving forward and to apply all possible pressure to stop the settlements, because it would benefit not only Israel but all the Middle East nations, who want and pursue stability. Continuing settlements does not only lead to Israeli isolation, but it also creates conditions for extremism, hatred and wars.

In this context, it goes without saying that Arab leaders ought to wake up and take advantage of the huge Western interests in our countries, in order to achieve desired peace. They should not let Jews and their supporters be the only ones influencing Europe and America.



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