Israel's Interests

It is clear that communication between Obama and Netanyahu is somewhat awkward. In his latest column, American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, who writes for Bloomberg and is often employed by the White House to send messages to Israel, draws attention to the president’s dissatisfaction regarding Netanyahu.

Goldberg recounts how, a few days ago, when the latest Israeli announcement was communicated to Obama regarding the construction of thousands of residences for settlers in zone E-1 of the occupied territories, the president did not even get angry. Obama simply said that Netanyahu “doesn’t know what [Israel’s] own best interests are.” According to Goldberg, those very words have been repeated in various private conversations over the last week.

My opinion is that Netanyahu, contrary to what Obama thinks, knows exactly what he is doing and has weighed Israel’s interests very well. His frenzied policy of construction in the occupied territories, particularly in the area of Jerusalem, is not just the result of some impulsive tantrum. Rather, it is a deep-seated attitude of Netanyahu’s and is consistent with his mandate as prime minister; it is the result of deep reflection on his part.

Obama, according to Goldberg, thinks that Netanyahu is leading Israel to international isolation. But once again it must be said that Netanyahu knows what he is doing and that, ironically enough, in the end it will be Obama himself who saves Netanyahu’s neck and prevents Israel’s isolation.

Although Obama does not see it, Netanyahu understands very well what the interests of Israel are: They are the interests of the Greater Israel that he, along with the majority of Israelis, seeks to establish, as will become clear in the elections on Jan. 22.

Netanyahu wants to consolidate the occupation at any cost, especially in Jerusalem, and could not care less about anything else. He knows that the international community will not adopt any substantial measures to thwart his fait accompli, whatever Obama says. Netanyahu is on this path and nobody is going to stop him.

And let there be no doubt that, actively or passively, Obama is going to contribute to this expansion. In fact, he is already doing so.

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