As sick of the health care debate as I am, there is still something worse- the Israeli/Palestinian issue:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday that Israel had sent a “deeply negative signal” aboutthe U.S.-Israeli relationship and urged him to take immediate steps to demonstrate it was interested in renewing efforts at a Middle East peace agreement.
Clinton spoke to the Israeli leader by telephone. Her call, made in the wake of the embarrassment suffered by Vice President Biden this week when Israel announced it would build 1,600 housing units in a disputed area of Jerusalem, was an unusually tough message for the longtime U.S. ally. It came two days after Biden condemned the action which was announced while he was in Israel, and demonstrated that Netanyahu’s efforts to mollify the administration have fallen short. He has claimed that he did not know the announcement was coming but has not canceled the project.
Relations with Israel have been strained during the Obama administration, and Biden’s trip was intended as a fence-mending mission. Now it has led to the biggest crisis between the two countries in two decades.
I don’t think you can even pretend that Israel is negotiating in good faith anymore, although I’m sure Marty Peretz at the TNR and Commentary magazine are trying to argue just that. And quite frankly, I think it would be good for the US, Israel, and the entire world if maybe we didn’t have that “special relationship” with Israel anymore. It drags us into their corner and pits us against much of the Middle East, and it gives the Israelis the arrogance to behave the way they have the past few years.