Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is Obama really going to get tough with Israel?

It is late in Obama’s term for him to be considering minimal actions against Israel and to expect them to have any real impact on its rogue behavior.
Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada)
While Obama has remained circumspect, his administration has sent up trial balloons through David Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist closely allied with the US administration.
Ignatius reports that the White House is “privately weighing” the following “pressure tactics”:
  • Drafting a new UN Security Council resolution outlining the framework for a Palestinian state. Such a resolution might summarize the parameters that emerged during Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiations with Israelis and Palestinians that collapsed last year.
  • Deterring Netanyahu’s plans to expand settlements in the West Bank, perhaps through warnings in a planned report to Congress on loan guarantees to Israel. President George H.W. Bush briefly cut off loan guarantees in 1991 to protest settlements, creating a political uproar but no lasting success in halting settlements.
  • Altering current US policy that opposes Palestinian efforts to take complaints against Israel to the International Criminal Court. Similarly, the United States might relax its pressure against European allies that are advocating sanctions against Israel.
  • Weighing future vetoes of UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli settlements or other activity. In the past, the United States’ use of the veto to support Israeli positions has been all but automatic.
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