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Special relationships rarely last forever

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Tablet’s Lee Smith quotes Israel lobbyist Steve Rosen admitting that Israel has been thumbing its nose at the US president for 30 "productive" years– i.e., no Palestinian self-determination to show for it– and getting away with it:

Obama chose to pick a fight with Israel, Rosen says… “This is a crisis that could have happened any day over the last 40 years,” he explains. It is based in a difference in policy between the two sides that dates back to 1980 when Israel passed legislation designating Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the country, a law recognized by no one else in the international community, including Washington. The Americans didn’t like it, and neither did the Palestinians, Rosen says. “But they tolerated it and conducted negotiations. In the past,” he says, “negotiations were premised on overlooking this issue. …Throughout all those productive periods, it wasn’t a primary concern. So, why now? Is Israel building more rapidly? No. Is Israel more provocative? No.”

What’s changed, Rosen says, is analogous to a marriage that suddenly hits the skids. “All along, there are things the husband doesn’t like about the wife and that she doesn’t like about him. Then 50 years later, one of them says this is unacceptable, they’re not going to have dinner, or lunch, or breakfast or intimate relations unless this thing is changed.” 

Jeffrey Goldberg reported this about Steve Rosen a few years ago:

Rosen has had an unusually eventful private life, marrying and divorcing six times…

h/t Daniel Luban.

About Philip Weiss

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