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About that special relationship…

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Putin and Netanyahu

Putin and Netanyahu

This is delicious. The U.S. is trying to build international pressure against Russia’s occupation of the Crimea, of course, and guess who’s not playing ball? The country for which we veto resolutions in the Security Council condemning its illegal colonization project, for whom we’ve alienated the good opinion of much of the Arab world.

And the U.S. is reportedly angered at Israel for not helping out. From Haaretz, Barak Ravid:

White House and State Department officials in Washington have built up a great deal of anger over Jerusalem’s “neutrality” regarding Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula. Senior figures in the Obama administration have expressed great disappointment with the lack of support from Israel for the American position on the Ukraine crisis and with the fact that the Israeli government puts its relations with the United States and with Russia on the same plane.

One senior U.S. official noted that one of the reasons for the anger in the White House was Israel’s absence from the UN General Assembly vote about two weeks ago on a resolution censuring the Russian invasion and expressing support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

… While the Americans viewed Israel’s behavior as ungrateful, in light of Washington’s unshakable support for Jerusalem in the UN, in the Kremlin and in the Russian media Israel’s action was seen as an expression of support for Moscow, or at the very least a lack of opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.

…Adding more fuel to the flames in Washington were public remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in which they maintained their “neutrality” and failed to back up the United States.

I’m not behind the U.S. on this one; I’ve found Stephen Cohen’s comments and articles about the two Ukraines and the new Cold War instructive. But it goes to show, the special relationship works so long as it serves Israel. It’s not been based on an American interest.

Thanks to Scott McConnell.

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60 Responses

  1. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail on April 13, 2014, 1:05 pm

    When will the US ever learn? They are expected to bend over backwards, expend enormous amounts of money and effort to support a right wing segregationist, expansionist, undemocratic state, only to find that state cares nothing about US interests or its citizens. A reckoning will surely come, when Israel finds that it has sucked the goodwill dry, exploited and manipulated its host too often.

    • Krauss
      Krauss on April 13, 2014, 2:17 pm

      When will the US ever learn?

      It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

      • on April 13, 2014, 5:39 pm

        I think it would be more accurate to say “when he thinks his salary depends upon…”. The power of the Lobby is that it is perceived to be powerful. If one or two Congressmen show some balls and good political instincts and run against the Lobby and win — look out. The end of their power could come quite rapidly. I think Rep Walter Jones may very well be the one to do this. The Lobby is targeting him for insufficient obedience and he may be able to use this to his adavantage

      • lysias
        lysias on April 13, 2014, 8:05 pm

        The Lobby already lost in Congress over Syria.

    • on April 13, 2014, 3:22 pm

      i don’t like the expression on neti’s face here. not one bit. his eyes look like acetylene torches that could cut right thru steel and i think that’s a fair representation of his inner being.
      he is evil!

      • Little_Shih_Tzu
        Little_Shih_Tzu on April 14, 2014, 2:53 pm

        True enough – but that was well-known, years, if not decades, prior to today.

      • Pixel
        Pixel on April 14, 2014, 8:11 pm

        That photo is priceless. I can only HOPE that Putin’s expression was photoshopped. Actually, maybe both were.

  2. Donald
    Donald on April 13, 2014, 1:33 pm

    This surprised me. What is Israel getting from Russia? (Not that I have any dog in the fight here–haven’t looked closely enough at the Ukraine situation to have an opinion.)

    • seafoid
      seafoid on April 13, 2014, 1:51 pm

      Israel is opposed to the US position on Ukraine for the same reason that Spain opposes the breakup of the UK. It does not want a precedent to be set. Israel loves its occupation and Spain wants to hang onto Catalonia.

      • Blovertis
        Blovertis on April 13, 2014, 3:34 pm

        Also… Israel is angling to get Russia to play ball when it comes time to tighten the vice on Iran again.

      • lysias
        lysias on April 13, 2014, 5:06 pm

        Front-page article in today’s Washington Post indicating that Scotland may well vote to secede in September. If Scotland secedes, how can Spain stop the secession of Catalonia?

      • seafoid
        seafoid on April 14, 2014, 1:12 am

        Spain could make it very difficult for Scotland to join the EU pour encourager les autres .

      • Walid
        Walid on April 14, 2014, 1:42 am

        My feeling is that Scotland would vote “NO”. Secession is far from being an easy thing to do. Crimea didn’t actually secede to become independent as much as it decided to change houses to live with someone else which is a completely different story from Scotland’s. Look at what happened to separatism in Quebec last week.

      • JennieS
        JennieS on April 14, 2014, 1:11 am

        There is a significant difference between the Crimean situation and that of the Palestinian Territories – Crimea was annexed to Russia in 1783 and remained sovereign Russian territory until 1954 when Khruschev (ethnic Ukrainian) made it part of Ukraine. This made no difference to Crimea (or Ukraine) until the breakup of the USSR when Crimea became and autonomous region in a newly independent Ukraine. Thus Russia has an historically recent claim on Crimea, Israel has no such claim on the occupied Palestinian Territories which have never been a recognised part of the State of Israel.

    • Krauss
      Krauss on April 13, 2014, 2:18 pm

      Possible oil in the future. Plus, you have to consider that Bibi and the gang actually mean what they say. Yaalon is the prism into Bibi’s thinking and he truly believes in American decline, and he respects the way Putin invaded Crimea. After all, he himself flounts international law all the time, so it isn’t hard to see why he wouldn’t respect Putin for doing it, too.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on April 13, 2014, 3:58 pm

        “Yaalon is the prism into Bibi’s thinking and he truly believes in American decline”

        If this is for real Israel can’t survive.
        Parasites can’t kill their hosts . They need to keep them alive to stay alive.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder on April 14, 2014, 7:42 am

        Seafoid, with all due respect. If you could drop the term parasites in this context, I would appreciate it. Reminds me of one of the most evil Nazi productions. Supposedly a documentary. The Eternal Jew of 1940.

        I may at one point have accepted it when friends called someone a rat, but parasites makes me respond slightly allergic. …

      • lysias
        lysias on April 13, 2014, 5:07 pm

        Plus, the former Moldovan bouncer Lieberman has long been trying to cozy up to Russia.

    • puppies
      puppies on April 13, 2014, 2:39 pm

      @Donald – Not sure its the good question. Where is the evidence that we, as the US of A, are having any influence at all on the Zionist entity, when a repellent Bessarabian gangsta can play footsie with Putin, old-fashioned gender identity laws notwithstanding, in plain daylight and without bothering to hide it under the tablecloth –and still force Obama, in the middle of his most important pissing contest of his two terms, to call the bouncer my only love and bestest ally?

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield on April 13, 2014, 8:09 pm

      Israeli neutrality in the new Cold War between Russia and the West goes back at least to the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. Nothing new about it.

      It is part of a diversification strategy to provide insurance against the weakening of US influence in the world and/or a weakening of US support for Israel.

      A big factor is Israelis who came from Russia. To a large extent they have retained their Russian identity and take Russia’s side in its conflict with Ukraine. They are a big voting block.

      Also many business/criminal operators are jointly based in Russia and Israel and link the two countries; a lot of money made or stolen in Russia is invested in Israel.

      Both Russia and Israel are hostile to the ‘Arab spring’ and prefer to rely on existing regimes.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on April 13, 2014, 10:21 pm

        You mean “neutrality” in the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. Don’t forget the quotation marks.

      • lysias
        lysias on April 13, 2014, 10:23 pm

        So why the h*** is the U.S. still using its veto to block Security Council resolutions that Israel doesn’t like?

      • Walid
        Walid on April 13, 2014, 11:42 pm

        The special relationship is felt only from the American side; in return, Israel lies to America, spies on it, steals from it and gets it into shit wars on its behalf. To offset its guilt, rather than get itself entangled in a perpetual annuity, America should have simply paid off the Israelis up front, like the Germans did.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on April 14, 2014, 8:58 am

        The US has been “occupied” by AIPAC and has it’s tentacles around the necks of Congresspeople, leaders, the (zionist)media, banks, think tanks and businesses.
        As long as Israel controls us (and we know it) this is how it will be.
        We will be sending endless aid, weapons, support at the UN, support it’s brutal occupation and colonization, and Israel will continue to be devious, spy on us, disrespect our WH administration, sell our weapons to our enemies, interfere in our political system, buy candidates, and get away with all their crimes. The US has a parasitic burden that it carries and cannot get rid of. So this reluctance to support the US, and condemn Russia should not be a surprise, Israel plays devious games, and besides, Israel loves illegal occupations.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder on April 14, 2014, 7:30 am

      Donald, I highly recommend you listen to the audio embedded in Phil’s first link (bottom) of an interview with Stephan Cohen. He gets it absolutely right. It’s at the start.

      I actually considered that interview an almost perfect lure to subscribe to The Nation for at least 25 weeks, for close to nothing. Since the interview is referring to an upcoming article by Cohen.

      There are right wing nationalist forces in the Ukrainian interim government. That is a fact. Badly enough they control the investigation into the shootings and this apparently leads to a cover up. There is ample evidence that shots where fired from the place where the opposition stayed. Lawyers don’t get any information apart from the fact that Viktor Yanukovych ordered the shootings. Since the right controls the important ministries, highly dubious considering the resulting absolute control of information.

      Now, obviously Israel may have it’s own reasons … Crimea?

    • talknic
      talknic on April 14, 2014, 8:54 pm

      @ Donald “What is Israel getting from Russia?

      Access to the Russian veto vote in the UNSC if needed. Israel only needs one. I believe the US public are slowly waking up to the Zionist Movement’s scams

      • piotr
        piotr on April 14, 2014, 10:41 pm

        You must be joking. Putin may use a veto for the benefit of Syria, for Israel — not so much.

        One explanation for Israeli position could be that the current American position is stupid, but this is at best a contributing factor, namely this assures that nobody will clamor for retribution. Plus, it is hard to find a more stupid adventure than Shaakashvili attack on Russians in South Ossetia, and Israeli mercenaries trained Georgians for that.

        I have two theories. One is that the majority of Jewish business tycoons from the region is with Putin. And they have influence in Israel, at least in some modest degree. The second is that whatever division you may find in Israeli ruling coalition, Putin wannabes are clearly in majority.

      • talknic
        talknic on April 14, 2014, 10:45 pm

        @ piotr “Putin may use a veto for the benefit of Syria, for Israel — not so much”

        For the strategic benefit of Russia, it’s best to have the US out of the picture

  3. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw on April 13, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Phil, I am pleased you have read up on Professor Stephen Cohen’s opinions on Ukraine, although the article in the piece above is behind a pay wall, I have read other article by him, he sure knows what he is talking about. In my opinion the present government of Ukraine is illegitimate, here is a complaint I sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 13th March 2014, needless to say I have had no response as of yet, nor do I expect one ever.
    In a statement to the House of Commons on 4th March 2014, the Foreign Secretary deceived the House about the legitimacy of the new regime in Ukraine. He led the House to believe that the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, had removed President Yanukovich from power on 22 February 2014 in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution and that therefore “it is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities. It is simply untrue that the Rada followed the procedure laid down in the Ukrainian constitution to impeach and remove a president from power.

    Article 108 of the Ukraine constitution has four circumstances whereby a President can be replaced, the powers of the President of Ukraine terminate prior to the expiration of term in cases of:

    1) resignation;

    2) inability to exercise his or her powers for reasons of health;

    3) removal from office by the procedure of impeachment;

    4) death.

    The procedure, laid down in Article 111 of the constitution, is not unlike that required for the impeachment and removal from power of a US president, which could take months.

    Thus, Article 111 obliges the Rada to establish a special investigatory commission to formulate charges against the president, seek evidence to justify the charges and come to conclusions about the president’s guilt for the Rada to consider.

    Prior to a final vote to remove a president from power, it requires

    (a) The Constitutional Court of Ukraine to review the case and certify that the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration has been followed, and

    (b) The Supreme Court of Ukraine must certify that the acts of which the President is accused are worthy of impeachment.

    The Rada didn’t follow this procedure at all. No investigatory commission was established and the Courts were not involved. On 22 February 2014, the Rada simply passed a bill removing President Yanukovych from office.

    Furthermore, the bill wasn’t even supported by three quarters of the members of the Rada, as required by Article 111 for the removal of a president from office – it was supported by 328 members, when it required 338 (since the Rada has 450 members).

    Justifying UK support for the new regime in Kiev in the House of Commons on 4 March 2014, the Foreign Secretary said:

    “Former President Yanukovych left his post and then left the country, and the decisions on replacing him with an acting President were made by the Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, by the very large majorities required under the constitution, including with the support of members of former President Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions, so it is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities.”

    The Ukrainian President had not resigned, he is still the legitimate President of Ukraine, therefore the Foreign Secretary’s statement was a calculated deception of the House of Commons, designed to give the impression that the procedure prescribed in the Ukrainian constitution for the removal of a president from office had been followed, when it hadn’t.

    Because this statement was fundamentally wrong can I be assured that the Foreign Secretary will tell the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity, and through them the British people, that the statement he made on 4th March 2014, was false.

    I await your response
    Harry Law.

  4. Egbert
    Egbert on April 13, 2014, 2:22 pm

    I love the body language in the photograph. Nutanyahu is giving his best shot at his cliche death ray ‘you will obey’ stare, and Putin is laughing in his face.

    • just
      just on April 13, 2014, 3:49 pm


      Putin’s grin appears sardonic in the extreme– kinda like “buddy bibi, I got your number….”

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on April 13, 2014, 4:55 pm

        Putin comes across as smooth if he can deal this way with Netanyahu. Putin does not look worried about Netanyahu. Obama and Sarkozy worry about him. So ironic.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on April 13, 2014, 4:56 pm

        Yeah Just, Putin does look this way in the photo. That is the way Netanyahu can look at Obama.

      • annie
        annie on April 13, 2014, 6:32 pm

        i think the expression on putin’s face is very telling. i also don’t take this haaretz article at face value or the allegation that israel has been ‘staying out of it’ in the ukraine. i don’t believe it. i think we’re in for a snow job. and domestically, in israel, making it look as tho netanyahu is taking a stand against kerry/obama or US interests boosts his popularity w/the right flank. so i am not buying this. victoria noland and netanyahu on opposing sides? not on your life.

        and putin doesn’t look like he’s buying it either. remember how the neocons (w/help from israel training georgian troops) supported georgia to go pound south ossesia? against russia? and then the press was on full steam lying and trying to hide the fact georgia started that ‘skirmish’ 24 hrs before russia invaded to protect the besieged people of south ossesia?

        that last bit of news wasn’t revealed for over a month by our msm, once everyone had been hoodwinked into believing russia started that fiasco. dan senor was on the team helping that georgian president (whatever his long tonguetwister name was). anyway, the neocons want their pound out of russia. and where the neocons go, israel is backing them like clockwork. usually, as far as i know. this reminds me of the lobby and israel claiming they were ‘silent’ over syria until obama appealed for their ‘help’ in convincing congress to vote for war. they kept announcing it repeatedly in the press how neutral they were. all that tells me is they want us to think they are neutral. big dif

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia on April 13, 2014, 7:42 pm

        Then the question is why so, why Israel is not openly on board? Does neocons know something in advance ? Can they later blame Obama as they did Bush for fiasco? That time at least neocons will be able to hide by repeatedly citing the absence of Israel as pragmatism that US ignored again to its peril. Above all they can always refer to the bond and the association between Israel and them .
        I can visualize the media asking one of the neocons” you have been there. You have family in Israel. You visit every summer. You speak to Natanyahu,Batak,Bennett and scores of other politicians and military strategist on a first name basis. The Israeli leaders meet you when they visit US. You know the Jewish colleagues or Israeli nationals who are defending freedom and fighting against terrorism .
        So what went wrong why US did not take the cue from Israel. Why did not we ask Israel what Israel was thinking and why Obama did not try to find out why Israel was not supporting us ? May be we would not be in this pickle if we asked “

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on April 13, 2014, 10:16 pm

        Rabbi Azman visited the Holy Land to get armed assistance for democracy in Ukraine before the events of Maidan occurred. But who knows who the snipers belonged to except that they weren’t from Yankovych.

  5. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on April 13, 2014, 3:48 pm

    Given the history of occupation by itself, I was anticipating that Israel would support the occupation by Russia . Given the prominent and succeesful role of the Jeiwsh persons in the politics and the finances, I was expecting that they would support the current Ukraine government as legitimate and flow with US/EU.
    But is also possible to opt for the status quo( Crimea under Russia, Ukraine under the current financial and political leadership) which Israel is doing.
    But it is surprising that Israel has been going against US,supporting Russia,and the media here in US are silent on the behavior of it’s(US) only ally in the world who shares US values , threat to the security, and who was even established on the same prinicple and determination based on same releigious impulses as that of the US!( according to the Israeli firsters)
    But is there another explanation? Is this the things Tablet and J Post have been talking about -pivoting away from US and towards to Russia ( later to China and India if situation demands )?

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on April 13, 2014, 5:09 pm

      The Israelis know that whether they vote for the Crimeans or not they will get 29 ovations at a joint session of the legislature from everyone, so it does not matter if they vote for the Crimeans. but voting on behalf of the Crimeans does help its relations with Russia. So there’s nothing for it to lose and something for it to gain by voting for the Crimeans.

      Actually, that should be rather obvious to anyone who is informed.

      What’s the US establishment going to do? Negotiate tough on IP? Call up JStreet to enact adverse measures? It will have a far far easier time making pigs fly. Really.

      I would be wiling to bet Obama that I could make a pig fly before he could give Palestinians a normal independent state.

    • lysias
      lysias on April 13, 2014, 5:10 pm

      Big difference. Most of the people in Crimea are very happy to join Russia. The Palestinians on the West Bank do not want to be occupied.

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby on April 14, 2014, 5:19 am



        This is no occupation to begin with.

  6. Citizen
    Citizen on April 13, 2014, 3:59 pm

    Guess who’s coming to dinner? The ’67 movie has got new balls.

  7. Balfour
    Balfour on April 13, 2014, 4:01 pm

    Time to practice some U. S. “Neutrality” regarding a certain Mid East nation…

  8. a blah chick
    a blah chick on April 13, 2014, 5:51 pm

    That picture should be blown up and set up across the street from the next AIPAC convention. No caption required.

  9. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka on April 13, 2014, 6:16 pm

    Typical ingrates.

  10. Citizen
    Citizen on April 13, 2014, 7:06 pm

    So why does US give Israel $8.5M per day? For this:,7340,L-4503929,00.html

  11. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on April 13, 2014, 7:23 pm

    In the western media,there is an effort afoot to dismiss Iran’s interest and sincerity in the nuclear talks. The argument runs as follow-Russia is resurgent. Iran sees an opportunity in prying Russia away . Russia is using or will use Iran issue to sabotage any meaningful solution to Ukraine political problem , other countries like Syria and Hamas might see an opportunity to reassertion themselves . America is seen as dupable and weak . Obama is appeasing US enemies .Churchil would have not done and neither Regan.
    But nowhere is the mention of Israeli behaviors . It is more poignant that the cheer leaders for action against Iran and Russia are the neocons and on the left are Hillary,Rice,Power who are also Israeli Firster. In their’s ‘International community’ , Israel is missing . This is the same Israel that the same ” International community is prostrating itself to .

  12. James Canning
    James Canning on April 13, 2014, 7:48 pm

    Marsha B. Cohen has an interesting piece at regarding Israel’s dealings with various Russian billionaires, many of whom are Jews.

  13. Les
    Les on April 13, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Israel’s foreign policy has consistently been independent of any other country’s interest. The same cannot be said about US foreign policy.

  14. Kay24
    Kay24 on April 13, 2014, 9:04 pm

    How can Israel condemn Russia, when it has been an occupier for decades, and cannot afford to point fingers at the latest occupier? At least the people of Crimea, VOTED to be part of Russia, unlike the Palestinian people, who have had to live under a brutal military occupation, and have absolute NO choice, but to be victims. For all the unwavering support the US has given to Israel, even when it sends it’s precision bombs into civilian homes and structures, for Israel to remain silent about Russia, is a diplomatic slap for the US. It is a shame, that after all the aid, weapons, support, and defending of Israel, the US cannot depend on it’s “only” ally in the Middle East, the one that makes even our Congress people obedient, our zionist media refrain from criticism, and who we, the tax payers, keep sending our hard earned money, to keep them safe and comfy, cannot support it’s benefactor, at a crucial time.
    Perhaps the devious leadership in Israel knows, that to condemn Russia’s crime, would be also bringing attention to their own brutal occupation, and really, no one will take that condemnation seriously.

  15. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby on April 14, 2014, 5:19 am

    Stop calling it an occupation!

  16. brenda
    brenda on April 14, 2014, 5:59 am

    like Phil, I’m also not cheerleading the US position on Russia/Crimea — the Crimean port Sevastapol has been home to Russian fleet for maybe a hundred years, controls access to Mediterranean Sea, is only warm water port for essentially landlocked nation, so non-negotiable. Russia will fight for it. I’m ok if Obama wants to give lip service.

    This is nice though, to see Netanyahu giving Obama the finger once again. You’d think Obama didn’t control the all-so-essential UN veto, which may be coming up shortly, and Obama might want to be leaving a legacy to the nation before he leaves office. This is being a fascinating story, better than shoot-out at the OK Corral.

    Israeli journalist Ben Caspit has a recently published story along the same line: “Those looking for the source of the bad blood between the White House and the prime minister’s office need look no further than to Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer. From the outset, his appointment spelled trouble. One could not have found a person more associated with the Republicans than him. In July 2012, ahead of US elections, he was the organizer and spirit behind the fund-raising dinner Netanyahu hosted in Jerusalem in honor of the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. This was like giving President Barack Obama the finger. Later, Dermer traveled to the United States to help the casino mogul Sheldon Adelson goad as many Jews as possible into voting for Romney. That didn’t pan out. Adelson’s gamble, into which Netanyahu, Dermer and Israel were dragged almost against their will, proved to be a bust. Subsequently, the already problematic relations were further shaken up. It was then that Netanyahu decided to dispatch Dermer to Washington as his ambassador”

    Read more:

    • piotr
      piotr on April 14, 2014, 10:51 pm

      A pedantic remark: Russia has ports to the east of Crimea, besides ports on Baltic, Murmansk, and Pacific ports (not to mention the increasingly un-frozen Arctic). The main reason to take Crimea is that Russians view it as a Russian territory.

      • brenda
        brenda on April 15, 2014, 8:36 am

        The important thing is that Russia will fight for it. Crimea/Sevastapol port is as sensitive — probably more sensitive — to Russia sense of security than Cuba was to US during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

        The Great Powers are like stars in the sky; they each have their own orbits and if they get too close to one another there’s likely to be a horrific explosion.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on April 15, 2014, 2:10 pm

        Russia had agreed Crimea was part of Ukraine, but the opportunity to take it back presented itself. Ill-considered actions by the US in dealing with Russia helped to create the sitation.

    • ritzl
      ritzl on April 15, 2014, 12:24 am

      Good points, brenda. A parting UNSC abstention or two is something Obama could do. It’s within his limitations even as a weak leader to pull off, imho.

      It might not mean much domestically (US) in the political long-term, and it would certainly adversely affect his post-Presidency lifestyle, but it would set a precedent that would have to be overcome by the next Prez. As such it might/would back-foot the Israelis enough to create some exploitable international breathing room for whatever next step Palestine and the EU may be inclined to take. It could change the dynamic for a bit.

      Too many woulds, coulds, and mights in there for this to be a probability, but it is a possibility.

      This Russia/Ukraine/Crimea thing throws all the historical and current duplicity into high relief. There’s opportunity in that. And if people out here in the blogosphere are able to perceive the opportunity, somebody+ in the admin is perceiving it too.

      • brenda
        brenda on April 15, 2014, 9:17 am

        ritzl, it is that tantalizing possibility that keeps me awake at night. (I know I’m probably reading far more domestic Israeli politics than is really good for me) But one way this tantalizing possibility could work out is as a precedent which would NOT be overcome by the next US president. It could very well be that US pols are weary of the Israel Lobby yoke. I’ve read several off-the-record anecdotes from US pols to the effect that they are fed up with the arm twisting and the blackmail and the flooding of their offices with irate phone calls if they fall out of line ever so slightly. The flooding of their congressional offices with the AIPAC hordes in person.

        Think, for example, of what we know about President Obama required to spend hours in conversation with Netanyahu. Even during the government shut-down crisis last fall, on one of the most critical days Obama spent hours during that day talking with Netanyahu. Whenever Netanyahu calls on the telephone, which is most days, Obama jumps to answer it. This is how the most powerful man in the world, the US President, is obliged to act. This is the pay-off for winning the most important election in the most powerful country on the face of the earth? Every day you get out of bed knowing you are going to have to listen to Bibi on the telephone?

        I think there’s a better than even chance if Obama’s UN ambassador abstains from a critical UN vote on the occupation of Palestine this will set a precedent of relief. Hopefully it will set in motion the legal steps to require AIPAC to register as a foreign lobby — there has been some motion in that direction in the past, it’s not like the US government apparatus has never let it cross their minds.

      • ritzl
        ritzl on April 15, 2014, 3:05 pm

        @brenda- As so many people here have pointed out, your prognosis is a real and available “out” for Obama or some future admin, bolstered by irrefutable physical and moral facts (such that moral “facts” are irrefutable).

        The big question, now, is time-frame. Not so much if but when.

        I don’t think it will be in my lifetime, but it will happen.


  17. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 14, 2014, 6:46 am

    The way I see it, there are two issues at play here.

    Firstly, Israel, which itself has illegally annexed territory, does not want to condemn another country for doing something similar (although I hesitate to call Russia’s annexation of Crimea ‘similar’ in the sense that there is no military occupation, most Crimeans voted for it, and Crimea was Russian territory until quite recently).

    Secondly, Israel knows that it really doesn’t have to ‘earn’ its ‘special relationship’ with the US. It’s all take and no give. They know very well that they can spy on America, kill its citizens and treat its leaders with contempt, and still every congressman will rush to kiss their feet. With Russia, it’s different. There isn’t that automatic toadying to Israel. So this could be a way to win favour with Russia, particularly vis a vis Iran. Because these days, it always comes back to Iran.

  18. bilal a
    bilal a on April 14, 2014, 6:53 am

    A tragedy in Kansas as a psychopathic elderly white nationalist opens fire at a Jewish community center, killing three, but not to worry, Muslims,Iran, and BDS are the real threats, according to another type of white nationalist:

    “Today the greatest threat to the Jewish people comes not from stray neo-Nazis but from Islamist terror and a genocidal theocracy in Iran…But while worries about a non-existent wave of prejudice against Muslims are without basis, even in the United States those willing to express hostility to Jews and to, as the BDS movement has shown, subject their state to prejudicial treatment they would not inflict on any other religious or ethnic group, remains an unfortunate reality.”

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