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Netanyahu tests Obama’s resolve for Middle East Peace

Syed R. Mahmood

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi), is testing the resolve of American President Barack Obama in regards to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land. This includes the West Bank, Gaza, plus the peace process. Despite their supposed indifference, Israelis have developed the habit in the last fifty years to take American support for granted.

On a recent trip to Israel by our Vice President Joe Biden, he was insulted and humiliated by the Israelis when they made the announcement to build 1,600 new apartments in East Jerusalem. This appeared to be a show of defiance by “Bibi’s” arrogance to intimidate Obama’s Administration and to challenge him as well as to show the extent of the Israeli hold on the American Congress.  

On March 23, 2010 Netanyahu was invited to Capitol Hill by the members of Congress. It was a shameful occasion to see the surrender of American honor and dignity by our congressional leaders of both parties.

A smiling face, the leader of the house, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said to Bibi, “We in Congress stand by Israel.” And, “In Congress we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel.” Conversely, the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton did show some courage to rebuke the Israeli housing expansion policies. In front of a large audience of Jewish Americans, Netanyahu made anther provocative statement and said; “Jews have built homes in Jerusalem for the last thousand years and they will continue to build more houses”. However, the American Congressional leaders did not have the courage or guts to show support for their own President.

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has no intention to start any serious peace negotiations with Palestine. He is not honest in his approach. He is simply using a delaying tactic and is stalling for time to grab Palestinian land. He knows that since 1967 the American Administration has proven to be ineffective in pursuing Israelis to move ahead with a meaningful peace process.

His strategy is to drag any peace negotiating process close to the American Presidential Election. Therefore, President Obama will not be able to exert any pressure on Israel to make any concessions. The charade of “Confidence Building Measures,” by Israelis is another political ploy.

Palestinians are humans. There is a limit of patience, and the world community can not expect any more from them. They have tolerated Israeli brutal occupation since 1967. According to the United Nations Charter, they have the right to take every necessary action against an occupation, which also includes an arms struggle.

The objective of the American Revolutionary War was to fight against the Tyranny of the British Empire. No confidence building steps were taken by either side. Americans, including a large number of Jewish Americans, are getting tired of Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian lands.  Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has made a serious offer to Israel for normalization of relationships, if Israel will sign a serious peace treaty with the Palestinians.

The issue of an Iranian threat is also a technique of the Netanyahu Government to divert attention from the real issue of Palestinian occupation. Time is running out for Israelis to make an honorable peace settlement with the Arabs. America has paid a very high price financially and in human life for Israeli security. At present, Israel has only Hamas and Hezbollah to deal with. In the future, they may have to deal with many unknown factors.

Israel should not take undue advantage of her friend the United States. One day Americans are going to liberate the U.S. Congress and cut the hands loose from around the neck of the United States foreign policy.

The former President George W. Bush invaded Iraq under the pretext to find weapons of mass destruction and for the security of Israel. Now every corner of the World is infested with the germs of radicalization and violence. As for the future, the security of Israel is in Netanyahu’s hand.

One of our founding fathers, a wise man, the first President of the United States George Washington, warned America in his Farewell speech, not to have a permanent alliance with any country. Perhaps it’s time to listen to our elders.

Syed R. Mahmood. a founder and President of American Institute of International Studies. A former Republican Congressional Candidate, district 13, 2002.