White House denies Netanyahu's denials
The only good thing that has come out of all of this has been the response of the Obama administration. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest dubbed Netanyahu's remark about Arab voters "a pretty transparent effort to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens and their right to participate in their democracy.”
And White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough dismissed NetanYahoo's lame attempt to pull an Emily Latella "never mind" on his campaign pledge to block a Palestinian state, saying “We cannot simply pretend that those comments were never made, or that they don’t raise questions about the prime minister’s commitment to achieving peace."
Obama is supposed to be "reassessing" the US relationship with Israel, including pulling down the diplomatic cover it has long given Israel at the United Nations as well as becoming less active in protecting Israel in international forums and finding new ways to express opposition to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
But here's the thing, another example of when it comes to The Amazing Mr. O how the words soar while the deeds crawl if they move at all: Despite claims that matters have reached what one called "a tipping point," there is no sign yet of any actual changes in policy or much of anything else besides words.
Most importantly, the White House has specifically ruled out any reassessment of what is called "security cooperation" between the US and Israel - which means in point of actual fact the $3 billion in military aid the US gives to Israel every year.
As Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, noted, “The administration is putting everything on the table except security assistance." Rep. Adam Schiff added that "I think the military to military and intelligence cooperation is going to go on no matter who is" prime minister of Israel.
In other words, we're going to keep sending them the big bucks no matter what.
So why would Israel care about the rest of it? Why should they care?
Israel, particularly under governments such as NetanYahoo's, has shown itself time and again entirely willing to ignore the voices of the rest of the world, to ignore the International Court, to ignore the European Union, to ignore the United Nations, to ignore the Security Council, to ignore the United States, has shown itself to be immune to moral and ethical criticism no matter the source, and even now revels in its isolation as if that were a badge of honor and proof of its virtue instead of the judgment of world opinion.
Why, then, should the White House expect NetanYahoo to care about anything except the continued flow of US dollars, the continued flow of weapons, the continued flow of what makes possible his government's ability to simply ignore the rest of the world in pursuit of its own dreams of a modern Israel standing astride the Middle East like a colossus and rivaling King David's domains in the greatest imagined extent of their glory and power?
There is only one change in US policy that might have real impact: An end to so-called "security assistance." An end to military aid. Even that might not sway Israel from its denial of Palestinian rights, might not pause its theft of Palestinian land, might not hinder its on-going illegal annexation of the West Bank. But even if it's true that we may not be able to stay the hangman's hand, we can at least stop paying for the rope.
Sources cited in links: