U.S. Out of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
by Ivan Eland
30 May 09 | AWC
Hillary Clinton’s blunt public statement that President Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions” made for good headlines. The Israelis were shocked and upset that their slavish ally had acted slightly less obsequious and engaged in a public spat with them.
This ballyhooed baby step came after Obama had raised halting Israeli settlements in the West Bank privately with hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House – only to get the push back that, at minimum, Israel would have to allow the “natural growth” of settlements to match population expansion.
Yet Obama is only one of a string of U.S. presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan, to press the Israelis to stop such settlement activity. Despite billions in U.S. military and economic aid to Israel, the Israelis won’t even accommodate this seemingly modest U.S. request.
That’s because the request is not modest and cuts to the heart of Israeli strategy. >>>
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