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The Israel-America clash

"The sparring between the United States and Israel has begun, and that’s a good thing," writes Roger Cohen in his online column for Sunday’s New York Times. He continues:

Israel’s interests are not served by an uncritical American administration. The Jewish state emerged less secure and less loved from Washington’s post-9/11 Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy.

Perhaps. But is Cohen concerned with Israel’s interests, or with America’s?

A sentence later, Cohen writes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

She’s transitioned with aplomb from the calculation of her interests that she made as a senator from New York to a cool assessment of U.S. interests. These do not always coincide with Israel’s.

One can debate whether or not the policies Cohen advocates are good for Israel (they include having Israel move ahead with the Palestinians on peace talks, stopping Jewish settlement growth in the West Bank, having the United States talk with Hamas and Hezbollah, avoiding slapping Iran with additional sanctions no matter what the Islamic Republic does), and it’s fine for Cohen to put America’s interests ahead of Israel’s, but he should not fool himself into thinking those interests always collide.

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