Crisis? What crisis?


Shmuel Rosner at The Jerusalem Post thinks we’re all getting a little carried away. He answers eight questions from his readers. My two favorite answers:

1. Is it really the "worst crisis since 1975"?

Short answer: No. The Bush-Baker-Shamir crisis was worse.

5. Is it Rahm Emanuel again?

Short answer: Is it not time to leave Emanuel alone already?

Steve Clemons at the Washington Note has a through-the-looking-glass take on what the AIPAC statement might have looked like had it addressed its interlocutor in the eastern hemisphere:

Unfortunately, a relationship that has generally enjoyed vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people is now eroding because of the Israeli government’s tendency to allow short term concerns and the incrementalism of its expansion in Occupied Territories to undermine its own long term security interests, its core relations with the US, and the security and safety of American men and women deployed today in the Middle East.

The Netanyahu government should make a conscious effort to immediately move away from actions that would further undermine any prospects for Israel-Palestine peace and a two state solution. While Israel complains about unilateral deadlines directed at the Jewish State, it is time for Israel to ante up on the peace process and demonstrate that it has the maturity to demonstrate that it will cooperate with and not undermine US basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.

Compare and contrast with AIPAC’s real thing.

At The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead wonders if Israelis realize how deeply this crisis (if it is a crisis) might wound them, even among their most stalwart supporters on the Christian right:

In this latest crisis in the relationship with its most important ally, Israel has already shot itself in the foot and handed a great political victory to those in the administration who would like to see the two countries less closely associated. Israelis need to understand that putting the president of the United States in a humiliating position undercuts the strong support it enjoys in American public opinion.

This is particularly true because Israel’s strongest supporters in the United States today belong to the Jacksonian school of American foreign relations.  Jacksonians are honor-focused; they react very negatively to insults against the dignity and honor of the United States.  While President Obama is not a Jacksonian favorite, he is the President of the United States, and gratuitous foreign insults to him and his administration do not go over well among the millions of Jacksonian American gentiles who today form the bedrock of Israel’s American support.

The stakes are high.  American support for Israel is based on broad public sympathy for Israel; if public opinion shifts against Israel then American policy sooner or later will follow.

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