Rosy rises up and smacks down Israel smackdown


Lee Rosenberg, AIPAC’s new president and a key fundraiser for the Obama campaign, has spoken about the tensions — and he’s not happy. I briefed it here, but here’s the key part of the transcript; with three standing ovations:

In recent days we have witnessed something very unfortunate.

In a world that often is muddled, where messages are often grey, I want to speak clearly and directly about the events and tensions which have ensued.

During Vice President Biden’s trip to Israel, designed to celebrate the alliance between the two countries, an incident, which Prime Minister Netanyahu has called "regrettable," occurred with the announcement of a permit approval of a housing project in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized — four separate times — and said the announcement was hurtful and should not have occurred.

In any relationship, mistakes are going to happen, and even the best of friends are going to disagree. Disagreements over policy between the United States and Israel — between any two allies — happen. That is a given. But how friends disagree, how they react when missteps occur, that can determine the nature of the relationship.

So let me make three points.

Number one, the people of Israel and the democratically elected government of Israel passionately believe in peace. And Israel is committed to its alliance with America.

Number two, the United States and Israel both have a responsibility to work with one another and achieve that peace. That is what allies do.

And three, allies should work out their differences privately.

(Standing ovation.)

History shows that when American pressures Israel publicly, it provides an opportunity for those who wish to derail the peace process to have their way.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us be clear, the reluctant partner in  this peace process is not Israel’s elected leader Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Standing ovation.)

The recalcitrant partner are the Palestinians and their leader — President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinians are bitterly divided between Hamas and Fatah — that is a problem. The failure of President Abbas to end his nay-saying and come to the table for direct talks which Prime Minister Netanyahu has been committed to from the start — that is a problem. The failure of the Arab world to begin normalizing its relationships with Israel — that is a problem.

Israel is not the problem. Israel is America’s partner. (Standing ovation.)

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