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What happens to Middle East Policy when the diplomats favor one country over another?

The Dog  did a post a few days ago about how Benjamin Netanyahu is in trouble with the Obama Administration over settlements in Jerusalem….

The Obama Administration is taking a hard line against the Israeli position of counting on the two countries friendship…..while trying to exact more land from the Palestinian’s .

The ultra right parties in Israel  insistence’s that they will NEVER  settle for a peace agreement  is not what Hillary Clinton and Obama is going keep accepting….

Today I’m ‘reading in ‘for the Dog when I come across a piece that makes me say, ah!

Ok…..

This piece throws some light on how the past Washington administration’s’ looked the other way’…while Isreal operated …..

The author takes issue with the feelings of Dennis Ross…who has  handled Israel  policy for the US in the past, and is now part on the current White House team….

There is a question of his impartiality in dealing with Israeli and representing the United States……

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Barack Obama as President do not have that problem ….which has turned out to be Netanyahu’s problem…..


If you would like to read a textbook example of a dust-kicking operation, please look at Robert Satloff’s heated response to my recent post explaining the problems that can arise when top-level foreign policy officials have strong attachments to a foreign country.  I seem to have struck a nerve.

There are only two important issues here, and Satloff ignores both of them. First, do some top U.S. officials — and here we are obviously talking about Dennis Ross — have a strong attachment to Israel? Second, might this situation be detrimental to the conduct of U.S. Middle East policy?

Regarding the first question, there is abundant evidence that Ross has a strong — some might even say ardent — attachment to Israel. These feelings are clearly on display in his memoir of the Oslo peace process, and they are confirmed by his decision to accept a top position at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy (WINEP) — an influential organization in the Israel lobby-upon leaving government service in 2000. As Middle East historian Avi Shlaim put it in his own review of Ross’s book:

Ross belongs fairly and squarely in the pro-Israel camp.  His premises, position on the Middle East and policy preferences are identical to those of the Israel-first school. Indeed, it is difficult to think of an American official who is more quintessentially Israel-first in his outlook than Dennis Ross.”

Furthermore, Ross served in recent years as chairman of the board of the Jewish People’s Policy Planning Institute, a think-tank established by the Jewish Agency, which is headquartered in Jerusalem. Satloff does not mention this key fact, but the implications are unmistakable. Why would anyone take such a job if they did not have a deep-seated commitment to Israel?

Please check the rest of the piece out.……

It answers quiet few questions in why there has been no movement in thew Middle East peace process for a while…..

Here’s the original insightful Stephan M. Walt piece……

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April 12, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates, Women | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Palestinians try Ghandi’s way……..

Palestinians headed to plant trees last month in the West Bank, part of a new, nonviolent approach to assert their land claims.

There have little or no violent outburst’s from the Palestinian’s for sometime…..

They have not been in the headlines…..

While the media has not noticed this….

President Obama has…..

And so when Bibi Netanyahu pushes for settlements….there are peaceful demonastrations..but no bombings…..

The Palestinians are trying a bit of non-violence….Ghandi’s way…

While is early…they are trying to start to portray the Israeli’s as the aggressor and play the media against their heavy handiness intransigence…..

Already this has put Bibi on bad terms with the US and the British….

We’ll see how it plays….

Something is stirring in the West Bank. With both diplomacy and armed struggle out of favor for having failed to end the Israeli occupation, the Fatah-dominatedPalestinian Authority, joined by the business community, is trying to forge a third way: to rouse popular passions while avoiding violence. The idea, as Fatah struggles to revitalize its leadership, is to build a virtual state and body politic through acts of popular resistance.

“It is all about self-empowerment,” said Hasan Abu-Libdeh, the Palestinian economy minister, referring to a campaign to end the purchase of settlers’ goods and the employment of Palestinians by settlers and their industries. “We want ordinary people to feel like stockholders in the process of building a state.”

The new approach still remains small scale while American-led efforts to revive peace talks are stalled. But street interviews showed that people were aware and supportive of its potential to bring pressure on Israel but dubious about its ultimate effectiveness.

More……..

April 7, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Home, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Religion, Travel, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The Palestinians try Ghandi's way……..

Palestinians headed to plant trees last month in the West Bank, part of a new, nonviolent approach to assert their land claims.

There have little or no violent outburst’s from the Palestinian’s for sometime…..

They have not been in the headlines…..

While the media has not noticed this….

President Obama has…..

And so when Bibi Netanyahu pushes for settlements….there are peaceful demonastrations..but no bombings…..

The Palestinians are trying a bit of non-violence….Ghandi’s way…

While is early…they are trying to start to portray the Israeli’s as the aggressor and play the media against their heavy handiness intransigence…..

Already this has put Bibi on bad terms with the US and the British….

We’ll see how it plays….

Something is stirring in the West Bank. With both diplomacy and armed struggle out of favor for having failed to end the Israeli occupation, the Fatah-dominatedPalestinian Authority, joined by the business community, is trying to forge a third way: to rouse popular passions while avoiding violence. The idea, as Fatah struggles to revitalize its leadership, is to build a virtual state and body politic through acts of popular resistance.

“It is all about self-empowerment,” said Hasan Abu-Libdeh, the Palestinian economy minister, referring to a campaign to end the purchase of settlers’ goods and the employment of Palestinians by settlers and their industries. “We want ordinary people to feel like stockholders in the process of building a state.”

The new approach still remains small scale while American-led efforts to revive peace talks are stalled. But street interviews showed that people were aware and supportive of its potential to bring pressure on Israel but dubious about its ultimate effectiveness.

More……..

April 7, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Home, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Religion, Travel, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Netanyahu finds himself in a jam at home also……

It seems that Binyamin Netanyahu has problems at home due from his troubles at the White House…..

While the right leaning partners in his collation government are happy to push for the start the settlements in part of Jeruslem…..a lot of others in Israeli’s aren’t…they are more uneasy with the ‘family fight’ going on between the American administration and Netanyhu’s….than people think……

The United States was happy to deal with Tzipi Livni as Israel’s Foreign Minister in the past Israeli governmenet…..the US never thought things where going to be good with Bibi Netanyahu’s ‘second coming……

And they haven’t been…..

BiBi is now going to have to figure out how to get out of the hole he’s in…..

Livni must be smiling…thinking the Israeli voters  made the wrong choice in the last election……

Over the past year, Netanyahu “pushed the envelope with Obama,” said Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli peace negotiator, referring to haggling over a full settlement freeze that had precluded a resumption of peace talks. Now that Obama has pushed back, Netanyahu “is worried and afraid,” Beilin said.

Some observers speculated that Netanyahu might be forced to consider bringing Kadima, the centrist party led by former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, his arch political rival, into his coalition to alleviate the tensions with the United States. But Gideon Ezra, a Kadima member, said that might not be possible because of resistance from within Netanyahu’s Likud bloc: Incorporating Kadima would mean concessions such as halting construction in East Jerusalem and dismantling unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank, steps that Likud members oppose, Ezra said.

More……..

March 26, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Family, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates, Women | , , , , | 5 Comments