Rahm Emanuel goes after Bibi?

Posted: January 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Right, the US and us | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I didn’t like the “disengagement” threats that supposedly came from Rahm Emanuel last week. Thomas Friedman had the same idea a few weeks ago. It seemed weird back than, and it doesn’t sound any better coming from the White House now.

For those who missed the story, it all started when the daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week that Rahm Emanuel had a message for both Israelis and Palestinians:

“The US administration is tired of you, the Israelis and Palestinians. You’re wasting precious time and are missing an opportunity to make peace. There is going to be a stage in which we’re simply going to give up on this endless conflict and leave you alone.”

Soon enough, the American media caught up with the story, what caused Emanuel to claim he was misquoted.

The real problem, however, is not with the undiplomatic tone of Obama’s chief of staff, or with him threatening both sides publicly, but rather with the fact that this threat is actually no threat at all: Netanyahu’s greatest hope is that the administration would get off his back. If the US was to put the diplomatic effort on a hold, most of the Israeli prime minister’s immediate political problems would be solved. Emanuel acts like a parent demanding his 8 year old kid to stop beating up his younger brother, “or else,” he threatens, “I will go to my room.”

If the US was considering abandoning all of its interests in the region, it would have been another story. If the White House was threatening to stop the economical and military aid to Israel, Jerusalem would have had something to worry about. But this is clearly not the case. The current administration is committed to maintaining Israel’s military superiority over its neighbors, and Emanuel knows more than anybody what backlash the White House will suffer if it would even consider cutting some of the 3 billion dollars the US hands Israel every year (That’s why the right wing cheered Emanuel’s idea. Here is an example, on no else than the political blog of Israel’s best Basketball referee ever).

These kind of statements by Obama’s chief of staff looks, more than anything, like a sign of frustration, and it comes pretty early in the game. I don’t get this. After all we have been through, with all the damage of the lost eight years of George Bush, did the new administration really think that reigniting the process will be that easy?

One Comment on “Rahm Emanuel goes after Bibi?”

  1. 1 Pamela said at 3:25 pm on January 11th, 2010:

    I’m increasingly amazed by this administration. Calling for a settlement freeze in front of the whole Arab world, then saying, “Just kidding!” — that alone was just astonishing. Even Mitchell hasn’t said anything interesting. And why is Dennis Ross still allowed to talk? He’s always wrong!

    Doesn’t someone up there know what the hell is going on? I know the Israel lobby will clobber anyone who does (like Chas Freeman), but come on. The Israel lobby isn’t God. I worked in Washington for two years, it’s just the most intellectually cowardly place imaginable. Very sad.