Former Governor Sarah Palin, increasingly willing to criticize Obama on foreign policy grounds, is joining the chorus of Republican critics of his confrontation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, contrasting his policy of engaging enemies with the tough talk to an ally.
Palin writes in a statement provided by an aide:
The Obama Administration reaches out to some of the world’s worst regimes in the name of their engagement policy. America and our allies watch as sanctions are eased on Cuba. Letters are written to Iran’s mullahs only to see that regime start killing protestors in the streets of Tehran. Envoys are sent to North Korea as they continue to defy the world’s demand to give up their nuclear weapons. The Burmese military junta’s representative is allowed to travel to our nation's capital. The President’s envoy for Sudan talks about giving that genocidal regime "gold stars," while the President shakes hands with Venezuela’s tyrannical leader. In the midst of all this embracing of enemies, where does the Obama Administration choose to escalate a minor incident into a major diplomatic confrontation? With Iran, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea or Burma? No. With our treasured ally, Israel.
Last October, Secretary of State Clinton recognized Israel's desire for peace in the Middle East and praised Israel's "unprecedented" concessions for agreeing to halt settlement construction in the West Bank, a concession that did NOT include halting construction of apartments for Jews in Jerusalem. Even last week after planned construction was announced, Vice President Biden still expressed "appreciation" for the "significant" steps taken by the Israeli government to address this minor issue. Now, however, we see the Obama Administration has decided to escalate, make unilateral demands of Israel, and threaten the very foundation of the US-Israel relationship. This is quickly leading to the worst crisis in US-Israel relations in decades, and yet this did not have to happen. More importantly, it needs to stop before it spirals out of control. Vice President Biden should rein in the overheated Obama Administration rhetoric and chill the political spin masters' fire as they visit the Sunday media shows to criticize Israel.
Once again, the Obama Administration is missing the boat on a very, very important issue. They need to go back to the basics and acknowledge Palestinian leaders have not progressed any peace process since President Obama was elected. As Israel makes concessions (and is still criticized by the Obama Administration), Arab leaders are just sitting back waiting for the White House to further pressure Israel. The Obama Administration needs to open its eyes and recognize that it is only Iran and her terrorist allies that benefit from this manufactured Israeli controversy. Vice President Biden was actually right when he said last week, before the construction announcement, that “one necessary precondition for progress is that the rest of the world knows...there is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to security.” Right now, thanks to the Obama Administration, there is a chasm. It's time for President Obama to push the reset button on our relations with our ally Israel.
I guess Palin is trying to build her foreign policy and national security resume by weighing in on the treatment of Israel by the United States. It seems that Palin's preferred policy would be to sign over a blank check to the Israeli government and refuse to talk to the other middle eastern countries, or anyone else for that fact, that the conservatives deem as an "enemy" of the state. Considering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to request concessions from the hard line Jewish state to try and actualize conditions of peace seems far from the slippery slope Palin mentions, with the Middle Eastern rulers waiting for the next big American mandate, much like large greedy banks waiting for the next bailout while never changing their actions. Despite conservative claims, the Palestinians have made some concessions, but with every one step forward, Israel takes the strong arm approach and takes two steps back and Israel knows they have America in their corner. Obama's confrontation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was much needed.
If you think of family dynamics, should children dictate the rules to their parents? Not to say that Israel is a child or not an equal with the United States, but they have made themselves dependent on our nation, and with such dependency requires a certain level of responsibility, and if Palin wants to discuss diplomacy and working with allies in a different manner then our "enemies," then maybe she should look at the approach of Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush, who had also made "unilateral demands" of America's allies.