Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Bit of Advice from One of Our Israeli Brethren

An article by the Ha'aretz writer Gideon Levy, republished by the Common Dreams website, contains some interesting advice for the United States government. Levy argues that the Obama Administration needs to take a tougher diplomatic line with the Israeli government, suggesting the use of sanctions to end the growth of settlements.

My Gut Reaction: It's kind of pathetic that we need an Israeli commentator to tell us this.

Analysis: As Levy writes, the United States does not allow itself to be treated with the same level of contempt and disregard by any nation other than Israel without serious repercussions. In many cases, the result is the threat of sanctions and or warfare. Even in the cases of close allies along the lines of Israel, such as France or Germany, the reaction tends to be one of dismissal.

Perhaps the greatest indicator of the level of deference our nation gives to Israel is Levy's mention of opinion polls in Israel showing President Obama having an approval rating of only 6 to 10 percent. If any other country were publishing approval polls about our leader, the typical American patriot would be frenzied with insulted anger. In the case of Israel, however, this is passed over in silence.

Of course, Gideon Levy should not be taken to represent the mainstream of Israeli opinion. Indeed, he has been called the most radical commentator in Israel. Nevertheless, his opinion is worth considering, particularly as it comes from an outsider looking in.

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