Rule of Law vs. ‘Blind Support’ for Israel in Media

Responding to “both Likud Party members in Israel as well as their Americans supporters” who “complain that the Obama administration is unduly ‘interfering’ in Israeli politics”–as exemplified by Ben Smith of Politico reporting that “the administration’s escalating pressure on Israel to freeze all growth of its settlements on Palestinian land has begun to stir concern among Israel’s numerous allies”–Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald (6/3/09, ad-viewing required) likens the situation to “teenagers who tell their parents that they are not compelled to comply with parental dictates” and are told that “as long as they seek financial support, then the parents have the right to demand certain actions in return”:

Identically, if Israel wants to be free of what it and some of its U.S. supporters call “interference” from the Obama administration, that’s very easy to achieve: Israel can stop asking for tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayer money, huge amounts of military and weapons supplies for its various wars, and unyielding American diplomatic protection at the U.N. But as long as Israel remains dependent on the U.S. in countless ways, then Obama not only has the right–but he has the obligation–to demand that Israel cease activities which harm U.S. interests.

Continuing settlement expansions that the entire world recognizes as illegal–what Time‘s Joe Klein accurately calls “taking territory that the rest of the world, without exception, considers Palestinian”–clearly harms U.S. interests in all sorts of ways, as Obama himself has concluded. He would be abdicating one of his primary responsibilities in foreign policy–maximizing U.S. national security rather than those of other countries–if he failed to demand that Israel cease this activity and if he failed to use U.S. leverage to compel compliance with those demands.

Writing that “Israelis are taking Obama’s pressure quite seriously, as are many of his Israel-centric supporters in the U.S,” Greenwald encourages “those who want Obama to continue to depart from the Bush administrationâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s blind support for Israeli actions” to “continue to make themselves heard, since those who desire a continuation of that blind Israeli support certainly intend to”–and we all know which group is sure to get unquestioning encouragement from the big U.S. outlets…