Just when we thought relations between the United States and Israel had stabilised at an all time low, they dropped to a newer low. Apparently Netanyahu violated a diplomatic protocol that most of us had never heard of. Granted it seems quite bizarre that the Prime Minister’s office wouldn’t bother letting the Obama administration know that he was coming and addressing Congress. Of course the Prime Minister is still going, he’s just going to be snubbed by the President and the Secretary of State when he arrives.
When petty politics go global it ain’t pretty.
The thing I find utterly ridiculous about all of this is that it’s all about the bid to stop the Iranians from gaining nuclear weapons, an objective the United States and Israel actually share! So why on earth are there all of these arguments?
Well it comes down to the fact that Netanyahu wants for there to be sanctions against Iran and Washington has already lifted some and is negotiating lifting others for Iranian promises not to go nuclear. Ironically while Netanyahu is squabbling with Obama, leader of a country on the same page as Israel and trying to prevent Iran from going nuclear, Israel unofficially apologised to the Iranians for killing one of their generals the other day. I wonder how likely Obama is to even get an unofficial apology out of Israel for “breaking diplomatic protocol”?
Probably not very close.
If you ever wondered how it was possible that Israelis and Palestinians ended up spending 20 years negotiating it’s probably worth taking a look at the relationship between Israel and our best (only?) friend in the world. It’s not even as if we’re even negotiating with one another, we agree that Iran needs to be stopped and still we’re arguing!
Of course the fact that it’s election season hasn’t helped much, in fact it’s probably made things worse because let’s face it, Netanyahu’s constituency are lapping this up. It’s not that hard to please Likud voters, if you blow stuff up and irritate other countries they’re happy and Bibi is right there on both counts. Furthermore it’s not like making a speech to the US congress is going to make much of a difference to Israeli voters, most of whom are incensed about the price of food and the rest are worried that terrorists are tunnelling under their homes.
It would be so refreshing to hear an Israeli politician fight this election with actual policies rather than wag the dog style political manoeuvres so transparent that they put a pane of glass to shame. And let’s not even mention the viral videos that aren’t even good enough to go viral.
So please America and Israel, for the love of both our countries, can you please just make up?