Thursday, March 18, 2010

Left With No Choice

Recently the Israeli ambassador to America Michael Oren had been quoted as saying relations between Israel and its key ally the United States have hit a 35 year-low.

As Singapore is an ally of both Israel and the U.S, I as a Singaporean can only say, “Israel, you guys deserved anything that is coming your way.”

Relations between Israel and the U.S hit a low when Israel decided to announce an expansion of settlements in east Jerusalem. Not that usual as Israel routinely ignored international condemnation in expanding illegal settlements in Arab lands, but what was unusual is the timing. The decision was announced while U.S Vice-President Joe Biden was visiting Israel with the aim of promoting indirect peace talks between the Israeli and the Palestinians.

What’s worse, the expansion announcement was made after Biden had professed unconditional U.S. support for Israel and there's a report saying that the announcement came even though the Americans and the Israeli had agreed that there would be NO mention of new settlements during Biden’s trip! Needless to say, the Arabs were unhappy with the middle finger shown in their direction while the Americans called the announcement an insult to the Vice-President.

Now I had never for once believed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was serious in having peace talks with the Palestinians, but what in the world are you guys thinking? PM Netanyahu may claim that he was blindsided by the announcement and apologized for the timing of it, but they are still proceeding with the construction of the new homes and even started taking bids for the construction of 300 more homes!

To me, calling this an insult and a slap in the face was an understatement! Israel is literally forcing the Americans to take actions against them. If the U.S does nothing, the creditability of the Obama Administration (not high to begin with) in the world would be destroyed.

Yes it is “in the world” because if the U.S allows Israel, an ally, to get away scot-free on this, why would China, North Korea, Iran or any other country in the world take America seriously?

Like it or not, the U.S needs to take serious action on Israel. Not for the sake of Middle East peace, but for the sake of their standing in the world.

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