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Thursday, July 24, 2008
Weekly Commentary: American pressure is not the problem

Weekly Commentary: American pressure is not the problem

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 24 July 2008

It is a mistake to attribute the dismal performance of Israel's leadership
to limits set by America.

Yes, there is pressure from America. But it mostly excuses, rather than
drives, policy.

Consider our recent past.

Israeli diplomatic initiatives have been almost without exception carried
out with American approval only ex-post:

Oslo, talks with Syria, even the idea of a sovereign Palestinian State were
Israeli initiatives carried out without prior American approval.

Shimon Peres flew to California to try to convince US secretary of state,
Warren Christopher to take "credit" for Oslo so that he could then argue
that Israel had no choice but to approve it in the face of "American
pressure" - but Christopher refused to play along.

President Bush only talked of a sovereign Palestinian State well after Ariel
Sharon went very public with this stand.

When Israel's leadership was determined that action had to be taken it acted
even if America was cool to the idea:

The bombing of the Iraqi nuclear facility was criticized by Washington, and
even the decision to take out the Syrian nuclear facility faced considerable
opposition from significant elements in D.C. Nevertheless, these
operations - as well as many others America was cool to - were carried out
because Israel felt it had to.

When Israel's leadership was determined to act in "fact creating" - be it in
Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria - American displeasure didn't stop it.

Again, that doesn't mean that American pressure doesn't exist.

And it also doesn't mean that Israel shouldn't strive to reduce, to the
extent that it is possible, whatever dependence it may have.

But let's not be so easy on our leaders.

Let's not let them off the hook.

They can do the right thing now even if that means ruffling an American
President's feathers.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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