On air: Has America lost its power over Israel?

US Vice President Joe Biden’s trying to recover from the embarrassment of arriving in Israel on a peace mission, to be greeted by an announcement of 1,600 new homes being built in disputed East Jerusalem. So is the US now ignored by Israel? A once strong force that has lost its influence? Or has Israel always done what it wants, regardless of outside pressure? This is how the visit is playing in Israeli and Palestinian newspapers.

116 Responses to “On air: Has America lost its power over Israel?”

  1. 1 gary indiana
    March 10, 2010 at 14:34

    Oh, gee folks! This has always been the other way around! The answer of course is negative: No, Israel hasn’t lost its power over the US.

  2. 3 Jaime Saldarriaga
    March 10, 2010 at 14:39

    Isn´t there a thing named International Law?

    • March 10, 2010 at 15:35

      Yes Jaime there is, but it only applies to some countries, while other countries consider themselves to be way above it… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad….

  3. 5 John in Salem
    March 10, 2010 at 14:40

    I’m sure many here today will ask this same question – since when did the U.S. have any power over Israel?

  4. 7 Bob in Qld
    March 10, 2010 at 14:43

    America COULD have power over Israel because of all the military aid they provide–but Netanyahu is banking on the pro-Israel lobby in the USA not to allow that power to be used.

  5. 8 Amara from Nigeria
    March 10, 2010 at 14:55

    It is absolutely Israel’s right to choose whom to listen to.America shouldn’t feel hurt at this snub.Besides, i think Israel should pay attention to America because they’ve got good propositions to offer.

  6. 9 Nigel
    March 10, 2010 at 15:16

    They are now on different agendas with respect to world peace.

  7. 10 Roy, Washington DC
    March 10, 2010 at 15:20

    If anything, Israel has power over us. We will support them in nearly anything (with some exceptions, like hopefully the new settlements), to the detriment of our relations with everyone else on the Middle East.

  8. March 10, 2010 at 15:24

    America is not dealing with the root issues, rather pandering to a nation that will only be welcomed in the region, when it stops its bullying tactics of its neighbors. Like a father torments its child the child then grows up to torment its child. Israel is guilty of perpetrating the same intolerance it was shown in the 1940’s. Its time to forgive, move on and be that better person.

    • 12 jens
      March 10, 2010 at 19:52

      last time i check israel did not exist in the 40’s. if you mean the persecution of jewish people by the nazis and you are comparing israel to the nazis you are moving onto pretty slippery slopes……

    • 13 Kristie
      March 13, 2010 at 00:53

      Israel is no where even NEAR the Nazis. That’s a ridiculous statement.

  9. 14 patti in cape coral
    March 10, 2010 at 15:33

    I agree with the first two comments, I don’t see that America ever had much power over Israel and Israel seems to hold more sway over America.

  10. 15 T
    March 10, 2010 at 15:33

    Israel has NEVER lost it’s power over the States. Biden’s visit is yet another obligatory photo op that all American politicians are required to do.

    The Israeli govt. will continue to do anything they want. Occasionally there will be diplomatic press releases and maybe an ambassador will be called in for “consultations”. But would Obama ever cut off Israeli aid? No. Would he ever cut off diplomatic relations? Again no.

    Finally, if your boss doesn’t like you criticizing Israel, you can be fired for expressing your opinion. Does that happen in Israel?

  11. March 10, 2010 at 15:56

    Isreal has repeatedly ignored the resolutions of the security council concerning settlements and they have been supported by the silence of America. I am not suprised that this is happening. It is an indication that more disregard for the US is yet to come.

  12. 17 username
    March 10, 2010 at 15:57

    No and the Arabs haven’t lost their power over the world’s media

    • 18 Halima
      March 11, 2010 at 06:07

      Arabs? You mean you do not like to hear any possibility that Arabs could have equal rights. Or any reporting that counters the idea of Israel being the only victim in this issue.
      There is no power over the media by the Arabs, other than Arab media. To say there is, is a joke. There is, however great power exerted by Israel over the media.

    • 19 Oscar
      March 21, 2010 at 14:32

      username, what a joke! In the USA, the superpower enabler of Israel’s every whim,
      the US MSM is overwhelmingly devoted to giving only the Israel government’s POV, and equally devoted to maximizing Israel as a victim, and the Palestinians as sub-human terrorists.

  13. 20 Jim (USA)
    March 10, 2010 at 16:03

    America having influence of Israel is and always has been a myth. Israel has alsways had influence over the USA due to it’s strategic location and the political clout of it’s PAC’s in the USA. The money donated to israel would be better spent on healthcare and education in the USA.

  14. 22 Peter Gizzi UK
    March 10, 2010 at 16:03

    I totally agree with Bob in Queensland. I add that Muslims do not appear to have representation in The USA?

  15. 23 Sita in the US
    March 10, 2010 at 16:10

    The whole world has been taken hostage by Israel for a very long time. The logical step for the US to do is cut off the 5 billion dollars it sends annually to Israel. It goes without saying that this step won’t be taken, considering the power of the Israeli lobby in Washington, which to say the least is very unfortunate.

  16. 24 audre
    March 10, 2010 at 16:13

    When I read the question I couldn’t help laughing. When has the US, or any country, had any power over Israel?

    After reading the comments, I guess I was not the only one amused.

  17. 25 Michel Norman
    March 10, 2010 at 16:14

    What is most worrying is that Netanyahu demonstrates yet again that he is a walking disaster area, he is no leader, he is led by events and by his coalition partners. Any sensible government that has real aims, that wants to do what is best for its people, would have stopped this stupidity. Why waste money on land that is going to be given away? Why annoy our most important ally? Why detract attention from the very clear fact that the Palestinian’s desire to enforce the Nuremburg Laws shows that they desire a peaceful solution to the conflict about as much as David Cameron wants to be president of the TUC.

    What is equally worrying is that the Palestinians are already playing the game of lets get them blamed for the failure of the talks, instead of finally after 20 years of negotiations finally making a single concession on anything.

    • 26 Halima
      March 11, 2010 at 06:11

      Well, the problem with any talks, is that – as Palestinians have learnt, there never is any strength behind any mutual agreement. Israel can do what it wants. The only game to play is the victim game.
      The issue is and has always been one of human rights. Israels cannot go on demanding that their rights must first be met to their satisfaction before any consideration of Palestinian rights even be considered. They must be equal in every way – equal rights to land, to infrastructure to autonomy, to freedom of movement, to the rest of it. Until THAT is the point of negotiation, it will always be how cleverly one side or the other can play victim – or BE the victim.

  18. 27 Guido, Vienna
    March 10, 2010 at 16:25

    The government of Israel has to show their nationalistic voters, that they insist on their “right” to build settlements no matter what foreign powers demand.

    As Israel depends on American help to maintain their military power, the US has influence but it is political difficult to use this power.

  19. March 10, 2010 at 16:35

    I have just spoke to Carl In Jerusalem who believes it is Obama who has lost power over Israel because Obama’s popularity is very low.

    Here is his blog


  20. 29 Abdirazak Moalim
    March 10, 2010 at 16:36

    Ah, that is realy true, America is now fedup with israeli stuborness. But, after all, USA blind eye toward ISraeli has caused this mess in the middle east. If US is true about negotiations in the middle east, Obama would have insisted the total settlement freeze, and this is one of the consequences of that.

  21. 30 stephen/portland
    March 10, 2010 at 17:13

    YES.. So no more aid to them!

  22. March 10, 2010 at 17:13

    Salaam gang,
    What bothers me the most about this whole thing is the issue of double standards when it comes to the application of the international law, some countries gets a cruel geniune punishment from the whole international community for breaching the international law while there’re other certain countries seem to always get away with it (aside from verbal condemnations that have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the ground) despite the fact that they constantly breach the international law and the UN resolutions, why is that I wonder ? Do those certain countries consider themselves above the international law ? Do the world’s super-power enable those certain countries by constantly turning a blind eye to their outrageous behaviour ? I do have a question, how does your Maimi audiance view the issue of double standards in international relations considering the fact that we down here in the Middle East have suffered a great deal over the years because of those double standards adopted by the successive US governments in the Middle East ? With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad….

    • March 11, 2010 at 16:47

      Lubna, the weakness is no State in the West wants to even mention the name of the real Axis of Evil by name, let alone stand up against it. “the certain other country” is Israel that gets away with as many violations of the Security Council resolutions as it pleases with impunity. It is said that if Saddam Hussein too had a Big Brother to veto those resolutions he fell foul of he would still be in power, however evil he might be. People today bow to the wealth and superpower status of the US, rather than to justice and fairplay.

  23. 33 Andrew in Australia
    March 10, 2010 at 17:13

    Did the US ever have any power over Israel to begin with. Israel will do what ever Israel wants, it always has and seemingly always will do so.

    It will go its own way regardless of international law, regardless of opposition from friends and allies and regardless of any moral imperative.

    Consider Israel’s latest alleged activity with state sanctioned assassination using forged passports for security agents. Apart from a bit of throat clearing and the obligatory bluster from nations such as France, Australia, etc nothing has really been made of this and nothing will come of it.

    America funds the Israeli military to the tune of many billions of dollars and support with many other aspects but that is apparently without any condition on the part of Israel. However, the opposite seems to be true with Israel having quite considerable influence on the US political system and governance.

  24. 34 Tony from Singapura
    March 10, 2010 at 17:22

    Israel must be feeling very confident –

    Many times in the past, the US has veto’ed UN sanctions against Israel for various war crimes and ignoring international laws (regarding occupied territories etc).

    This has been an important aspect of their alliance in the past. Perhaps the ever decreasing relevence of the UN is a reason for this increased confidence,

    Perhaps Israel is in a position of not needing the US to veto future UN resolutions, instead they will just ignore them if they come up. It seems that Isarael can settle in occupied Jerrusalam with impunity, why do they need the US to support them.

    On the other hand, the US does need a strong allie in the middle east. So perhaps US needs Israel more than Israel needs US.

    The power balance of the Israel/US relationship seems to have shifted to the Israel side.

  25. March 10, 2010 at 17:23

    Joe Biden condemnation is unlikely to be translated into action as both the US and Israel strongly need each other in the turbulent Middle East. They have so much in common concerning this region, notably Iran. For the US it will be unwise to weaken Israel, politically, militarily and economically. Some go as far as to say that Israel is the fifty one state of the US. As it is hard for the US federal government to impose sanctions on any of its states, exposing it to danger, the same applies to Israel. Israel is, to put it metaphorically, is the spoilt daughter of protective mother US. She can give her a soft slap on the wrist if she angers her but she won’t go as far as throwing her out of the house, leaving her exposed to the elements.

    Israel has a strong lobby. It has got away with many actions that have angered the international community, at least apparently. So as a spoilt child, it will continue to get what it wants benefiting from muted actions and tacit approval.

  26. 36 Billy Wachakana
    March 10, 2010 at 17:27

    America is trying to potray its waning power, israel can just help itself.

  27. 37 stephen/portland
    March 10, 2010 at 17:36

    Has Israel increased its power over America?

    Used to be more clandestine with the influence now they. ‘ don”t give a monkey’s’

    In the mean time there security forces are assassinating people all over the world using identities of other nations citizens to carry out there international crimes.

    What president going to stand up to that lot and remain in power?

  28. 38 Jerry
    March 10, 2010 at 17:37

    The US hasn’t lost its power over Israel because it never had any. Israel knows that no US government, regardless of party, will have the spine to call them out on their violations of international laws and human rights. I’m waiting for the day when an American president calls them out and say, “For every dollar Israel spends on these illegal occupations, the US will reduce its aid to Israel by two.”

  29. 39 JanB
    March 10, 2010 at 17:41

    America’s relations with Israel have always been ambiguous, they often have different agenda’s, this is just the latest episode, and it won’t be the last.

    Oh, well, here we go again, the one region in the world where people would go to war over 1600 houses wants some attention, again…

  30. 40 Alan in AZ
    March 10, 2010 at 17:59

    It all comes down to Money, Power and Control.

    Money flowing to Israel from the US by both the Government and Citizens

    Power over the Palestinians and their various Organizations.

    Control over the region for Military and Commercial reasons.

    All that the world sees is just rhetoric for the masses and media. Posturing and positioning to sooth ego’s and placate those who think they have control.

  31. 41 Linda from Italy
    March 10, 2010 at 18:01

    This latest display of extreme arrogance by Israel may actually have done the US a big favour. Israel’s behaviour over the last few years has been truly appalling and anyone with any sense can see that they are headed down a very dangerous path.
    The hard-line pro-Israel lobby in the US must be losing support, not least because it is fuelling the sort of anti-Semitism that should have died with Hitler and Stalin.
    If Israel continues on this path, the US will be able to disengage from unquestioning support for it and then, just maybe, Obama’s promise to “reach out” to the moderate section of the Muslim world could be capable of fulfilment.

  32. 42 Robyn Lexington, KY USA
    March 10, 2010 at 18:04

    I agree with Jim (USA).

  33. 43 rohan ata-daghlan
    March 10, 2010 at 18:12

    You have the question the wrong way round. Its Israel that has power over the United States and no it hasn’t lost it. This incident only serves to prove this point.

  34. 44 Dennis Junior
    March 10, 2010 at 18:13

    As always, Lubna (my dear friend) is Very Much Correct with her analysis on her comments with Jaime…

    And, I agreed with Lubna thoughts and rationale….


  35. March 10, 2010 at 18:20

    Let’s just imagine that the Goldstone report has accused Iran (not Israel) of committing war crimes against humanity, how would the international community and the world’s super-powers (the US government in particular) react in that situation ??? With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

    • 46 joe shmoe
      March 10, 2010 at 23:40

      Lubna, you say ” just imagine that the Goldstone report has accused Iran (not Israel) of committing war crimes against humanity,”.

      Interesting that you bring that up. Exactly how many of its own citizens did Iran massacre thus far in its crack down on anti government protesters and why didn’t the UN seek to hold a Goldstone style inquiry into this or hold a UN emergency security council meeting like they always do re Israel? Are the lives of Iranian citizens inferior to the Palestinian lives? Exactly who is the UN – a corrupt organisation that has a body of 52 muslims countries who control the world’s oil supplies and their allies working as a block which automatically votes against Israel on every issue – trying to cover and vouch for?

      A number of posts here are ranting and crowing about Israel’s alleged domination over the US. And who did Obama bow to? Netayanhu or the King of Saudi Arabia?

  36. 47 tektwo
    March 10, 2010 at 18:28

    Wow this is scary… Two comments blocked because I supported the Israeli position. I guess here’s to ‘Third times the charm’.

    Israel is a sovereign democratic country answerable to it’s populous. Israel does not care what international OPINION has to say, especially when no matter what it does that opinion is always negative.

    In 20 years you Europeans will be in an even harder position than Israel is in now. I really cannot wait to see how you handle it.

    I am sure the throw flowers and talk approach is going to work wonders.

    Good luck 🙂

    Andrew in NY

  37. 48 Amjad
    March 10, 2010 at 18:37

    Israel can humiliate the Vice President of the United States and we (the US) will still bend over backwards to accommodate Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land. Perhaps the thrill of having ethnically cleansed the Native Americans from their home lands can be vicariously lived out all over again. What a disgrace to humanity.

  38. 49 nora
    March 10, 2010 at 18:44

    Fourth try to get past the censors. Human rights for Palestinians needs to be a US priority. US funds should be contingent on serious attempts at PEACE for the common man. There are many other people in the US, many of whom are Jewish, who share this opinion.

    • 50 Halima
      March 11, 2010 at 06:29

      I agree with you Nora, but I would say universal human rights. The rights of Israelis for security goes hand in hand (not above, nor below) the rights of Palestinians for security, land, infrastructure and freedom of movement.
      The US has played the game of rescuer for Israel for too long. It was and always has been hypocrisy.

  39. 51 tektwo
    March 10, 2010 at 18:46

    Lubna… I just want to say I have great respect for you. But seriously, the UN? Your quoting the UN? The only people who take the UN seriously are whatever country of the moment is trying to use them for something and the UN.

    Israel is an easy target for them, they get ton’s of support without any political fallout. They will never target anyone who can cause a stink, or take a position that stirs controversy.

    The UN would not target Iran in such a manner, instead they state “concerns”. Besides I doubt anyone needs the UN to know there are human rights violations taking place in Iran or (murmuring) the dozen or so other Arab Nations that love to use the Palestinian issue for some sabre rattling…

    Andrew in NY

  40. 52 Ibrahim in UK
    March 10, 2010 at 18:52

    As most people have said, it’s most likely the other way round.
    US foreign policy is hamstrung by Israeli interests both by the influential lobby group AIPAC and directly from Telaviv. Who can forget how the lobby hounded out Obama’s pick for senior intelligence adviser Charles Freeman, or how Olmert was boasting how he shamed Condi Rice by dictating how the US should vote at the UN.

    Almost every single US veto at the UN has been in defence of Israeli violations.
    The US even voted against a nuclear-free Middle East and against Nuclear inspections of Israeli nuclear weapons.
    Billions of US taxpayers money are siphoned off to Israel (the regions only nuclear-armed power) as aid.

    The US can feign concern at the settlements, bombings and blockades but the generous flow of US tax money, US weapons and US vetos are what endorse and encourage these crimes of occupation.

  41. 53 tektwo
    March 10, 2010 at 18:56

    Yeah Amjad, that is what we are doing… Living vicariously through the Israeli’s.

    We would not be in this mess if the Arabs had not told the Palestinians to leave there homes in 48…

    We would not be in this mess if the Arabs after telling the Palestinians to leave there homes actually let them cross into there boarders.

    We would not be in this mess if the Arabs had taken responsibility for there own problems and actually helped the Palestinians financially and properly.

    We would not be in this mess if the Arabs had not tried to destroy Israel three times and make the Jews jumpy for another round of killing.

    We would not be in this mess if the Arabs did not start blowing up coffee shoppes and disco’s in Israel.

    I could go on for pages, but i hope you see the point. At some time WE ALL have to take responsibility for our own past issues. To solely blame the Israeli’s for using land it captured after being attacked is insane. To blame the Israeli’s for not caring what people who want them dead think is insane.

    Israel is not blameless, but to attribute ALL the blame on them does not help the situation in the slightest. it just isolates them even more and makes them care even less what people think.

    BTW you may be surprised to hear this but i work with a peace group comprised of Israeli’s and Palestinians. I have lived in Israel, I have even lived in Ramallah.

    Andrew in NY

  42. 54 Venkat Gopal, North Carolina, USA
    March 10, 2010 at 18:59

    I think this is PhotoOP as someone has already indicated and unfortunate, but true, for the public and the international community consumption. Nothing constructive is going to come out of it because that’s not the intention. Due to the huge Jewish lobby in the US, regardless of who is in power, they will be more than wary to do anything that is detrimental to the Israeli cause. it is high time the other players in this region realize this and grab whatever opportunity that comes along.

  43. 55 tektwo
    March 10, 2010 at 19:04

    Ibrahim… Do you believe that Israel has the right to exist? If the Israeli’s came to an agreement with the Palestinians and a state was created would you not despise Israel?

    I believe you want peace, I believe that you have no hate but just frustration at a horrible situation. You feel frustrated and it angers you.

    What you must understand is that the other side feels the same way.

    Peace can be achieved. Over 70% of Israeli’s would welcome a stable Palestinian state as there neighbor.

    What you have to understand is the Israeli’s do not fear this, they fear the other Arab Nations using this as a springboard to attack them again.

    If the Arabs want a real peace stop the sermons about Jews, stop teaching kids it’s noble to kill Jews, stop the hateful remarks and maybe this could work.

    You are a moderate in a sea of hostility, peace will never work this way.

    Andrew in NY

    • 56 Halima
      March 11, 2010 at 06:35

      if they did not fear this, as you say, then why not aim for it? That alone would alleviate much Arab anger. The reason for Arab anger (a large amount of it) is that they perceive Israel demanding and getting rights from the US and the UN, yet fellow Muslims getting none. Many Arab states fear not Israel, but their own populations and the banter about Israel is to try to keep their own populations focusing on an external enemy – yet if Israel were to behave humanely and justly towards Palestinians and actually work towards a viable and fair state – the governments of those Arab countries would lose much internal focus on extremal problems and maybe have to change. I believe many inside Israel also are ready to stop blaming Palestinians for their problems and realize that the solution is to work together and not keep fighting – but settlements continue to grow, and the wall continues to expand – what can anyone make of that?

  44. 57 patti in cape coral
    March 10, 2010 at 19:11

    I am really curious to see what the moderators did not allow on the blog! Since the time I actually started paying attention to world events (not that long ago, I’m afraid) I have always heard of Israel doing things like moving into areas that are in dispute, and the US saying, “Now, now, that’s not right,”, but no real consequences. I used to think this unswerving support of Israel by the US was related to religion and the idea that we are related by it (what can I say, I’m kind of slow sometimes), but I soon realized that Israel is the only ally we have in that very oil-rich region. However, wouldn’t it be better for the US if it dropped Israel as an ally and adopted everyone else as an ally in the region?

    • 58 tektwo
      March 10, 2010 at 19:30

      Patti, alliances are not about what is convenient it is about like minds and like idea’s. The US is already allies with many of the countries of the region. If we all did what was convenient and not what was right the world would be pretty screwed up.

      • 59 patti in cape coral
        March 10, 2010 at 20:08

        Maybe if the US made it inconvenient for Israel to build these settlements by withholding aid, maybe they would be more amenable to peace talks, and maybe Palestine would have a little more trust towards the US. I don’t see at this point how the US can foster any peace between two rivals if it favors one side. It would have to be neutral to do any good.

        Even I know that it is always about what is convenient. I no longer believe that any country has any altruistic motives. In other words, we already do what is convenient, not what is right, and the world is already screwed up.

      • 60 patti in cape coral
        March 10, 2010 at 21:49

        Hey, what happened to my response to tektwo? Right now it annoys me when I’m moderated, but after a while, I’m usually grateful you guys didn’t let me go out with my fly unzipped. Anyways, I will say it a different way and leave some stuff out: Alliances are about what is convenient to each party, and as long as the two coincide all is well. I think what you are describing are friendships, and as another blogger has said, friendhips don’t exist between countries, just alliances. We already do what is convenient, not what is right, and the world is already screwed up.

    • 61 Halima
      March 11, 2010 at 06:38

      I, too, am curious. If a comment was blocked because of foul language or words of hate (not merely contrary opinions) by all means block it but give the reason. It is the variation of opinion and the reasoning behind the opinions I appreciate on this forum, but if people get insulting or have nothing to say except how evil someone else is, then I feel it is ok to block them. Thank you

  45. 62 Delectable
    March 10, 2010 at 19:13

    I am offended that the US should have “power” over a sovereign ally.

    Israel is building homes in the capitol of its country, which has been the capitol for thousands of years. It is offensive to say that somehow the fact that Israelis are building homes is an “international incident” to begin with.

  46. 63 Amjad
    March 10, 2010 at 19:15


    Please do yourself a favor and read the historical documents recently released by Israel and thoroughly investigated by Avi Shlaim and a host of other Israeli historians. You will find that your arguments about Arabs telling Palestinians to leave their homes, etc. are utterly mythical, according to ISRAELI documents. As for your other arguments, suggesting that the Arab states should be responsible for the Palestinians being displaced and occupied by Israel is insulting to intelligence. You say that blame can be found on both sides but apparently you can only “go on for pages” about the pitfalls of Palestinian violence. Please, let us know how Israel is trying to solve this problem right now. By building settlements? By building a giant wall on Palestinian land? By blocking food and medicine from going into Gaza? Please, enlighten us on what positive steps Israel is currently taking to promote peace.

  47. 64 tektwo
    March 10, 2010 at 19:16

    A good many of you talk about Jewish lobby groups running the government… It’s funny that you do not care that there are lobby groups on behalf of Black people, Women, Native Americans, Arabs etc…

    These groups hold no less or more sway then the other’s. US politicians support Israel because that is what there constituants want.

    Believe me, AIPAC or no AIPAC if the public was against it, the politicians would be as well.

    Many Jewish groups did not support Bush and he got elected twice.

    Andrew in NY

  48. 65 John
    March 10, 2010 at 19:17

    The US has had very little influence over Israel. The one President of the US who stood up against Israel during his presidency was George Bush Senior, who cut off some funding to Israel but he paid a price for it. It appears many US Policymakers (White House and Capitol Hill) are more dedicated to the cause of Israel than they are to the citizens of United States. How can the tax payers of the US finance Israel’s Heath Care system, which is publicly funded but some citizens of the US die due to lack of health care coverage and yet this does not appear to bother some of the leadership in Washington? In my opinion, the US has little or no influence over Israel because there are those in Washington who will do everything for Israel even if it means the US should suffer by their action!

  49. 66 Yani
    March 10, 2010 at 19:20

    If policies were tied to funding, Israel would change its policies tomorrow! But the US will never touch their ‘foreign aid’, otherwise known as military funding. This is a US sacred cow.

  50. 67 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    March 10, 2010 at 19:22

    Why should Israel do anything for the US when it is clearly being ignored-if not being lobbied against by the US? Obama has made it clear he is pro Palestine and has done little to nothing in the way of reaching out to Israel despite the fact it is a small nation surrounded by hostile forces who will do ANYTHING to harm its people. It would be one thing if the US was giving Israel the kind of a support it has in the past, but the way things are today I can’t blame them for making their own policies despite the wishes of the US.

    ALSO, how would you feel if another country came in and told you you couldn’t build an apartment complex in Washington DC? That’s pretty much what we’re telling Israel to do, and what gives the United States that right?

    • 68 Ibrahim in UK
      March 10, 2010 at 20:10

      What gives the US the right?
      Well, first of all, buidling on occupied land is illegal. The West Bank is occupied, the settlements are illegal.
      Second, the US pumps billions of taxdollars in aid to support Israel and finances and protects these settlements.
      Third, the US uses it’s vetos at the UN to block all attempts at dismantling these settlements.

      Finally, the comparison to Washington DC is inaccurate. The Israeli occupation of Palestine is like the US occupation of Iraq. Compare it to the US cordoning off large swathes of Baghdad and building civilian settlements for Americans only.

    • 69 Halima
      March 11, 2010 at 06:52

      The analogy of another country coming in and telling an American he could not build an apartment in Washington as equal to Israelis building settlements on Palestinian land is a false one. It might be similar if that said apartment was to be build on American Indian land.
      You must understand why the issue of settlements is so contentious. If you think it is all about Israel, poor little picked-upon Israel being able to be itself – you grossly misunderstand – or are perhaps grossly ignorant of the situation.
      The issue is one of appropriated land from someone else. That must be looked at honestly and truthfully. I do not think anyone (well, may a few idiots) would object to an Israeli or anyone else building homes if that was all it was, but it isn’t.
      Find out why it is a problem and try to understand the people these buildings are harming. Help figure out a way to give justice and land and hope and equal access to all these things (not easy, but worth it) and then you might understand.

  51. 70 Context
    March 10, 2010 at 19:25

    Some more context to this latest situation:

    The 1600 units that are in the process of being approved (it will be a few more months before they receive final approval, and have been in planning for 3 years), are in a suburb of Jerusalem. If you look at a map of Jerusalem from the ’49 armistice agreement, you will notice that Jordan had occupied a huge portion of the area surrounding Jerusalem, including the old city… this became “East Jerusalem”. It is very difficult for the municipal government of Jerusalem to build anywhere in Jerusalem for either Arab or Jewish populations without building in “East Jerusalem”. To call these suburbs “settlements” is a fundamental distortion of the situation.

    Israeli’s differentiate between anywhere in JERUSALEM, and elsewhere in the West Bank.

    There MUST be an understanding by observers of this situation, to recognize this differentiation between Jerusalem and elsewhere.

  52. 71 Margaret
    March 10, 2010 at 19:25

    The US should stop funding Israel. I can’t understand how Israel flouts international condemnation in the way it treats the Palestinians and builds in Jerusalem and on the West Bank unless it feels this is the way to take revenge on past history — the way the Nazis treated the Jews in the 20C. It’s time for the Israeli Government to show some humanitarianism and not to copy Nazism.

  53. 72 Peter in jamaica
    March 10, 2010 at 19:26

    Power is not the issues here. The issues is whether Israel really wants peace or not and. From where i sit i would seem to me that if the US is trying to assist in the negotiation. Now if the Israeli and the Palestinians really want peace then i would expect that the stronger of the two, namely Israel, would be the appropriate one to begin the process by halting all construction on all lands that has any impact on the discussions.
    I see the US willing to assist in this process and arriving only to be slapped in the face with this announcement. It show a total lack of respect and defiance to the hole process that the Vice President was there for. It would seem that Israel has no intention of negotiating and is only playing along like its some kind of game.
    The US should cut all ties with Israel both politically and financially until they come to the table with serious intentions to hammer out a peace agreement and independent Palestinian state as this is the only way forward at this juncture.

    • 73 tektwo
      March 10, 2010 at 19:35

      Your words make sense, but remember that Israel already tried unilateral peace. Barak basically gave the Palestinians all they wanted (sans right of return) and it was turned down and then the Intifada started.

      This time the other side needs to be serious. As i said previously over 70% of Israeli’s support a Palestinian state on there border.

      The Palestinians and the Israeli’s want peace, the problem is the trouble makers on both sides and the Arab countries smuggling arms and weapons into the area.

      As i said i work with a peace group, both sides are ready.

      Andrew in NY

  54. 74 John
    March 10, 2010 at 19:28

    The professor may be right but he did not bother to define where Israel’s borers are? Does anyone know where the borders of Israel are?

  55. 75 mers in oregon
    March 10, 2010 at 19:30

    A question for the professor of Middle East studies (or anyone else with the facts): What is the percentage of US funds that Israel receives from the US Government vs. the percentage of funds they receive from private US organizations?

  56. 76 Dee Kieft
    March 10, 2010 at 19:30

    Isreal is a throrn on the side of America and the world and have there own agenda. I do not believe they will ever have peace in the middle East as it seems all the politicans from Isreal and the Palestians are recycled from the past in every dodgy election. Until a new generation comes forward, let them fight it out. and yes, America, cut off the aid.

  57. 77 Amjad
    March 10, 2010 at 19:34

    Whoever suggested that Israeli settlements are only a red herring and not an obstacle to peace is only fooling himself. The fact that Israel is guaranteeing the impossibility of a contiguous Palestinian state has everything to do with the lack of a viable peace process. They are not the only obstacle but they represent the promise that any future Palestinian state will be made is impossible.

  58. 78 Dee Kieft
    March 10, 2010 at 19:34

    Peter is absolutely spot on. Cut Isreal off financially and see how quick they’d come to the table.

  59. March 10, 2010 at 19:35

    The hilarity of hearing an academic claim, just a few moments ago…that israeli settlements on the west bank make up only 5% of the real estate there….after admonishing the audience for misstating facts…is so ironic as to be almost laughable.

    I invite anyone to take a look at some maps of israeli settlements and how they have spread and multiplied over the period of, say…the last 10-15 years.

    there is absolutely no doubt what is going on here. It is a seemingly unstoppable march that irael is making to illegally “land grab” as much of the west bank as possible until any palestinian/arab populations are reduced to a quality of life which makes remaining in the west bank and Gaza completely untenable.

    THEN…israel will have achieved what is set out to do 50+ years ago…it will have evicted all non-jews and annexed their land to the state of israel.

    And apparently….there is no other nation (US included) with the political fortitude and bravery to use the leverage they have to get israel to cease these human rights and international law violations.

    Just look at a map….

  60. 80 Victoria in Corvallis, OR
    March 10, 2010 at 19:36

    Where is the US getting the money to help Israel? Aren’t we trillions of dollars in debt????

  61. 81 A.J.
    March 10, 2010 at 19:39

    Until the hatred, mistrust and violence ends, the Palestine / Israel issue will never be resolved. They don’t want to live near one another, share holy sights or land, or try to get along. Every politician who works for peaceful solutions is either voted out of office or assassinated. Each side provokes the other in a perpetual stalemate for which no solution is satisfactory enough for both sides to accepted or to have implemented. If the U.S. government has problems with the actions of Israel there is always the option of sanctions. The U.S. has no problem with using them as tools of persuasion against N. Korea and Iran. With all the U.S. dollars that go to Israel that could definitely have a noticeable effect. But, as stated before, the U.S. hasn’t the guts.

  62. 82 Andrew in Australia
    March 10, 2010 at 19:49

    One way or the other.. whatever works best.

    Whatever your empolyer allows…

    Whatever your profession allows!

  63. 83 Ibrahim in UK
    March 10, 2010 at 19:49

    One more question to Andrew / Tektwo,

    Do these 70% that want peace accept a one-state solution where Arabs and Jews live in al of Palestine/Israel together?

    • 84 tektwo
      March 10, 2010 at 20:11

      Ibrahim, you know that Israeli’s prefer a Jewish state. Do they not have that right? Just as Muslim states have very strict rules for non muslims does not Israel have a right to be a predominately Jewish state?

      Israeli Arabs are full citizens (and yes there has been discrimination) with the education and health care rights as Jews. The laws of the country are not based on religion, you are not mandated to be Jewish but Israeli’s fear that if they lose the majority they will be living under Sharia quicker than they can say Holy Moses.

      To me Muslims and Jews are natural brothers and sisters. We share many of the same beliefs on morality, dietary and we share common ancestry. As for me, a Jew I would prefer to be friends rather than enemies. We could do great things together.

      Andrew in NY

  64. 85 Arla
    March 10, 2010 at 19:54

    The question was posed: is this a case of Israel snubbing the US? Clearly it’s more than a snub–it’s a test. I believe that Israel is testing the US to see if it will back up its call for no more settlement building. Such testing happens within many relationships–children test their parents when parents set limits, clients test therapists or social workers, one business leader tests another, one side in a legal case tests the other, a friend may test a friend, and so on. It’s time for the US government to stand up to the test and show that it will take action to back up its position. The action it must take is to stop the US aid to Israel–a step that should have been taken long ago. US aid to Israel amounts to $3 billion per year or more, which could definitely be put to better use here at home while we’re frantically trying to survive the financial crisis, rather than continuing to allow Israel to violate agreements, international law, and UN resolutions with impunity. I believe that this action by Israel–stating it will build more settlement housing in East Jerusalem–means the time has come for the US to back up its position against more settlements. Settlements are really a form of colonization, a form of creating “facts on the ground” to make a two-state solution no longer viable for Palestine by eroding its territory and chopping it up into bantustans. And by the way, East Jerusalem is not part of Israel, as one participant erroneously stated–it’s part of the West Bank. Thank you.

  65. 86 JanB
    March 10, 2010 at 20:06

    US Foreign aid

    Israel (2009): $2.55 billion (has been significantly reduced over the years especially if you factor in inflation, used to be over $3 billion, most of it has to be spent on American arms, making money flow back to the US)

    Egypt (2006) $1.8 billion (also partially through American arms)

    Jordan (2006) $460 million

    Pakistan (2006) $1.5 billion

    Palestinian Authority (2006) $150 million

    Combined aid of Jordan, Palestinian Authority and Egypt outweighs that of Israel when considering they don’t have to give back most of it to the US treasury. When considering that the Israeli population is roughly twice the size of that of the Palestinian territories and it’s per capita income 10 times higher we can conclude that the US aid is proportional to the size of the Israeli and Palestinian economies. Furthermore we can conclude that where the Palestinians have private donors, the US as well as European and Arab countries to fund them, Israel has only private donations and the US so the Palestinian economy receives much more aid.

  66. 87 MB
    March 10, 2010 at 20:06

    That’s a funny and quite ignorant question. The answer is of course that America has never had any influence over Israel. It is Israel that has extremely huge influence over America through lobbying and owning US politicians and “special relationships” with the mostly JDL affiliated media ownership.

    Pick a media giant in America, and then connect the dots to the Israeli government.

    Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the Apocolyptic evangelical churches in America that see it as their duty to put Jews in control of the area so that the conditions will achieve the goal of their Messiah’s return.

    Crazies, yes. But so’s the question. Fox, ABC, NBC. CBS, all the Hollywood studios, etc… are Jewish controlled and Israeli leaning. Does America have influence over Israel? A funnier question has never been asked!

  67. 88 deegee
    March 10, 2010 at 20:09

    Things change.Just compare the world power situation(economic and military)to even 20 years ago.The US influence in world decisions is waning fast.Jump ahead 20 years and visualise where the power will be.It is just a matter of time,Israel will be without western support and literally on it’s own.If Israel cannot see this,and make peace with it’s neighbours,then as a nation it will not survive.

  68. 89 JanB
    March 10, 2010 at 20:11

    “Do these 70% that want peace accept a one-state solution where Arabs and Jews live in al of Palestine/Israel together?

    Ibrahim in UK”

    I’ll answer that one for you: no, of course not. It would ruin the Israeli economy and be the end of most political and personal freedoms in Israel. Not even the Arabs want to share their countries with the Palestinians.

  69. 90 jackie
    March 10, 2010 at 20:42

    Could the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons and has intimated a willingness to use them against Iran, have anything to do with the balance of power?

    Israel habitually presents itself as an embattled country, protecting itself against everyone else in the Middle East and America has been complicit in this image. I am glad that Senator Biden is speaking out. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

  70. 91 Shawn
    March 10, 2010 at 21:05

    Israel goverment is probably the smartest regime’s in the world. They have for decades refused to agree to International pressure on building on disputed land with impunity and were fully supported by all previous US Administrations. They are cognisant of the fact the current US Administartion doesnt have the might or public support (votes) to stop them from continuing to humiliate Palestians. Israel is also aware that the current US administartion is not going to be around in 3 years and that they will definetly get their right wing friends back in Power. Israel will continue their policy of apartheid against the Palestinian people and the usual lip service of mid-east peace process will be resurected n the last term of the next US Administration 11 years from now to result in yet another expected failure.

    World had hoped for Obama to bring peace but hope is never a good strategy.


  71. 92 Elizabeth in Indianapolis
    March 10, 2010 at 23:03

    Isn’t the United States’ funding of Israel just the “cost of doing business” in maintaining ANY ally in the Middle East? What other realistic option does the USA have?

  72. 93 Peter Miller
    March 10, 2010 at 23:24

    I am reminded of a US State Deparment joke:

    Why doesn’t Israel want to become the 51st State of the United States?

    Because then it would only have 2 Senators!

  73. March 11, 2010 at 01:12

    The issue is not about having influence or not. The reality is if Isreal current leadship is serious about peaceful resolution of the problem on hand. In support of my claims, look at the CNN Isrealist Government Sportsman, REGEV’s interview: http://www.cnn.com/video/

    Let people stop wasting thier time on these people, because they are not at all serious. When someone is sincere, you can tell from their talks. Watchout: http://www.cnn.com/video/

  74. 95 Babs Damisa
    March 11, 2010 at 02:57

    Oops! it’s getting too late for Obama’s administration. when it came to power it concentrated its efforts on the Arabs, now they want to come back and detect to Israel; oh poor kid it’s late already.
    America is gradually loosing its friends, Ukraine has slipped into Russia’s grip soon it will be Georgia. now it is Israel.

    OBAMA WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER! America can’t stand it all alone.

  75. 97 Abram
    March 11, 2010 at 03:10

    I was surprised to hear the BBC staff repeatedly say, “occupied Jerusalem”, I thought I was listening to Aljazeera and co. I wonder if one speaks in the same manner about the Falklands Islands!

  76. 98 Tan Boon Tee
    March 11, 2010 at 03:13

    Since when did America have power over Israel? So, where comes the loss of power?

    Israel wants its way. The American Jews know that all the time, relentlessly lobbying the government to condone Jerusalem.

  77. 99 john boxer
    March 11, 2010 at 03:51

    What power?

  78. March 11, 2010 at 05:51

    It is clear that the Israeli goverment is not interested in Peace, Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli PM came to power with a hardline agenda. A member of Likud Party who has espoused a hawkish stance towards the Palestinians will not likely be the one to make any concession towards peace.

    The US has been a long time ally of Israel and will not abandom them. This is how they keep the balance of Power in the region.
    The US relation with the arab world is tepid and they need each other.
    The behaviour of the Israeli Government is like the little brother who bully others becuase he knows that big brother is standing near by and will
    pounce on anyone who fights back.

    With all the bloodshed and atrocities comitted against each other, the Palestinians and Israelis seem far away from reaching a peaceful resolution.

  79. 101 Johnston
    March 11, 2010 at 06:12

    Once upon a time America had influence over Israel , but with the passage of time after assessing the Americans over a period of time-the Israel exerted influence over America, America was never sincere in solving the Palastenian problem.All what America needed was to keep the Muslims under their thumb, for which Israel is the base.
    If the Palestnian problem is solved Terrorism the world over will cease. Thus the Americans have no way of bulling the other nations that terrorists are round the corner .. Further their arm sales will drop considerably.
    Present situation is similar to the tail waging the dog. Perhaps this suits America well to continue its agenda of being a super power with the help of Israil. It is something like the word GOD being written as DOG.

  80. March 11, 2010 at 06:48

    It is time for America to draw a line in the sand. Create a boarder between the two states suggest they both accept it.

    If neiither side want the line drawn by a neutral party ….. with great humor and innocense, wish them both well, best of luck, and bow out! Tell them both to continue on, and it would be best not to bother America any longer about the issue. Stop all foreign aid, tell them we have everything we can do to handle our own problems. economy, health care and survival against our enemies.


    • 103 patti in cape coral
      March 11, 2010 at 13:45

      Troop- I like the simplicity of your idea, except that the US isn’t a neutral party, the line would have to be drawn by someone else.

    • 104 TomK in Mpls
      March 11, 2010 at 17:53

      We need to leave completely, in every way, and leave them to decides their own futures, in their own way. If they let their nonsense spill to other countries, the *UN* with full US support, should do as it deems correct.

  81. March 11, 2010 at 06:53


    I see the attempt at trying to influence Israel as pathetic.

    Israel has never taken any advice from the US on any issue and will never do that ever.

    The US influence, if you can call it that, is non existent and it js all in the minds of the US hierarchy..


  82. 106 Ekohl Eden, Kampala,Uganda
    March 11, 2010 at 08:02

    I would have loved it if the question was how much influence does Israel wield over America? America is controlled by the Jews and their money and Israel knows that much as America shout there is nothing they can do to change Israel’s decision.

  83. 107 loudobservant
    March 11, 2010 at 08:05

    I am sure no country mentioned,including UK,UN,EU,G8,G20 and of course, Israel, will not be able to reply to her.

  84. 108 NWAFADA
    March 11, 2010 at 10:19

    The state of Israel is an independent nation. They have the absolute right and reservation to make their own decision. After all the United State is the world greatest violator of accords.

  85. 109 Bill in New England
    March 11, 2010 at 14:43

    America’s relationship with Israel is unchanged. America temporarily lost it’s power over Joe Biden, a hot-head who shot off his mouth without thinking. He has quite apparently received a severe tongue-lashing from Washington, and is in Tel Aviv scrambling to do damage control.


    This is the last time they will let Joe Biden travel unsupervised to any politically sensitive regions. In fact, Biden may be spending the rest of the Obama years on the golf course.

  86. 110 TomK in Mpls
    March 11, 2010 at 17:50

    The core of the Middle East conflict has been religious fundamentalists on both sides. This gives them complete resolve and makes an end impossible. It is also what keeps Israel in control of the US. It is a war of wills, and the US has always been on the losing end. We even let them get away with attacking a US warship in their ’67 war! The US desperately needs to quit sending aid to Israel for many selfish reasons, and just as many moral ones too.

  87. 111 Frank Adam
    March 13, 2010 at 20:21

    If Israel “controls America with money” how come the US and others refuse to place their embassies in [West ] Jerusalem?

    If the Arab World is so passionate about Arab Palestine why does it not build and fund hospitals, schools and sewerage work instead of leaving fundamentals to UNWRA which is half US money and 1/4 €U funds?

    Listing Israeli “faults” alone can not explain her behaviour if you do not read the Arab behaviour she is reacting to – which still includes rejecting UN181 by significant groups of Arabs who cause Israel persisting military annoyance and casualties albeit mostly “low level.” Only last autumn President Abbas said publicly he refused to recognise Israel as a “Jewish [majority] state.” In such an atmosphere why should israelis beklieve the eir Arab opposites want peace ?

    With due respect it is unlikely that we shall see peace between the Arabs and Israel – or even between Arab states – till the oil era runs out and outsiders thirsting for oil no longer turn a blind eye to Arab whims and delusions.

  88. 112 Mike
    March 17, 2010 at 09:52

    Everyone one knows that Israel through its US Jewish lobby controls US policy towards Israel and the Middle East, pretending otherwise is delusionary.
    Israel does not want a Palestinian state next door-fact.
    It has nuclear weapons-fact .
    It constantly reminds the US that Iran is the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East(preaching to the converted here) and implies it will take arbitary action against Iran(further antaganising the looney mullahs who control Iran), but appreciated by the many looney Dr. Strangeloves in the US.
    All this of course paralyzes any meaningful action by those wanting to solve the Palestinian /israel impasse.
    I am bemused by the fact that the spin doctors in the US are unable to let US citizens know why they can’t have many things they need (Healthcare for all for one) because of the vast amounts of monies being sent to Israel.This would go down well in the soup kitchen queues of the unemployed.Also which congressmen and senators recieve funds from jewish organisations.
    this at least should get things into focus.
    Lastly a phone call to the Russian leaders,who could help by threatening to turn Israel into a carpark if they attacked Iran.
    It’s really ,good cop,bad cop.

  89. 113 loudobservant
    March 17, 2010 at 21:27

    Mike has hit the nail into the bull’s head by so eloquently and in a nutshell describing the inside story about America’s failure to attend to Palestinian needs,etc.,etc.
    I have expressed this before and I insist on it now, that Israel is not bent on or inclined to give back an inch of the Palestinian territories they occupied 63 years ago.And, that they are NOT prepared to live in PEACE side by side with a sovereign Palestinian independent state.This is the actual fact on the ground and the BOTTOM LINE,PERIOD.

  90. 114 steve
    March 17, 2010 at 23:14

    “Everyone one knows that Israel through its US Jewish lobby controls US policy towards Israel and the Middle East, pretending otherwise is delusionary.”

    Yet another post stating that the Jews control America…..Typically antisemites will say “Israel” or “Zionist” lobby, but your readers are saying JEWISH… And I’m pointing this out to you. Again.

  91. 115 steve
    March 18, 2010 at 14:10

    “Ekohl Eden, Kampala,Uganda
    March 11, 2010 at 08:02
    I would have loved it if the question was how much influence does Israel wield over America? America is controlled by the Jews and their money and Israel knows that much as America shout there is nothing they can do to change Israel’s decision.”

    Again, with so much hatred and distortion about Jews, this is the very reason why Israel has to and does exist. If America is controlled by the Jews, where’s my part of the pie? I want to control something! what do I control?

  92. 116 loudobservant
    March 22, 2010 at 01:56

    .Well done,OSCAR. Every letter, word and sentence comprising all that you have expressed, is worth its weight in GOLD.It is absolute truth and that is what has been a sustained policy of the benefactor of ISRAEL, over the last 63 years,since the creation of Israeli jews’ state amongst the and in the legitimate land belonging to Arabs of Palestine.
    And, that is the only reason why Israel has acted with impunity and arrogance in defying all UN resolutions against it and also misusing its arms and ammunitions against the poor Palestinians, whom, they have also deprived of the right to basic human amenities by sealing all its borders,including sea shores.

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