Is Israel’s lobby in the US too powerful?

Eyeball to eyeball?

Hi, Dan Damon here. I present World Update.

The longstanding friendship between Israel and the United States is under strain.  Last week, Israel’s ambassador to the US said relations were at a 35 year low.

President Obama was said to be furious at the Israeli government for announcing the construction of new homes in East Jerusalem while US Vice President, Joe Biden, was visiting Israel to kick-start a stalled peace process. The whole row comes as top pro-Israeli lobby in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC holds its annual meeting.

This could be a turning point. To date, Israel has depended upon – maybe even expected – the US to be unwaivering in it’s support. But yesterday Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said the US wanted more from Israel,

“The status quo is unsustainable for all sides.  It promises only more violence and unrealised aspirations.  Staying on this course means continuing a conflict that carries tragic human costs.”

On Tuesday, World Update is going to be looking in depth at where the US-Israel relationship is heading.  Do you think it needs to change? Is Israel’s lobby in the US too powerful? Let us know – and join me for the programme if you can at 10:00 GMT.

And you can always get in touch via Facebook and Twitter .

60 Responses to “Is Israel’s lobby in the US too powerful?”

  1. 1 Subhash C Mehta
    March 22, 2010 at 14:12

    What matters is the cause and its effect; Israel’s lobby was/is powerful in the US because of certain reasons and basic ideology, and, if and when it weakens, it will be the effect of some other cause. And, as long as, the Hamas and the Fatah continue to tow the others’ lines, the guide-lines offered by certain mischief-makers, terror- sponsors and rogue-states, the said lobby would stay strong.

  2. 2 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 14:41

    Is AARP too powerful? There are many more more powerful lobbies, like the AARP, yet aren’t getting a topic on here.

  3. 3 Cabe UK
    March 22, 2010 at 14:50

    It doesn’t really look like it – does it? !!!
    In this present Global climate – do people really still stand on ceremony and only do things to eiher please or to Not embarrass their allies… ???
    I don’t think this is true any longer. …! Everyone is just surviving eiher economically, culturally or politically and especially when we have global terrorism then governments can no longer afford to show favourtism… Whoever it is – friend or foe – If someone needs a slapdown then there is no longer a good reason on earth not to give them one!

  4. 4 tope
    March 22, 2010 at 14:51

    As far as I’m concerned, the lobby hasn’t gone far enough. their natural allies are the republicans, who see the issue the way it is; i.e. deal with the enemies the way they should and then they will calm down. Unfortunately, they always ally with the democrats, who are always ready to compromise in order to be seen to be “politically correct” and warming up to Israel’s enemies, who are not in any way ready to shift focus fro “pushing israel into the sea!” examples are Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and now Obama.

    • 5 Mac
      March 23, 2010 at 23:39

      Israel made his oIsrael made its own enemies, and should deal with them itself. It should not drag other countries into all its affairs. It cannot exist without a conflict, it should not exist anymore or at all.wn enemies, and shopudl deal with them itself.

  5. 6 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 15:23

    I wonder why there is no outrage that British people build homes in the Falklands? Argentina claims it. Mexico claims Texas and California, yet Americans are allowed to build homes there. Maybe there is this “Israeli lobby” because of the past hostility, hatred, genocide, and persecution that the world has committed against Jews, and with their obvious double standards?

    Ban Ki Moon says that Israel must end the blockade of Gaza, YET his own country is doing the same thing with North Korea. Why is there one standard for Jews, and another for the rest of the world?

    • 7 tope
      March 22, 2010 at 15:52

      ban ki moon should address his own country’s blockade of north korea!

    • 8 Sharafadeen A. (Sokoto)
      March 22, 2010 at 21:21

      @Steve: I have this question for you?
      Is it acceptable to you or will it be acceptable to you if the basic life necessity are blocked from reaching you like the total blockade, confiscation of your properties etc and you not fighting your cause to freedom and dignity of live.
      Do you remember the Camp Davis peace summit and one important reason peace was not achieved?

  6. 9 tope
    March 22, 2010 at 15:54

    as it is, obama is ready to sacrifice israel for “the new partnership with the muslim world”; without bearing in mind that the wider muslim world is hell bent directly or indirectly to bring the U.S. down!

    • 10 Sharafadeen A. (Sokoto)
      March 22, 2010 at 21:31

      @ Tope: Some people talk without knowledge of history and the politic of the World. Some people for the hatred of the Muslims and what is Islam makes them be so every unjust toward Islam.
      America (US) viewed communism as a treat thereby conspired against it till they bring it down (why because they want to dominates the economic power of the world); Islam is viewed as their only remaining treat to their domination of the world as superpower.
      Please go read history and read it wisely.

    • 11 Ronald Almeida
      March 24, 2010 at 01:10

      Isn’t that reason enough?

  7. 12 Archibald in Oregon
    March 22, 2010 at 16:02

    The carte blanche given to Israel in the past 30 years is unprecedented, with across the board US. support dwarfing many of our own national public services and a lobby with weight to rival big oil, yet Israel and its supporters continue to play the victim and decry their disadvantage. What will satisfy this unslakable thirst for more?

  8. 13 tekkooo
    March 22, 2010 at 16:26

    Israel’s lobby in USA has always been powerful, may be, now, more then ever. If I remember right, it was during Regan campaign for the white house, one individual on that contest said, and I quote him say “the problem in the Middle East was Israel”. The BBC world service commentator then, remarked “this fellow has commented a political suicide”.
    Israel lobby behaves as state within a state. They have the money, the media and God knows what!
    No politician holding an important position would ever, dare to oppose Israel – that would be political suicide. Actually, the politicians compete to please and appease Israel.
    It is ironical to see the Americans pride themselves on their democracy, constitution and their way of life while such tribes control their lives and bring terrorists and angry people knocking at their doors.
    American’s relation with Israel is a lose, lose enterprise—better without it.
    I believe, world opinion (specially in USA and Europe) would change dramatically in the coming years against Israel’s actions in the occupied territories and American politicians might cave in under such tremendous pressure to do what is right and not what’s Israel dictates.

  9. 14 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 16:39

    @ Archibald

    And what of the carte blanche given by the arab world to try to destroy israel multiple times? Name me ONE other nation on the face of the earth that has ever been required to return lands won in wars it did not start?

    I’m not going to hold my breath because it never has been done before. So why are jews held to a different standard?

    • 15 Tony
      March 23, 2010 at 02:28

      An argument about who started the war would be fruitless. What people want and need is a solution to the problem.

      One solution is to not to hand back the occupied terrotories, and have a single state solution in which Palestinians have the vote, but I don’t believe Israel wants that. So the only other option is a two state solution, which because of the illegal building on occupied land is also getting to the point where it will be very hard to implement..

  10. 16 bello usman shehu
    March 22, 2010 at 17:21

    the current us-isreali relations is still powerful enough to hinder any attempt to bring peace and stability to the region, so may be the international community should put more pressure from their own side if they really wants to see some kind of world with a terrorist free activities and a civilised world order.

    • 17 Tony
      March 23, 2010 at 02:35

      The problem with the international community is that only the Security Council has any real clout and because the US and UK can veto anything relating to Israel they do, because of the influence the Israeli lobby groups have over the US and UK polticians. Criticism of Israel is just not allowed.

  11. 18 Ibrahim in UK
    March 22, 2010 at 17:21

    As General Petraeus pointed out, US support for Israeli crimes creates anti-US sentiment and endangerous US security and harms US interests. You know things aren’t right when the Prime Minister of Israel (Ehud Olmert at the time) can call up Bush and tell him how to vote at the UN (on a resolution that the US prepared no less), or when President Obama’s own choice (Charles Freeman) for the senior intelligence position is hounded out by the lobby, and when even debating the unconditional support for Israel is taboo and political suicide.
    Obama promised to take on the lobbies that shackle US policy in a self-destructive downward spiral. He’ll be taking on the fundamental system of US politics. Good luck to him.

  12. 20 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 17:38


    That Jews are born in Israel creates anti US sentiment in the muslim world. Should the US just demand that all Jews die so that muslims are happy? There are 50+ muslim nations on earth, Israel constitutes 1% of the middle east, the rest is ALL muslim majority countries. Is ONE country too much?

  13. 21 viola
    March 22, 2010 at 17:47

    When Israel annexes the U.S., I’ll concede that the Israeli lobby is too powerful. Otherwise, it’s just another lobby and not the most powerful one. It is an ally, however, and as such its interests deserve serious consideration.

  14. 22 gary indiana
    March 22, 2010 at 18:01

    Let’s see. Less than 10 million non-US citizens (We’re absolutely independent; please protect us!) and a few million US citizens with more clout than any other 50 million-strong US voting segment sort of sounds like inequity doesn’t it. I remain to be convinced that it isn’t in fact just that and curiously enough, I’m not even anti-Israeli.

  15. 23 Elias
    March 22, 2010 at 19:25

    Israel must do what is best for its people and will not give up a part of Jerusalem as its capital because of the political turmoil present at the moment. Will Russia give back to Japan the islands captured in World War 2?, will China give up Tibet they invaded several years ago?.
    If Israel did compromise in some way with regard to East Jerusalem, will the two factions Fatah and Hamas who do not see eye to eye in their politics be jointly agreeable to respect and accept Israel’s as a State?. Hamas openly stated they do not. Will the neighboring arab countries ratify an agreement for any deal?. Iran an ally of Hamas, openly stated they seek to destroy Israel which is a greater problem for Israel at the moment. Is any agreement with the Palestinians worth the paper is written on?. There will be conditions to protect Israel from using a Palestinean State as a stepping stone to import more terrorism from countries like Iran and Syria, which Hamas would only be too glad to promote.

  16. 24 anon
    March 22, 2010 at 23:19

    Is the Arabic lobby in Europe and the world’s media too powerful?

  17. 25 T
    March 22, 2010 at 23:28

    It’s one thing to be furious. But unless you act to solve the problem, nothing changes.

    AIPAC is much too powerful in the States. Obama could recall the U.S. Ambassador. He could even cut Israeli aid. But if he did he’d be labelled as anti-semetic AND a socialist. And as wonderful as many still think he is, he doesn’t have the courage to act.

    Which means more meaningless words on both sides.

  18. 26 Tony
    March 23, 2010 at 02:16

    The Israel lobby is too powerful not just in the US but in the UK as well. Politicians in both countries rely on funding from groups like AIPAC, and in the UK from the Conservative Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Israel. See http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/D/dispatches/israel/proisraellobbypamphlet.pdf

    The saying goes that ‘the US has the best democracy money can buy’ and it looks as though the UK is going the same way. Israel has not complied with numerous UN resolutions, broken International Law (building settlements on occupied land), broken the Geneva Convention ( collective punishment of Palestinians) and yet the politicians are falling over themselves to say what good friends they are of Israel.

    Even after they have been humiliated by the Israelis ( Joe Biden and the anouncment of more building on occupied land, and the UK with the use of British passports in the assasination of a Hamas official).

    Of course any criticism of Israel is always greeted with cries of antisemitism, making it very hard to have free and open debate about the issues.

  19. 27 Tan Boon Tee
    March 23, 2010 at 03:02

    Of course, the lobbyists have always been very powerful.

    Clinton’s tone seems to have softened overnight. She quietly warns of “unsustainable status quo”, yet succinctly confirms that the “rock solid commitment” to Israel security will not be wavered. What a typical cloudy and ambiguous political stunt!

    • 28 patti in cape coral
      March 23, 2010 at 13:13

      Yes, I agree with Tan Boon Tee, Clinton seemed to do this back and forth dance, trying to put on a stern face while at the same time stating our unwavering committment.

  20. 29 Roy
    March 23, 2010 at 11:03

    Unfortunately, AIPAC and other Israeli interest groups have made it their key strategy to label views and policies that oppose their own interests as anti-semitic.

  21. 30 Jim Parfitt
    March 23, 2010 at 11:07

    It’s about time that this issue is being discussed. I thought that when we first invaded Iraq, (which i did not support), that we had very little credibility in the Arab countries due to our support for the illegal occupation; and that would make it harder for our soldiers. That was many years ago, and now it is finally being faced up to. I also think it is time we ask ourselves if we want to be so in bed with what is essentially a racist country. Anyone who thinks that they are god’s chosen people are not going to treat other people fairly, and as equal human beings. And that goes for Catholics (which i was raised), or anyone else. It’s time for the USA to show Israel who’s boss. If we hope to be taken seriously by the Iraqis and Afgans, we need to get tough with Israel.

  22. 31 Thomas
    March 23, 2010 at 11:13

    In a nutshell, it is high time the Israeli tail cease wagging the American dog. Help me out here; what strategic interests does Israel serve for America’s multi-billion dollar investment? Surprisingly, Israel seems to have forgotten a basic tenent; not to slap the hand (or face) of the hand that feeds.

  23. 32 Stuart Martell
    March 23, 2010 at 11:23

    If the US were serious about wanting Israel to come to heel, they would stop the USD$7.2Billion they pour into the Israeli exchequer every year until they get their way.

  24. 33 rick
    March 23, 2010 at 11:24

    It is not the lobby itself that concerns me, but the control over a huge proportion of the media that it’s members have that is a problem. For the first time a major news outlet in America has unabashedly aligned itself with one of the two political parties. The “fair and balanced” news outlet has become the publicist for the Republican party. Pro- Israel people have control over what 80% of what Americans see, read and hear as news. All politicians on both sides of politics fear that power and have learned to raise their hand at the right time, or suffer the consequences.

  25. 34 Jim Parfitt
    March 23, 2010 at 11:25

    I have absolutely nothing against the Jewish people, and am a huge Seinfeld fan!! But, It very much bothers me that we are so mixed up with a country that has a religious and racial agenda, that puts them as special and of more worth than others. I am not a christian or a Jew; just a person who tries to treat all beings fairly and with kindness, and so to me the Arabs and the Jews are absolutely equal human beings, as are the Germans and all other people. Remember Hitler’s idea of the pure arayan race, Serbian ethnic cleansing, American white supremacists, Jewish chosen by God, etc. Same old thing in different costumes. If the USA is going to be the world leader, then we have to be truly fair and even handed in our policies and actions. A strong lobby such as Aipac exerts undue influence and perverts the USA’s role in the world.

  26. 35 Ibrahim in UK
    March 23, 2010 at 11:35


    The Israeli lobby’s destructive stranglehold on US policies is of great concern for American citizens who pay in taxes and lives in order to support Israel despite being against the political and security interests of the US, and against the interests of World peace and justice.

    The Arab world cares less how many Jews are born. What they do care about however is that Arab land was taken from the indigenous Arab people in Palestine and given to Jews (who were born in the US and Europe). They care about the depopulation of Palestine and destruction of hundreds of Arab villages.
    They care about the continuation of this policy in the form of the illegal settlements.

    Israel is not being held accountable to these crimes, and the only reason for this is because the US constantly vetos justice, under the commands and influences of Israel and the lobby.

  27. 36 steve
    March 23, 2010 at 12:23

    First, Egypt blockades Gaza as well, and this blockade allows in food and medical supplies. It’s purpose is to stop the flow of weapons in.

    Two, again, people talk about how any criticism of Israel is labelled as antisemitism, but look at the comments here.

    Jews control the US media.

    Someone suggests that I read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

    I like Jews, like Seinfeld, but….

    There is rampant antisemitism, and it is in this discussion.

  28. 37 Madhuri Bose
    March 23, 2010 at 12:54

    Peace and freedom loving people around the world need to question how and why today in the 21st century Israel is ‘occupying’ Palestine. For us Indians who fought a long struggle against British occupation of India there can be no justification for Israel’s conduct. We hope Palestine will be free and independent before long.

  29. 38 Bryan
    March 23, 2010 at 12:56

    Any country acts in its own interests and America is no exception. That’s why it has to take note of the tremendous power and influence of the oil-rich Arab Lobby. Any discussion of the Israel Lobby is meaningless without looking at the Arab lobby. Now I know this is the very last thing that journalists of the left wing, PC brigade, such as the BBC, want to do but you should be capable of putting the right of the public to balanced, complete information above your own ideological bent.

    I would like to see a topic on the relative power of both lobbies. Come on, BBC. Step out of the box and take an impartial look at the subject.

  30. 39 steve
    March 23, 2010 at 14:06


    If you ask Pakistanis, they would say that India is occupying Kashmir. It’s the 21st century in Kashmir as well.

  31. 40 PinkMuslimah
    March 23, 2010 at 14:08

    Enough. Basta Ya. Kifaya.

    It is possible to criticise Israel without being anti-Semitic. Unfortunately, we see too often in today’s world that the two wind about each other like so many colours in a lollipop – obviously, more bitter than sweet.

    Jewish people are not out to take over the world. They do not control the media. They do not own all of the banks. They do not pull the strings of our governments. And the racist rag Protocols of the Edlers of Zion is a proven forgery, nothing more than prejudiced mythology.

    In fact, there is a heavily significant population of libral Jews who *oppose* Israel’s policy against the Palestinians. Voicing anti-Semitic sentiments is, therefore, more a disservice to the Palestinian cause than it is anything else.

    I think, then, that it is more than possible for each of us educated, erudite WHYSers to express our criticisms of Israel without crossing the boundary and spewing racism. Yes?

  32. March 23, 2010 at 14:53

    the tail wags the dog…a year or so ago, in anger i said, with friends like isreal, who needs enemies… a month or so later, an isreali big shot [i can’t recall his name] said, ”with friends like america, who needs enemies”… we’re both right…. does anybody really think those 19 guys attacked us, and in the process, committed suicide, because they hate our way of life? … the problem with us americans is we know more about football and baseball, and american idol than we do about our foriegn policy… having a media that only tells us what they want us to hear, along with isreal and it’s american subsidiary, aipac, having a strangle hold on our two branches of gov’t. don’t help either…

  33. 42 jens
    March 23, 2010 at 14:54

    i have followed this debate in amazment and sometimes disbelief at comments published here. it is not the jewish lobby that is to powerful, but the collective guilt of what has happened to the jewish people during world war 2, the result of which was the formation of israel. i fully understand that european jews emigrated to isreal considering that the memories of the old continent and its murdereouse actions was/is deep engrained. the formation of the state was ill concieved and executed, but was ultimatly understandable. what sadens me is that israel is now acting in a manner, which leads to the persecution of palestine people. on the other hand one has to clearly understand that the palestine people have brought a lot of these actions upon themselves by supporting organizations like the PLO and Hamas, which clearly have the aim of destroying israel. i fear that this conflict will never be resolved, since on is not reconcilable with the other. there has been too much blood shed for peace to become reality.

  34. 43 patti in cape coral
    March 23, 2010 at 15:40

    “But, It very much bothers me that we are so mixed up with a country that has a religious and racial agenda, that puts them as special and of more worth than others.”

    I just heard Owen Wilson interviewing a jewish person (didn’t catch the name) that said Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish because they have laid more claim to it than anyone else. When questioned further, this person said “If you doubt this, go read your bible.”

    The bible, if you believe a literal interpretation, also sanctioned the anhilation of several cities because they were not jewish. At the risk of being labeled an anti-semite, the use of religious text to lay claim on land that is in dispute is troubling at the very least. I have wavered back and forth on what a good solution would be, but I think Tom K in Mpls is right and we need to mind our own business and let the jews and palestinians resolve this themselves. I don’t think it’s going to happen, though.

  35. 44 Ibrahim in UK
    March 23, 2010 at 16:03

    I hope (as I believe you do too) that your fears do not come true and that instead everyone realises that too much blood has been shed for peace not to become a reality.
    All sides have to be held accountable for their crimes and realise that they can’t get away with it any longer, I think that’s when they will start realisitically thinking about peace. Whether they like it or not, they have to all learn to live together, purely because demographics point to that inevitability in the future.
    I think it’s time for them to stop thinking in terms of “our side” and “their side” and start thinking in terms of a one-state solution for both sides. I believe it to be the only real solution that can resolve the issues: there is no “other side” to war with, land is occupied by both, settlements are open for all, walls come down, refugees go home, Jerusalem can be the capital.

  36. 45 Colin L Beadon
    March 23, 2010 at 17:47

    Abrahim in the UK.
    You have nailed it smack on the head. The world of mankind has become like one nest of ants, or bees. The problem is that too many of us have not yet the ability to see this with clarity. Far too many of us can’t think in goose and gander.

    Still, it is as much a problem of population expansion as anything else. And you can’t get anybody to start debate that.
    When bees or ants get overcrowed, the nest splits off and half go elsewhere. Humans, in large multi thousands with their obstinate religions and homeland feelings, can’t do that any more. There is no place to go without war to get them there. So we have to accept second best, and learn to live as one hive. If we don’t, the close- future prognosis for Homo Sapiens, looks like we will be making a great leap towards extinction, which would relieve Mother Earth,,… no end.

  37. 46 viola
    March 23, 2010 at 18:11

    Quite likely, had the surrounding countries and the rest of the world stayed out of the conflict from the time of Israel’s rebirth, there would be a satisfactory settlement and division of land between the Palestinians and the Israelis long ago. There are so many in this debate who believe that they know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth that it completely undermines rationality, since all of them “know” a different truth.

    It’s ridiculous to take issue with the fact that world Jewry refuses to let the world forget the genocide that took place against them in Europe. The fact that other genocides have taken place that did not target Jews does not lessen the seriousness of that particular genocide, nor does it do credit to those who believe the collective guilt that led to the rebirth of Israel as a Jewish national home and sanctuary of last resort is bad. Too bad there isn’t any collective guilt about Cambodia and Rwanda, to mention only two others.

    Humans really need to reject genocide as a solution to conflicts. Denying its existence or importance just doesn’t cut it.

    • 47 Kenneth Ingle
      March 23, 2010 at 19:21

      This is one of the best comments I have read on this question. It is not understandable that any western countries support Israel, as long as that country continues to commit war crimes. On the other hand Israel has a right to exist. It is however up to them to return to their own “10 commandments.” only so can there be peace in the promised lands. They were told this by Moses, but did not hear then anymore than they do today.

      • 48 viola
        March 24, 2010 at 14:22

        You illustrate my point very well, Mr. Ingle, by stating your “truth” that Israel “continues to commit war crimes,” a “truth” not proven in any court but that of public opinion as expressed by various forms of media. It is good of you to admit that Israel has a “right to exist,” another “truth.”

        Israel’s thinkers, I believe, know very well that the only “right to exist” that they have exists only as long as they are able to enforce it. Their enemies perceive that, also. Thus we see daily the attempt to convince the world that Israel has no right to enforce their right to exist, and only retains that right through the interference of Western powers.

  38. 49 mat hendriks
    March 23, 2010 at 19:19

    Maybe it it.
    Then I wish us all the best.

  39. 50 Ronald in Canada
    March 23, 2010 at 19:29

    Of course it is too powerful. It makes a mockery of democracy when money buys principles. It’s doubly worse when the US government cannot align itself with commonly accepted human rights and international law because of lobby power. The US and other so-called democracies need some serious revision.

  40. 51 Eleanor
    March 23, 2010 at 20:02

    Perhaps the time has come for the US to stop subsidizing Israel financially, or militarily. They wish to take our money and our protection. But what they give in return is a serious insult to our leaders. They spy on us, and want to call their ow shots. Fine. But we shouldn’t have to pay them to do so. It is not the fault of the US that the Jews have been denegrated through history. They have one friend in the world, and that’s the US. And how do they repay us? With a slap in the face and a knife in the back. It’s long past time to let Israel manage itself, by itself without American dollars or military protections. We get little good out of this bargain. Israel is basicly a sieve into which we have poured much gold, and sifted little good.

    I’m sure some will brand me anti-semitic. I am not. I have nothing against Jews. But I know when my country’s generosity, my hard-earned tax dollars and my nation’s loyalty are being taken advantage of. If that makes me an anti-semite…then so be it.

  41. 52 tektwo
    March 23, 2010 at 21:49


    Why is it a slap in the face to the US when an Israeli bureaucrat announces building of an apartment building on land NOT occupied by the Palestinians, land that is NOT in the “Occupied Territories”, land that was not under a Muslim municipality, land that NEVER even had people living on it?

    Think hard about this…

    Now I know the people who are traditionally against Israel will prattle on about all manner of other issues like Jews controlling the world but seriously answer me that one question.

    It’s funny in trying to make themselves seem impartial Obama actually managed to screw up the peace process even more.

    It’s quite ironic, when you think about it.

    Andrew in NY

    • 53 Ibrahim in UK
      March 24, 2010 at 13:56


      East Jerusalem is occupied territory. Settlements on occupied territory are illegal.

      A quote from Ban Ki Moon (UN secretary general):
      “The world has condemned Israel’s expansion plans in East Jerusalem.”
      “Let us be clear: all settlement activity is illegal anywhere in occupied territory, and this must stop.”

      One of the conditions for peace talks was that Israel had to stop building new illegal settlements. Obama called on all sides to refrain from actions that would undermine trust in order for the peace talks to go ahead. When the US sent Biden to the area to start the peace talks, Israel announced it was going to build new illegal settelements. It sends the signal that Israel rejects the peace talks and rejects Obama’s efforts. That’s a big slap of defiance.

  42. 54 tektwo
    March 23, 2010 at 21:55

    *ALSO forgot to add the fact that the US agreement with Israel specifically excludes Jerusalem from the building/ settlement freeze.

    Andrew in NY

  43. March 23, 2010 at 22:46

    It is too powerful, as it’s action in past events and todate have shown. It makes a mockery of the Democratic system in western countries as long as our political Elites fill their pockets with Zionist lobbyists money. The populations of the West and that includes the US are in the majority against what is happening in the ME, not only in Palestine but also in Iraq and Afghanistan. The politicians don’t give a damn.

  44. 56 Bryan
    March 23, 2010 at 23:09

    “Is Israel’s lobby in the US too powerful?”

    Let’s tweak that question a bit:

    “Is the Israel lobby powerful enough to convince the US government not to pressure Israel to change the current status quo to Israel’s disadvantage?”

    I certainly hope so, because that would mean the continued existence of an industrious, productive, humanitarian democracy among the brutal, backward dictatorships of the Middle East.

    Let’s tweak it again:

    “Is the Israel lobby more powerful than the Arab lobby?”

    Again, I certainly hope so. Because if the Arab lobby is more powerful, the US might in time succeed in pressuring Israel to withdraw to indefensible boundaries for “peace.”

  45. 57 mat hendriks
    March 23, 2010 at 23:09

    one of the little countries in the world.

    Lobby or not.
    Why is Mr Netanjahu such a mighty man?
    I really don’t know-but I like to know ?

    Who can help me?

  46. 58 Bryan
    March 23, 2010 at 23:22

    41 Ibrahim in UK,

    Your one state solution would mean there would soon be an Arab majority between the Jordan River and the sea. That would eventually lead to Arab control of the government, which in turn would lead to the renaming of the country, the changing of the flag and the wonderful national anthem, ‘Hatikva’, and the oppression of the Jews.

    Soon it would be a typical Middle Eastern Arab state, with little or no concern for human rights, no free press or judiciary and paying lip service to democracy but run by a dictator and intolerant of its Jewish, Christian and other minorities.

    Perhaps that is what you would like to see as the future of Israel. I wouldn’t.

  47. 59 Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite
    March 24, 2010 at 05:23

    The Israel-Palestinian question seems to be fixed rather than advanced. Since Jerusalem is a shared city by both Jews and Palestinians, The Prime Minister’s affirming the right to build in Jerusalem seems to be natural. However, if the American politicians desire to stall Israel’s advance before the peace treaty is signed, Mr Natanyahu’s determination is offensive and disruptive. On the other hand, it is strange that the Israel side should press with building at present when no peaceful settlement has been reached. They do not seem to want peace, with so much indstrial action in progress.
    As some of the commentators have put, Americans care about where their money is going and see it unacceptable that israel should so ignore the American plans to reach a peace agreement. The state of events at present does not leave much choice for Israel if it wishes to keep up favourable relations with the US. With the emphasis on the threat from Iran, Israel seems to be diverting attention from its own aggression and, for some reason, not caring about relations with the US. This may set the nerves of the US politicians on edge and the pressure may increase on Israel, which would be likely to arrest its plans and progress with action.
    Thank you.
    Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite

  48. March 24, 2010 at 08:47

    The relationship between the US and Israel is not only strong but almost sacred nobody should attempt to tamper with it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: