In a report filed yesterday headlined “Will Israel Accept America’s Offer” it was revealed that “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to convince his right-wing coalition to support a 90-day settlement construction freeze in exchange for security incentives” from the U.S.
In essence the “offer” boils down to these few basic elements:
First, fighter planes valued at over $3 billion (twenty F-35 joint strike fighters), which Israel intended to purchase from the U.S. anyway, would be provided to them gratis.
Perhaps to the powers-that-be in Washington another $3 billion in deficit spending is not a big deal. The majority of the rest of Americans see things differently.
Secondly, the move demonstrates but a kernel of the support for, and recognition of, the formation of an independent Palestinian State by Obama. The president has been sharply criticized for his pro-Palestine, anti-Israel leanings since he took office and even beforehand.
In his book the Audacity of hope, Barack Hussein Obama, discussing post 9/11 immigration as it related to Arabs, is quoted as saying, “I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
Thirdly, it spells, what one Israeli official from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own Likud party called “the beginning of the end of his current government,” which some would argue to be an agreeable byproduct (to the current U.S. administration) such a deal would foment.
Netanyahu’s Likud party is considered the most conservative in Israel, so it only follows that a U.S. administration as liberal as the present one would oppose them on every level.
As for the amaranthine Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Likud party’s promulgated platform gives insight to understanding the spirit of the U.S. government’s latest gest into the fray, and the political peril which Benjamin Netanyahu now faces.
Under the party platform chapter “Peace and Security” and the heading “The Palestinians” one reads:
Declaration of a State –
A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration.
The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.
Although the measure is said to be only temporary, has the administration offered Israel a precedent setting bribe to concede its position on Jewish settlements in the West Bank?
Understanding “bribe” to mean “money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person, esp. in that person’s performance as an athlete, public official, etc.” one is left to draw one’s own conclusions.