Israel and Congress

| Mon Mar. 15, 2010 1:23 PM EDT

For reasons that I assume are obvious, I don't blog much about Israel. One of those obvious reasons is that it's just too depressing: in pretty much every year for the past half century, I think you could legitimately wish that we could turn back the clock a decade. No matter how unlikely peace seemed at the time, it always seems less likely now.

Still, I'm trying to get my arms around the latest contretemps. Israel's humiliation of Joe Biden during his trip there last week really defies anything I can remember in recent memory. I mean, deliberately choosing that exact moment to announce a new development in East Jerusalem, the one policy that Obama had made clear was his highest priority? It's hard to imagine any other ally doing such a thing. Even China treated Obama better.

AIPAC, of course, thinks the real problem is with the U.S. reaction to Israel's announcement:

The Obama Administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern. AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State....The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.

Yeah, it's just AIPAC being AIPAC. This is what they do. But it's also remarkably tone deaf. No other ally in the world would treat us this way, and if they did you can be sure the Wall Street Journal editorial page wouldn't be defending them. I don't suppose Israel's relationship with the U.S. is in any real danger, but stuff like this makes me start to wonder. At some point even Congress is going to sit up and take notice, and we might be closer to that point than Benjamin Netanyahu and AIPAC think.

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