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Nov-14-2013 14:18printcomments

Why, Really, Has Netanyahu Put Settlement Expansion on Hold?

Given that an Obama showdown with the Zionist lobby is a possibility, (not a probability), it’s worth recalling what Eisenhower said when, from the bully pulpit, he took on the Zionist lobby and won.

Binjamin Netanyahu
Binjamin Netanyahu

(LONDON) - His own explanation was that he wants to avoid or minimise the prospects for an “unnecessary confrontation” with the international community, for which read President Obama and the European leaders who would follow his lead (with the arguable exception of the French whore).

I think it’s more than reasonable to believe that Netanyahu was concerned, possibly even alarmed, by the explicit nature of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry’s condemnation on 6 November of Israel’s on-going colonization of the occupied West Bank.

On Israeli television he asked why Israel was continuing to build settlements when doing so was giving the Palestinians good cause to believe that Israel was not serious about peace. (Writing in The Times of Israel Raphael Ahren said Kerry’s “rhetorical onslaught” amounted to “a forceful slap in the face for Netanyahu”, a slap “the prime minister cannot have expected and one he will not quickly forget.”)

My guess is that Netanyahu concluded that there was a grave danger, for the first time ever, of Israel being blamed by the whole of the international community, including America, for the breakdown and collapse of the latest round of “peace talks”.


But his main focus was and is elsewhere - on the effort the Zionist lobby in association with its Saudi allies is now making to sabotage the prospects of Obama reaching an accommodation with Iran.

As I write Kerry is about to brief members of the Senate Banking Committee behind closed doors in the hope of persuading it not to introduce Zionist lobby dictated legislation to impose even more punitive sanctions on Iran while negotiations with it are still underway.

My guess is that Netanyahu realised that a perception of Israel not being serious about peace with the Palestinians could undercut the Zionist lobby’s effort to make an accommodation with Iran impossible.

Netanyahu must know that the stakes for the Zionist lobby have never been higher than they are today. If it succeeds in getting legislation to impose even more punitive sanctions on Iran, Obama will have a stark choice to make - either to bow to the lobby’s will (par for the post- Eisenhower American presidential course), which would mean goodbye to any hope for an accommodation with Iran, or to confront the lobby’s stooges in Congress.

Obama could do the latter, as President Eisenhower once did, by taking to the bully pulpit - going over the heads Congress and speaking directly to his fellow Americans on television and radio. Eisenhower, the first and to date the last American president to seek to contain Zionism, made best use of the bully pulpit when its lobby tried to prevent him insisting that Israel should withdraw from the Sinai without conditions after it had colluded with France and Britain in the 1956 war on Egypt.

Given that an Obama showdown with the Zionist lobby is a possibility, (not a probability), it’s worth recalling what Eisenhower said when, from the bully pulpit, he took on the Zionist lobby and won.

    “Israel insists on firm guarantees as a condition to withdrawing its forces of invasion. If we agree that armed attack can properly achieve the purposes of the assailant, then I fear we will have turned back the clock of international order. We will have countenanced the use of force as a means of settling international differences and gaining national advantage... If the UN once admits that international disputes can be settled using force, then we will have destroyed the very foundation of the organization and our best hope for establishing a real world order.”


The Zionist lobby must know that if Obama defies it on Iran, his next logical step would be to use the leverage he has to require Israel to be serious about peace with the Palestinians on terms the vast majority of them could accept. (As I have noted in the past, the truth despite some of their rhetoric to the contrary is that Iran and Hezbollah will accept whatever is acceptable to the Palestinians, as will the whole of the Arab and wider Muslim world).).

Netanyahu needs the Zionist lobby and its allies including Saudi Arabia to succeed in their efforts to wreck the prospects of an American and European accommodation with Iran; and if putting further Zionist colonization of the occupied West Bank on hold assists that cause, so be it.

A few commentators expressed a degree of surprise that Netanyahu’s decision did not provoke a revolt against him by some of his neo-fascist coalition partners, especially those who favour annexing all of the West Bank. That didn’t happen because Netanyahu squared them in advance of his announcement by telling them that putting the plans for more settlements on hold was only a tactic. “It’s just another of our deceptions”. He didn’t say that as far as I know, but that was the implication of his message to the leaders of his coalition partners.

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Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East.

Over more than four decades Alan Hart enjoyed intimate access to, and on the human level friendship with, leaders of both sides including Golda Meir, Mother Israel, and Yasser Arafat,Father Palestine. (Others included Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, Nasser, Sadat, King Faisal, King Hussein—the list is long). He also participated at a leadership level in the secret politics of the search for peace in the Middle East (as an intermediary between Arafat and Peres when it was presumed that Peres was headed for leadership).

Alan recently announced the American edition of his epic book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Vol. 1: The False Messiah. This is Alan Hart’s epic three-volume journey through the propaganda lies and the documented truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of what has come to be called the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

He blogs on AlanHart.net, and tweets on twitter.com/alanauthor

See also:

Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews. The sub-title of this volume is Conflict Without End? It takes the story from the 1967 war and the creation of Greater Israel to the present and the question: Is Peace Possible?

Will President Obama be allowed to deliver an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians in order to achieve peace for all and, if not, what’s the most likely future for the region and the world?

Reviews:

  • "... immensely readable and a magnificent piece of work ..."
    -- Clare Short, MP and Int'l Development Sec't in Blair Govt
  • "... elucidates the dangers involved in the unconditional Western support for Zionism and its oppressive policies against the Palestinians."
    -- Ilan Pappe, Leading Israeli revisionist Historian
  • "... principled, ... historical, ... excellent, even heroic, in effort and scope."
    -- Mark Bruzonsky, founder, MiddleEast.org; World Jewish Congress, first Washington Representative

A Good Question about American Interests in the Middle East But What is the Answer?

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