If you wonder sometimes why it's so hard to change US policy toward Israel, consider this confluence of events.
Bibi Netanyahu announced yesterday that Israel is easing the blockade. In the meantime, Aipac has released a letter that circulated Friday that 85 senators signed on to urging Obama to stand tall with Israel and face down the UN if it gets up to making a new set of demands on Israel. The letter justifies the blockade thus:
We fully support Israel's right to self-defense. In response to thousands of rocket attacks on Israel from Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Israel took steps to prevent items which could be used to support these attacks from reaching Gaza. Israel's naval blockade, which is legal under international law, allows Israel to keep dangerous goods from entering Gaza by sea. The intent of the measures is to protect Israel, while allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza.In other words, exactly while Israel is slightly softening its position, the vast majority of US senators signs a letter defending the old position. Aipac has a strong hold on the US Congress, and that will not change. In fact, the more a presidential administration shows signs of wanting to make demands of Israel, the stronger that hold gets.
The list of signatories is here. Every Republican signed except Jim Bunning of Kentucky, and the Democrats who didn't sign are mostly liberals who feel secure in breaking from the Aipac position and have sometimes done so in the past (John Kerry, Russ Feingold, Chris Dodd) or who represent states that don't have many Jewish voters (Jay Rockefeller of you know where).
Meanwhile Obama and Bibi are meeting again July 6.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Congress Champions Israel's Starvation of Palestinians
Posted by LJansen at 9:12 AM