Brain Bush’s Blog

A Shot at American Diplomacy

  • By : Brian Bush
  • November 15, 2013
  • 5:08 pm

Hi All,

After the debacle in Israel of it planning 24,000 homes to be built in the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still has his hands full trying to manage the fallout.

The American administration aired it's view of the situation as Susan Rice, President Obama's National Security Adviser, made clear that settlement construction hampers peace efforts with the Palestinians.

The Housing Minister Uri Ariel who was behind the action of expansion is of the Jewish Home political party, and he caused serious problems to Mr. Netanyahu for his allegedly unilateral action.

Funny thing is, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett is currently in Washington DC actively lobbying the US Congress not to let America's President Barak Obama ease the sanctions upon Iran.

Mr. Bennett is there wanting to see Congress push for new even tougher sanctions legislation against Iran – and he is doing so with Netanyahu's blessing.

So here in Israel, on the one hand, Mr. Bennett is being assessed as undermining the State's current Prime Minister, and on the other, he is bringing the State's (and Prime Minister's) point of view to America's top legislators.

This may be why we have heard Republicans of late up in arms over what Mr. Obama is perceived as trying to do with Iran.

The fact is, on Iran, Israel and America do share the same goal – albeit they feel there are different ways to go about achieving it. But on the peace process with the Palestinians both countries seem to be far apart on the appropriate way forward.

Bibi can let Bennett go to the States and talk about Iran – they are on the same page there – but not the peace process.

Amidst all the talk circulating about how the two allies are best of friends, it is clear that Mr. Netanyahu is taking a shot at American diplomacy. By allowing Bennett's visit to both houses of Congress, it is complicating the efforts put forth by US Secretary of State John Kerry in delaying any new sanctions on Iran.

How this is going to sit with President Obama is yet to be seen, but it is sure to be uneasy.

Instead of focusing his resources on international strategy and diplomacy, Obama has to fight battles at home.

Mr. Netanyahu is clearly in the hot seat for undermining the peace efforts with the Palestinians. Mr. Obama can probably live with that because it has been this way for several presidents over time.

However, for creating a situation in which the voice of dissention distracts from the President's message he is putting across both at home and abroad – that may be a different story.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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