Hillary Clinton & Israeli Defense Minister
I was going to title this post “Duck & Dodge with Israel” but decided that would be a bit too snarky. But honestly, I’m not sure what the point of allowing the press in just to watch them sit on a couch is, other than to provide
reassurance to nervous dems and get AIPAC off their back photos which demonstrate that the Israel-U.S. Relationship is humming along quite nicely.
And here are the photos of the press availability. There aren’t too many thus far but that’s ok, he’ll probably stop by next week too so we’ll get a second bite at the apple then.
Sorry, but I’m just sick to death of the Netanyahu government.
UPDATE: Oh, ok, this is why he came to Washington. To warn us:
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is due to arrive in Washington on Monday bearing two warnings for American policymakers: Sanctions won’t thwart Iran’s push for nuclear weapons, and Israel will strike directly at Lebanese government institutions if Hezbollah launches rockets at Israeli towns.
“It’s still time for sanctions,” Barak said in the interview Friday in his office at Israel’s Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, but “probably, at a certain point, we should realize that sanctions cannot work.”
Israeli officials have carefully parsed President Obama’s words, hoping to find evidence that he would be willing to use military force. For Barak, that evidence came in Obama’s December speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, when Obama said there will be times when “the use of force” is “not only necessary but morally justified.”
Another area where Israel believes force may be necessary is Lebanon. Since a summer war with Hezbollah ended four years ago with the deployment of a beefed-up U.N. contingent, Israel says the Iranian-backed militia has built an arsenal of 40,000 missiles and rockets. Barak warned that the next time violence breaks out, Israel would strike directly at the Lebanese government, which he said is allowing Hezbollah to rearm.
If Hezbollah fires a rocket into Tel Aviv, “we will not run after each Hezbollah terrorist or launcher. . . . We will see it as legitimate to hit any target that belongs to the Lebanese state, not just to Hezbollah.”
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said Israel is “trying to justify a war against Lebanon that it could launch when it wishes” and has complained of Israeli surveillance flights over Lebanese territory…
Ummm, is it me or does it seem like Israel is spoiling for a fight and being intentionally provocative? And this pressure on the U.S. to attack Iran is getting really annoying. It seems like we are working at cross-purposes- the U.S. is trying to improve relations with the Muslim world and Israel’s knee-jerk response to every situation is to shoot at everything that moves or in the alternative, to threaten to. They also seem to ramping up their rhetoric with respect to Syria. Regarding Iran, it’s almost as though Israel doesn’t want sanctions to work.