PRESSURE: U.S.-Israeli relationship takes new direction...
Israel is in the process of holding its largest countrywide war drill that addressed a scenario that presents attacks from every direction. This could be in preparation for what many military experts believe is a soon coming attack or war with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has gained new political ground in Lebanon which will likely aid in their continued build up of arms and missiles on Israel's northern border. It is estimated that Hezbollah has over 40,000 rockets stockpiled and ready for the next big conflict with Israel.
US President Barack Obama will be traveling to Egypt this week to deliver a major speech to the Moslem world on June 4th. He is expected to make an attempt to secure a new path between Islam and the US, and to bolster his new Middle East peace proposal. The speech is also likely to include continued pressure toward Israel to discontinue settlement growth in the West Bank and to accept the two-state solution...but this is only speculation. Normally, in past US administrations, Israel would have received an advanced copy of the speech, but not under the Obama administration. This is part of President Obama's new policy toward Israel that he hopes will get Prime Minister Netanyahu's attention. There are other tactics that Obama may employ if Netanyahu continues down the path he is presently traveling.
Possible scenarios for twisting Netanyahu's arm could range from U.S. inaction at the United Nations in thwarting resolutions critical of Israel to choking off some military supplies, political sources and commentators said.
"Delaying the shipment of spares for the Apaches can ground the air force," political columnist Ben Caspit wrote in Maariv, referring to Israel's U.S.-made attack helicopters. Reuters
Also, during the Bush administration (2007), the US entered into an agreement with Israel to give them $30 billion in military aid over the next decade. These are cash payments are to be spent on US military equipment purchases. This could, if it isn't already, could be used as leverage to help Netanyahu get in line with Obama's peace proposal.
There are signs he may already be wilting under pressure. A report from those who have recently spoken with Netanyahu described him as being "anxious, sweating and on the brink of panic". I would like to believe this report is false, but truthfully, I see little hope that Netanyahu will be able to survive without giving in to US pressure.
The Obama administration has gone on record that a New York Times report indicating the US would abandon Israel in the face of UN Security Council sanctions is false. US State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Monday, that the US would never abandon Israel's security concerns and would continue to make sure they received fair treatment in the United Nations. Of course, 'fair' may be interpreted in many different ways and will likely be tied to US demands that they conform to the two-state solution.
Under George W. Bush, the Palestinians knew that "until they put an end to terrorism, established a democratic government and accepted the basic parameters for a settlement, the United States was not going to expect major concessions from Israel," wrote Diehl. But Obama, with his repeated demands for a settlement freeze, "has revived a long-dormant Palestinian fantasy: that the United States will simply force Israel to make critical concessions, whether or not its democratic government agrees, while Arabs passively watch and applaud." Israel Insider
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