Stop the Gloom and Doom
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
The U.S.-Israel relationship is in good shape but one would not know it from the anxieties and pessimism continuing to resonating from Jerusalem. Instead of praising the Obama Administration for proceeding straight ahead with trying to finalize another future ten year military assistance arrangement, the talk from Netanyahu is that Israel will have time to negotiate with the next President if Obama reneges on any item on Israel’s weapons wish list; $41 billion over ten years. (It actually would be amusing to know whom Bibi assumes will be the next President since so far the American people are having a very difficult even deciding who will be respective nominees.)
Yes. The new reality and fears with which Israelis now live is indeed scary and sad; but relations with the U.S. are solid. The need to be ever vigilant that some random fanatic may attack you in the most innocent of places is not a comfortable way for people to move about in their daily lives, but there is no way to stop this without expelling all Arabs. Walling off all of Israel from its neighbors as is now being discussed will be as effective in stopping terrorists’ incidents as Trump’s wall on the Mexican border will be in stopping the heroin epidemic.
Netanyahu has proceeded with negotiations with Turkey to reconcile differences and normalize relations between the two countries. Reports suggest that these talks in Geneva are progressing in a constructive manner with resolution near.
On another front Israel has apparently begun discussions with the EU over their decision concerning product labelling of goods manufactured on the West Bank and Gaza. Efforts to make concessions by Israel and the EU might even encourage renewed movement by Israel on the peace process.
There continue to be reports concerning Israel’s contacts with the Gulf States and even Saudi Arabia, certainly with respect to ISIS. At the same time, India reportedly is considering a $3 billion arms purchase agreement with Israel.
Yet, Bibi continues to try to score political points—both at home and with American Jews–prior to his visit to Washington at the end of March for the AIPAC conference. If there is a White House visit it must not be confrontational; but to enhance such a possibility, Netanyahu must stop crying wolf and face the reality that maybe even when there are disagreements with the U.S.—even President Obama—has his back. It is almost as if he is waiting for the Iran agreement to self-destruct so he can say “Gotcha”.