Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Peace in the Middle East Part 1 - Stopping Israeli Settlement Construction

There has been a lot of talk lately, of the Obama administration's conflict with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the issue of settle construction in the West Bank. The most irritating thing about this entire discussion is the ease with which the Obama administration could put an end to settlement construction if they really wanted to. It is cases like this that prove that America is not some independent arbitrator between the Israeli and Palestinian people. America has so much leverage over the Israeli government that it is blatantly disingenuous for an American President to ever claim that despite trying everything possible Israel will not relent on some issue, whether that issue is bombing civilians in the Gaza strip, or building illegal settlements in the West Bank.

In 2007 alone, America gave Israel more than two and a half billion (with 9 zeros) dollars, most of which was in the form of military aid. If President Obama really wants the settlement construction halted, all he would need to do is tell Mr. Netanyahu that America will not give another penny in military aid until the settlement construction stops completely. In fact, this tactic could be used, if the President truly wanted peace, to finally establish a two state solution to the Israeli debacle. The fact that no President has ever threatened to stop the copious amounts of American tax payer dollars that go to Israel, every single year, shows the lack of will in America for peace in the middle east.

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