What Obama Should Do About Israel and Palestine–But Probably Can’t

I suspect that Pres Obama wishes he could call for sanctions–on Israel.

While I’m sure that Pres Obama is sincere about supporting Israel’s security–especially in light of genocide-advocating anti-Israel remarks on the part of the former leader of Iran and others in the middle east–I also suspect that Pres Obama, Sec. Kerry, and other powerful individuals in the Democratic party, would like to be able to cut off financial aid to Israel until it stops building settlements, and pulls back on some settlements.

President Obama knows that much of the situation could be defused if Israel would stop its expansion via settlements. If it would pick a border and stay behind it–and if they would stop the draconian restrictions on movements of Palestinians–that is, if Israel were to make significant concessions, the Palestinian state and other Muslim states could then put pressure on Hamas to back off. But the President cannot sanction or withdraw aid from Israel, even were he to have the clear cut authority to do so.

He can’t do it politically–or so he believes and he may be right. The President now does not have to worry about re-election but he does have to worry about the election of Democrats to the House and Senate in upcoming elections. He is a primary symbol of the Democratic party and support for Israel is widely backed by the American people, not only by Jews but by a great many Christians. He might be in violation of a treaty, too, were he to do it.

But really–it’s what needs doing. The President and Congress should find the will to sanction Israel, to say “you made your point, enough is enough” regarding Gaza; to say, “Cease expanding Israel.” To say, “Ease Restrictions. Do these things or we will stop aid, and we will call for economic sanctions against Israel.”

Israel must cease the current aggression, must concede some land, must compromise–or else the wound that is Israeli/Palestinian problem will never heal.

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