During a recent speaking tour in Canada, MK Nahman Shai (Kadima) shocked some of his hosts when he said that his primary goal in politics today is to bring down the Netanyahu government. Although indelicate, Shai's comment was not surprising. Kadima is in the opposition. And like all opposition parties in all parliamentary democracies, the primary goal of its members is to bring down the government so that they can take power.
Given that this is the case, it is unsurprising that until this week, Kadima leader Tzipi Livni tried to blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for US President Barack Obama's hostility towards Israel. Far more newsworthy than her criticism of Netanyahu was her public rebuke of Obama this week for his attempt to strong-arm Israel into barring Jewish construction in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood.
On Wednesday Livni said, "Gilo is part of the Israeli consensus... and it is important to understand this for all discussions of borders in any future agreement."
Indeed. There is an Israeli consensus. The Israeli consensus regarding Jerusalem is based among other things on the understanding that no nation can give up its capital city and survive.
Livni wants to be prime minister one day. For that to happen, Israel must survive until she wins an election. And Israel will not long survive if it surrenders its right to its capital.
One might have thought that American Jews could be counted on to stand by Israel on this issue. But then, one would be wrong.
FOR THE past six years, Republican Senator Sam Brownback has repeatedly submitted a bill to the US Senate that, if passed into law, would revoke the presidential waiver that has allowed successive presidents to refuse to implement the 1995 law requiring the State Department to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. This year Brownback co-sponsored his bill with Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman. As luck would have it, the Brownback-Lieberman bill was submitted two weeks before Obama launched his latest campaign against Jewish building in Jerusalem.
In the 1980s and 1990s, American Jews lobbied hard to get the embassy moved to Jerusalem. But now some American Jewish leaders recoil at the very notion. In response to the Brownback-Lieberman Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 2009, the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle published an editorial last Friday titled, "Bad move, Senator Brownback."
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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