It's mind-boggling how quickly the Jerusalem housing project realigned the stars over Israel to shine down on a new, official vision of the Jewish state as a drag on our interests in the world -- endangering the lives of our troops.
That was the message Vice President Biden delivered in Israel this month: "What you're doing here undermines the security of our troops ..." according to Israeli media. The White House denied it.
That was the feeling the president conveyed in treating visiting Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu like an international leper this week (no pictures, no press, no statements, no nothing).
And very sensationally, that was the narrative CENTCOM Commander Gen. David Petraeus put in writing to the U.S. Senate (sending hero-worshipping conservatives into denial) as noted in last week's column. Disregarding the impetus of 14 centuries of Muslims' doctrinally driven aggression on non-Muslims, Petraeus advanced a line that echoed the Arab League's: namely, that "Arab anger over the Palestinian question" drives violence throughout the CENTCOM region, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan, and enhances the powers of Iran and al-Qaida.
One prominent conservative commentator who strongly supported the Bush-Petraeus policy in Iraq expressed his shock to me in an e-mail: "I would think that Jewish leaders would be appalled by Petraeus' statement ('The Jews are protecting their property with the blood from the bodies of our dead young men!!!') It is about 95 percent the way to the 'blood libel' that, I hate to admit, Christians used in the Middle Ages against the Jewish people."
And it energized the Israel bashers, from Stephen Walt, who quoted Petraeus in a Washington Post op-ed, to Robert Malley, erstwhile Middle East adviser to candidate Obama -- let go for his contact with Hamas, who bluntly underscored the same line at a conference: "Israeli actions are threatening U.S. actions and military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza launched about a dozen terror rockets into Israel, drawing zero international comment. Next, Great Britain took the extreme measure of expelling an Israeli diplomat over British passport forgeries used in the alleged Mossad assassination of a Hamas terrorist. Is the international noose around Israel drawing tighter or is the "peace process" just intensifying? When executing terrorists and building apartment houses violates "peace," and launching rockets is part of the "process," it's impossible to tell the difference.