Why are we not at least even-handed between our friends?
On the trip to Israel where he was blindsided by news that Israel would build 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, Joe Biden told Shimon Peres, "There is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel's security."
And that is the problem.
America is a superpower with interests in an Arab world of 300 million and an Islamic world of 1.5 billion -- interests Israel treats with indifference if not contempt when it comes to doing what she regards as necessary for her security.
While Israel had a right to build a wall to protect her people from terror attack, did she have a right to build it on Palestinian land?
While Israel had a right to go after Hezbollah when her soldiers were shot on the border and several kidnapped, did Israel have a right to conduct a five-week bombing campaign that smashed Lebanon, killing hundreds of civilians and creating upward of a million refugees?
While Israel had a right to go into Gaza to stop the firing of crude rockets on Sderot, did she have a right to smash utilities and public buildings and kill 1,400 people, most of them civilians?
Is whatever Israel decides to do in the name of her security fine with us, because there is "absolutely no space" between our interests and hers, our values and Israel's values?
Even with Winston Churchill's Britain, there was "space" between us on strategic goals and national policies.
Israel has a right to secure Gaza to deny Hamas access to weapons, especially rockets that could reach Israel. But that does not justify denying 1.5 million people what they need to live in decency.
According to The Washington Post, "80 percent of the population (of Gaza) depends on charity. Hospitals, schools, electricity systems and sewage treatment facilities are all in deep disrepair."
With our silence, we support this. And we wonder why they hate us.
Obama should tell the Israelis that Joe got it wrong. There is space between us. The Gaza siege must end. And America will herself be sending aid, but will also support Israel's right to inspect trucks and ships to see to it no weapons get through to Gaza.
Let's start behaving like who we once were.
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