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Israeli Minister Suggests Sanctions against the U.S. over Obama's Settlement Demands

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Israeli Minister without a Portfolio Yossi Peled is advocating for a new approach to the U.S. in Israel until President Barack Obama changes policies on Jewish Settlements and Iran. Amongst his suggestions is a sanctioning of U.S. military equipment, selling sensitive technology to America’s enemies and put domestic political pressure on Democratic candidates by asking American Jews not to donate to them.

But in the interim, the minister suggests reconsidering military and civilian purchases from the US, selling sensitive equipment that the Washington opposes distributing internationally, and allowing other countries that compete with the US to get involved with the peace process and be given a foothold for their military forces and intelligence agencies.

Peled said that shifting military acquisition to America’s competition would make Israel less dependent on the US. For instance, he suggested buying planes from the France-based Airbus firm instead of the American Boeing.

In what may be his most controversial suggestion, Peled recommends intervening in American congressional races to weaken Obama and asking American Jewish donors not to contribute to Democratic congressional candidates. He predicted that this would result in Democratic candidates pressuring Obama to become more pro-Israel.

Now, the arrogance of the suggestion aside, it seems poor strategy to me for Israel, who wishes to have the moral ascendancy in the Palestinian dispute, to act like a roque state. Furthermore, Americans tend to view all foreign mucking in U.S. politics with disdain, no matter how close we are. As Yglesias points out, Peled’s statement has already begun to help American pro-peace process candidates raise money. As for the retaliatory sanctions game, it’s Israel who has the most to lose, as we currently import more from them than we export. We currently account for 35% of their export market.

Goldberg observed the other day that Obama is in the unique position to break Netanyahu’s government. Bibi has a narrow coalition, a good portion of which is obsessed with keeping the settlements. Meanwhile Obama’s advocating for their removal – so could Pelled’s suggestions break the Democratic government? Unlikely, it has a very good chance however, of breaking his own.

Added: Jun-11-2009 Occurred On: Jun-11-2009
By: dan_man
Iran, Middle East
Tags: israel, sanctions, united states, obama, settlements
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