The hobgoblin of State Department minds:
Israelis are used to this pattern: give a big concession and a few months later that step is forgotten as Israel is portrayed as intransigent and more concessions are demanded with nothing in return. Here is a short history of this round:
October 31, 2009: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lavishly praises Israel as making “unprecedented” concessions in stopping construction on West Bank settlements while it is still going to build in east Jerusalem.
November 1, 2009: The U.S. State Department cheers Israel’s announcement that it will stop construction on West Bank settlements but not in east Jerusalem: “Today’s announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
March 12, 2010: Secretary of State Hilary Clinton says that Israel building in east Jerusalem is an “insult” to the United States, jeopardizes the bilateral relationship, and damages the cause of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This is stupid on the surface, of course. But it’s also stupid on a deeper level. The lesson Israel is learning from this is it gains no benefit from making concessions, at least during a Democratic administration. This sort of behavior seems almost calculated to limit our influence with Israel.
At the same time, there was not a peep over the Palestinian Authority naming a square after the woman who led the worst terrorist attack in Israeli history. No wonder just 4% of Israelis see President Obama as a friend to Israel.
(Via Hot Air.)