The American team is said to be frustrated and upset at Netanyahuâ€™s dismissal to date of the package, which was drafted by the NSCâ€™s Dennis Ross in close consultation with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molho.
â€œTheyâ€™re really upset,â€ one Washington Middle East hand in close contact with administration officials said Tuesday. â€œAt the end of the day, they made this incredibly good faith effort to keep Bibi at the table.â€ And Bibi proved as yet unwilling to budge.
â€œâ€™We put our asses on the line,â€™â€ the sense of dismay among the U.S. Middle East team at Netanyahu’s rejection of the U.S. package was described. â€œâ€™We worked with your defense minister and gave you this amazing deal, all the cover you needed to extend the freeze. And you not only rejected it, but put forward a counterproposal [demanding Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state] pandering to the right and a stalling tactic.â€™â€
Add to that the complaint of administration water carrier and thumb sucker, Thomas Friedman, that Israel’s acting like a spoiled child.
Aside from the fact that the “counterproposal” should be a premise of any peacemaking, what’s troubling is that there is no other country that seemingly gets singled out with kind of leak or synchronized cajoling.
Last year President Obama asked King Abdullah to offer a confidence building measure to Israel. Abdullah refused. There was no orchestrated outrage parcelled out to reporters and pundits to show the adminstration’s dissatisfactoin with the Saudis.
Now we learn that the administration has decided to reward the Saudi stubbrorness.
Defense industry analysts said the weapons sale is key to U.S. efforts to boost support among Arab allies and counter any threats from Iran. The deal is also seen as a boon for U.S. defense companies as the Pentagon tightens its budget in ways that could curb contracting opportunities.
Boeing makes the F-15, the Apaches, the Little Birds and some of the other equipment. Raytheon makes some of the anti-radar missiles.
“There’s an enormous amount at stake in terms of U.S. foreign policy, credibility in the region, and the health of the aerospace industry,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace industry analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax. “When you sell combat aircraft you’re also selling a strategic relationship. It is a symbolic commitment to consult on common defense issues, and when you operate the same equipment, that often means joint training and an ongoing military relationship.”
The sale is framed as a good thing (“to counter threats from Iran) and little oppostion is mentioned. (That comes from Rep Weiner.)
If Israel were treated to some sort of positive attention from the administration but was deemed to be obstinate, the critics from within and without the administration would be quoted all over the article. Support for those ungrateful Israelis is uesless, it could only the result of that outsized Jewish influence on politics. But the uncooperative Saudis get a huge weapons package and the hypreventilators are silent. Again, which lobby distorts America’s interests?
Crossposted on Soccer Dad.