Saturday, March 26, 2011

Do Cameron's Views on Israel Match Obama's

The Economist suggests that David Cameron's views on Israel - which have turned sharply against Israel since he took office - are being coordinated with US President Barack Hussein Obama.

If Mr Cameron offers Israel mixed messages, he does so with the blessing of America’s president, normally reliable diplomatic sources claim. Faced with what they see as the intransigence of the Israeli government led by Binyamin Netanyahu, Europe’s big beasts and America are moving closer in outlook, according to those sources. Before the UN vote of February 18th, Barack Obama reportedly encouraged Mr Cameron and others to take a tough line on Israel. In phone calls to his European allies, Mr Obama is said to have expressed frustration at Mr Netanyahu’s approach to settlements, but to have explained he had “too many domestic fires to extinguish” to risk a bust-up over Israel.

The White House strenuously denies this account. Number 10 would only confirm that Mr Cameron and Mr Obama had been in “regular touch” over the peace process. Since these are private conversations, it is tough for The Economist to know exactly what was said. But, in private, European officials have told Israel that their pressure is choreographed with America.

This, rather than hypocrisy, might be the real story of Israel’s current relations with Britain and others. Impatience with Mr Netanyahu seems to be blurring the boundaries between Israel’s friends and critics. And Mr Cameron’s seeming disagreement with Mr Obama might actually be a form of diplomatic co-operation.

I cannot think of a bigger disaster for Israel short of - God forbid - a serious military defeat than Obama winning re-election in 2012.

What could go wrong?

Labels: Barack Obama, David Cameron

posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 1:39 PM

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