Aug
16
2011

Times: U.S. Mideast Policy's "Uncomfortable Position"

In today's New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer notes the remarkable number of Congressmembers– more than 80–who are heading to Israel thanks to a program affiliated with AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying force.

Steinhauer sizes up the political backdrop– the White House has strained relations with the current Israeli government, and there's more:

the Palestinians are weighing a request to the United Nations Security Council to support a bid for statehood, leaving Washington in the uncomfortable position of blocking such a unilateral move while supporting democracy movements in other Arab nations.

U.S. policy at the United Nations has historically been pro-Israel. There's no debate about that. So it's hard to see how this particular case would be "uncomfortable," since it's in keeping with a well-established pattern.

As for the supporting Arab democracy movements: Which one did the U.S. "support" when it really mattered? Not Tunisia, Bahrain or Egypt. Not Yemen. Not Saudi Arabia or Jordan. Certainly not Palestine. Syria? Not really. I guess you could argue that the Libya War is "supporting" something. But Steinhauer's vision of the U.S. as 'uncomfortably' fitting its rejection of Palestinian autonomy within a prevailing policy of encouragement for Arab democracies is more media creation than diplomatic reality.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.