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US must encourage Israeli voters to seek end to conflict

While Israeli voters prepare for elections, US President Barack Obama should not echo former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's unconditional support for Israel: He should instead show voters the price of their leaders' refusal to negotiate with the Palestinians.
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in Washington October 1,  2014.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR48IZ7

Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state and potential candidate for the 2016 US presidential race, addressed the Saban Forum in Washington Dec. 5. She said, “The US government will continue its support of Israel regardless of which party wins the elections.” She later said in her speech, "The two-state solution remains an important and essential concept.” Several questions arise from Clinton's words: Does the United States need to continue to support Israel even when the regime in Jerusalem is ”owned” by a government that does not miss an opportunity to throw a wrench into the works of the two-state solution concept? Can providing aid to a government that sabotages US interests in the Middle East and operates according to a viewpoint that — according to the United States – harms its own vital interests be considered a “friendly act” toward Israel? And can effective foreign policy be pursued without the use of “carrots and sticks” — namely reward and punishment?

The answer to these questions is not to be found in the Israeli-Arab conflict arena, or even in the Washington-Jerusalem conduit. The answer lies in internal US politics. This is not the first time that Clinton has set her sights on the American-Jewish votes and purse strings. When we compare the demonstrations of empathy on the part of the first lady in the White House toward the Palestinians versus the pro-Israeli approach she adopted as candidate for US senator for New York (the most Jewish state in the United States), it is hard to believe that we are talking about the same person. If we ostensibly would want to speak in her defense, we would say that she operates according to the rules of the US democracy game.

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