Who does Obama think he is to be speaking so brusquely to Israel?
In advance of his upcoming speech in Cairo to the Arab world, there is mounting evidence that US President Barack Obama is turning up the pressure on Israel in order to appease the Muslim world.
A Reuters story today contains some absolutely astonishing tidbits of information which, if true, demonstrate the extent to which the new administration in Washington feels free to dictate to Israel about its behavior.
According to the report, George Mitchell, Obama's Middle East envoy, told Israeli officials at a meeting in London last week that, "The president doesn't want to see even one cement mixer in the West Bank", which was a rather undiplomatic way of saying that he wants all construction of Jewish homes in the area to cease.
What kind of way is that to speak to an ally? Who does Obama think he is to be speaking so brusquely to Israel?
But wait, it gets worse.....
The Reuters story also quotes an unnamed political source revealing a bombshell, asserting that Israel's leaders are being kept in the dark about the contents of Obama's upcoming speech. "They are waiting to hear (Obama's) speech. They have no idea what he will say. With Bush they would have had the draft in advance. But they are in the dark. This is part of the American withdrawal of cooperation."
That is a sure enough sign that whatever Obama plans to say about the Middle East, it will certainly come as an unpleasant surprise for Israel and its supporters.