Israel is Allowed to Disagree
Israel is Allowed to Disagree

I can appreciate that President Obama thinks that our leaving the Golan, dividing Jerusalem, etc. will bring us utopian peace and that not taking his advice may even have a negative impact on America in the Moslem world, thus he has every reason to use "tough love" to force us to do what is in our own best interest - and that he has an

Obama has an Amen chorus of Jews supporting his views.

Amen chorus of Jews supporting this view.



However, it is not a capital offense for a democratically elected Israeli government to reject American policy recommendations.



President Obama has a broad range of instruments available to promote his views other than giving our enemies the impression that if we don't march to his drum that America may opt to turn its back on us at a time of crisis.



That such ideas are being allowed to float around without being explicitly and clearly denied and denounced by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton could very well invite disaster.



Claims from the White House that the Obama-Netanyahu meetings were not insulting do not address this critical point. In particular since the entire policy dictat (it is not a discussion or debate because the Obama team is

unwilling to even entertain the possibility that they could be wrong) is presented as an American initiative to force Israel to do what "we all know" is in Israel's best interest.



That it is not a capital offence for Israel to disagree with an American Administration regarding policy is not some arcane debating point.



It is a critical point that, if not explicitly renounced, may suck us into a disastrous regional conflict that many of our neighbors have absolutely no desire to get involved in at this juncture, but may find themselves compelled to participate in because of silence - or worse - from Washington.



This is an issue for all friends of Israel.



This is an issue that even the likes of J-Street should embrace.



Yes.  J-Street can hope that the Obama Administration will announce a peace plan of its own.



But lobbying the White House to put its own plan on the table is not the same thing as supporting the position that it would be a capital crime for the democratically elected Israeli Government to opt to reject Washington's ideas.