31 March 2010

When Ben-Gurion said no to JFK

This superb article by Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University, recounts several cases in the history of US-Israel relationship when the Israeli government said "no" to the reigning POTUS for this or another reason. And the relationship survived. I would like to quote the conclusion:

The question, therefore, is not whether Netanyahu or any other Israeli leader can say no in the face of determined American pressure – there are enough precedents. Rather, the issue is whether Obama’s demands are dangerous enough to justify the costs resulting from an escalating conflict.

Regardless of the future course of this crisis, it has already highlighted the need for carefully considered priorities and policies on Jerusalem and on the wider questions of borders and settlements. These cannot continue to be based on short-term coalition politics or decisions attributed to minor bureaucrats. At least in this respect, Israelis can thank Obama for this crisis.
And two words from this conclusion require some special attention:

"Carefully": "with caution or prudence or tact".
"Considered": "Regard or treat with consideration, respect, and esteem".

Nothing to add.