Column One: Biden’s lost cause: "Second, the Netanyahu Obama faces is not the Netanyahu Clinton faced in the 1990s. Today, the premier leads a far broader coalition than he did in his previous government. It is also more stable. Labor Party chief Defense Minister Ehud Barak knows he cannot unseat Netanyahu. Indeed, he knows he can’t even trust his party to continue supporting him if he leaves Netanyahu’s government. As for opposition leader Tzipi Livni, the latest polls show her trailing far behind Nethanyahu as the people's choice for prime minister. Her party's popularity rates are decreasing, Likud's are growing."
Apparently, Bill Clinton managed to unseat Nethanyahu last time he was prime minister but this time, argues Catherine Glick, despite many recent high level visits from the US, this will be difficult this time around. Vice President Joe Biden is currently visiting and he represents the most pro-Israeli member of the Obama administration.
Tzipi Livni said not long ago that there is no opposition to the position on Iran among Israelis. The trend Glick is describing in her article furthermore underlines the seriousness of this question. The US and Israel a gliding apart, rather than coming together. However, a last month Gallup poll tells that two thirds of Americans support Israel, 80% of Republicans and 53% of Democrats.
What is going to be important for this equation is the position on the Israel-Palestine conflict that EUs new EAS authority is going to have? The pre-Lisbon Treaty position negotiated by the Swedish chairmanship was strongly in favor of Palestine. Lady Ashton, the EAS chief, is apparently starting out with a visit to Gaza. In all probability the result of this positioning is further going to polarize the US on the issue. Probably the EAS is going to be governed principally by the joint foreign ministers of the member states or by the EU Commission. Politicians or Administrators. However, it is not inconceivable that it evolves into something of an NGO like the European Parliament. The US State Department has about 22,000 employees and this should be compared to the 6,000 or so in the EAS.
Och nu ECFR Annual Council i Paris.
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