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Rift between Israel and the United States: Flotilla incident didn't help

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Earlier, more than a few Jews were infuriated with the Obama administration’s flirtation with the idea of a “nuclear-free Middle East.” Marcia Wagner, an American Zionist and Boston attorney went meshugeneh (crazy), alleging, “Obama’s trying to take away Israel’s nuclear arsenal! He’s trying to leave Israel defenseless!”

Other Jewish attacks on this American president have been less subtle. Hagai Ben Artzi, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother-in-law, recently called Mr.

Obama an anti-Semite on an Israeli talk show.

Implicit in this criticism is the assumption that US foreign policy is supposed to mirror Israeli doctrine by following the Israeli prime minister’s lead in the Middle East. From Israel’s viewpoint, this is not an unreasonable expectation. The Bush-Cheney administration gave the government of Ariel Sharon carte blanche in the Middle East.

Yet Obama’s vision differs radically from that of both right-wing Israelis and George W. Bush. He is at least to be credited with tackling the Middle East from Day 1. His message to all parties, including Israel, is that the status quo is unsustainable.

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