Friday, February 20, 2009

Could Lieberman weaken US/Israel relations?

The current US administration, assuming they know the facts about the proto-fascist Lieberman, must be worried about the prospect of having to deal with him and in real terms he remains after all the kingmaker:

The belief that the US and Israel share common values seems to be unraveling in the wake of Avigdor Lieberman's success in the recent Israeli elections. Two days after former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer admitted it would be difficult for the US to support an Israeli government that included an openly racist party, the Forward reported:

Administration officials have so far avoided commenting on Lieberman’s electoral success and on his prospects of becoming a senior member in Israel’s next government. In a February 12 speech, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg dismissed the issue as “hypothetical.”
But former State Department official Jon Alterman believes that the impact of the Lieberman phenomena will be seen in the long run. “There is a fundamental assumption that Israelis are basically like Americans in their belief in democracy and in the rule of law,” said Alterman, who heads the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “When this assumption is undermined, it can hurt the sense of communality that binds the two nations.”

Lieberman has been calling for Netanyahu to be PM, in a Goverment that's to include Kadima (plus Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu).

But Livni wisely says "thanks but no thanks!", while windbag Netanyahu dithers.

Assuming Livni holds out, this might leave Bibi only with the worst of possible choices: Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu/other Far Right Riff Raff, the kind Obama and cohorts must feel uncomfortable with.

On the conservative US side the process of "normalising " Lieberman as nothing but a slightly flamboyant Nationalist has already begun a while ago. What will rank and file Democrats think of him?

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