“Reports: Obama Mulling Sanctions on Israel,” AP via WFB, December 4, 2014
The Obama administration is refusing to discuss reports that emerged early Thursday claiming that the White House is considering imposing sanctions on Israel for continuing construction on Jewish homes in Jerusalem.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf dodged several questions on Thursday when confronted with reports that the administration had held secret internal meetings to discuss taking action against Israel for its ongoing building in East Jerusalem.
|Prime Minister Netanyahu - President Barack Obama|
A somewhat less than symbiotic relationship
The possibility of sanctioning Israel for its ongoing construction sends a signal that the Obama administration is willing to go further in its denunciations of Israel then any previous White House.
At the same time, the White House is vigorously pushing Congress against passing new sanctions on Iran. This after allowing the Iranians 8 more months to finish building an atomic bomb with which to blow Israel away. Makes you wonder.
When asked to address the reports Thursday afternoon, Harf declined to take a stance.
“I’m obviously not going to comment one way or another on reported internal deliberations,” she said. “We’ve made clear our position on settlement activity publicly and that hasn’t changed.”
|Marie Harf - State Department spokeperson|
A White House National Security Council (NSC) official also would not comment on the report when contacted Thursday by the Washington Free Beacon.
News of the supposed meeting leaked to the press though Israeli officials who were apparently apprised of the discussion.
Senior Israeli officials told Haaretz “that White House officials held a classified discussion a few weeks ago about the possibility of taking active measures against the settlements,” according to the report.
The discussion about levying sanctions on Israel reportedly began after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s October meeting at the White House and the subsequent battle between Washington and Jerusalem over settlement construction.
The thought of the White House leveling sanctions on Israel as it works to lessen those already imposed on Iran prompted consternation on Capitol Hill and throughout the pro-Israel world.
One senior congressional aide who works on the issue of Israel expressed shock that a White House could even discuss such action.
“If these reports are true, this would mark a new era of unprecedented hostility from the White House against our strongest ally in the Middle East,” the source said. “It’s impossible not to notice the irony of the administration mulling sanctions on Israel while threatening to veto new sanctions against Iran.”
The White House seems to be treating the Iranians as friends and the Israelis as enemies. For all their apparent efforts to create democracies in the middle east, they appear to be facilitating the destruction of the only one there. How does that make any sense?