Israeli officials have shrugged off a suggestion that the US would withhold loan guarantees to pressure Israel over the Middle East peace process, while giving the Palestinians a free pass.
The finance minister said Israel did not need the guarantees, while the prime minister accused the Palestinians of holding up peace negotiations. US envoy George Mitchell said this week the US could withhold loan guarantees to extract concessions from Israel.
The guarantees allow Israel to raise money cheaply overseas. “We don’t need to use these (stinkin’) guarantees,” he was quoted by Israeli media as saying.”We are doing just fine. But several months ago we agreed with the American treasury on guarantees for 2010 and 2011, and there were no conditions.”
In response to Mr Mitchell’s comments, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said: “Everyone knows that the Palestinian Authority is refusing to renew the peace talks, while Israel has taken important and significant steps to kickstart the process.”
Palestinian officials say Israel must completely halt settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it occupied during the 1967 Israeli-Arab war, before negotiations can resume.
Since he came to office in 2008, President Barack Obama has focused closely on trying to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks moving, (BY DEMANDING CONCESSIONS FROM ISRAEL BUT NOT FROM THE PALESTINIANS) but with little success.
Mr Mitchell, who is due to return to the Middle East this month in his latest attempt to restart negotiations, was asked on Wednesday in an interview with America’s PBS how the US could bring pressure to bear on Israel.
“Under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel,” he said. BBC (And Israel can withhold all the intel it provides the U.S. military, if you want to play THAT game, Lebanese boy George)
UPDATE: A little sanity remains in Washington as Senators vow NOT to allow Barack Obama to freeze aid to Israel
Visiting senior US senators told their Israelis hosts on Sunday that they disapprove of the Obama Administration’s attempt to pressure Israel by threatening to withhold aid, and vowed they would never let that happen.
Senator John McCain told a Jerusalem press conference that he expects President Barack Obama to explicitly announce that his administration is not planning to alter America’s policy regarding financial aid to Israel. Senator Joe Lieberman promised that even if Obama did try to use US financial aid as leverage, Congress would never approve such a measure.
McCain and Lieberman were also joined by senators John Thune and John Barrasso. The visit by the senior and powerful lawmakers came just days after Obama’s special Middle East envoy George Mitchell caused a diplomatic storm by suggesting in an interview with Charlie Rose that the US may withhold financial aid if Israel did not meet more Arab demands. Israel Today
And far left Democrat shill, Amy Goodman, is just livid that the U.S is doubling military stockpiles to Israel.