Friedman makes a persuasive case that Arab anti Americanism predates its support for Israel and whilst addressing the Israel-Palestine issue is important the relationship is complicated and at a point where the US is not prepared to accept.
The fundamental problem with the theory is that Arab anti-Americanism predates significant U.S. support for Israel. Until 1967, the United States gave very little aid to Israel. What aid Washington gave was in the form of very limited loans to purchase agricultural products from the United States — a program that many countries in the world participated in. It was France, not the United States, which was the primary supplier of weapons to Israeli.
The fact is that while the argument that U.S. Israel policy caused anti-Americanism in the region may not be altogether true, the United States does not need any further challenges or stresses. Nations overwhelmed by challenges can behave in unpredictable ways. Netanyahu’s decision to confront the United States at this time on this issue creates an unpredictability that would seem excessive to Israel’s long term interests. Expecting the American political process to protect Israel from the consequences is not necessarily gauging the American mood at the moment.
The second article provides a focused assessment of the outcome of Netanyahu's visit to the US where he was humiliated by the Obama administration. It compares the Bush-Baker approach to Israel in 1991 that prefaces what is becoming clear will be an exceptionally robust approach to Israel now that Obama has a health care victory under his belt in line with his previous policy position of being more sympathetic to the Arab view of the world.
Nearly twenty years ago, President George W.H. Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker made it clear that they were not going to pursue the pro-Israeli policies of the Reagan administration and were expressing strong criticism of the "Greater Israel" policies of the Likud government in Jerusalem as they attempted to revive the Middle East peace process.
He concludes:There is no reason why President Obama and other officials should not use the American connection with Jerusalem to try to strengthen those forces in Israel whose vision of the country's future converges with American interests and values. That would mean taking sides in the ongoing debate in Israel by making it clear that the settlement policy threaten Israel's ties with the United States, its lifeline to the international community. An Israeli leader who fails to maintain the American connection or worse, one who harms those ties - would eventually be punished by the Israeli voters like Shamir had been in 1992. A tough stand by Obama would force Netanyahu to consider that unless he changes Israeli policies he too could be facing the same political fate. It would be his own choice; but Obama could help him make it.
It seems likely that Obama will turn his focus to the international scene now that he has a substantial domestic victory with the healthcare vote. Netanyahu has been wrong footed over the settlements in east Jerusalem to the point where a populist opportunity presents itself to Obama to make real progress over peace talks by continuing to push Israel. That could result in a fall of the Israel coalition government as moderate Israeli's fear the long term impact of antagonising America. The difficulty will be to identify Palestinian leadership that has sufficient vision and strength to do anything other than posture.