The Obama administration has sent a signal to Palestinians of a new “get tough” U.S. attitude towards Israel.
As I wrote yesterday, the Obama administration is using the fact that an Israeli municipality announced building permits for Jews in a Jewish neighborhood of East Jerusalem as an excuse to alter the fundamental nature of the U.S.-Israeli relationship. The building permit, and the fact that it was announce in a diplomatic faux pas during Joe Biden’s visit, were just the excuse for which the Obama administration has been waiting.
The risk I warned of was that the Obama administration’s disproportionate actions would be interpreted by Palestinians as a green light to consummate their preexisting plans for violence in Jerusalem under the pretext of a supposed threat to the al-Aqsa mosque, and the start of a Third Intifada.
And so today the Palestinians have declared a Day of Rage over the al-Aqsa mosque and the building permits at the heart of the Obama administration’s criticism.
The Obama administration does not seem to realize that in the Middle East perception quickly becomes reality.
While the desire to bring Israel down a couple of notches may satisfy the desire for revenge over the perceived snub of Joe Biden, reality in Jerusalem carries stones, firebombs and bomb vests.