Israel brags about control of American foreign policy

PHOTO: We Support Israel ribbon

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel claims that with a single phone call to President Bush he changed our vote on a UN resolution that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice helped write.

Check out this excerpt from the NY Times:

“I said, ‘Get me President Bush on the phone,’ ” Mr. Olmert said in a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, according to The Associated Press. “They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care: ‘I need to talk to him now,’ ” Mr. Olmert continued. “He got off the podium and spoke to me.”

Israel opposed the resolution, which called for a halt to the fighting in Gaza, because the government said it did not provide for Israel’s security. It passed 14 to 0, with the United States abstaining.

Mr. Olmert claimed that once he made his case to Mr. Bush, the president called Ms. Rice and told her to abstain. “She was left pretty embarrassed,” Mr. Olmert said, according to The A.P.

I suppose there is a possibility that this isn’t true, but I don’t know why Olmert would lie about it, and it certainly fits in with our past behavior regarding Israel. They start wars, we supply them with bombs, and cover in the United Nations.

If it is true, I don’t understand why the Israelis have such a pull on the foreign policy of the United States. Bush doesn’t really have to worry about winning reelection, and it’d be a little silly to think the GOPs chances in 2010 hinged on this UN resolution calling for peace. Under those circumstances, Bush shouldn’t have the U.S. abstaining from a resolution his Sec. of State helped write.

It’s all very odd, and it has to be embarrassing for Bush. Hopefully Obama will learn a lesson from this and not outsource our foreign policy to Israel.

Flickr photo by jasoneppink