If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) were smart, he could simultaneously avoid being used as an anti-Obama Republican tool, present himself as a statesman and peacemaker and improve U.S.-Israel relations [“Bibi, Boehner playing games,” Opinion, Feb. 22].
What if Bibi thanked America for helping build Israel’s economy, supporting it domestically and internationally, and consistently vetoing anti-Israel U.N. resolutions? Then he could mention that America’s in a bind: Its Iraq and Afghanistan wars helped create al-Qaida and the Islamic State, destabilize the Middle East and surrounded Israel with violence. America subverted, vilified and sanctioned Iran, helped kill hundreds of thousands of Iranians and Kurds with U.S. weapons, and now asks for help to defeat the Islamic State, while making anti-nuclear demands. How would you expect Iran to react?
Israel is dealing with 4 million stateless Palestinians, refugees from the 1948 war that Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi and Iran started. Only Jordan helped resettle those refugees. America needs to help pressure all seven countries to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But that won’t happen until the U.S. stops making a mess of the Middle East.
It’s time America helped rebuild Middle East economies — so their unemployed young men and women can go to work instead of war. It’s time for America to stop propping up dictators, start supporting democracy, fight corruption, and move away from dependence on Middle East oil.
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Martin Westerman, Seattle