Yochanan Visser///After finalizing the implementation of the controversial nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration is apparently looking for a new foreign policy challenge by going after Israel.
Earlier this week the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, launched a blistering attack against Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians. Shapiro told a local conference on security-related issues the Obama administration is “concerned and perplexed by Israel’s strategy on settlements.”
Shapiro claimed Israel’s settlement policies frustrate the process that should lead to the forming of a Palestinian state and claimed “too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response” by Israeli authorities.
Shapiro’s attack on the Israeli government during one of the most important conferences in the Jewish State was not the first indication the Obama administration is tightening the screws on Israel over the stalemate that aims to establish a Palestinian state in the so-called ‘West Bank’ (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.
Last week, state department spokesman James Kirby and the American Embassy in Tel Aviv criticized Israel over a proposed law that aims to force domestic non-government organizations (NGO’s) that focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to be more open on foreign funding of their (often anti-Israeli) activities. There are more than 170 NGO’s who are engaged in the cognitive and political war as part of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Almost all of these NGO’s receive Western funding and they are predominantly pro-Palestinian.
Kirby criticized the proposed law and rejected Israel’s claim the bill is less restrictive than the Foreign Agents Registration Act in the U.S., but he didn’t offer an explanation why he thought so.
The U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv went even further and issued two rare statements expressing displeasure with the bill and countered Israel’s claim the proposed legislation is “less stringent than those imposed by the United States upon similar types of activity under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
The criticism by Obama officials on these issues and the interference in Israel’s internal political affairs are comparable to what the European Union does with Israel.
The EU even provided 30,000 Euro to the Israeli NGO B’Tselem to fight the proposed legislation.