by Uri Avnery
".....THE FULL meaning of this episode should not escape anyone.
It was the first test of strength of the lobby in the new Obama era. And in this test, the lobby came out with flying (blue-and-white) colors. The administration was publicly humiliated.
The White House did not even try to hide its abject surrender. It declared that the appointment had not been cleared with the President, that Obama had no hand in it and did not even know about it. Meaning: of course he would have objected to the appointment of any official who was not fully acceptable to the lobby. The portrayal of the power of the lobby by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, has been fully vindicated......
This has a significance that goes far beyond the already far-reaching implications of the affair itself. Many people in Israel who view the establishment of the new rightist government with apprehension cite as their main fear the danger of a clash with the new Obama administration. Such a clash, they believe, could be fatal for Israel's security. But the rightists deride such arguments. They assert that no American president would ever dare to confront the Israeli lobby. The captive congressmen and senators, as well as the supporters of the Israeli government in the media and even in the White House itself, would sink on sight any American policy opposed by even the most extreme right-wing government in Israel. Now the first skirmish has taken place, and the president of the United States has blinked first. Perhaps one should not rush to conclusions, perhaps Obama needs more time to find his bearings, but the signs are ominous for any Israeli interested in peace. It may be too early to call this episode the Rape of Washington, but it is certainly vastly more important than Katsav's sexual escapades........"