Israel Update | Pundits & Bibi's Brother-in-Law Weigh In

Love | Peace Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has distanced himself from his brother=in=law Hagai Ben-Artzi’s accusations that US President Obama is an antisemite who hates Israel.

Hagai Ben-Artzi, the brother of the Israeli premier’s wife, said on Israeli Army Radio that the US president dislikes Netanyahu and the Israeli people because he had spent years in the church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who he said is “antisemitic, anti-Israeli, and anti-Jewish.” Obama once declared the fiery liberal Chicago preacher was his spiritual mentor but disavowed him during the campaign. via Guardian UK

Ben-Artzi reiterated that “Jerusalem is the Israeli people’s capital and the capital of the state of Israel, and it is whole and united.”

Clearly, I’m not a member of the global diplomatic core, but for Netanyahu comments like his brother-in-law’s fall into the ‘with friends like this, who needs enemies’ column. Yet, it’s good to hear this point of view, which almost underscores how irrational the entire Middle East situation has become — on all sides.

Jordanian King Abdullah II said in a statement on Wednesday:

“Jerusalem is a red line and the world should not be silent about Israel’s attempts to get rid of Jerusalem’s Arabs residents, Muslims or Christians,” the Dubai daily Khaleej Times quoted the king as saying to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Amman.via Haaretz

Haaretz also writes that Israel has been delaying the demolitions of homes in East Jerusalem for months, in an effort to extend a good will gesture to the Obama Administration.

As for the pundits weighing in, I’m totally confused about the key point of Ruth R. Wise’s How About an Arab “Settlement” Freeze? but want to include her point of view. She seems to be comparing building going on in the rest of the Middle East, saying if Israel stops building in all of Jerusalem, all building should stop in the Middle East.

Wise also makes the point that Jews abandoned land all throughout the Middle East to move to Israel, therefore let them build in Jerusalem. I’m an outsider to this topic — which may be good — but I don’t see the logic of her argument.

From Maureen Dowd we have Bibi’s Tense Time-Out and Tom Friedman’s Let’s Fight Over a Big Plan.