U.S. Clients Are Not Our ‘Friends’

Like the U.S. abstention on UNSCR 2334, John Kerry’s speech on settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes too late to do any good, but it did contain at least one very important statement about U.S. foreign policy that can be applied to many other issues:

Regrettably, some seem to believe that the U.S. friendship means the U.S. must accept any policy, regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles, even after urging again and again that the policy must change. Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect.

Kerry is entirely right on this point. Regrettably, the Obama administration has more often given in to what its clients want in the name of “reassurance” while putting “our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles” second. That is how they have handled the relationship with Israel: showering them with weapons and aid in exchange for no positive change in their behavior.

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