July 29th, 2009
09:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Analysis: U.S. gives Israel 'big hug'

U.S. Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell, left, meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
U.S. Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell, left, meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Don't you just love a parade? Apparently the Obama administration does too, as evidenced by the steady stream of top U.S. officials visiting Israel this week. A bevy of heavy hitters are there, the likes of which haven't been seen since the Persian Gulf War.

Just as Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrapped up his meetings there, Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell arrived for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mitchell will be followed later this week by national security adviser James Jones and Dennis Ross, the White House's point man on Iran.

Aaron Miller, a former Mideast peace negotiator under President Clinton and author of "The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace," calls it "the big hug," a show of reassurance to Israel that the U.S.-Israeli relationship remains strong despite the current squabble over settlements.

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Filed under: Israel • Middle East • Obama administration
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I love how this administration is handling our foreign policy. I feel alot safer with this administration in office than I did for the last 8 years.

    July 29, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. RR

    Just another example of Obama's foriegn policy: smile, give in, concede, ignore, and pretend all is well.

    Any aid to Israel should be contingent on them stopping settlements and not just a show.

    July 29, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. RealityKing

    Israel is smart not to trust America for its self-protection. Especially now that progressive liberals have control of the red button..

    July 29, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Respect

    Why use my tax dollars to travel there and kiss the butts of foreign leaders?

    July 29, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    Obama needs to recognize that our friends in Israel need more than a hug. They need to be able to count on us in the face of an ever increasing threat to their existence. Obama has, so far, let them down big time.

    July 29, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Respect

    No apology tour for me.

    July 29, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Bill Rondell

    This is baloney. Israel knows what it means when Obama tells them to stop building and give up to the Palestinians...

    July 29, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Alfred E. Neumann

    Yes, we give them a big hug. All the better for them to reach into our wallet!

    July 29, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. LacrosseMom

    How sad that the U.S. politicians are SO afraid to lose the conservative Jewish vote, that they are willing to sell their souls to Israel!

    I love Israel & its people, but their government is WRONG and immoral in their dealings with the Palestinians!

    War & bombs do not achieve national security nor peace. Just more terrorists.

    July 29, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Princess

    How long we taxpayers are going to support this country ? Israel has repeatedly ignored all resolutions of the UN concerning the occupied territories. If Israel choses to bite the hand that feeds her so be it, but let's put our $$$ here where we need them.

    July 29, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Don't you just love a parade?"

    What kind of inane statement is that, especially when the so-called 'parade' is taking place in Israel, a hotbed of unrest? Wouldn't it be more, um, journalistic (sp), to speculate as to why all of these folks are going over there?

    I want to know what's going on in the world CNN. If I wanted 'cutesy' journalism I would read something written by Sarah Pailin. Oh that's right, she can't write either.

    July 29, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Man...they're so greedy, huh? LOL!!! :)

    You know, that is true. Wonder when he'll visit Israel, that should be good. Israel has always been crucial to us, you can kind of say we pretty much are intact, considering our relationship for the last decades, since WW2. I guess you can say, "change", will be tough...hehehe, LOL!!!! :)

    But Israel also gotta put some work as well. They just can't let it be, let alone they hardly ever try and I think is fair to say that with Palestine, yeah, says it all. I don't know, but is kind of like we're the parents and the Middle east are our kids...Arab and Muslim nations are adopted kids of course but Israel are our legitimate kids so it makes sense, LOL!!! :)

    Of course you're gonna have friction! Duh!! LOL!!! :)

    But it will be interesting, it sure will be. ...By the way, you guys(CNN) got a bunker and a State Department?? is there anything you don't have? LOL!!!! :)

    We're amazed!! :)

    July 29, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Larry of the United States

    What has Israel done for the US in the past 10 years other than to be a liability to us? Did they contribute to the Kuwait Liberation? No. Did they contribute in Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No

    Israel is the match stick for the Middle East. Their arrogant and defiant continued development of settlements on Palestinian land is illegal and counter productive to peace, Their illegal nuclear arms are in violation of countless UN sanctions, and only serves to give Iran and North Korea the moral high ground to build a nuclear deterrent of their own.

    If the US wants to dramatically improve our image and our relationships with the mulim world and the Mideast, we should separate from Israel; cease all future military aid; and require Israel to give up their nuclear arms.

    July 29, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Larry

    It's time we stop following Israel blindly. Israel, by their own acknowledgement, has settlements on the West Bank that violate treaties between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    July 29, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. JonDie

    "The current squabble over settlements?"

    You folks at CNN make it sound like Israel's decision to PERMANENTLY block a peace agreement by REFUSING to give the Palestinians a state to include much of the West Bank is merely a ruffling of some personality's feathers.

    CNN, you would be laughable...if you weren't so sad and pathetic.

    July 29, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Darth Vadik, CA

    If Isreal is bent on having peace, then why did they elect a convicted felon, warmonger and an absolute right wing lunatic to be thier prime minister?

    And how come we can pe so PO'd at some countries for not doing anything to us, just talking tough about us to thieir own people, yet we let Israel get away even after we catch their spies stealing our national secrets?

    A hug? It's more of a diplomatic and economic spank that Israel needs.

    July 29, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. Bill

    Well moslty in the States only Obama's liberal friends love Hamas and hate Israel. Evidently with his skyrocketing poll numbers he is rethinking the way he negotiates Israels expansion into the settlments instead of his standard Chicagoland strong arming.

    Watch the string of hate filled comments here about Israel and you would think Liberals are Nazi's.

    July 29, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. Welcome to The BoBo Show

    Go it alone Israel....I apologise for my fellow Americans electing the worst administration ever. Sorry you got thrown under the bus by America.

    July 29, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Tatianna

    Obama doesnt want to be shown embracing Israel. He rather attend fund raisers and campaign for dems. Perhaps its a good thing because we all know Obama has no class and displays a virulent distaste for America and Israel

    July 29, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. Illinois 2

    Israel should not cave in to pressure from the United States, after all these people have been fighting since the land now called Israel was given to them, the Jewish nation, from the owner of all lands in this world, GOD, and I for one believe they should be allowed to follow their own advise and not that of nations that are doing good to take care of themselves....

    July 29, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Viet.Vet

    Its amazing, Israel continues to thumb its nose at the US, spy on the US, continue to treat the Palestinians like dirt, rely almost exclusely on the US for all of its aid and military might yet when every they are rightly criticized for their actions, all hell break lose and anyone doing the critcizing is automatically label anti-semetic. What really need to happen is that Israel needs a reality check in that the US temporary suspend all aid, financial and military to them and may be then they will reflect on how isolated they are and look closely at the root cause of this.

    July 29, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. The Thinking Indepenent

    They are working .... behind the scences .... I like it.

    Keep the nosey news media out of it with their unprofessional, sensationalistic bias.

    This tabloid press mentality is counterproductive to progress.

    July 29, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Terry,VA

    We better be doing something other than a hug and a "wink and nod" support to Israel. I think this is what Obama is doing. He doesn't support or exhibit American pride or Christian values. He needs to live in one of the many countries were he has run our country down. Love it or leave it Obama.

    July 29, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |