Panetta Scolds Israel on Peace Talks
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israel on Friday to "reach out and mend fences" with Turkey, Egypt and other security partners in the Middle East, saying he is troubled by the Jewish state's growing isolation in the volatile region.It's great that Obama gets to fund-raise with Manhattan richest Jews, he tells him he supports Israel, they say we know and believe you, and that's it. Don't try to dig to much to ... you know ... that pesky thing called reality and the fact that it is reported over the news.
He also pressed Israeli leaders to do more to restart peace talks with the Palestinians -- "Just get to the damned table" -- and underscored President Obama's determination to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He called Iran "a very grave threat to all of us" and said any Iranian disruption of the free flow of commerce through the Persian Gulf is a "red line" for the U.S.
In a speech at a Brookings Institution forum, Panetta said that while Israel is not solely responsible for its isolation, it could more actively attempt to reverse the trend.
"For example, Israel can reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability -- countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan," he said. "This is not impossible. If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. And that is exactly why Israel should pursue them."
What about defining the "red line" as when Iran disrupts oil flow - rather than when they test/declare their nukes?