Obama's Resolve on Mideast Facing a History of Blunt Reality
"You have no moral right to preach to us," he lectured the envoy."What kind of talk is this, 'punishing Israel'? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic?"
That scolding was 28 years ago, but it echoes as a cautionary tale.
Today, President Obama is pushing a reluctant Israeli government to halt the growth of Jewish settlements and embrace the goal of a Palestinian state. In the 1981 showdown, Prime Minister Menachem Begin held his ground after the Reagan administration suspended a strategic cooperation pact to protest Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights. The territory, captured from Syria in 1967, remains in Israel's hands.
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