Anyone questioning the power that Israel holds over US policy needs a wake-up call. In fact, how about one from Israel’s own Prime Minister Ehud Olmert himself? In a recent Associated Press article, Olmert reportedly states that after he pressured Bush the Second about the Security Council measure on halting the fighting in Gaza, Condoleeza Rice unexpectedly abstained from the vote, causing her some embarrassment.
The unexpected abstention raised more than a few eyebrows because the parties involved were told that the US would vote in favor of the measure. Rice even apologized to the Saudi forein minister when she informed him that she had to abstain from the vote but would “clarify later that the U.S. supported the resolution nonetheless.”
A senior Whitehouse official refutes the account stating that the “government of Israel does not make policy for the United States,” but based on Olmert’s statements, I find that hard to believe.
Olmert even points out that he has the power to grab a hold of Bush at his whim:
“I said: ‘Get me President Bush on the phone,'” Olmert said in a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. “They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care: ‘I need to talk to him now.’ He got off the podium and spoke to me.”
Olmert said he argued that the United States should not vote in favor, and the president then called Rice and told her not to do so.
“She was left pretty embarrassed,” Olmert said.
Seriously, who’s running the show around here?