Israeli minister pushes sanctions against U.S.

Isarel should impose sanctions on the U.S. and attempt to influence U.S. congressional races in response to President Obama's position on settlements, an Israeli cabinet minister said yesterday.

Minister-without-portfolio Yossi Peled says a forceful response is needed to what he calls Obama's "intensive pressure to stop building settlements."

"Obama's ascendance represents a turning point in America's approach to the region, especially to Israel," Peled wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Benhamin Netanyahu. "The new administration believes that in order to fight terror, guarantee stability and withdraw from Iraq, a new diplomatic slant is needed involving drastic steps to pacify the Muslim world and the adoption of a more balanced approach to Israel, including intensive pressure to stop building in settlements, remove outposts and advance the formation of a Palestinian state."

According to the Jerusalem Post, Peled suggested the following:
...in the interim, the minister suggests reconsidering military and civilian purchases from the US, selling sensitive equipment that the Washington opposes distributing internationally, and allowing other countries that compete with the US to get involved with the peace process and be given a foothold for their military forces and intelligence agencies.

Peled said that shifting military acquisition to America's competition would make Israel less dependent on the US. For instance, he suggested buying planes from the France-based Airbus firm instead of the American Boeing.

In what may be his most controversial suggestion, Peled recommends intervening in American congressional races to weaken Obama and asking American Jewish donors not to contribute to Democratic congressional candidates. He predicted that this would result in Democratic candidates pressuring Obama to become more pro-Israel. [emphasis added]

Netanyahu repotedly "reacted to [the letter] with scorn." I don't see how the electioneering idea would pan out. Can you imagine, "I'm Benjamin Netanyahu, and I approve this message?"