As if further proof were needed that Israel and its US fifth column call the shots when it comes to US policy in the Middle East, here's the latest:
The Palestinians had a draft resolution, sponsored by 122 nations, ready to go before the United Nations Security Council. It consciously embodied long-standing US policy condemning Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The US had a choice when it came to the vote: vote for a resolution which did no more than reiterate its own policy on the issue, or veto it regardless.
Obama, mindful that a US veto would further undermine the US's increasingly shaky hold on the Arab world and make him a universal laughing stock, had to act.
So he got on the blower and persuaded/browbeat/begged (who knows?) his client, Palestinian 'president' Abbas, into blocking his own resolution.
Why? Because Obama knew that the Israel lobby would not for a moment hesitate to deploy its power and resources in order to consign him to history's dustbin. (See Bullying the Palestinians, MJ Rosenberg, english.aljazeera.net, 18/2/11)
The Israel lobby is no ordinary organization. To truly understand what it is Obama is up against, consider the following from James Petras' Rulers & Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists, Militants (2007):
"For the first time in the history of world empires, a tiny ethnic-religious minority representing less than 2% of the population is able to shape US policy in the Middle East to serve the colonial interests of a foreign country (Israel), which represents less than 1% of the population of the Middle East. And indeed, within Israel itself, given the occasional polls indicating Jewish Israeli preference for peace over maintenance of settler colonies, that number shrinks even further. The Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the US, with several hundred thousand fanatical activists throughout the country, can mobilize close to 98% of the US Congress on any legislation favoring Israel, even when their approval prejudices the interests of major US oil multinationals. AIPAC (the America-Israel Political Affairs Committee), with 100,000 members and 100 full time agents writes over 100 pieces of congressional legislation affecting US trade, military aid, and sanctions policies favoring Israel every year. In March 2007, the leaders of both political parties, Congess and the Senate, and over 50% of all members of the Congress attended and pledged allegiance to the state of Israel at the most recent AIPAC convention in Washington. This was despite the fact that two leaders of AIPAC are currently on trial for spying for Israel and face 20 years in prison!
"The ZPC includes far more than the AIPAC 'lobby'. In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Zionists controlled the Vice President's office, including convicted felon Irving 'Scooter' Libby, the Pentagon and its 'intelligence' operations (Wolfowitz, Zakheim, Feith and Shulsky), and held strategic positions in the White House and National Security Council (NSC) (Frum - author of Bush's Axis of Evil speech, Abrams - pardoned felon from the Iran-Contra scandal, now in charge of Middle East policy, and Ari Fleischer - President Bush's spokesman). Zionists dominate the editorial and opinion pages of the major newspapers (Wall Street Journal, Washington Post & New York Times), major television networks and Hollywood. Hundreds of regional, state and local Jewish federations intervene to prevent any criticism of Israel, attacking any critics, meetings, theatrical or cinema productions and successfully forcing cancellations.
"The Zionist power structure has been the leading force pushing US war plans and sanctions against Iran. They backed Bush's invasion of Iraq. The ZPC secured US backing for Israel's bloody attack on Lebanon, no matter that it weakened the successfully installed US puppet ruler, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. The ZPC authored and secured congressional legislation blocking any contact with the Palestinian unity government. They successfully lined up US congressional support for Israel's starvation blockade of Palestine, put in place to try to roll back the democratic election of Hamas, and to punish the Palestinians for it. The scope and depth of Zionist power over US Middle East policy goes far beyond influencing 'public opinion' (the major media expression of which it has largely locked up) - it penetrates key institutions, designs and enforces policy implementation, and promotes wars which benefit Israel.
"In a word, the ZPC's primary loyalty is to the state of Israel and its policy is designed to colonize the US Congress on behalf and to the benefit of the 'mother country', Israel." (pp 131-132)
Update: The Palestinians ended up insisting that the draft resolution go to a vote on 18 February. Unsurprisingly, despite the backing of the other 14 SC members, the resolution was vetoed by the US. Of 14 SC votes vetoed by one of the 5 permanent members of the council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US) since 2000, 10 have been US vetoes, 9 in defence of Israel. (See US vetoes UN draft condemning Israeli settlements, af.reuters.com, 18/2/11)