Pres. Obama has done the right thing by making amends with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. In doing so, he is making amends with Israel itself. Mr. Obama making nice, after so much rancor between the two leaders in the past few months, should send a message to those whose life purpose it is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. It is this: America still stands behind this close ally.

In fact, Pres. Obama said “…the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable.”

This has historically been the case and we are glad to hear the sentiment reaffirmed from this White House.

Most of the trouble started earlier this year when Mr. Obama took it as something of a personal insult that Israel announced approval of plans for Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem while Vice President Biden was coincidentally visiting there.

According to the New York Times, Pres. Obama not only barred cameras from recording the prime minister’s visit to the White House during his first visit this year following the incident, but eventually walked out of stalled discussions to eat dinner with his family while Netanyahu and his aides waited for him to return.

The Times points out that on this visit the Star of David is flying over the Blair House, located across the street, where official guests often stay. On Netanyahu’s earlier Washington trip he was forced to stay blocks away at a hotel.

Greasing the skids, perhaps, is the perception given by Israel that it is ready to ease the blockade of Gaza. Also, its military is apparently taking seriously criticism by human rights groups who cried foul because of perceived over the top actions during Israel’s winter of 2008-09 Gaza offensive.

Regardless the reason, Mr. Obama is on the right track with Israel. The bond between our two countries should indeed be unbreakable.

— Loné Beasley

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