As if epic foreign policy blunders throughout the Middle East over the past five years weren't enough, Barack Obama has decided to provide us with a brief peek at his true feelings toward Israel, our only modern, democratic ally in the Middle East. Bloomberg
In an hourlong interview Thursday in the Oval Office, Obama, borrowing from the Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel, told me that his message to Netanyahu will be this: “If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” He then took a sharper tone, saying that if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach." He added, "It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.”
Unlike Netanyahu, Obama will not address the annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, this week -- the administration is upset with Aipac for, in its view, trying to subvert American-led nuclear negotiations with Iran. In our interview, the president, while broadly supportive of Israel and a close U.S.-Israel relationship, made statements that would be met at an Aipac convention with cold silence.
Obama was blunter about Israel’s future than I've ever heard him. His language was striking, but of a piece with observations made in recent months by his secretary of state, John Kerry, who until this interview, had taken the lead in pressuring both Netanyahu and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to agree to a framework deal. Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have. It seemed obvious to me that the president believes that the next move is Netanyahu’s.
“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”
You'll note that Obama, in classic hard left fashion, uses the word "occupation" to suggest that the Palestinians have inalienable rights to the disputed land they live on and that the Jews are simply occupiers of that land. The country of Israel? Oh, that's just a detail. A 3,000 year historical record in the region? A piffle.
Of course, Obama makes absolutely no demands of the Palestinians, you know, the "folks" (using Obama's jargon) that will not recognize Israel's right to exist, the "folks" who teach blantant anti-Semitism in their grade school textbooks, the "folks" who launch rockets into Israeli civilian population centers (an act of war) on a regular basis, the "folks" who have not, in any way, shape or form, indicated that they will make the slightest concession for a peaceful settlement. Worse, Obama, along with his bumbling Secretary of State, John Kerry, seem hell-bent of pressuring Israel to negotiate with ... whom, exactly? The PLO, Hamas, Hezballah, The King of Jordon, Assad, the Iranians, Arafat's widow? The Palestinians and their supporters are fractured. An agreement with one does not mean an aggrement with others.
As far as Barack Obama is concerned, it's perfectly okay for Israel to commit national suicide under guaranteed security by ... Barack Obama! That would have just about the same weight as Obama's red lines, his blatant lies about the demise of al Qaida, his disorganized exit from Iraq, and his chaotic exit from Afghanistan, not to mention his weak and ineffective dealings with Iran.
If Barack Obama's people allowed American's to die without any effort to provide a military rescue in Benghazi, Libya, me thinks he'd be perfectly willing to allow Israelis to die in Ashkelon.
As President, Barack Obama has failed at virtually every foreign policy endeavor he has attempted, and as a consequence (think: the Ukraine) he looks weak in the eyes of the world. It appears that his handlers have decided that he needs to project a tougher image. But tougher against Russia, Syria, Iran, the Palestinians, NoKos, Venezuela? Nah ... better to beat up on a tiny democratic country, surrounded by implacable enemies, in a region he knows nothings about. Incredible, or maybe ... predictable, very predictable.
of the conservative Weekly Standard
The burden of making peace is put entirely on Israeli shoulders[by Obama]. PA president Abbas (whose term ended five years ago, and who is surrounded by growing corruption) is portrayed as a lovely man ready for peace—no mention that he refused it when it was offered by then-prime minister Olmert in 2008. Is Abbas really ready, now, to sign what he would not back then: an agreement that ends the conflict entirely and finally tells Palestinian “refugees” that they have no right to go to Israel? An agreement that acknowledges Israel as a Jewish state? These doubts are never acknowledged by Obama, who assumes that the only problems are on the Israeli side.
Then comes the kind of vague threat that Secretary Kerry has also made, in his case perhaps without meaning to:
“What we also know is that Israel has become more isolated internationally. We had to stand up in the Security Council in ways that 20 years ago would have involved far more European support, far more support from other parts of the world when it comes to Israel’s position.”Now in truth the Obama administration has stood up in the Security Council with great reluctance, trying desperately at times to avoid vetoes of anti-Israel resolutions that deserved a quick and easy refusal. And that American reluctance to side clearly and early on with Israel in the Security Council has encouraged the Europeans to draw back as well, so the Obama account has it backwards. But the message remains clear: if Israel refuses the terms we give it, life will become tougher.
What is astounding is that the majority of American Jews still believe that Obama is a friend of Israel. He is not. Never was, never will be.
comments on Obama's propensity to avoid decisions and his mendacious in suggesting that the weak accommodations he does make are wonderously successful:
To see it coming [the Ukraine] would have invalidated the fundamental premise of Obama’s foreign policy: that the train line was unobstructed; that he could talk to people he now knows he can’t talk to. For a while the deal making seemed too almost too good to be true and Obama marketed his “opportunities” and “investments” with almost evangelical zeal. Even now Obama plans to tell Benjamin Netanyahu that time is running out for Israel to make a deal with the Palestinians. One of those magic deals Kerry’s negotiated, like the one with Syria. He is figuring to tell the Israeli prime minister he had better buy now while supplies last or miss the deal of the century, the deal of a lifetime! Maybe he even plans to exhibit all the notices he’s received from his “partners for peace” about how close he is to grabbing the Big Brass Ring.Fantasy
It’s almost too sad to watch. As the Washington Post editorial board just headlined, “President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy”. And that’s a verbatim quote.
is something that the left adopts in many of its dealings with the real word. It's also a word you'll find in repeatedly use in this blog. I'm glad the WaPo agrees.
UPDATE (4 March 2014):
Finally, David Harsanyi
said it best in a headline for his article on Obama's position:
"On Israel, Obama Has No Clue What He’s Talking About"
Why would Israel make a bad deal with murderous thugs and then be expected to rely on a Obama for its security. That's the same Obama who has repeatedly reneged on his international commitments, dissembled on his positions, and allows our enemies to become stronger. Why, indeed?
UPDATE (9 March 2014)
Israel National News
The United States believes there is no need for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as part of a peace agreement, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday.
Psaki, who spoke to the PA-based Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper, said, “The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state. However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.”
Well, of course. Why would Obama and his idiot diplomats even think that it might not be "proportional" (a word they love to use) for Israel to give up land and jeopardize its national security in return for a simple statement that the country has a right to exist? But no worries, the Obama administration is so, so
pro-Israel—just listen to his campaign speeches.