It’s a good thing President Obama made clear his relationship with Israel tonight. It should be obvious from his countless visits there in the last four years … wait, what? You mean he hasn’t been there in the last four years? What do you mean? He and Benjamin Netanyahu are bff’s, right? Hang on. You mean he chose The View over meeting with the Prime Minister? No! And he hasn’t been to Israel for his entire presidency? Shocking!
In fact, President Obama hasn’t been to Israel since July 2008, where he went to campaign. That he bragged during tonight’s debate he didn’t bring campaign donors with him is laughable. During his visit as a presidential candidate, The Telegraph reported the following: “Mr. Obama brought with him an entourage of US television network anchors and their support staff, all of whom added to appalling traffic snarl-ups in the notoriously congested streets of Jerusalem.” Who needs to reward donors when you can play rope-a-dope with the likes of Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and Charlie Gibson?
It was a strategy that paid off. In 2008, Obama received 78% of the Jewish vote. These days he isn’t fairing quite as well. Polls project the Jewish vote to be somewhere around 65%. While it’s still a 2 to 1 margin, it’s nowhere near 2008’s numbers. Looking back on the last four years, it’s plain to see what happened.
Starting in Cairo with the famed (infamous) “New Beginning” speech, President Obama has distanced himself from Israel. As with tonight’s debate, his words didn’t always match his deeds. Sometimes, though, they do. The Washington Post quotes President Obama in a July 2009 meeting with Jewish leaders, “During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.”
In what would become a trend, members of the Obama administration were sent out to spin the President’s words in the media after that private meeting. In this case, it was Susan Rice and Leon Panetta. (Sound familiar)?
If daylight started to appear in the cracks of our relationship with Israel then, the sun shines through wide open gaps these days. From suggesting Israel return to pre-1967 borders, to refusing to meet with Netanyahu while he was at the U.N., the administration has made it pretty clear where they stand. Given his actions, it would seem President Obama’s motives tonight were transparent at best. At worst, they were a complete lie.
During last night’s debate, the President denied the New York Times report of secret negotiations between U.S. and Iranian officials. Iran also denies that one-on-one talks are set to take place after the election. However, the denial appeared to be as weak as President Obama’s excuse for going on David Letterman while skipping meetings with foreign leaders last month. According to the same report, “It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said Saturday evening. He added, however, that the administration was open to such talks, and has “said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally.”
What kind of message are we sending Israel? We’re willing to meet with lunatic dictators? The same men that have made clear they will “wipe Israel off the map?”
Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu had to remind the world, including the United States that the clock is ticking on Iran. A nuclear-armed Iran is a catastrophe of international proportions. Can we trust a President that can’t be bothered to meet with what should be our closest ally? Or do we trust the man that made it clear last night, “If Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily.”