Obama, Israel: Yesterday and Today

Written by Allan Erickson on March 24, 2013

Obama-israelPresident Obama, this past week in Israel: “I know that in stepping foot on this land, I walk with you on the historic homeland of the Jewish people. More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here, tended the land here, prayed to God here. And after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish state of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption, unlike any in history. Today, the sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah are fulfilling the dream of the ages: to be masters of their own fate in their own sovereign state. Just as we have for these past 65 years, the United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend.”
Flowery words. Accurate words. Encouraging words. But do the Israelis actually believe him? And will Jihadists make him pay for saying them?
Two years ago, most Israelis polled said Obama is pro-Palestinian.  Less than 10% of respondents said he supports the Jewish state.  A Jerusalem Post poll yesterday reveals a majority still feel the Obama administration sides with the Palestinians primarily, although Obama’s standing with Israelis has improved since he humiliated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March of 2010.  That summer only 4% of Israelis believed Obama supported the Jewish state.
According to a July 10, 2010 report in the Washington Post, President Obama publicly humiliated the Israeli prime minister during a White House meeting in March of that year:
“Obama walked out of their talks to go have dinner with his family, leaving Israel’s prime minister alone for over an hour, and then refused to release even a photo of their meeting.”
And who could forget Obama forcing Netanyahu to use the back door of the White House to meet on another occasion?
Last September, recall Obama granting a private meeting at the United Nations General Assembly with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood while at the very same time refusing to meet with Netanyahu.   On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, the U.S. president snubbed Netanyahu publicly, but agreed to meet with the head of a terrorist organization. On that day he also agreed to appear on Letterman, and party with Beyonce’, even as Americans were being slaughtered in Benghazi, left to perish thanks to a disinterested White House.
Lest we forget, Morsi has referred to Israelis as pigs and apes, calling for the eradication of the Jewish state.
Furthermore, as reported by Breitbart last October, Israelis have many reasons to distrust Obama given the following:
“Obama’s Administration has repeatedly leaked vital covert Israeli information, including four times when it revealed which countries Israel had effected a deal with to fly over for an attack on Iran.”
“Obama backed an extraordinary session at the UN Security Council where the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, the notoriously anti-Israel Navi Pillay, briefed the Council on the subject of Israel–and Israel alone, as if Israel were the worst offender of human rights in the world.”
And then there is this list of outrages published in the Jerusalem Post last July 29:
– Obama’s May 2011 speech, sandbagging Netanyahu on the eve of his Washington visit, calling on Israel to retreat to the 1949 Armistice line as a starting point for negotiations (a retreat that would mean the end of Israel).
– Obama tearing up American commitments to Israel to support retention of major settlement blocs in any peace negotiation.
– Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling Israel “an ungrateful ally”.

– Obama, over an open mike, agreeing with French President Sarkozy’s statement that “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar”, helpfully adding, “You’re fed up, but I have to deal with him every day”.
–The administration dressing-down Israel in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s publicized 43-minute telephone harangue of PM Netanyahu for announcing construction – specifically exempted from any building freeze – in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem.
– Senior advisor David Axelrod’s televised proclamation that President Obama considered housing approvals in Jerusalem “an affront, an insult … and very, very destructive”.
– Vice President Biden’s castigating Israel for endangering American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by building homes in Jerusalem.
– Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s chastising Israel to “get back to the damn [negotiating] table.
–Obama freezing-out Israel, of all countries, from two high-level American-sponsored counter-terrorism conferences.
Eighty percent of Israelis do not believe Obama will do anything to promote peace in the Middle East.  As Iraq descends into violence, Afghanistan unravels, Syria drowns in blood, Egypt escalates along with Hamas and Hezbollah, and Iran prepares to launch nuclear weapons, can anyone blame Israelis for casting a suspicious eye westward?
When Obama’s feet hit the tarmac in Israel days ago, and his lips formed the reassuring words of support for Israel, no doubt most people in Israel and here at home beheld not the charming statesman and the defender of freedom and justice, but rather, the two-faced poser speaking with forked tongue.

Image: Date: 20 March 2013; source: Ben Kelmer – בן קלמר; author: Ben Kelmer – בן קלמר; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

Allan Erickson
Allan Erickson---Christian, husband, father, journalist, businessman, screenwriter, and author of The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence, Tate Publishing, 2012.