Powered by WebAds

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Obama poll has something for everyone

Both Democrats and Republicans have something to crow about in a new Smith poll regarding Israelis' views on President Hussein Obama. While fewer Israelis consider Obama hostile to Israel than was the case in the past, most are not yet willing to declare that he is more pro-Israel than pro-'Palestinian.'
The National Jewish Democratic Council and the pro-Republican Emergency Committee for Israel both claimed victory and spun the numbers in favor of their agenda.
“I’ve been in Israel since before President Obama arrived and was in the convention center for the extremely well-received speech,” NJDC interim executive director Aaron Keyak said. “The Israeli public has reacted very positively to the president’s visit and his message that the United States has Israel’s back. President Obama sent this message to the Israeli people and made sure it was heard by those who seek to destroy our way of life and the Jewish state of Israel.
This poll is just the latest example of how clearly that strong message was heard.”
Emergency Committee for Israel executive director Noah Pollak said he was not surprised that only one percent of Israelis were persuaded by the visit that the Obama administration was more pro- Israel than pro-Palestinian.
“President Obama said some good, long-overdue things – but he continued blaming Israel for the failure of the peace process,” Pollak said. “Why did he lecture Israelis on peace but not Palestinians? Why did he demand that Israelis see things from the Palestinians’ perspective, but not the other way around? Why didn’t he admonish the Palestinian people to demand that their leaders pursue peace, as he did the Israelis? Israelis know that Obama, at bottom, still promotes key aspects of the Palestinian narrative of the conflict.”
Another skeptic is Jewish Home party leader and Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett.
In a lengthy Hebrew post on his official Facebook page, Bennett said the atmosphere during Obama's visit reminded him of the Oslo period. He recalled that during that time in the mid-1990s, there was a feeling that if Israel conceded enough, peace would come.
"There were the usual statements about both sides wanting peace and two states side by side being the only chance for peace," Bennett wrote. "These are nice statements but they are distant from reality."
Bennett noted that in the Second Intifada that followed Israel's concessions in Oslo, hundreds of Israelis were killed in suicide bombings in cafes and on buses in  Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. He singled out the 2002 bombing of Netanya's Park Hotel on Passover Seder night that left 32 Israelis killed and 160 wounded.
"Back then they also said that there is no military solution to terror and that only diplomatic talks would work, but Operation Defensive Shield proved that they were wrong and that actually only force can defeat terror," Bennett wrote. "We trounced terror."
Bennett said he was proud that he came back from the United States where he was advancing his hi-tech company to fight in the operation in Tul Karm.
"Now that I am a minister, I will act in every way possible to prevent another tragedy, even if it's not popular," he wrote. "I will use my brains and will not drift after conventional wisdom. I want peace with the Arabs no less than anyone else, but giving territory to our enemies is not the answer."
Bennett said he told Obama that the time has come to consider new directions on the Palestinian issue that would be different and creative. He said the president responded that he wanted to meet with him and listen.
"The lesson is never be silent, even if everyone thinks differently," Bennett concluded. 
I don't think most Israelis were fooled by Obama. But perhaps I run in the wrong circles.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home