Whose chickensh*t? Obama's
, writes Jonathan Tobin.
It’s quite an indictment but once you get beyond the personal dislike
of the individual on the part of the president, Secretary of State
Kerry, and any other “senior officials” that speak without attribution
on the subject of Israel’s prime minister, all you have is a thin veil
of invective covering up six years of Obama administration failures in
the Middle East that have the region more dangerous for both Israel and
the United States. For all of his personal failings, it is not
Netanyahu—a man who actually served as a combat soldier under fire in
his country’s most elite commando unit—who is a coward or a small-minded
failure. It is Obama and Kerry who have fecklessly sabotaged a special
relationship, an act whose consequences have already led to disaster and
bloodshed and may yet bring worse in their final two years of power.
It was, after all, Obama (and in the last two years, Kerry) who has
spent his time in office picking pointless fights with Israel over
issues like settlements and Jerusalem. They were pointless not because
there aren’t genuine disagreements between the two countries on the
ideal terms for peace. But rather because the Palestinians have never,
despite the administration’s best efforts to tilt the diplomatic playing
field in their favor, seized the chance for peace. No matter how much
Obama praises Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and slights
Netanyahu, the former has never been willing to recognize the legitimacy
of a Jewish state no matter where its borders would be drawn. They also
chose to launch a peace process in spite of the fact that the
Palestinians remain divided between Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas-ruled Gaza, a
situation that makes it impossible for the PA to make peace even if it
wanted to do so. The result of their heedless push for negotiations that
were bound to fail was another round of violence this summer and the
possibility of another terrorist intifada in the West Bank.
On Iran, it has not been Netanyahu’s bluffing about a strike that is
the problem but Obama’s policies. Despite good rhetoric about stopping
Tehran’s push for a nuke, the president has pursued a policy of
appeasement that caused it to discard its significant military and
economic leverage and accept a weak interim deal that began the process
of unraveling the international sanctions that represented the best
chance for a solution without the use of force.
Even faithful Obama supporter Goldberg understands that it would be
madness for Israel to withdraw from more territory and replicate the
Gaza terror experiment in the West Bank. He also worries that the
administration is making a “weak” Iran deal even though he may be the
only person on the planet who actually thinks Obama would use force to
prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon.
So why is the administration so angry with Netanyahu? It can’t be
because Netanyahu is preventing peace with the Palestinians. After the
failure of Kerry’s fool’s errand negotiations and the Hamas missile war
on Israel, not even Obama can think peace is at hand. Nor does he really
think Netanyahu can stop him from appeasing Iran if Tehran is willing
to sign even a weak deal.
The real reason to target Netanyahu is that it is easier to scapegoat
the Israelis than to own up to the administration’s mistakes. Rather
than usher in a new era of good feelings with the Arab world in keeping
with his 2009 Cairo speech, Obama has been the author of policies that
have left an already messy Middle East far more dangerous. Rather than
ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his decision to withdraw U.S.
troops and to dither over the crisis in Syria led to more conflict and
the rise of ISIS. Instead of ending the Iranian nuclear threat, Obama is
on the road to enabling it. And rather than manage an
Israeli-Palestinian standoff that no serious person thought was on the
verge of resolution, Obama made things worse with his and Kerry’s
hubristic initiatives and constant bickering with Israel.
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Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, John Kerry