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Friday, February 27, 2015

Why Obama is making such a big deal out of Netanyahu's speech

The reason President Obama has manufactured a crisis in US-Israel relations over Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress has nothing to do with breaches of protocol or interference in Israel's election campaign. According to Elliott Abrams, the national security adviser in the Bush administration, Obama is hoping to permanently damage American support for Israel.
I well remember how we in the Bush White House handled the poor personal relations between the president and French president Jacques Chirac. In 2004-2005 especially, the two men did not get along (arguing mostly about Iraq and just plain disliking each other as well) but we wanted to prevent their poor personal chemistry from damaging bilateral relations. So National Security Advisor Condi Rice in 2004, and then her successor Steve Hadley in 2005, set up a work-around. The French National Security Advisor Maurice Gourdault-Montagne traveled to Washington almost every month and came to the White House. There the French ambassador to the U.S., Jean-David Levitte, joined him for meetings with key NSC, DOD, and State Department officials. In 2005, Secretary of State Rice would come over from State to join Hadley and several of us on the NSC staff, and in the course of a half-day we would review every issue facing the United States and France. It was a serious time commitment for the American and French officials, but that is because we were determined to quarantine bad personal chemistry and prevent it from infecting the entire relationship—a goal set by President Bush himself.
Quite obviously, President Obama has no such goal. Israeli officials have complained to me for several years about the lack of contacts and communications with the White House. Susan Rice has determined that her job is to make bilateral relations worse, and has established no relationship with her Israeli counterpart Yossi Cohen. So the problem is not just bad chemistry at the top; it is an administration that has decided to create a tense and negative relationship from the top down.
One reason, as noted, is the hope that tension with America can lead to Netanyahu’s defeat in the March 17 election.  The second reason is Iran policy. The administration is desperately seeking a deal with Iran on terms that until recently were unacceptable to a broad swath of Democrats as well as Republicans. One after another, American demands or “red lines” have been abandoned. Clearly the administration worries that Israeli (not just Netanyahu, but Israeli) criticisms of the possible Iran nuclear deal might begin to reverberate. So it has adopted the tactic of personalizing the Israeli critique. Arguments that are shared across the Israeli political spectrum—that the likely Iran deal says nothing about Iranian ballistic missile development, says nothing about Iranian warhead development, does not require that Iran meet IAEA demands that it account for past warhead work, allows Iran thousands of centrifuges, will allow Iran to escape all monitoring and limitations after perhaps ten years—are attributed solely to Netanyahu and his election campaign. So Democrats are told they must oppose such arguments, and stiff Netanyahu, lest they contribute to his reelection. Clever, in a way, but of course completely misleading. And irresponsible when it comes to the deadly issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
The third Obama administration reason for building up this crisis is also deadly serious: it is to use the current tension to harm Israel’s support in the United States permanently. All opinion polls in the last several years show a partisan edge in support: overall support for Israel is steady and high, but its composition is changing. More and more Republicans support Israel, and the gap between Democratic and Republican support levels is growing. President Obama acts as if he sees this as a terrific development, one that should be enlarged as much as possible before he leaves office. That way he would leave behind not just an Iran deal, but weakened support for Israel on Iran and everything else.  Support for Israel would become less of a bipartisan matter and more a divisive issue between the two parties. It is not hard to envision Obama in retirement joining Jimmy Carter as a frequent critic of Israel, pushing the Democratic party to move away from its decades of very strong support for the Jewish state.
Read the whole thing. Unfortunately, this makes too much sense.

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3 Comments:

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Even if Herzog wins he won't be more malleable than Netanyahu and Obama probably knows this even if he doesn't admit it. In fact this could actually work to Israel's advantage if they elect Herzog and then announce "See? It doesn't matter who we elect what we do, Obama still hates us and wants us all dead!" But I think there's a fourth reason too. I think Obama is genuinely worried that Netanyahu will stand on the floor of Congress and pull out actual indisputable facts that show that virtually everything Obama and Kerry have said on the subject is a lie. A flat out lie designed to someday lead to the atomic irradiation of Israel first, and a genocidal regime that controls an arc from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan, from Georgia to Yemen and that Obama is either complicit or incompetent, second.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger D MO said...

Man, those smarty-smart leftist "Jews" told me that if I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012,this is what would happen.....and they were right!

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger Nancy Jorden said...

I think that it is important to support Israel as much as we can. There is only so much that we are able to do at this time though. Many promises have been broken and it will be important to try and rebuild that trust again. I hope that things will work out with Israel in the future. http://peaceandconflictpolitics.com/2015/04/25/obamas-support-for-israel-ive-come-to-the-end-of-my-rope/

 

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