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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Obama's first year on Israel

At HuffPo, Steven Sheffey defends President Obumbler's first-year record on Israel (Hat Tip: Shmuel Rosner) (a solid B+?). I will go through and point out some of the areas where I believe that Sheffey is mistaken.
Only last month, we learned that Israeli officials have been singing the praises of President Obama for his willingness to address their defense concerns and for actions taken by his administration to bolster Israel's qualitative military edge-- an edge eroded, according to Israel, during the final year of the George W. Bush presidency. (The Bush administration violated security related agreements with Israel in which the U.S. promised to preserve the IDF's qualitative edge over Arab armies.)
As I noted last week, these violations were undertaken at the request of then-Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert.
I'm sometimes asked what it would take for me to conclude that Obama was not pro-Israel. If Obama had forced Israel to withdraw from territory it justifiably held, if Obama had suspended arms sales to Israel , if Obama had backed UN resolutions condemning Israel, if Obama had honored the graves of Nazi soldiers , if Obama had used loan guarantees to pressure Israel , if Obama had denied Israel arms and airspace to attack Iran, if Obama had pressured Israel to allow Hamas to participate in Gaza elections, thus conferring on it a legitimacy it could never have otherwise earned , I'd be concerned. Previous Presidents have done exactly that (click on the links for details). But not Obama.
We don't know everything that has been said between the Obama administration and Israel. But we do know that enough pressure was brought to bear on Prime Minister Netanyahu during his first trip to Washington that he suddenly became a chasid (admirer) of a 'Palestinian state.' We do know that Netanyahu had a White House meeting at which he was treated like a thief in the night, and that shortly thereafter he agreed to a 10-month 'settlement freeze.' We do know that enormous pressure was placed on Prime Minister Netanyahu to extend that freeze to those parts of Jerusalem that are over the 1949 armistice line, but that thus far he has resisted that pressure.

We also know that President Obumbler claimed that the justification for the State of Israel's existence is the Holocaust, thus ignoring 3,000 years of Jewish history (even Harry Reid recognized that). We know that he compared the plight of 'Palestinian refugees' to the plight of Jews in the Holocaust. We know that he chose to give the Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu, both of whom are virulently anti-Israel. And all of this in his first year in office, when he is constrained by both midterm elections and his own re-election bid in 2012. Imagine what he will be like in 2013 or in 2015 if God forbid he is re-elected!
• Steve Rosen, AIPAC's director of executive branch relations for 23 years, wrote that Obama's appointments are no cause for concern from a pro-Israel perspective.
• Rosen was very concerned about Chas Freeman, but that appointment by Dennis Blair was never final and was rescinded--exactly what we'd expect from a pro-Israel administration that listens to the pro-Israel community.
Chas Freeman was forced out by some powerful bloggers (including yours truly). Just ask him. In a truly pro-Israel administration, Chas Freeman would never have been nominated.
• On May 1, Obama renewed sanctions against Syria because it posed a continuing threat to US interests. Obama, in a letter to Congress notifying it of his decision, accused Damascus of "supporting terrorism, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and undermining US and international efforts with respect to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq."
Obama renewed sanctions against Syria because Assad refused to 'engage' with him. Obama had no choice.
• Obama was the first President to host a seder in the White House. To my right wing friends who try to read "signals" the way the ancients read animal entrails: What signal do you think Obama was sending to the world?
Obama was embarrassed about the seder and would have had everyone enter and leave through the back door (like he did to Netanyahu a few months later) had word not got out.

I could go on refuting Sheffey's claims point by point, but you all get the picture and I have work to get done. The multi-cultural Obama is not pro-Israel. He is a dangerous rival of Israel's and of Jews everywhere.


At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

America's first year on Obama.


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