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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Most Israelis blame Obama

In case you were wondering whom Israelis blame for the current crisis in our relations with the United States:
In turning an incident into a crisis, Obama has convinced many Israelis that he was merely seeking a pretext to pick a fight with Israel. Netanyahu was inadvertently shabby; Obama, deliberately so.

According to a banner headline in the newspaper Ma'ariv, senior Likud officials believe that Obama's goal is to topple the Netanyahu government, by encouraging those in the Labor Party who want to quit the coalition.

The popular assumption is that Obama is seeking to prove his resolve as a leader by getting tough with Israel. Given his ineffectiveness against Iran and his tendency to violate his own self-imposed deadlines for sanctions, the Israeli public is not likely to be impressed. Indeed, Israelis' initial anger at Netanyahu has turned to anger against Obama. According to an Israel Radio poll on March 16, 62 percent of Israelis blame the Obama administration for the crisis, while 20 percent blame Netanyahu. (Another 17 percent blame Shas leader Eli Yishai.)
I guess that 4% popularity rating isn't going to increase any time soon.

When you consider that the entire purpose in sending Biden here was to stand in for Obama and help convince Israelis that we can trust this administration, the fact that 62% of Israelis - a huge number - blame Obama for the crisis means that it would be fair to characterize Biden's mission as an epic fail.

What could go wrong?


At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what crisis?

has the obama administration cut off aid or refused to sell weapon systems to israel?

the obama administration will protest the expansion of the apt complex, israel will still build it, more words will be said, obama will throw up his hands, and then everything will go back to normal

way to make a mountain out of a mole hill

At 7:15 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

With numbers like that, Netanyahu doesn't need to back down over Jerusalem. If Obama's goal was to topple Netanyahu, it was very poorly handled. While most Israelis do think the bureaucracy could have handled the announcement of the Ramat Shlomo construction better than it did last week, they do think it was the right decision. Israel meant no affront to the US and the thing is the US knew for months there would be no construction freeze in Jerusalem so it can't say it was taken by surprise. To insinuate otherwise now is an insult to the intelligence and doesn't redound to Obama's credit. Is 1600 homes for Jews reason to destroy the little progress towards starting new talks made in the past couple of months?

Only if you're as obtuse as Obama and his popularity with Israelis has now reached a new low.


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