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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice?

The Obama administration forgot to consult Bill Clinton before they put all their hopes on Ehud Barak. Bill could have told Hillary that Barak cannot be counted on, that Barak promises the world but cannot deliver, that has an aggrandized self-image, that Barak is out of touch with his countrymen. But Obama and Hillary didn't ask Bill. And now, Ehud Barak is on the outs in Washington.
A senior Israeli official, who requested anonymity, told Haaretz about his recent hour-long meeting with a senior U.S. official who detailed the reasons Clinton and the White House are so disappointed with Barak.

The accusations were confirmed over the past few days by four other sources close to the situation, all of whom requested anonymity.

The Israeli official said his U.S. interlocutor stressed that the infuriation with Barak reached as high as Obama and Clinton.

This came after Barak reached an understanding with Washington over extending the settlement construction freeze by three months in exchange for a written pledge of diplomatic and military guarantees in September.

Barak promised that Netanyahu would approve the deal, but did not deliver the goods.

"We put all our money on him a year and a half ago," the Israeli official quoted his U.S. colleague as saying. "The entire administration bet on Barak because he said he could nudge Netanyahu toward an agreement with the Palestinians, but he deceived us and led us down the garden path."

According to the U.S. official, as soon as Netanyahu formed his government, the White House decided to open all its doors to Barak, and Obama took the unusual step of meeting with him there.

"He charmed us with his intelligent analyses; the president listened to Barak like a student with his teacher and trusted him, but he didn't meet any of his promises over the peace process and the building freeze," the official told the Israeli.

The latter said he left the meeting "in shock .... I almost burst into tears." Barak's last visit to Washington, two weeks ago, was depicted as the watershed in Barak-Washington ties. The brevity of Clinton's meeting with him at the Saban Forum last month - 15 minutes - was intended to signal Barak's loss in status.

The U.S. official said Barak's disappointing behavior evoked a sense of deja vu in Washington, especially at the State Department, recalling his failures as prime minister in the peace talks at Shepherdstown and Camp David.
Barak convinced Obama and Clinton that he would help them to circumvent the 'evil' Netanyahu. But Netanyahu was much more popular in Israel than Barak right after the elections, and is all the more so today.

What could go wrong?

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At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait, this was the freezerooneythingamabobby that was never confirmed to have been put in writing? and whose supposed inducements kept on being pulled back in serial leaks? and that the WH said the Palis wouldn't have agreed to anyways? Could just be they decided to throw Barak under the bus out of White House tradition: the Magnificent O's policies are never wrong and anyways that person over there is to blame. And ah, critic are racists and stoopid. And....vacation time! Time to party like its Versailles!

At 8:02 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

And Ehud Barak faces a challenge for the leadership of his rump Labor Party from Far Leftist Amram Mitzna - Barak is not going to be a contender for Prime Minister in a future election in Israel and the Israeli Left - especially Labor - is a shadow of its former self and really represents the views of a minority of Israeli Jewish public opinion nowadays.

Sorry but this isn't 1999 and the US Administration can no longer finagle the Israeli Left back into power when its the Palestinians who are the ones who hold up a peace deal today.


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