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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The end of the pretense that Obama is pro-Israel

When on Saturday night, I published a post entitled "Obama throws Israel under the bus," I got back a tweet from an American television correspondent who follows me asking why I believed that when Obama did in the end veto the Security Council resolution. There's a 140-character limit on Twitter so my response was essentially limited to "But look what Rice and Clinton said." Jonathan Tobin expands on that thought.
On the surface, the veto cast by the United States in the UN Security Council on Friday ought to be considered more proof of Obama’s steadfastness as a friend of Israel. When all was said and done, he followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and refused to allow the UN body to brand Israel a criminal lawbreaker. That this veto took place after an American effort to head off a vote by proposing a “statement” by the president of Security Council, rather than a formal resolution, was rejected by the Palestinians was testimony to the latter’s intransigence and not to Obama’s loyalty to his Israeli ally. And the unnecessary explanation given after the vote that branded the Jewish state’s position on the issue of settlements as “illegitimate” and went on to claim that they “threatened” peace and “devastate” trust undermined any notion of U.S. support for Israel.

Obama apologists could argue that opposition to settlements isn’t new. But the talk of the “illegitimacy” of the homes of not only the more than quarter million Israelis who live in the West Bank but of the more than 200,000 who live in the parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan between 1949 and 1967 is something different. As with the fight that Obama picked in the spring of 2010 over building houses in an existing Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem, this statement escalates a long-standing disagreement into a more serious dispute. Obama’s attempt to erase the distinction between the remote settlements that Israel has already said it would give up in a peace accord and those that the Bush administration conceded in a 2004 were established facts that must be respected was one thing. But Obama’s willingness to treat 40-year-old Jewish neighborhoods in Israel’s ancient capital as illegal settlements was quite another. Agreeing with those who wrongly claim all the settlements are illegal (as opposed to unwise or worthy of surrender for the sake of peace) was bad enough. But the American declaration on Friday (repeated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on ABC News on Sunday) that the Jewish presence there was “illegitimate” again places the issue in a different light.

Things could be worse. Had the U.S. not vetoed the resolution it would have been the final signal that this administration really was determined to cut loose the Israelis. But by showing that the veto was cast reluctantly and with ill will, the effect is not much different. So while relations could still deteriorate further, there is no doubt that Obama’s negative feelings toward Israel are becoming a serious factor in Middle East diplomacy that is making the already poor chances for peace worse and increasing the possibility that Israel’s foes will conclude that the Jewish state cannot count on U.S. support if new fighting breaks out along the border with Gaza or Lebanon. The work of Obama’s pro-Israel apologists has just gotten more difficult. One suspects that by the time he leaves office, it will have gotten harder still.
Obama is worse than those who came before him. Yes, maybe even worse than Carter.

Read the whole thing.

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At 2:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray for Israel every day , I just hope the wonderful people of Israel don't believe that the people of the United States feel the same way as the man in the white house , he's a disgrace and an embarrassment to the legacy of this great nation . He will forever be remembered for being the disaster he is .

At 3:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dreamt of the end of him Shabbes night. And his soul passed close to me and it offered a flimsy reason for its' activities. And then I saw the chaos, the United States was plunged into directly upon losing its' leader after deliberately decimating its' own economy. And then two nations finished it off. But really, I will not say which two. Because the caution given to me was, no warning. They do not deserve a warning.
But maybe it was only a dream.

At 3:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your twitter correspondent is blinder dumber and deafer than Tommy. From news reports the orig idea given to Abbas was a Security Council "statement" on the "illegitimacy of settlements" "threat to peace blah blah blah" which as you note was actually given as the WH instructed by Rice, followed by additional condemnation by the Quartet or EU or whatever followed by an American-led UNSC field trip to Ramallah to make the same condemnations shoulder-to-shoulder with the "legitimate" President for Life Abbas. This stuff is several quadrants beyond being anti-Israel into whole new territory.

At 5:45 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

No. It is not possible. Obama is not worse than Carter. Carter was absolute zero, a touchstone. You can approach absolute zero, but never surpass it. Regarding Jews. Carter had a visceral hatred towards Jews. There was a story how her personally interceded while President to help out immigrants who were Nazis avoid prosecution. Obama is flawed, wrong on so many issues, but Carter was the worse.

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


whatever obama's feelings about israel are...he is first and foremost a politician....and he knows one thing...if his administration turns its back on israel, he loses the majority of the democratic congress....that is a fact.

he wont do it.

he will, as have past administrations, including the god reagan's, continue to play word games with the west bank and jerusalem.

he will not turn his back on israel if push comes to shove.

and what peace process? its now a border process.

and again...please look at the number of security council resolutions the nixon administration backed

its a big joke

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Iron Chef Kosher! said...

As much as I distrust Julian Assange (having openly stated he has an agenda), I have to trust the information that he has given in his leaks (& not just because they confirm every suspicion I've had for 30 years): Israel is important in the ME & the world - even/especially the Arab world - is not about to let the PA get any real power whatsoever.


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