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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why Obama won't visit Israel

President Obama was last in Israel in July 2008, and he doesn't appear to be returning here any time soon. I believe it's mainly because he's afraid of mass demonstrations against him if he returns here, but Barry Rubin has some other theories.
Why, then, isn’t Obama going to visit Israel? Of course, we cannot definitively answer that question but here are some thoughts:

–His personal distaste for Israel is so great that he doesn’t want to come here. Of course, he did do so once as a senator but now Obama may feel he can give freer rein to his feelings. While it is silly to say that Obama hates Israel and wants to destroy it, if you believe that he has a single warm feeling toward the Jewish state I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might want to buy. Certainly, Obama has an extreme personal dislike for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–as he revealed to a microphone he didn’t know was on when meeting with French President Sarkozy. And while some of Obama’s best friends were Jewish they were also anti-Israel or, at best, in the we-know-better-than-those-dumb-Israelis camp.


–A visit to Israel is counter to Obama’s effort to distance himself from Israel and act as if he’s the buddy of Muslims, especially those who hate Israel. Of course he could go to Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq again since he’s been to all of those places.

For the last forty years American presidents have stood with Israel and urged Arab states to make peace with that country. Think of President Bill Clinton, for example. Their policies have been based on the principle that the United States can have excellent relations with both sides. And guess what? That policy worked as well as was possible. The radical Arabs would have opposed America under any conditions; the moderates worked closely with Washington. But no matter how much lip service Obama gives such a strategy–most of the time in front of Jewish groups–this is not Obama’s approach.

Of course, on such a trip Obama could drop in on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to show his passionate desire for a Palestinian state and love of that people. Yet this might not be enough in his mind to counter the cooties picked up in Israel that would supposedly horrify Muslims and Arabs. Moreover, it would be embarrassing to go and hang out with a PA leadership that is now in partnership with Hamas.
However many answers we find, the correct one is probably 'all of the above.' But in any event, Obama's fear of visiting Israel should be seized upon by the Republicans, starting with a visit to Israel by Mitt Romney as soon as possible.

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At 8:41 AM, Blogger tuleesh said...

Hear! Hear!
If a neophyte two-bit junior Chicago senator can go on a "word tour" while campaigning for the US presidency, why can't a man like Romney.
For all his faults, Romney doesn't have "daddy issues" that dictate his political moves. He's a descent man who loves America and knows the value of respecting her allies.


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