Obama’s Israel Crisis

Israel Apartheid Week hadn’t yet run its course when Israel came in for a barrage of hostile characterizations also from the Obama administration. In the same brief time span there was also Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—“The Zionist regime is the most hated regime in the world…. with Allah’s help, this regime will be annihilated.” All this came hard on the heels of a wave of international outrage, and violent attacks by Palestinians, over Israel adding shrines in Hebron and Bethlehem to a list of national heritage sites.

If it seems like a lot of negative attention for one small, constantly pressured country, it is. Reacting to an announcement by the Israeli Interior Ministry on plans to build 1600 housing units—for Jews (if they had been for Arabs, no one would have protested)—in Jerusalem, Vice-President Joe Biden, who was in Israel for a visit, reportedly told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.”

Netanyahu apologized and, by Thursday last week when Biden’s visit ended, apparently thought the matter had been handled. But on Friday,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Netanyahu and gave him a 45-minute harangue in which she told him, as State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley put it, that “the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship,” that “this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America’s interests,” and that “she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security.”

Further harsh remarks came from Obama adviser David Axelrod, who called the announcement about the residential units for Jews an “affront” and an “insult” and said it “seemed calculated to undermine” indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks—this after Biden had accepted Netanyahu’s explanation that the announcement was bureaucratic happenstance. And Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren received “the same message of American disapproval and outrage” from Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg—it being clear by now that the anger was being “managed” from the top, that is, by President Obama himself.

The totally unwarranted nature of this anger was well summarized in a Wall Street Journal editorial, which noted that “this particular housing project… falls within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and can only be described as a ‘settlement’ in the maximalist terms defined by the Palestinians.” Indeed, when in November Netanyahu announced a ten-month construction freeze in the West Bank that did not include any part of Jerusalem, Clinton praised the move as “unprecedented.” As the Journal concluded: “this episode does fit Mr. Obama’s foreign policy pattern to date: Our enemies get courted; our friends get the squeeze. It has happened to Poland, the Czech Republic, Honduras and Colombia. Now it’s Israel’s turn.”

Still, whatever slights and betrayals those countries have suffered, Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman was more on the mark when he stated, “We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.” The United States could, for instance, well blame other NATO countries for sending only tiny, token forces to Afghanistan; or Germany for its ongoing thriving commerce with Iran. Yet such a public dressing-down of these allies as Israel gets for apartments in Jerusalem would be, of course, inconceivable.

What motivated the administration’s outburst? Speculations have focused on attempts to intimidate Israel out of attacking Iran; or to force Netanyahu to choose between his right-wing coalition partners and going along with the administration’s notion of a “peace process”—or even pressuring his government into a collapse. Neither aim would be logical: making Israel feel isolated and abandoned by the U.S. would increase the chances of a move against Iran; and the right to build in Jerusalem is not a “right-wing” but, rather, a consensus position in Israel that has a unifying rather than fragmenting effect.

Since the anti-Israeli rancor stems from Obama himself, speculation could also focus on his personal motives: an ongoing identification with Palestinian positions; poor personal chemistry with Netanyahu and an inclination to blame him; or, on a less personal basis, animosity toward Netanyahu as an Israeli leader who is perceived as “hard-line” and obstructing peace no matter how many concessions he makes; adherence to a mistaken belief that Middle East-wide instability stems from Israeli-Palestinian tensions; all or some of the above mixed with frustration at the difficulty of the “peace process” that Obama adopted so resolutely as a goal at the start of his term; or he could be motivated by whatever it is that makes the Jewish state the target of so much special malice and denigration.

Whatever stands behind this crisis, which Ambassador Oren has called “the worst with the U.S. in 35 years,” Netanyahu appears to be reacting at this point by holding his ground, having stated on Monday that “Construction in Jerusalem will continue in any part of the city as it has during the last 42 years…. In [that period], there was no [Israeli] government that limited construction in any Jerusalem area or neighborhood. Establishing Jewish neighborhoods did not hurt Jerusalem’s Arab residents and was not at their expense.”

Although Biden, in his speech in Tel Aviv on Thursday, spoke of “an ironclad commitment to Israel’s security,” for this administration that does not include refraining from further vilifying Israel at a time of obsessive worldwide opprobrium and existential danger. As Washington pushes Israel to the brink of losing its autonomy as a state, Netanyahu knows there is a limit, a point at which Israel will have to stand up for itself and look out for itself.

  • Tom W.

    I’m utterly disgusted by the Obama government because all they do is use Israel as a scapegoat for their problems with the Muslims. The epitome of this is VP Biden telling PM Netanyahu that the Israeli’s building 1600 new housing units in (East) Jerusalem for Jews undermines American security concerns regarding the U.S. fighting radical Islamists in Afghanistan. Yah right, just as a planet that is 50 million light years away affects the gravity of the Earth! That’s pure B.S.; the Islamists fighting in Afghanistan couldn’t care less about Arab tribalism because Pakistanis and Afghanis have their own tribal political and warfare problems.

    Is the U.S. getting involved in the politics of the tribal areas in Pakistan and telling who can live where and which tribe can be build in location A but can’t live in locations B & C? No of course not! So why is the Obama government blaming the Israelis for their failure on the ground in Afghanistan based on where it deems Jews may and may not live in Israel? Because they can get away with it, that’s why! Also because if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it; the American leftist and European newspapers have fallen for this lie. The proof is that anti-Semites across the world have been outraged that the Jews have the nerve to build new apartments in East Jerusalem. Furthermore, I’ve read post after post at on-line Israeli newspapers from Americans and Europeans that are outraged because of the building of these 1600 new housing units and then spew out their anti-Semitic rage!

  • Tom W.

    The other thing I need to tell people who like quoting various U.N. resolutions regarding Israel is any resolution passed after the 1967 war regarding land is not legal, I repeat not legal! People might yell and holler about International Law but before the 1967 war, Israel only held on to territory it won in a war of annihilation from all the surrounding Arab countries. There were no Arabs called Palestinians, the West Bank was annexed by Jordan, who kicked out all the Jews, as well as held half of Jerusalem. Thus, there’s no such Arab Palestinian country neither was Jerusalem (the East part) made a capital. Syria annexed the Golan Heights, Egypt annexed the Sinai Desert all the way up to and including swallowing the Gaza Strip. When Israel fought another war threatening its very existence, they gained back all of this territory. Three months after the war the Arab states had the infamous Khartoum Resolutions of: no peace, no recognition and no negotiations with Israel!

    These phony U.N. resolutions of land for peace were just a rouse; they were just a different tactic for the Arabs to try to get back the territory they lost to the Jews. Only later on through Arab propaganda did we start hearing the words Palestinian Arabs, they were just plain old Arabs before the 1967 war. And it’s not legal to deal with those post 1967 U.N. resolutions demanding the Israelis return land because these resolutions were in the context of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. It’s illegal to say that this type of resolution now extends to a third party that never existed prior to the 1967. Arab Palestinians aren’t a people, land for peace was between Israel and those three Arab states, these resolutions are null and void when attempting to force Israel to hand over land to a third party (i.e. Palestinian Arabs).

    • Stephen D.

      Excellent post Tom W. To this point one may ask why the balance of the world has yet to confront Syria, Egypt, and Jordan since these people that now call themselves "Palestinians" are from them. Why is Isreal, but a speck in the land of these peoples, the only protion ever unders dispute? Why hasn't Jordan been asked to convey land to them? Wh y hasn't Syria been "sanctioned" by the UN? Why is Egypt (even now) able to build a boarder wall to keep them out and Isreal is called all things vile for the same action?
      Tom. I have copied your post in order to share. I find it worthy. Thank you.

  • aliko

    I wish this article included a map as this housing project isn't east of Jerusalem but north of it, surrounded by an industrial area, two large Jewish neighborhoods in the east and a small Arab neighborhood a few miles north. This area was never in dispute, nor was it on the table of any negotiations with the Arabs in the past.

    What Obama did with Israel is exactly what the Arab leadership have done since the 30's. They used Jews as scapegoats and later Israel as the enemy that unites Shiite and Sunni.

    I believe that this time around, Obama wanted to lower the flames on the Turkish genocide of the Armenians vote and use Israel as a payment to Erdugan.
    He probably wanted to flex muscles so the Iranians will relax as well.

    In his speech in Tel Aviv university, Vice president Biden criticized Israel for the Jerusalem housing project and instead of having a quiet hall, he received cheers. He didn't realize that many of his audience was on his left. This is just a another proof of how bad the leftist cancer have spread to Israeli academy with no resistance from anyone.

    They can't wait for the day Israel will be destroyed but compared to lord haw-haw, they haven't even got the minimum integrity to join the enemy openly and live with them in any of the Arab countries in Asia, Africa or Europe!…

    Watch for yourself (jump to 32 minutes after the beginning):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViLI3Onwl6w

    • Raymond in DC

      No doubt Tel Aviv University was chosen for this speech not just because it's NOT in Jerusalem but because it's the most left-wing university in the country. So of *course* the audience applauds criticism of Israel. Had he gone to Bar Ilan University (where Netanyahu spoke last year), he would have received a very different response, as BIU better represents the Israeli consensus.

  • andres de alamaya

    Anything, right or wrong, that gives the Obama Administration ulcers is welcome by me. One of the first things this champion of Islam did when he took office was to try to cut off all aid to Israel. Concurrently he sent $20 million to his friends, the Palestinians, who had danced on the streets in celebration of 9/11. I wonder if Obama danced, too? Israel has no better friend in this administration than the Kurds had when they were gassed and slaughtered by Saddam after America promised to protect them. But Israel is not alone in having to suffer the forked tongue approach by this madman and his Chicago gang. We, in America, are at equal risk as long as he is ensconced in the White House.

  • gama

    Obama has done a lot more then pressure Israel with words. Outpost the journal of Americans for A Safe Israel discusses the military pressure the U.S. has put on Israel. http://www.afsi.org/OUTPOST/2010/Outpost_2010_03….

  • Rick Geiger

    The primary issue that needs to be addressed is the position of the Democrat Party. Will the Democrat Party continue to support Obama even though he has formally declared War Against the Jews?? Will they continue to support him in Congress, if they do, they will be complicit in the War Against the Jews

    • rbla

      The real issue is whether the Jews will continue to support the Democrat Party? Sadly the answer is yes.

      • Crusader

        Tell me Rick , just HOW has Obama "declared War against the jews …please be specific

        • Carolina Don

          If you will read the post by Tom W. then the post by aandres de alamaya, you will clearly see AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY. This is a war crime.
          I have always wondered what Obama would do if Israel told him to stop all building in Texas and Mississippi…………..

  • von Starkermann

    Somehow everyone has forgotten that the US Embassy by order and law of the US Congress was supposed to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and on some phony pretext has still remained in Tel Aviv. Why doesn't Netanyahu protest loudly to Ms. Clinton and yell at her for 45 minutes about this obvious insult to Israel. Talk about outrage and dissatisfaction with an obvious anti Israel administration and anti-semites governing it. Yet America's Jews remain silent as they voted en masse for the very people that will one day put them into the ovens.

    • USMCSniper

      That is because we voted in a Clandestine Muslim as President who made his Secreatary of State a post menopausal closet communist hag.

      • badaboo

        Baloney …..and quite juvenile for a "marine "

        • Carolina Don

          I was in the Army….Would you like ity better if it came from me?? I say AMEN!!

  • Shalom Freedman

    The U.S. Administration has acted in a shameful and immoral way. It has not acted as a friend to Israel but has once again, as it did at the beginning of the Administration, singled it out for attack and pressure. As David Hornik indicates there is no criticism of the Palestinian Arabs for their incitement and violence, and utter refusal to move in the direction the Americans want.
    The ineptitude of the Administration is now compounded by its malevolence. There is a great deal to worry about here.
    Supporters of Israel should send the Democrats a strong message in the coming Congressional elections.

  • Steve Chavez

    AND THE AMERICAN JEWS VOTED OVERWHELMINGLY FOR OBAMA AND PROBABLY STILL SUPPORT HIM NO MATTER WHAT? When is Obama's next speech at AIPAC? Standing ovation again?

    "Does not compute! Does not compute! Does not compute!"

    • denns

      Yep, our lefty jewboys are racists as they would not get close to a white man who may be acquited with the neighbour of a kkk-member. But a black leftwing communist antsemite is kosher

      • badaboo

        "lefty jewboys " black leftwing communist " ….lol….who you calling racist and anti-semite ?

  • AntiFascist18

    F*ck Obama, F*ck Biden, F*ck Hillary and F*ck Axelrod.

    Time for them to do something about an Iran that not only endangers our soldiers lives but KILLS them…or they can go to hell with their boyfriend Ahmedinejedad.

    REAL AMERICANS IN CONGRESS IN 010 AND THE WHITE HOUSE IN 012 – NOT A SOROS-PAID, HAMAS-LOVING CHIMP.

    • guest

      I couldn't have said it more elegantly….thank you!

    • badaboo

      yea , "real amerikans like YOU " ….what a joke .
      btw , very intelligent language …NOT .

  • von Starkermann

    Somehow everyone has forgotten that the US Embassy by order and law of the US Congress was supposed to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and on some phony pretext has still remained in Tel Aviv. Why doesn't Netanyahu protest loudly to Ms. Clinton and yell at her for 45 minutes about this obvious insult to Israel. Talk about outrage and dissatisfaction with an obvious anti Israel administration and anti-semites governing it. Yet America's Jews remain silent as they voted en masse for the very people that will one day put them into the ovens.

  • michaelle

    I hope Israel gives Obama and his thugs ulcers, headaches and all that makes them vomit. Obama likes Israels enemies.

  • logdon

    Perfidious Obama. Here's what really happened. From the GLORIA blog.

    October 31, 2009: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lavishly praises Israel as making "unprecedented" concessions in stopping construction on West Bank settlements while it is still going to build in east Jerusalem.

    November 1, 2009: The U.S. State Department cheers Israel’s announcement that it will stop construction on West Bank settlements but not in east Jerusalem: "Today's announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

    March 12, 2010: Secretary of State Hilary Clinton says that Israel building in east Jerusalem is an “insult” to the United States, jeopardizes the bilateral relationship, and damages the cause of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Obama has sunk to around five percent approval in Israel. I wonder why? All that bowing and scraping to Arabs whilst telling Israel where it can and cannot build in it's very own capital?

    This anomoly is also not lost on vast swathes of Americans who watch this neo marxist subvert all that has made the US the exceptional beacon of freedom it has been.

    That, by the way includes true ideological support for the only functioning democracy in the ME.

    Here's another. Shiite Iran is soon to go nuclear. This worries the arch enemy Sunni Saudi's who see a huge upheaval and power grab which would remove their financial hegemony. Obama stalls and stalls. Meanwhile Israel is the only one left standing against this Shia tide which would engulf the ME including Iraq.

    Result? Saudi back channeling the nicey-nicey with Israel as the saviour.

    Osama bin Laden characterised, 'the people will always follow the strong horse'. Right now the US is not that thoroughbred and pragmatist Arabs know it.

  • Steve Chavez

    TRADER JOE'S here in Albuquerque is allowing a "Stop the $30 Billion" and other hate the Jews protest on THEIR sidewalk every Saturday.

    Isn't this stupid since a business needs to stay neutral in any political statement? Who gave permission for this hate/Hamas loving group to cover the sidewalk into their only entrance with a sign that also says, "We love Trader Joe's?"

    DOES CORPORATE KNOW ABOUT THIS, DO THEY CARE, AND IF THIS IS ALLOWED TO CONTINUE, THEN A BOYCOTT MIGHT WAKE THEM UP SINCE THIS STORE IS ONLY A FEW MONTHS OLD.

    I went to the Grand Opening just to see and the prices are WAY TOO HIGH ANYWAY!

    • Steve Chavez

      I just wrote to Trader Joe's CORPORATE at Traderjoes.com then to "contact us" and comments.

      What if I had a sign on their sidewalk that said "TRAITOR JOE'S?" Remember how they spit on General BetrayUs? I can play that game too!

      • Steve Chavez

        "TRAITOR JOE'S HATES JEWS AND CHRISTIANS! LOVES HAMAS/SUICIDE BOMBERS/HUMAN SHIELDS! BOYCOTT THESE HATERS!"

    • Raymond in DC

      That sounds like a local decision. There was an attempt to boycott Trader Joe's because it sells Israeli products. TJ Corporate told them, essentially, to get stuffed. TJ continues to sell Israeli products.

  • Joel B.

    Israel has been consistent and stuck to their agreement to suspend building in the West Bank, but not in East Jerusalem, therefore the Obama/Clinton/Biden reaction is completely without merit. What infuriates me is that I do not read or hear about this aspect of the story in the MSM – the only place where it was even mentioned was on Fox News by a pundit, but it was not explored in detail. Thank goodness for the Internet and blogs like this!

  • JoAnne G.

    For the Dems and supporters of the world's only ME democracy, who thought that Obama would stand by his words, their chickens are coming home to roost! Clinton, Biden, and others, who talked the pre-election talk about strong support for Israel, have not only failed to walk, they have turned tail and ran the other way at the first opportunity. Insulted that Israel would stand by its rights, no Dem has ever felt "disgust" at the continual calls for genocide by Iran or its semi-secret string of broken promises re: nukes. Their weapon: "Let's talk."

    Our inexperienced pres. thinks that feeding the sharks his allies will make them swim away, when it will only invite more sharks and a feeding frenzy. Feigning "insult" so publicly and hysterically is tasty shark food. Whatever new conflicts pop up from Israel's newly emboldened neighbors can be credited by Obama's stage play. Not all of us were fooled, however. The other victims of Obama's insult via hysteria is his Democratic party.

  • PAthena

    As Dennis says, President Obama has been a parishioner of the church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who hates Jews (and whites and America).

  • http://TorahForever.net Shlomo

    B"H, Good Will Come Out Of All What Has Happened

  • lovezion

    Finally, the filthy primitive savage muslims got another conquest: THE USA!!! Now they have penetrated the minds of obama, clinton, biden and the rest of the crooks . Now their task will be a piece of cake! Why stupid filthy renegade traitor jews are in on it? Okay, then I won't lift a finger if at the next arab Holocaust they fry like bacon and if it would be up to me to save them!!!

    GOD HELP US FROM THE VENOMOUS MONSTERS!!!

  • Larry

    1 of 2

    Biden and Clinton have been paying lipservice to Israel's supporters. However, now that they are "demanding" compensation for the so-called "insult," which turned them into raging pit-bulls of the airwaves, it will be less likely they will continue to influence Israel in the future. Obama's team is playing the "power" card, much like other autocrats in the area.

    What's certain is that right now there are millions of Israel-supporting and terror-hating Americans that voted for him and now have a harder time swallowing or facing their conservative friends and relatives. They have no way to explain such infantile behavior by the U.S. in the global arena. They can never explain how the richest country in the world, with 325 million Americans, can suddenly stomp on a tiny country like Israel, its only real ME ally, for demanding their rights under law, and ignore the genocidal maniacs surrounding it.

  • Larry

    2 of 2

    It may well represent the low point for many years in U.S. behavior toward an ally. Their rabid behavior dwarfs any complaints we made to Russia when it overran Georgia, another former U.S. ally or when it tried to freeze votes out of poor Ukranians with the gas weapon.

    Now "trust" is lost. The Obama team has used up its bullets in a hail of verbal gunfire – a Dem version of "shock and awe." No doubt they will soon pull out their big $ gun, unable to restrain themselves. That's coincidentally when they prove, for good, that their "We love Israel" song that they always sang for their audiences, was not written by them and they were just lipsinking.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ginjar ginjar

    This is all very chilling especially in the light of prophecy,"I shall break the pride of your power and deliver you unto your enemies"

  • Cabby – AZ

    Recently I read a headline that "Obama's losing patience with Israel." My reaction is
    "We are losing patience with you, Mr. President."

    America is on very dangerous ground to berate and heckle the one true friend we
    have in the Middle East. Almighty God has ordained for Israel to have her land.

    We have a man in the White House that has absolutely no regard for our longstanding
    past support of Israel and prefers to bolster her enemies. This is a tragedy in the
    making.

  • ViewPoint

    “Before East Jerusalem was cleansed of Jews by Jordon in Israel’s 1948-49 war of independence the Jews lived in East Jerusalem almost without interruption since King David conquered it. Those attacking Israel are insisting that it leave that crime of ethnic cleansing in tact, un-redressed.” JPost

    “The U.S. State Department plans to force Israel to turn East Jerusalem over to some future Palestinian terror state so continued building there will make it harder to do if East Jerusalem is filled up with Jews. But that is precisely the reason why Israel should build housing in East Jerusalem.” JPost

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

    Jerusalem has never been the capital of any nation other than Israel. It's part of the BIG LIE that Israel is occupying Arab lands.

    It's not!

    fs