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5. Obama’s accusation that Israel is the cause of instability in the Middle East
As The Wall Street Journal noted, “the Obama Administration seems increasingly of the view that Israel is the primary cause of instability in the Middle East”, citing a recent press conference where he stated:
“It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”
6. The Obama administration’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Syria
While actively appeasing Iran, the Obama administration has also sought to develop closer ties with the other main state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East, Syria, establishing diplomatic relations with Damascus in February. Syria remains a major backer of Hamas and Hizbollah, both responsible for a large number of terrorist attacks against Israel.
7. Hillary Clinton’s 43-minute phone call berating Netanyahu
As The Telegraph reported, Hillary Clinton sought to dictate terms to Israel in the wake of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Jerusalem:
“In a telephone call, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, ordered Mr. Netanyahu to reverse a decision to build 1,600 homes for Israeli settlers in occupied East Jerusalem that sparked the diplomatic row. She also instructed him to issue a formal pledge that peace talks would focus on core issues such as the future of Jerusalem and the borders of a Palestinian state. In addition, the Israeli prime minister was urged to make a substantial confidence-building gesture to the Palestinians. Mrs. Clinton suggested this could take the form of prisoner releases, an easing of the blockade of Gaza and the transfer of greater territory in the West Bank to Palestinian control.”
Last time I checked, Israel was still an independent country, and not a colonial dependency of the Obama White House. Yet that still hasn’t stopped the Secretary of State from acting like an imperial Viceroy.
8. David Axelrod’s attack on Israeli settlements on “Meet the Press”
It is extremely unusual for a White House official to launch an attack on a close US ally on live television, but this is exactly what the President’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod did in an interview in March with NBC’s Meet the Press, designed to cause maximum humiliation to Israel, where he stated in reference to new settlement construction in East Jerusalem:
“This was an affront, it was an insult but most importantly it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region. For this announcement to come at that time was very destructive.”
9. Hillary Clinton’s call on Israel to show “respect”
As The Telegraph revealed, the Secretary of State lectured the Israelis at a dinner attended by the Israeli ambassador and the ambassadors of several Arab states in mid-April, urging Israel to “refrain from unilateral statements” that could “undermine trust or risk prejudicing the outcome of talks”. In Clinton’s words:
“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has embraced the vision of the two-state solution. But easing up on access and movement in the West Bank, in response to credible Palestinian security performance, is not sufficient to prove to the Palestinians that this embrace is sincere. We encourage Israel to continue building momentum toward a comprehensive peace by demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, stopping settlement activity and addressing the humanitarian needs in Gaza.”
10. Robert Gibbs’ disparaging remarks about Israel
Not one to shy away from criticizing America’s friends when the opportunity arises, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs entered the fray in an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace in March where he attacked the Israeli government for weakening “the trust that’s needed for both sides to come together and have honest discussions about peace in the Middle East.” In condescending terms he stated that Benjamin Netanyahu should start “coming to the table with constructive ideas for constructive and trustful dialogue about moving the peace process forward.”
Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator. He appears frequently on American and British television and radio, including Fox News Channel, CNN, BBC, Sky News, and NPR.
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