Surviving Obama

gty_obama_netanyahu_press_conference_ll_130320_wgOriginally published by the Jerusalem Post

Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg minced few words in discussing the interview that US President Barack Obama gave him on the eve of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest visit to Washington.

Speaking with journalist Charlie Rose, Goldberg equated Obama’s threat to stop supporting Israel in international forums to the talk of a mafia don. Obama told Goldberg that if Israel doesn’t cut a deal with the Palestinians soon, “our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.” He added, “And that has consequences.”

That statement, Goldberg noted, was a “veiled threat” and “almost up there with, ‘Nice little Jewish state you’ve got there. Hate to see something happen to it.’” Goldberg saw the interview as Obama’s way of showing that he is beginning to abandon the pretense of supporting Israel, now that he no longer faces reelection. In Goldberg’s words, “It’s not that the gloves are coming off. It’s more that the mask of diplomatic language is coming off a little bit.”

Goldberg added that due to the fact that Obama “doesn’t have to run again for anything,” he doesn’t need to pretend feelings for Israel that he doesn’t have, by among other things, going to the AIPAC annual policy conference.

And indeed, Obama has achieved a comfort level with implementing anti-Israel policies. His threat to step aside and let Israel-haters have their way in places like the United Nations or in certain quarters of Europe is of a piece with several steps the he is already reportedly undertaking to harm Israel in various ways.

Before he was reelected in 2012, Obama felt it necessary to align his policies on Iran to the preferences of the US public. And as a consequence, although he voiced harsh criticism of congressional sanctions bills against Iran, he grudgingly signed them into law. (He then proceeded to use the sanctions he opposed but signed as proof that he supported Israel in speeches before Jewish audiences.) Now that he no longer has to concern himself with the wishes of the American public and its representatives in Congress, Obama has dropped the mask of opposition to Iran and forged ahead with a diplomatic process that all but ensures Iran will acquire nuclear weapons.

The same is apparently the case with joint US-Israeli missile defense programs. On Wednesday, it was reported that the administration has slashed funding of those programs by two-thirds for the 2015 fiscal year. Obama touted his previous willingness to fully fund those programs – manifested in his decision not to veto congressional appropriations, despite his stated desire to slash funding – as proof of his administration’s “unprecedented” security cooperation with Israel.

Then there are the low-level bureaucratic sanctions that Obama began enacting against Israel last year. These involve State Department activities that are not subject to easy congressional oversight.

For instance, last week it was reported that last year the State Department drastically decreased the number of Israeli tourist visa applications it approved. The rise in rejection rates has prevented Israel from participating in the visa waiver program.

Foreign Ministry officials told reporters they believe this is a deliberate, premeditated policy.

And this week we learned that last year the State Department rejected hundreds of visa requests from members of Israel’s security services.

Although White House spokesman Jay Carney was quick to claim that Israel’s interception of the Iranian missile ship en route to Gaza on Wednesday morning was the result of US-Israeli intelligence cooperation, the fact is that the US continues to undermine Israel’s covert operations in Iran. Earlier this week, CBS reported that the Obama administration has demanded that Israel stop its reported covert campaign to kill Iranian nuclear scientists in order to delay or block Iran’s nuclear progress.

Obama’s new willingness to threaten Israel and to take the actions he feels it is safe to take to downgrade Israel’s relations with the US will likely only grow after November’s midterm elections.

After the congressional elections, Obama will feel entirely free to attack the US’s closest ally in the Middle East.

So what can Israel do? How can Israel safeguard its interests at a time when the US president publicly trashes and threatens those interests and privately undermines them? Israel already did the most important thing in this regard when voters reelected Netanyahu to lead the government last year. During his trip to the US this week, Netanyahu made clear that he understands the challenge and is competent to handle it.

Since Netanyahu returned to the premiership in January 2009, he has implemented a policy of waiting Obama out. Over the past five years, the prime minister has only directly challenged Obama when he had no choice. And that has been the right course. Little good comes to Israel from open fights with the White House. Such fights should only be engaged when the consequences of having a fight are less bad than the consequences of not fighting.

In his speech at the AIPAC Conference on Tuesday, Netanyahu rebutted every position Obama has staked out on the Palestinians and Iran without ever mentioning Obama’s name. By doing so he energized Israel’s supporters while denying Obama the ability to claim that Netanyahu is unsupportive of his policies.

In other words, he humored the White House while staking out an independent Israeli policy for which he secured the support of Israel’s American backers.

But Netanyahu’s skill in maneuvering around Obama is not enough for Israel to safely weather his presidency. Israel needs an overall strategy for securing its interests.

Such a multi-pronged strategy begins with Iran.

Israel needs to directly attack Iran’s nuclear installations – by covert action as well as through overt military strikes, as required.

According to CBS, after Obama’s diplomatic capitulation to Iran became public, Netanyahu ordered Israel’s intelligence services to concentrate their efforts in Iran on exposing the fraudulence of Iran’s purported commitment to freezing its nuclear progress. But while this is important, exposing Iran’s duplicity is not nearly as important as incapacitating Iran’s nuclear sites.

With Obama now joining Secretary of State John Kerry in openly threatening to passively support a European trade war against Israel, it is imperative that Israel develop every economic opportunity it has to expand its markets. As Netanyahu made clear in his speech to AIPAC, Israel’s technological prowess has already made it a magnet for global investors. But these opportunities should be maximized through further economic liberalization.

In a conversation with Haaretz earlier this week, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz noted that “President Obama has been the president most hostile to the nation of Israel in modern times.”

In a conversation with this writer on Tuesday, Cruz placed the blame for Obama’s success in implementing his anti-Israel policies on the Senate Democrats, led by Majority LeaderHenry Reid.

In his words, “The challenge we are facing is that the number one protector of Obama’s foreign policy has been Harry Reidand the Senate Democrats.”

On the sidelines of the AIPAC conference, Cruz blasted the hypocrisy of Senate Democrats. “At the same time they block the Kirk-Menendez sanctions [bill against Iran] and blame Israel for the impasse in peace negotiations, they proclaim their support for Israel,” he said.

And Cruz is certainly correct.

There can be no doubt that Israel’s strongest supporters today are in the Republican Party.

But it is important to remember that most Democrats also support Israel. They are simply unable politically to withstand the pressures that Obama has brought to bear to force them to stand with him against Israel.

In his speech to AIPAC, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee confessed that he was forced to stand down on Iran sanctions due to partisan pressure.

In his words, “When it comes to Iran, I have stood with you and have stood against so many in my own party.”

Menendez’s admission that he couldn’t withstand the pressures that Obama and Reid brought to bear against him indicates that among some Democrats, support for Israel remains strong, but that under Obama, Israel’s Democrat supporters are weak.

While deeply problematic, this is a problem with a limited shelf-life.

If Obama views the midterm elections as the final restraint on his ability to act against the will of the American public, his fellow Democrats likely view the elections as the last time Obama will serve as the head of their party during an election cycle. In the 2016 elections, the Democrat presidential nominee will set the tone for the party, not Obama. Moreover, as the full economic impacts of Obamacare, Obama’s signature domestic policy, become known after the midterm elections, Obama will be even more severely weakened. Consequently, his ability to pressure his Democrat colleagues to toe his line will be diminished.

Finally, given Obama’s obsessive focus on demanding that Israel surrender its land to the Palestinians, it is imperative that Israel develop a strategy for waiting Obama out on this issue.

Obama told Goldberg that Israel must surrender to the Palestinians forthwith, because it has no other option. In his words, “I have not yet heard… a persuasive vision of how Israel survives as a democracy and a Jewish state at peace with its neighbors in the absence of a peace deal with the Palestinians and a two-state solution.

As I explain in my book The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, which was released on Tuesday, Israel has a viable alternative.

It involves applying Israeli law to all of Judea and Samaria and integrating the Palestinians into Israeli society.

Israel would not be endangered demographically or democratically if it adopted this approach, and it would certainly be better off militarily.

Netanyahu has stated his support for establishing a Palestinian state. But he has made clear that he will only agree to a peace deal that protects Israel’s vital interests. While maintaining faith with that position, it would be prudent for him to discuss publicly and at length the fact while a negotiated peace is his preference, there is a fine alternative to a Palestinian terror state in Israel’s strategic and historic heartland.

If the Palestinians are uninterested in negotiating a viable agreement with Israel, then Israel will feel free to adopt an alternative course of applying its laws to Judea and Samaria.

At a minimum, such a move by Netanyahu would discredit and end Obama’s demographic threats, which are based on falsified Palestinian census data. It would place pressure on the Palestinians to show their hand – either embracing peace in a genuine manner, or demonstrating the basic falsity of their protestations of peaceful intentions. Either way, Israel would be better off.

Obama’s newfound courage to begin abandoning his pretense of supporting Israel presents Israel with a new challenge. But it is far from insurmountable. With the proper mix of policies, Israel can absorb Obama’s blows and even to blunt them, as Obama becomes an independent, unrestrained, and weak lame duck president.

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  • SoCalMike

    If Obama succeeds in hurting or bringing harm upon Israel, the US will suffer an attack or disaster that makes 9/11 look like a picnic.
    And it will be Obamas and the Israel-hating left’s fault.

    • BagLady

      Oh yes, we have heard this argument from bullies many times.
      …… “Yes, I beat my wife to death, but it was her own fault. She dared to disagree with me”

      • Drakken

        Still harping on those poor oppressed minorities like a good little communist aren’t you?

        • BagLady

          It was not I who brought up the subject of oppression. I was responding to SoCalMike’s threats.

  • Isthmus

    Israel has always been mainly a white thing in America, but people little noticed as long as the demography was mostly white. Why should blacks, Hispanics and Asians care for Israel? The funny thing is the harder some Jewish organizations work at multiculturalizing the USA, the more they erode support for Israel. Obama is just the beginning.

    • pupsncats

      Should blacks in particular not sympathize with the treatment of Jews, of the Holocaust, and of the denying of rights to them simply because they are Jews? Aren’t they still claiming they are discriminated against everywhere and simply because they are black?

      Should Hispanics and Asians not care about their fellow human beings who have suffered greatly under the hands of dictators and mass murderers for centuries?

      • BagLady

        I think ‘others’ care about present day discrimination. The Holocaust has become one of many and is part of history. Blacks are far more likely to care about Rwanda and Somalia who are still undergoing holocausts or have recently suffered from one.

        I wasn’t aware that 21st century Jews had much to worry about in this regard…. unless you speak of gang warfare in urban ghettos.

    • NoMosqueHere

      And 80 percent of US jews voted for Bonehead Hussein. In the 1940s, US jews didn’t lift a finger to help their fellow jews in Europe who persished in the holocaust until it was too late. Most US jews are utterly despicable and perfidious.

      • PAthena

        Many American Jews did try to help their fellow Jews in Europe during World War II, including Ben Hecht.

      • PAthena

        Many American Jews did try to help their fellow Jews in Europe during World War II, including Ben Hecht.

    • PAthena

      Ethiopean Jews, called Falashas, are dark-skinned and were airlifted to Israel some years ago.

  • JVictor

    Nothing that Obama has done has been in support of Israel. Every event that has happened to destabilize the Middle East that has put Israel in greater jeopardy has been the beneficiary of Obama’s desire to isolate Israel. His administration actively supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; his administration was conspicuously absent during the Iranian uprising that threatened to take down then-Iranian President Ahmadinejad; now, he and Kerry demand that Israel surrender invaluable land and release documented murderers just for the opportunity to have the PA reject negotiation out of hand. Based upon his actions, Obama is a bona fide anti-Semite. Why, then, has he garnered the donations and votes of American Jews? By supporting one who is an obvious anti-Semite does that not make one anti-Semitic as well?

    • pupsncats

      Why are so many American Jews anti-Semite? They are because they overwhelmingly support the Democratic (sic) Party which honors and supports only blacks, Hispanics, and the American Indian and serves as the propaganda tool of anti-human forces that want to exterminate the white man and the Jew (except for the extremely wealthy who are their bread and butter.)

      • BagLady

        It is illogical to call Jews Anti-Semitic. The fact is they have a different opinion from yours and you just can’t take it

        • Edward

          ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!

          The words “immigration”, “tolerance” and “assimilation” are being used to PROMOTE a program of geNOcide against White children.

          -

          According to International Law, open borders, FORCED integration, and assimilation is GENOCIDE.

          Except they don’t call it GENOCIDE when it’s done to White children.

          Then they call it “multiculturalism”

          STOP WHITE GENOCIDE!

          Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White

    • BagLady

      “now, he and Kerry demand that Israel surrender invaluable land”

      Would this “invaluable land” be in occupied territories by any chance?

      • JVictor

        Oh my, where to begin? Seminar talking point spouters are sooo amusing. Modern archaeological evidence continues to prove that the Hebrews, i.e. the Jews of antiquity, have been in Israel for more than 3,500 years–at that is low estimate. The “”Palestinians?” They are descendants of nomads who lived 1,300 years ago and suddenly decided that Israel and Jerusalem were important to their false religion. I’ll do the math for you: 2,500-1,300=2,200. Hence, the Hebrew have been in Israel for at least 2,200 years before the “Palestinians.” Therefore the “occupiers” are the “Palestinians.”

        • PAthena

          The so-called “Palestinians” are Arabs who were invented to destroy Israel and Jews. The name “Palestina” was given to Judea by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D., after he had defeated the last Jewish rebellion under Bar Kochba. He changed the name of Judea to “Palestina” to eradicate all memory of Judea and the Jews – he outlawed Judaism and renamed Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina,” “Aelius” being his gens name.
          From that time on, “Palestine” was synonymous with “land of the Jews” and “Palestinian” with “Jew.” That is why after World War I, Great Britain was given the “Palestine Mandate” to be “the homeland of the Jews.”
          Calling Arab enemies of Israel “Palestinians” is a consequence of Soviet propaganda. In 1964 in Cairo, Gamal Nasser, ruler of Egypt, and the Soviet Union, haters of Jews and of Israel. founded the “Palestine Liberation Organization” (P.L.O.), whose name shows its Soviet origin. This organization came to fame by massacring the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. Since then, the Arab enemies of Israel have been called “Palestinians,” with all the phoney history and propaganda associated with it.

      • Drakken

        Not occupied land Sparky, it was won fair and square in war the effing inbred muslims started, to the victors go the spoils.

        • BagLady

          You fit well into this cartoon

          [URL=https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/1922502_615736241845919_865618608_n.jpg] It wasn’t me[/url]

  • pupsncats

    Goldberg also ought to be concerned that the majority of American Jews not only don’t support Israel but are big donors and supporters of the culture of death and destruction Democratic (sic) Party.

    Is he?

    • BagLady

      If that’s true then maybe you should consider the possibility that the Israeli Right is very unpopular.

      • Drakken

        You leftist enable your own demise, I used to have sympathy for useless leftist like you, I am all out, you deserve your fate.

        • BagLady

          Quite happy with my fate, thank you.

          You must be happy then that the Ukraine is being taken over by your lovely far right Fascists backed, allegedly, by the West.

  • BagLady

    So, it’s not true then? A little bird told me that when Netanyahu arrived for his latest round of ‘peace talks’, he had nothing in his diplomatic bag but some bagels and nice chopped liver with hard-boiled egg sprinkled on top. Granted, it went down very well when tabled but hardly an advancement for poor old Kerry who has bent over backwards to get some movement in the ‘process’. It’s his only job, for God’s sake.

    How fortuitous then that Putin chose that very moment to take the Crimea. Netanyahu was, once again, out of the limelight and could sling his hook and slink off home to continue his Zionist expansionism. There won’t be any pizza left to divide soon.

    • JVictor

      Oh goody. The snipes are awake.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    Caroline Glick wrote a fine piece. Yes, Netanyahu has been playing it smart because when you have an enemy in the White House it is prudent to wait him out. However, this American has more respect for the Egyptians who told Obama what he can do with himself and banned him and his puppets from their country.

  • Drakken

    Your getting soft Caroline, you cannot in anyway, shape or form, allow more muslims in your midst period. Those bloody inbred savages don’t want peace, they never have, they want all you Jews dead, so pull your head out of your six and get on with what must be done, a muzzy free area period. Let allah sortem out.

    • Bamaguje

      The Muslims are already within Israeli territory – West bank.

      Instead of allowing them to become a subversive law unto themselves in the terror supporting Palestinian Authority… that threatens the Jewish nation; it makes sense for Israel to rein them in and tame them, by bringing them under her watchful sovereignty.

      The alternative would be to expel the Arab occupation claiming to be Palestinians, but that would be internationally unacceptable.

  • NoMosqueHere

    I like Caroline Glick; she seems like a great gal.

    But I am very, very, very uneasy about her 1 State Peace Proposal, whereby millions of so-called Palestinians would become Israeli citizens with full citizenship rights. This Proposal raises incredible risks of arab internal treachery, terrorism, crime, murder, rape of jewish women, subversion, intermarriage, arab coalitions with leftist jews…the list of potential horrors is endless.

    For me, some form of annexation and expulsion of arabs is the only answer.