There is no disputing the fact that the state of relations between Israel and the United States, or more specifically, Israel and the White House, are the worst they’ve been since Israel’s founding. The two nations have had their policy differences in the past but a confluence of regional interests and shared moral values generally meant that differences – to the extent that any existed – were placed on the back burner. But President Obama has, with single-minded purpose, transformed himself into a one-man, foreign policy wrecking ball, determined to unhinge an ingrained 66-year relationship with the Mideast’s only democracy.
As reported by Oren Nahari of Israel’s Channel 1 news, a disturbing transcript of a conversation between Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which took place on July 29th reveals the true extent of the animosity Obama harbors for the Jewish State. Obama came across as rude, condescending and entirely unsympathetic to Israel’s position. At one point in the conversation, Obama cuts Netanyahu off and in another, brushes off Netanyahu’s concerns about Hamas’s repeated ceasefire violations:
Barack Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities, in particular airstrikes.
Benjamin Netanyahu: And what will Israel receive in exchange for a ceasefire?
BO: I believe that Hamas will cease its rocket fire — silence will be met with silence.
BN: Hamas broke all five previous ceasefires. It’s a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
BO: I repeat and expect Israel to stop all its military activities unilaterally. The pictures of destruction in Gaza distance the world from Israel’s position.
BN: Kerry’s proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas military and diplomatic advantages.
BO: Within a week of the end of Israel’s military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas based on the 2012 understandings, including Israel’s commitment to removing the siege restrictions on Gaza.
BN: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It’s impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.
BO: I trust Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not in the position that it can choose its mediators.
BN: I protest because Hamas can continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks –
BO: (interrupting Netanyahu) The ball’s in Israel’s court, and it must end all its military activities.
Perhaps the conversation’s most disconcerting aspect is the way Obama defers to Turkey, a nation led by the world’s premier anti-Semite and Qatar, Hamas’s main benefactor. Apparently, the president feels more at home with vitriolic Jew-haters, misogynists and xenophobes than with a loyal, democratic, American ally that maintains shared core values and principles.
Perfunctory denials from the White House and the Prime Minister’s office were immediately forthcoming with both claiming that that such a conversation never took place and termed the transcript “false” and “fabricated.” Nahari insisted however, that the transcript, sourced to a high-level American official, was accurate.
Considering Obama’s past interactions with Israel however, there is good reason to believe the veracity of the transcript. Shortly after taking office, the president began what has been aptly termed an “apology tour,” visiting such democracy stalwarts as Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, where he offered American contrition for allegedly being dismissive and derisive. The president deliberately skipped over Israel, a detail not lost on Israel's enemies.
Then in 2010 at a meeting with Netanyahu at the White House, the president snubbed the prime minister and treated him to numerous and deliberate slights with the intent to publicly humiliate him. As one Israeli newspaper characterized it, instead of being treated like a critical and loyal ally, “Bibi received in the White House the treatment reserved for the president of Equatorial Guinea.”
Bipartisan outrage over the Obama’s treatment of Israel and its prime minister proved too much to bear even for the pompous president and forced the White House to backtrack and tone down the rhetoric, but it was only temporary.
The sparks began flying again in November 2013 when the president’s point man, John Kerry, launched a blistering attack against Israel placing near exclusive blame for stalled “peace talks” on the Jewish State. He then went on to give implicit recognition to terrorism and BDS tactics as legitimate means to force Israel’s hand. Kerry’s verbal assault on Israel was accompanied by a complete whitewashing of Palestinian provocations and impediments to peace.
But Kerry was just getting warmed up. In April 2014 Kerry, taking a cue from the most vile bottom feeders, absurdly suggested that Israel could morph into an “Apartheid state.” The comment was made on Holocaust Remembrance Day no less. Once the odious statement was revealed to the public, he tried to backtrack and issued an apology (of sorts) for his poor choice of words. But the damage was done, placing yet another nail in the coffin of the Obama administration’s relations with Israel.
Obama had a chance to repair relations following the kidnapping of three Israeli teens – one of whom held American citizenship – in June but it took him 18 long days to break his silence on the issue. Adding insult to injury, he immediately expressed “condolences to the entire Palestinian people” after an Arab was kidnapped even before the circumstances of the kidnapping and identity of the culprits was ascertained.
During times of crisis or war, allies are expected to provide mutual support for each other. If there is disagreement or discord, it is understandably kept behind closed doors because the enemy must be made to believe that he is facing a unified front. But the Obama administration is astonishingly incapable of maintaining even that minimal protocol.
Just after the start of the current hostilities, while 80% of Israel was dodging deadly Hamas rockets and missiles of all shapes and sizes, Phillip Gordon, President Obama’s special assistant and White House coordinator for the Middle East, issued a scathing condemnation of Israel referring to Israel as the cause of regional instability and placing blame on Israel for lack of progress with the Palestinians. The comments are ridiculously absurd and false, but even if they were accurate, Gordon should have utilized basic common sense and refrained from issuing them publicly against an ally in a time of war.
Public rebuke of Israel manifested itself again when White House spokesman Josh Earnest blamed Israel for the bombing of a UN school and termed the alleged Israeli bombardment “totally indefensible.” Israel had already conducted a preliminary investigation into the matter and determined that its forces were not responsible for the deaths but Earnest made no mention of the Israeli report. Earnest also failed to note that Hamas frequently uses UN schools as weapons storage facilities and platforms for rocket fire and that many of Hamas’s rocket launches frequently misfire as was the case with the Al-Shati refugee camp tragedy. Nonetheless, even if the allegations were true – and there appears to be substantial doubt on that count – allies should refrain from publicly condemning one another and this is especially true when our ally is battling a genocidal enemy dedicated to its destruction.
But as the Obama administration has patently made clear by both word and deed, it does not regard Israel as an ally. Obama prefers to cozy up to Holocaust deniers like Mahmoud Abbas and other assorted xenophobes like Turkey’s thuggish and increasingly unbalanced ruler, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. That does not bode well for Obama.
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