On May 8, 1972, while "Barry" Obama was soaking up the Hawaiian sun, Palestinian terrorists (who else?) hijacked Sabena flight 571 from Vienna to Tel Aviv. A plan was quickly devised to rescue the hostages utilizing Israeli Special Forces of the vaunted Sayeret Matkal. Benjamin Netanyahu and his brother Yoni, both members of Sayeret Matkal, volunteered for the operation and fiercely argued with each other over which one would participate. The final decision was left to Sayeret Matkal’s commander, Ehud Barak, who chose Bibi.
The commandos boarded the plane dressed as airline technicians and quickly overpowered and neutralized the terrorists while securing the hostages. Bibi was wounded during the assault and while carried off to the tarmac was greeted by his brother who half-jokingly stated, “You see, I told you, you shouldn't have gone.” Yoni was tragically killed four years later while leading the successful Entebbe rescue mission.
Obama of course never served in the military and one could even say harbors disdain for our servicemen and women. While Benjamin Netanyahu was charging terrorists and freeing hostages, Obama was busy smoking marijuana and attending prep school. The contrast between these two leaders, one fearless and self-sacrificing, the other perpetually narcissistic and self-absorbed, could not be greater.
Obama’s minions, however, see it differently. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in a recent column revealed the deep level of animus the administration holds for Netanyahu with senior White House aides disparaging the prime minister with boorishly offensive pejoratives. One profanity in particular – “chickensh*t” – attributed to a senior official, has caused a storm and stands out as rather ironic considering Obama’s lack of military service and pusillanimous foreign policies.
Goldberg’s analysis of Israel’s policies with respect to both Iran and the so-called settlements is fundamentally flawed on several levels but the salient point of the article concerning Obama’s visceral dislike for Netanyahu remains accurate. What is perhaps even more disturbing than the current state of affairs between the two leaders is that Obama wishes to air the dirty laundry, which in turn emboldens Israel’s enemies like the Islamic Republic of Iran and encourages Palestinian intransigence. There is no question that the official, who courageously hid behind the veil of anonymity, knew that Goldberg would write about rupture and disclose the abusive and undiplomatic terminology employed.
Goldberg, accurately described by Ben Shapiro as a man whose nose is permanently embedded in Obama’s colon, places most of the blame for spiraling relations squarely on Netanyahu. While acknowledging that the creation of a Palestinian state at present would be dangerous, Goldberg nevertheless chides Netanyahu for initiating construction beyond the Green Line and continues with the tired line that such initiatives undermine the prospects for a so-called “two-state solution.”
Omitted in Goldberg’s analysis, however, is the fact that it was Netanyahu who in 2009 declared an unprecedented unilateral 10-month settlement freeze in the hope of spurring on the anemic “peace process.” Also omitted is the fact that in 2013 at Obama’s urging, Netanyahu phoned the Islamist anti-Semite Recep Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for the deaths of IHH terrorists during the Mavi Marmara incident. Both of these goodwill gestures, extremely unpopular among Netanyahu’s political base, backfired.
In the case of the former, instead of embracing Netanyahu’s bold peace initiative, Mahmoud Abbas, dragged his heels for nine months before responding, ensuring that there would be virtually no time for substantive progress. In the case of the latter, Netanyahu’s apology was reciprocated with an avalanche of anti-Semitic vitriol.
On Iran, Obama has caused the unravelling of an effective sanctions regimen, all while formulating a plan that virtually ensures and legitimizes Iranian enrichment initiatives, despite that regime’s penchant for lying through its teeth. Obama knows that his plan won’t sit well with Congress and is therefore formulating ways to sidestep the legislative branch. That maneuver not only demonstrates contempt for U.S. allies, but, more troubling, contempt for the United States Constitution.
If Obama, by employing profanity toward Israel’s prime minister, was attempting to influence Israeli political discourse, he is in for a rude awakening. Israelis cherish their 66-year, mutually beneficial relationship with the United States, which is based on shared moral values and strategic interests. But as has been demonstrated countless times, Israelis are no pushovers and don’t take kindly to threats. Menachem Begin’s popularity soared when he faced off against Jimmy Carter and the same thing will likely happen in this unfortunate and needless confrontation.
As for the anonymous senior official, my experience has taught me that there is no greater coward than the anonymous complainer. He will whine and moan behind the veil of anonymity but in this instance has brought yet more shame and disgrace upon a quickly unraveling administration unable to cope with its own disastrous shortcomings and failures.
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