Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Obama’s hostility to Israel usually plays out in a good cop-bad cop routine. As the top dog in a political party that still wants Jewish votes, he does not deliver bellicose anti-Israel speeches from balconies. Instead he leaves that to “bad cops” like Hillary Clinton, who described her role as the “designated yeller” at Netanyahu back in her Secretary of State days, and Joe Biden.
While Netanyahu and Obama had another bland White House session whose only purpose was to show that they can sit together in the same room without yelling at each other, the passive-aggressive attacks from Obama Inc. didn’t stop.
Biden is Obama’s go-to guy for starting incidents with Israel even during the Hillary days. Not much has changed now as Netanyahu’s visit was preceded by a Biden speech ranting that, “There is no excuse, there should be no tolerance for any member or employee of the Israeli administration referring to the president of United States in derogatory terms. Period, period, period, period!"
That’s four periods. If you’re counting.
The “member” of the Israeli administration in question was Ron Baratz, who had criticized a White House with so much “tolerance and understanding toward Islamic anti-Semitism” that “they are even willing to give them nukes.”
Baratz, a former member of Israeli Air Force Intelligence with a doctorate in philosophy, had made these comments on Facebook long before Netanyahu offered him a job as media director. Despite that, Netanyahu apologized for the comments. The White House demanded and got an apology from Baratz.
Secretary of State John Kerry, whom Baratz had once referred to as having “the mental age of a 12-year-old”, confirmed that assessment of him, by speaking to Netanyahu and receiving an assurance that the Israeli prime minister would review and reconsider the appointment of a man who had insulted Kerry.
Meanwhile the State Department spokesman elevated the dialogue by retorting that “name-calling” is for “kindergarteners”. It’s a wonder that he didn’t stick out his tongue and chant, “So there.”
And then came Biden, filling Hillary’s “designated yeller” spot, bellowing, “There is no justification for an official Israeli voice degrading the secretary of state.”
This circus made it obvious that Obama had no intention of patching up things with Netanyahu. Instead the White House was hard at work manufacturing yet another crisis out of last year’s Facebook comments.
Obama had bashed Netanyahu on a hot mic. A senior administration official had called the Israeli prime minister “chickens__t”. While the White House feverishly spied on Israel out of fear that the Jewish State might take out Iran’s nuclear weapons, it planted media stories whining that Israel was spying on its secret talks with Iran and telling Congress about it. Its latest media plant contains, what purport to be, more classified information about Israel’s strike plans against Iran while whining about Israeli spying.
Like the campus social justice warriors who emulate him, Obama wages a passive-aggressive war on Israel in which he contrives to be the victim of some new Israeli imaginary aggression.
It’s a political gaslighting in which the past Facebook comments of a private Israeli citizen are a crisis, but much more outrageous and threatening behavior from Obama Inc. flies completely under the radar.
Robert Malley, the Hamas outreach man whom Obama fired, but who now serves as the National Security Council’s senior director for the Middle East, announced that no negotiated solution to the conflict between Israel and the PLO is expected now. But the administration will instead keep pressuring Israel on behalf of the PLO anyway.
Malley had repeatedly advocated on behalf of Hamas and the PLO. He also personally attacked Netanyahu. But unlike Baratz, that somehow isn’t an issue.
According to Malley, “The main thing the president would want to hear from Netanyahu is that without peace talks how does he want to move forward to prevent a one-state solution, stabilize the situation on the ground and to signal he is committed to the two-state solution.”
It was PLO boss Abbas who had rejected negotiations and Oslo. According to Abbas’ people, Kerry had urged him not to meet with Netanyahu. But no one is asking Abbas how he wants to move forward with no negotiations. Instead Malley is issuing demands to Netanyahu on behalf of Obama to define how he will “stabilize the situation” while Abbas’ lackeys urge Muslim terrorists to stab Jews in the street.
Israel was formerly expected to make concessions as part of peace negotiations. Under Obama, it was expected to make concessions as a precondition to peace negotiations. Now there are no more negotiations, but instead Malley and Obama demand that Israel make concessions to “leave the door open for a two-state solution.” A two-state solution that Hamas and the PLO don’t actually want.
It’s as if you show up to buy a house, put down cash for the listed price, only to be told that you need to pay even more just for the opportunity to even bid on the house, and then once you’ve paid that, the broker tells you that the owner hates you, the house isn’t for sale, but you still need to keep paying to “leave the door open” in case he ever decides to consider listening to your bid a few years from now.
This is Obama’s offer to Israel. It’s an offer that the Jewish State isn’t allowed to refuse. It’s also an offer that you won’t hear articulated among the meaningless pleasantries being offered at the White House.
While Biden bellows about Baratz, Obama’s Hamas snake in the National Security Council hisses that Israel must make more concessions in exchange for nothing… or face a “one-state solution”. Meanwhile the terrorists who butcher Rabbis and attack pregnant Jewish women look forward to lifelong salaries for their brutality paid for by American foreign aid which continues to subsidize the PLO terror state.
This is how Obama plays his passive-aggressive game. The Democratic Party’s remaining Jewish voters are reassured that Obama had patched everything up on his end (even while media outlets run hysterical stories attacking Netanyahu over the latest manufactured crisis, in this case caused by last year’s Facebook comments) while the administration tightens the terror screws.
Obama is no longer pressuring Israel to make concessions to the PLO in exchange for peace. Peace is off the table. He’s pressuring Israel for the sake of pressuring Israel. If this goes on, he will declare support for a unilateral PLO statehood declaration to “preserve a two-state solution” and “help” Israel.
The administration’s radical anti-Israel policies are always presented as helping Israel. The most pervasive left-wing anti-Zionism now depicts itself as Zionist, whether it’s the White House or J Street, whether it’s Glen Weyl and Steven Levitsky calling for a boycott of Israel as “Zionists” or Obama bringing in a man he fired for his Hamas associations to issue more threats and demands to the Jewish State.
Netanyahu’s visit is yet another episode of political gaslighting in Obama’s passive-aggressive war against the Jewish State.
Obama wants to dial down tensions with Israel. That’s why his vice president and associates decided to throw a fit over last year’s Facebook comments. He wants to help Israel fight terrorism, that’s why he continues to illegally subsidize the PLO and its murders of Israelis and Americans. He wants peace, that’s why he brought in a Hamas sympathizer to threaten Israel with destruction through a one-state solution.