THE JERUSALEM ROAST EXCLUSIVE: The reason for US President Barack Obama’s Israel visit next month is to
formally accept the title of opposition leader to Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, political sources exclusively told The Jerusalem Roast on
Since Obama’s visit was announced earlier this month, political
pundits have proclaimed he is coming to announce a Middle East peace plan,
persuade Israel not to attack Iran, and attempt to stop American Jews from
kvetching about why he hasn’t come yet. But all of those theories have been
rejected by Obama’s top aides.
Now it turns out that the president’s
visit is actually intended to enable him to accept another job besides the one
he has in Washington: Obama will officially be given the title of opposition
leader in Jerusalem, and he will immediately begin more overt efforts to bring
down Netanyahu’s government.
“He has been the de facto opposition leader
in Israel for four years anyway,” Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren said. “He
might as well get the unlimited felafel in the Knesset cafeteria that comes with
Sources close to Obama said he was glad to come out of the
closet and stop having to hide his efforts to sabotage Netanyahu’s governments,
like the 10-month settlement freeze, sending Israel Naftali Bennett, and taking
away Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer and supermodel Bar
MKs enthusiastically removed the roadblocks toward Obama
receiving the post, including an obscure clause requiring the opposition leader
to get elected to the Knesset. Obama will take over from MKs Shaul Mofaz and
Shelly Yacimovich who held the job in the last Knesset.
held the post, world leaders refused to meet with her. Knesset officials said
they expected that to change with her replacement.
“World leaders love
this new guy we’re getting,” a Knesset official said. “No one’s going to boycott
Obama was quoted as saying in closed conversations that after
having Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, he is used to working with sarcastic,
loud-mouth Israelis. Asked how he could handle holding two jobs at once, he
paraphrased a well-known quote from former prime minister Golda
“I’m already the leader of a country of 300 million people,” he
said. “How hard can it be to run an opposition of 50 prime ministers?” Netanyahu
released a two-word response to Obama’s forthcoming appointment: “Oy
Outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded by pleading with the
US president to go by his middle name Hussein in Israel so no one will confuse
the two of them.
“I told people I retired, and now Barack is back?” he
“Now no one will believe me anymore.”
contributed to this report.
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