For Zion's Sake: Obama’s war on US-Israel relations

Obama knows that when the Congress and the American people hear what Netanyahu has to say, it will be much more difficult to get them to swallow a nuclear deal with Iran.

March 2, 2015 21:16
4 minute read.
Protesters mock Hassan Rouhani and Barack Obama

Members of international advocacy group Avaaz take part in a protest wearing masks of Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani (R) and US president Barack Obama, outside the UN headquarters in New York. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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President Barack Obama is lying. National Security Advisor Susan Rice is lying. The Obama administration is lying.

They would have us believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress today is destructive to US-Israel relations. That lie might have been believable were it not for the war that Obama himself has waged on the US-Israel relationship since he was elected some six years ago.

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Shortly after his inauguration in January 2009, Obama made clear that Israel-Palestinian peace would be a top priority for his administration by appointing George Mitchell, who had recommended ending “all settlement construction activity” in order to achieve a peace agreement, as special envoy to the Middle East. Any doubt that the focus on Middle East peace in reality meant pressuring Israel was removed when over the next few months, members of the administration publicly pounded Israel on what seemed like a weekly basis.

The administration has told Israel, the American people and the world that “settlements,” or Jewish life in Judea, are “illegitimate” more times than it’s worth counting.
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Vice President Joe Biden had the gall in that first year in the White House to declare that Israel must prove its willingness to make peace (this is a “show me deal”), as if the Oslo Accords and the Gaza disengagement had never occurred. The administration even implied that it would not oppose Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons unless Israel made concessions for the sake of the non-existent peace process (these “go hand in hand” then secretary of state Hillary Clinton told Congress).

Then the administration created a new Palestinian precondition for negotiations – a 10-month settlement freeze. (Israel agreed to it but the Palestinians refused to negotiate until just before the end of the freeze).

On the eve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the US a few months later, the president ambushed the prime minister with a call for Israel to return to the 1949 (pre-1967) armistice lines, borders which famed Israeli ambassador to the UN Abba Eban said carry the “memory of Auschwitz.”

Then the president was caught on an open mic complaining about having to deal with Netanyahu and sympathizing with the president of France, who called Netanyahu “a liar.”

Shortly after the president was reelected, the administration again demanded Israeli concessions for negotiations, this time the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists. Israel also agreed and had released 78 by the time negotiations collapsed.

When the Palestinians abruptly torpedoed those negotiations by expanding their push for statehood without negotiations, the administration still blamed Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Israel did not release terrorists and approved construction in Jerusalem, and then negotiations went “poof.”

Just a few months ago anonymous administration officials went to work calling Netanyahu “chickensh**” and a “coward” to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, who disclosed that he keeps a running list of epithets directed at Netanyahu by the Obama administration.

Are we now to take claims by anonymous administration officials that Netanyahu “spat in our face publicly” as sincere expressions of shock and hurt feelings? Are we now to believe it is the prime minister of Israel who is destroying US-Israeli relations? The one thing of which Netanyahu might be accused is that by failing to bypass the Speaker and seek White House approval, he has allowed the administration a pretext to launch its next assault. But pretext or no, the assault would have come.

President Obama does not want Benjamin Netanyahu, who Obama chose as a nemesis years ago, to speak to Congress or the American people, because he knows what Netanyahu will say.

President Obama wants a deal with Iran. He knows that Netanyahu, who is the world’s leading opponent of a nuclear Iran, will oppose a deal which leaves Iran with the capability of becoming a nuclear threshold state with every fiber of his being.

He knows that when the Congress and the American people hear what Netanyahu has to say, it will be much more difficult to get them to swallow a deal which removes sanctions but leaves the machinery of Iran’s nuclear program in place.

So the president and his team did everything they could to stop the prime minister from speaking to the American people, and short of that, to vilify him and embarrass him, even if it meant destroying the US-Israel relationship in the process, which meant little to them all along.

The author is director of Likud Anglos, a Likud Central Committee member and an attorney.

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