Ratting the Cage: Obama's albatross

Israel’s fearless leader just showed the president who’s boss, didn’t he? But where will this showdown leave America in the Middle East?

Netanyahu addresses Congress 311 (photo credit: Avi Ohayun/GPO)
Netanyahu addresses Congress 311
(photo credit: Avi Ohayun/GPO)
With that Salute to Judea and Samaria he just staged in Washington, our wise and fearless leader just screwed American policy in the Middle East, turned Israel into an albatross around the neck of the president of the United States, made Western Europe ashamed to be associated with us, waved a red flag at the Palestinians and the entire Muslim world, and I don’t know what else.
Way to go, Bibi.
The US, Western Europe and the rest of the democratic world that we supposedly want to be a part of wants very much to get on the right side of this Arab Spring that’s changing the Middle East, and, by extension, the globe. They want to “build relationships” with the emerging Arab nations and try to influence their direction.
And look who’s tagging along – Mr. AIPAC, Mr. Right- Wing Congress, Mr. Obama-Slayer, Mr. Settlement- Builder, Mr. Status Quo, Mr. Nyet. Him and the country that elected him, and that almost certainly will again.
He just showed Obama who’s boss, didn’t he? He had 10,000 American Jews cheering and standing up for him every two minutes at AIPAC, he had Republicans and Democrats doing the same thing in Congress, and what was his message?
Israel is right and the Arabs are wrong, thank you and God bless America.
Standing ovation.
And now Obama, who can’t say a word against an Israeli prime minister in an election year, who is being led around by the nose by this guy, has to convince hundreds of millions of restive Muslims that America is their friend. That America’s on their side.
Oh God. Bibi, you have really done it.
This is your big peace plan, the one that everybody’s been waiting for – “some settlements will end up beyond Israel’s borders”? That would have been a bold, far-reaching declaration in 1992, maybe, coming from Yitzhak Shamir, but the world has, as they say in America, moved on.
With the Middle East in play, who’s supposed to stick up for Israel now – the Republicans and AIPAC-trained Democrats? The prime minister of Canada? Glenn Beck? That’s about all we’ve got left, the only people who still think Bibi’s singing the right tune.
The Palestinians are going to the UN in September to gain the world’s recognition for a state on the land where Israel has ruled them against their will since 1967 (a point Bibi left out in his history lesson to Congress about Judea and Samaria).
With the Muslim world paying very, very close attention, the US is going to vote “no.” AIPAC, Congress and Israel will be pacified, but what will, you know, the people who actually have to manage US affairs in the world be thinking? Where will it leave America in the Middle East?
Wedded to an Israeli policy it deplores, tied to an Israeli leader its president now loathes if he didn’t before, led into an isolated corner by the albatross around its neck.
Way to go, Bibi.
It's funny – before this Likud convention in English that just took place, Obama planned to lobby the leaders of Western Europe to at least abstain in the UN vote.
I would love to hear what Obama and Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron are saying to each other now.
How in the hell is Obama supposed to lobby for Israel in Europe after what Netanyahu just gave him to work with?
And how are England, France, Germany and other Western countries, none of which want to alienate the Muslim world, certainly not now, supposed to vote against a Palestinian state – which they all support – when the option is Bibi’s promise of eternal status quo – which they all detest?
Here’s what I think Merkel, Sarkozy, Cameron and the other European leaders will be telling Obama about that UN vote: “Sorry, Barack, we’d love to help you out, but not if it means turning a billion Muslims against us at this particular juncture. With all due respect, Bibi’s your problem, not ours.”
Bibi and Barack, alone together, sinking like a stone.
There’s only one way out, only one way to salvage America’s standing in the Middle East and, at the same time, save Israel from itself and this very unfortunate choice it made for prime minister.
The US has to vote “yes” on Palestine in the UN this September. That would change everything for everyone, and only for the better.
Will it happen? Of course not. Obama doesn’t want to be branded an anti-Israel Arab-lover in the campaign; he’ll get killed in the election. Instead, he’s going to let Bibi, the Republicans, AIPAC and the AIPAC-trained Democrats coerce him into crippling America, and, incidentally, crippling Israel.
Way to go, Obama. You’re even worse than Bibi. At least he’ll be dragging his country down for an ideology, vile as it is, that he believes in. What will be your excuse?