January 17: Readers react to reports about Obama’s comments

Obama needs a change in perspective. What if he were living in Beersheba? How would he like to see his sweet little girls wet the bed?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Sir, – We assume that American journalist and blogger Jeffrey Goldberg is speaking in President Barack Obama’s name (“Likud officials accuse ‘vengeful’ Obama of ‘grossly interfering’ in Israel’s election,” January 16). Who is surprised? Obama, who has been hostile to us from the time he took office, is now about to begin his second term – by bullying the State of Israel.
I disagree with every point. But let’s hit just two of them.
Goldberg said that, according to Obama, Israel’s settlement policies were foreclosing a two-state solution. Wrong. The UN General Assembly and the Europeans were supposed to be guarantors of the Oslo agreements.
Nothing was to be done without the agreement of both parties.
The Europeans decided not to stand by their commitments and gave the Palestinians what they wanted for free, thus closing that door with a big bang. This behavior, incidentally, shows us what a signed international agreement is worth.
But worse was the quote Goldberg attributed to Obama, that Israel “doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” The implication is that we are a bunch of naughty children who need an adult to discipline us.
What insulting nonsense. Anyone who was here just a few weeks ago was made to notice yet again that as soon as we give territory to our enemy we get missiles on our heads.
Obama needs a change in perspective.
What if he were living in Beersheba? How would he like to see his sweet little girls wet the bed? Israel knows very well what its best interests are. They don’t include signing worthless agreements in exchange for precious land.
We will be isolated? We have always been isolated. Now it is just more obvious.
Sir, – The logic is very simple.
President Obama prefers the Palestinian position to that of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Obama wants Israel to make more unilateral concessions. He doesn’t want a right-winger elected in Israel.
So the choice for Israeli voters is easy. If they want a prime minister who will listen to Obama, vote for someone else. If they want a prime minister who wants peace but not appeasement, who will negotiate but not give anything away until there is real peace, vote for Netanyahu.
Sir, – Your bias is showing. You have given your readers a third-hand report on an opinion that the US president might have expressed to a journalist who reported it in another publication, not yours.
The president needs to choose a columnist to get his message across, and the journalist in question doesn’t even confirm it? Couldn’t you get a first-hand opinion from the president himself? Is there anything else you can drag up from second- or third-hand reports to bad-mouth our prime minister?
Sir, – In reading the quotes taken from Jeffrey Goldberg’s rather scurrilous column, I was struck by the thought as to why I should even believe him. Does he have documented evidence, two unbiased reliable sources, and any of the other basic requirements for proper reporting? And what kind of objective (and ethical) reporting is a statement that “the president seems to view the prime minister as a political coward...?” That appears to be the lowest kind of hatchet job by a columnist, one who can be generously described only as a ferocious non-admirer of our prime minister.
All I can say is, “Move over, Tom Friedman, Jeffrey Goldberg is coming up on you fast.”
Sir, – Senior Likud officials accuse President Obama of attempting to influence Israeli voters in next week’s election. Actually, the shoes are on their feet.
After the vote at the UN, the government needed only to withhold money transfers and gently suggest that those who voted for a Palestinian state pay its bills. Instead, by rushing to approve new Israeli towns and cities across the Green Line, all attention was focused on us.
Basically, our government turned a potential border dispute into a dispute over Israeli building, without making those who voted for a Palestinian state responsible for its potential success within any borders.
Wisdom is knowing how to make the right decision in its right time. This leaves me – normally a Likud voter – wondering whom to vote for.
Sir, – Rise up, Israeli voters! Show the interfering occupant of the White House that we have full confidence in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. How wonderful if he were to be overwhelmingly elected to office again to show how much we appreciate him and care about the dangers of Iran and ceding land for more terrorist strongholds.
Give Netanyahu credit for relatively high employment, rapid economic growth and low inflation.
He has also done a good job preserving our security and has served our country with distinction for decades.
Let’s show Obama. Let’s vote Netanyahu.
Sir, – While I have been ambivalent about my vote in next week’s elections, I credit Barack Obama for solidifying my decision to vote for Binyamin Netanyahu. If Obama says Israel doesn’t know what is in its own best interests, then of course I have to believe that Bibi is onto something pretty important and effective.
Obama has managed to create a bizarro world of foreign policy prescience. Simply stated, whatever he says, the opposite is likely to be true.
Thanks, Mr. President, for helping me see what’s in my own best interest.
Sir, – As usual, the Israel-“State of Palestine” peace process or lack thereof is prominent in the media. The consensus of foreign (and many Israeli) commentators seems to be that Israel is not doing enough to make peace happen.
For the sake of argument, let us imagine that, out of the blue and without preconditions, the Palestinians tire of calling for our destruction. They just want some peace and quiet and to be able to get on with their lives.
Not only do they sue for peace, they volunteer to live according to Israel’s most expansive wish list: Jerusalem undivided, no right of return, a permanent Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, Israeli annexation of Area C and maybe a bit more, no land swaps, no physical link between Gaza and the West Bank, and the demilitarization of Palestine in perpetuity, with Israel having absolute sovereignty over the skies, the Mediterranean coast and Gaza’s border with Egypt.
Plus, the Palestinians acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state and the historical homeland of the Jewish people. In addition, in a gesture of towering good faith, they propose the signing of an official “End of Conflict” document before the General Assembly of the United Nations. And wow, Hamas is party to the agreement! Would there be peace? Of course not. The Arab states could not allow it because it would be good for the Jews (no matter that it’s good for the Palestinians).
And then there is the not-so- small matter of Islamic theology that claims title to all land that was ever under Muslim sovereignty.
I wish that people who blame Israel for our lack of peace could understand our local reality.
Sir, – The American president has now taken on the philosophy of the generations of white men who oppressed his own people: imperialistic colonialism, condescension, paternalism and racism.
Mazel Tov!