President Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins. While the US continues to press Israel for a settlement freeze (and a freeze on Jerusalem) his strategy is falling apart piece by piece. He has turned the Israeli populace against him and strengthened the hand of Prime Minister Netanyahu. At the same time he has eroded his own support among American Jews and other US friends of Israel. Which is why he has pressured political hacks such as Congressman Steve Israel to lend their names to the Anti-Israel Group, J-Street.
The Arab League nations answered no to the Presidents request for a peace gesture and the President of the Palestinian Authority has used Obama’s settlement pressure as his “out” from re-entering negotiations. Settlement Building didn’t start with Netanyahu, but it didn’t become a roadblock to negotiations until Obama was elected.
The entire settlement issue was caused by Administrations naivete. What the President and his advisers perceived as a minor concession, a settlement freeze, was not perceived by Israel as a minor concession. This was a major error by the administration. Their insistence for a freeze and the constant public berating of the Jewish State has turned the Israeli population against Obama, especially the Israeli left who the President would look to for support.
His public blasting of Israel has weakened his support among American Jews who initially “bought into” his pledge that he was a “friend” of Israel. Especially when the news came out that Obama was breaking a pledge made to Israel by the Bush administration about natural expansion in existing settlement.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton a week ago began lowering expectations on negotiations and praised what Israel is prepared to do – namely, not constructing new settlements in the West Bank, but putting no limits on construction in East Jerusalem – as an “unprecedented” concession. The Palestinian’s went crazy, so Clinton changed her story.
In remarks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit following their November 4 talks in Cairo, Clinton said the United States would like all current and planned Israeli settlement activity to be halted. The U.S. policy opposing Israeli settlement activity has not changed, she said.
She also said Israel’s offer to halt all new settlement activities, to end the expropriation of land and issue no permits or approvals, while “unprecedented,” is “not what we would prefer.”
“We would like to see everything ended forever,” she said. However, she added that it is “at least a positive movement.”
In a November 4 interview with Jackie Northam of National Public Radio, Clinton said the issue of settlements has been “a terrible flashpoint” in the region. Settlements never have been a precondition for negotiations in the past, she said, adding that the Israeli government has gone further than its predecessors in its offer. However, she acknowledged that Arabs and Palestinians have said “it wasn’t far enough.”
If you are looking for the US Demand of some sort of move from the Palestinian side, don’t hold your breath, the Obama administration does not pressure the Arabs, only the Jewish State, even though Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to order terrorist acts against Israel. In a new “ploy” Mahmoud Abbas, citing the deadlock, said he would not seek another term in elections scheduled for January.
On Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham acknowledged during a public appearance in Tel Aviv that “there is doubt” among Israelis about Mr. Obama’s friendship, the Jerusalem Post reported.
That doubt is well placed during the first ten months of his term Mr. Obama has shown sympathy for the people who would destroy Israel and little sympathy to the Israelis. Worse than the lack of sympathy he has shown a desire to cast Israel as the hold up to peace at every opportunity,through his statements, the statements of his subordinates and his appointments including:
- His first week in office when he sat down with Al-Arabiya Arab TV, Ignored Palestinian Terror and indicated that the Israeli government had no desire for peace.
- His Naming of Samantha Power to a key NSA position. Ms Power has suggested that America invade Israel to enforce a peace plan.
- America folding it hands and not answering Anti-Israel motions at the Durban II planning meetings.
- Hilary Clinton’s February demand to open boarder crossings to terrorists.
- $1.6 to Gaza, for reconstruction, money that will fall in the hands of Hamas.
- The SHMOTUS Joe Biden has said that Israel should “get used to” a nuclear Iran.
- Ignoring previous agreements with Israel, to call for the end of natural growth of settlements.
- Using a Speech to the Muslim world in Cairo as an excuse to throw Israel under the Bus.
- Using a trip to Buchenwald to side with Arab Propaganda that Israel’s legitimacy comes from the Shoah
- His UN Team apologized for not attending Anti-Israel Durban II Conference.
- Sent Key adviser to anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic ISNA Conference.
- Has worked to Legitimize anti-Israel organization J-street to push his pro-terrorism agenda. Has gotten Democrats such as Steve Israel, to abandon Israel and help push his J-Street agenda.
- The President has made only tepid objections to the Goldstone report.
- The Appointment of Anti-Israel Chuck Hagel to his administration.
- And of course there is the appeasement of Iran.
With his typical left wing arrogance, Tom Friedman of the NY Times says that Obama should drop his peace efforts, put a pox on both their houses, because neither side is willing to negotiate peace. He assumes that President Obama is an idiot who did not understand that peace would be unattainable.
I suggest a different scenario, President Obama has a lifetime of Anti-Israel sentiments, this was the cause of great suspicion of Jewish voters during the early part of the campaign. Before the economy collapsed, the Jewish vote was moving away from Obama. In the end it was economics, not Israel, that was the key issue in the 2008 vote. That made it easy for Obama to overcome the Jewish suspicion and win their votes.
Now that he is President, perhaps the reason he is pushing for peace so hard is he knows it is unattainable. It is the very failure of his effort that gives Obama the excuse to bash Israel and isolate her, while working to split up the Jewish community. This exactly what he is doing with his anti-Israel statements, anti-Israel appointments and his “mentor-ship” of J-Street.
Last October, just before the election I wrote this about Barack Obama:
Folks the truth is I had many issues with the way George W. Bush ran middle east policy. But there are a few things that are admirable. Bush was the first president that considered a terrorist attack in Israel just as bad as one elsewhere it the world. He constantly supported Israel’s right to defend itself against terror, and praised her as America’s number one ally in the Middle East. He also authorized an unprecedented level of cooperation between the U.S. military and the Israel Defense Forces including intelligence sharing, anti-terror training, and the joint development of missile defense systems.
A Barack Obama Presidency would return US/Israel relations back to the days of James Baker’s “They have my number they can call me.” A US trying to impose a dangerous one-sided solution on the Jewish State.
I hate admit it, but that prediction was very wrong. Barack Obama has turned out to be much worse than I could ever imagine, just examine the facts and you will agree that in only ten months of work, his policy has fallen apart and he now ranks among the worst Presidents in American History with regards to Israel and the Middle East.