“Enough Already”.. The American Reaction Round Up.
I gambled a bit on Sunday night Israel time, in my scathing analysis of the unwarranted weekend of fury toward Israel which poured out of the White House. I chalked it up to an artificial crisis designed to bleed out concessions, and pressure Netanyahu’s coalition for a possible topple.
It appears 3 days later this is the consensus building for these events. I pledged to see what the pro-Israel reactions might be in the USA going forward, to gage whether or not Obama’s strategy might backfire.. Judge for yourself.
Major American Jewish Organizations
[...] The controversy which has arisen regarding Israel’s planning process for future development in its capital city in the form of the construction of 1600 new housing units within the declared municipal boundaries of Jerusalem was addressed during Vice President Biden’s trip by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apology and Vice President Biden’s statement of understanding and recognition of the importance of a continuing close relationship. The unusually harsh comments made since then by members of the Administration have resulted in increased tensions. The interests of all concerned would best be served by a prompt commencement of the proximity talks that had been previously agreed to by all parties, and all parties should act in a manner that does not undercut such talks. We urge the United States and Israel to resolve the controversy with the use of language reflecting their historic friendship [...]
[...] “Ideally, differences with allies, which do occur even between the closest of friends, should be discussed and resolved in private,” said Harris. “We urge the White House to reconsider its latest, repeated verbal assaults on the Israeli government. It is not beneficial to pummel Israel with language that has rarely been used in U.S. foreign policy. And it may, however unintentionally, send the wrong signal to Israel’s adversaries in the region, further complicating an already complex landscape.”
We are shocked and stunned at the Administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem. We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States. One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table. [...]
AIPAC (One of the 1st to react)
The Obama Administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern. AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State.
Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in America’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region. Those strategic interests, which we share with Israel, extend to every facet of American life and our relationship with the Jewish State, which enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.
The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests. The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors. [...]
The Obama administration has used harsh and intentionally undiplomatic language to exacerbate tensions with our ally Israel in the wake of Vice President Biden’s visit there. The strident and unwarranted escalation of tension, which has turned a minor diplomatic embarrassment into a major international incident, has raised serious concerns about the administration’s Israel policy from a variety of mainstream voices [...]
We call on the Obama administration to halt immediately its unwarranted pressure against Israel, to take steps to heal the dangerous rift it has created between the two countries, and to return to the policy of its predecessors in supporting Israel’s security and well-being as an important strategic ally.
Plenty of consensus there. More organizations like Jstreet & Americans for Peace Now celebrated the assault (shocker huh?). The NJDC seems embarrassed more than anything, choosing to lay very low. Other than Obama’s base of hard core ultra liberal fringe, and their lovey dovey media people aren’t pleased.
“Just 90 minutes after CUFI’s action alert was distributed, more than 5,000 of our members sent e-mails to the White House asking the president to ‘end this unnecessary crisis, return to a more productive approach, and stand with our ally Israel.’ As of last count we are averaging an e-mail every second, and I see no indication that this will slow down anytime soon.” [...]
The US House & Senate
An outpouring of support for the US Israel relationship has come from senior leadership in response, most of it follows a similar theme..
Quote bits, EACH from a different US leader.
They are bi-partisan:
- “Israel is a sovereign nation and an ally, not a punching bag. Enough already.”
- “Troubling eagerness to undercut our allies and friends”
- “I am deeply concerned”
- “Rethink counterproductive rhetoric”
- “We need to disentangle bilateral relations from the peace process”
- “Now is not the time to falter in our steadfast support”
- “Verbal attacks on our staunch ally and friend”
- “An affront to the values and foundation of our long-term relationship”
- “We should be worrying about what is going on in Iran”
- “Israel is a critical ally of the United States”
- “The national security of the United States is directly tied to the strength and security of the State of Israel”
- “The Palestinians have refused to sit with the Israelis”
- “The most critical foreign policy issue facing both counties — Iran’s nuclear threat.”
- “Defuse this situation”
- “Stop this infighting and concentrate on our shared goals”
- “We should not be condemning one of America’s strongest democratic allies in the Middle East.”
- “Israel stands with the United States on the frontier of freedom”
- “The security threats that the United States and Israel face are too great and too urgent to be overwhelmed by a disagreement among friends.”
- “Sometimes silence really is golden”
- “The stakes are too high and the threats are too urgent to allow the unfortunate recent exchange between Israel and the United States.”
- “The Administration’s approach to U.S. foreign policy has, so far, been disconcerting.”
- “It is time to dial down this ugly rhetoric and gain the proper perspective on the true threats in the region.”
- “Excessive criticisms of Israel over this incident is an unnecessary distraction”
- “One has to wonder whether folks in the White House understand just how much damage this type of rhetoric is doing.”
- “It is time to put aside the rhetoric and reaffirm our bonds with Israel.”
- “Our nation’s security cannot afford a foreign policy which isolates our allies and moves toward appeasing enemies of the U.S.”
- “Any effort to cut aid would lead to fierce resistance in Congress”
Senators McCain & Lieberman also provided some interesting video from the floor..
Ill conceived animus
Clearly, whatever the reasoning, whatever the goal.. There is mounting concern over the uneven-handed treatment of Israel by this White House. There is mounting concern over the Iranian threat, there is mounting concern over this pattern of abusing allies & ingratiating America to her enemies.
With Netanyahu coming to the US next week, and so far a solid front in Israel to reject most of the Obama administration’s newly concocted demands. It remains to be seen how this artificial crisis engineered in the White House will benefit anyone really. Palestinian response thus far has been to riot, burn things, and call for a day of rage.. Go figure.
*Link Updated Above.
Worst Relations in 35 Years?
Obama has gone Rogue, declared war on America’s allies.
Confirmation begins to flow out like sewage how the President of the United States cynically drummed up an artificial crisis, with the ally his administration less than 4 days ago called – ‘The best friend America ever had’. Worse, the President was widely reported personally consulting, instructing & coordinating with Hillary Clinton before her scathing 45 minute scream fest toward Netanyahu. One gathers they were rather busy planning & effectuating this engineered crisis, and Chicago style blackmail campaign.
Don’t you worry, some of his best friends are Jewish.
All of this is clearly designed to squeeze & bleed from Israel yet MORE concessions, in order to shore up the Obama administration’s faltering policies & world view. The President of the United States is frankly endangering the State of Israel playing these games. Let’s be clear, this seems worse than Bush & Baker (Baker while in office at State famously declared “F**k the Jews”), at least then Israel wasn’t being strung up by a noose with an existential military threat.
Haaretz illuminates the insane concessions Obama is trying to leech out, the threats he is using against Israel follow just below..
- Reverse building decisions in Jerusalem and implement a freeze, despite previous agreements with the USA that building in Jerusalem would continue.
- Make appeasement gestures to the Palestinians who despite an open Israeli invitation for unconditional talks, refuse to negotiate.
- Release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, terrorists!
- Withdraw IDF defense forces from additional territory in the West Bank!! Transfer control to Palestinians (Endangering Israel is the President’s specialty it seems). All of it without ANY peace deal whatsoever.
- End the Quartet endorsed blockade of Terrorist controlled Gaza, territory we just finished having to go to war with and allow Gaza to rearm full force.
- Remove yet more security checkpoints and security implements in the West Bank, despite effusive praise from both the USA & Tony Blair over how much Israel had already done in this regard, and glowing praise over how Israel has helped the Palestinian economy flourish.
- Issue declarations that indirect talks with the Palestinians who only demand more & more, deal with all the conflict’s core issues including; statehood declaration, borders, refugees, Jerusalem, security, settlements. In other words, enter these indirect talks & allow our GREAT FRIEND President Obama to moderate & impose his own solution – One which will clearly be entirely drafted by the Arab League itself, and hoisted upon Israel’s democracy.
Backstabbing Obama sure to be popular fellow in Israel now..
How can we possibly take the President at his word? His credibility internationally and especially with Israel is borderline near zero. This guy keeps breaking deals with us left, right & center..
- The settlement issue (another crisis a few months ago) was the 1st deal Obama broke with us, when he disregarded pledges made by G.W. Bush to Ariel Sharon.
- The second deal broken just this week by Obama, was the acknowledgment that Jerusalem would NOT be subject to the and I quote Hillary Clinton: “Unprecedented concession by Israel” to freeze settlements in the West Bank.
- Now a third deal has been broken by the President with Israel, regarding the format & substance of the issues to be handled in indirect talks. Israel refused to negotiate core issues by US mediation for what is now obvious reasons.
The President seems to believe the word of the United States of America carries little meaning, no bearing on trust – This is truly heartbreaking for many hundreds of millions around the world who so admire American ideals. Poland learned this, the Czechs learned this, the UK, now Israel knows it too. We are under attack from our #1 ally!? It is bewildering & shocking.
The bludgeon for Obama’s threats?
Vital supplies, jet fuel, & armaments needed to defend Israel from an Iranian multi front war.. This beyond the apparent arms freeze Israel has been under since Obama took office. All of these issues, part & parcel of pledges to Israel made previously to garner our patience regarding a strike on Iran. Now, apparently even the entire American Israel relationship itself is being used as a threat judging by statements from US officials on Sunday shows.
Requests of the Palestinians? The intransigent party who refuses to negotiate? NONE.
How can we trust this President? Is he living on the same planet as the rest of us!?
There can be no trust here, these irrational demands, artificial crises, and plain and simple backstabbing behavior must be REJECTED by Israel. Obama is either trying to get our country destroyed, or bring down the government of a friendly country & ally. The majority of Israeli opinion cannot support such irrational appeasement demands just to satisfy President Obama’s Palestinian fetish, or to prop up his failing policies.
Last week the US claimed we insulted them! What was that whole Biden speech about!? Days later Obama has embarrassed Biden way more than we could have even if we had tried. Obama made Biden out to look like a liar, intent on misleading the Israeli people. I doubt that was Joe’s intentions, I believe he may have been just as blindsided as Netanyahu.
UPDATE: This gambit may not roll as ‘Chicago style’ as Obama / Axelrod want..
If we see the counter 1 , 2 punch of both Israeli domestic as well as American domestic resistance to the President’s alliance rift making games, the upper cut for Obama may be a painful one. The Administration deftly used the Friday trash cycle in the US and the Israeli shutdown Sabbath to launch their coordinated volley. But today is Monday, and Israel’s coalition has spoken..
While officials in Washington were quoted as saying that Netanyahu would have to choose between his ties with US President Barack Obama’s government and his coalition partners, ministers and MKs took steps to ensure that he would not have to make such a difficult choice.
Despite American pressure, not one of the 30 ministers in Netanyahu’s cabinet has expressed support for freezing construction over the pre-1967 border in Jerusalem. A check among the five Labor ministers found that they were all in favor of continuing to build in neighborhoods like Ramat Shlomo and Gilo, where the American administration opposes building.
“The consensus in Israel supports continuing to build in Jerusalem and that’s not going to change,” a Labor minister said. [...]
AIPAC has issued a rare statement in opposition to the US administration’s actions.
On a Sunday night no less. They are not thrilled to put it mildly it would seem with the public undressing of Israel for such a politically cynical purpose, nor one coming only a week out from the annual conference to boot.
Hillary Clinton, who just finished berating Bibi for 45 minutes & Netanyahu will both be there. That will likely make the Administration look even more volatile & erratic than it already appears to onlookers everywhere, if they have to scale this back!? Biden & Clinton are both going to take huge lumps to the face it would seem for his Majesty Barack before all is said & done I think.
The last key piece is American opinion, in this case fronted by their elected representatives. It is still Sunday night in America, so we will have to see how the reaction unfolds this week. I question the logic, foreign policy and thinking currently going on at the White House, in this I am most certainly not alone. Bibi, Obama, Biden, Clinton, everyone it seems comes out of this pained & bruised. Only the Palestinians benefit?? Has America become a Palestinian client state?
They call it “Smart Power” for a reason I guess, it just eludes me because I’m stupid.
Our “Friend” in the White House is obsessed with the Palestinian narrative.
Here are my thoughts about today’s big speech designed by the White House to ‘reach out to Israel’.
First let me say that we are honored to have had the VP Joe Biden visit with us, he is the Vice President of what has been until now our closest & most trusted ally, The United States of America. Sadly, it remains to be seen if that legacy will carry forward.
It’s hard to escape the fact the speech was heavy on lecturing us in Israel, the bulk of it was seemingly devoted to this, Biden’s personal anecdotes of friendship aside.
- How we don’t do enough for peace
- How we don’t risk enough for peace
- How we endanger peace.
- How hard Peace is & how we are making it harder.
As I listened to it, even the parts extolling our long friendship, I couldn’t help but be struck at how superficial it all was. The personal anecdotes were the same ones delivered by Biden previously to AIPAC in other speeches, that’s fine & understandable. It may have effected me nonetheless. I can’t even fault Joe, he delivered his speech well. But I felt it’s as if this White House is just going through the motions when it comes to Israel.
It’s such a stark contrast to the genuine warmth we felt from Bush. When he spoke you could hear it in his voice & see it in his eyes he was true friend. You could feel the alliance pulsing, the passion that real friends or brothers have for each other. Shoulder to shoulder, thick & thin.
This passion & friendship at a leadership level is long gone.
Try as they may to write it out, the White House speech writers, the advisers, down to the President himself they hold no passion for Israel. It’s evident. Biden tried to deliver it for them, but making us wait 45 minutes collectively as a nation for him to get it started certainly did not help. TV stations, radio, all of it live.. Filling in dead air time for nearly an hour making up for the fact Biden was so late!? It contributed to this feeling we have, that we are a chicken or fish bone stuck in the White House throat. That’s how they feel about us and we can sense it, we’re an errand, an annoyance or something to knock off on a post it note.
Obama’s stumbling block to greatness
That’s the reason Obama is so unpopular here. We know that for Obama, in his mind we are a roadblock preventing him from greatness. He feels no doubt the same way about nearly everyone. The US House, the American people, the Congress. It’s very sad, he’s clearly an egomaniac and I won’t mince words. We all know the type, they blame their failures on everyone else, like a slighted Hollywood star who’s acting simply sucks.
So how can anyone here in Israel feel assured, or entrust our very existence to such a ‘friend’? It’s frankly beyond me. Truthfully this America Israel stuff should be easy as apple pie. This is not a difficult mission, we love America! We want to be swept off our feet by her, the fact Obama can’t accomplish even this simple task is astounding. It’s speak much more than words can.
Nonetheless, what we really needed to hear is how we would stop Iran. That part was painfully short and passed by all too quickly. Instead we mostly heard how we should stop figuratively abusing the Palestinians and begin delivering for Obama a big win. Indeed, when Obama spoke in Cairo and embraced the Arab narrative it is clear now more than ever, he wasn’t humoring them. This dribble is what he actually believes. It’s 20 years of Jeremiah Wright coming home to roost, and he’s humoring us instead.
This one line from the speech says it all.
It was in reaction to the housing plans announced in Jerusalem which caused such a scandal.
Jerusalem, the territory we made sure everyone understands is not subject to settlement talk, not subject to freezes..
I — and at the request of President Obama, condemned it immediately and unequivocally.
That’s the real story. We had once again dared to stand before President Obama and his failed legacies. We are, and have always been in his mind condemned unequivocally and we know it. If someone had intended to convince us otherwise today, they failed. The speech went out with a whimper, it’s hardly being spoken about or even reported about hours later. I suspect thanks to this Administration, much the same can be said about the American Israel alliance for the next 3 years.
Anti Israel – Start to Finish.
Capping off a year of stunning Obama incompetence, Joe Biden has come to Israel to re-enforce the Obama administration’s friendship with our country. To err it seems is human, to be stunningly incompetent however is all Obama. Domestically, internationally, any way you slice or dice it so far this President is failing and doing so on an epic scale.
“Solid B+” he cockily intoned while self grading himself on TV. Oh what a sheltered life we lead over there at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue. On the foreign affairs front, nowhere has the failure been more evident than in the US / Israel relationship. The State of Israel is currently more popular with Americans than the President himself! We’re polling better than him according to Gallup figures, near record highs! How embarrassing for the Appeaser in Chief.
Smiles all around
Obama smiles, Joe Biden smiles, Netanyahu smiles. It’s all wonderful but it can’t cover up the latent animosity. Its an animus generated by the US President himself, and a cadre of advisers who let’s not mince words – Don’t like Israel and never have. They identify with the Palestinians. The White House calls it Muslim outreach, in the real world we like to call it yet another grandiose heaping pile of steaming failure.
Let’s Examine the Record
- No one in Israel has forgotten how the President in Cairo delegitmized our entire being here in Israel. A massive affront, felt across every Israeli political stripe. Mr. Obama with his teleprompters single handedly managed to rally 80% of the Israeli public around our right wing Prime Minister, an event until now seen only in times of WAR! Shockwaves rippled across Israel, President clueless was oblivious.
- Instead of bridging the gaps he himself had created, perhaps by reaching out to the Israeli public now clearly distrustful of him, the President instead pursued his course of folly. He opted to lord the existential Iranian sword hanging over us to force Israel into a building freeze across the West Bank. So instead of pressuring Iran where the real action was at, he issued threats to Israel, ingenious really! Priority number one was his pet project, the Palestinians. Quid Pro Quo it was called. Well we quidded, quidded building in the West Bank that is. Where’s the Quo? Failed engagement, stalled sanctions, and a chorus of advisers & veiled threats against Israel should we choose to defend ourselves. Incidentally – The Palestinians rejected our unprecedented concessions, and refused to talk about anything, let alone peace.. While the Iranians suffered a coup d’etat.
- When Israeli polling showed only 4% of Israelis felt the President was a friend and pro-Israel ally, (shocking numbers similarly simply unheard of in the annals of Israeli history.) The President still forged onward, sailing his ship of fools. He sent Hillary to lecture us on where we can or cannot build in our own Capital! His promises to Jewish American ears in order to get elected were left simply by the way side – Just words.
- When it had become clear to everyone including both the right & left in American media that the pressure gambits on Israel regarding settlements were a dismal failure; When it dawned that engagement follies were ill conceived, planned & implemented in every way. When it dawned the real source of intransigence preventing peace talks were the Palestinians themselves, who simply point blank refused to engage. Did the President assign blame? Of course not. Instead he chose to save that card, preferring to play it against Israel at the nearest opportunity we now learn.
- When American Jewish Democrats became disillusioned with their own Messiah, flanked by Israeli leftists begging the President to come to Israel & explain his folly. Months later whom did he send? Joe Biden. While we are honored to receive the US VP, it sent the message loud & clear. Muslims are priority #1 for President Obama. The Jews? Not so much. Worse, Biden was clearly sent here not to clean up Obama’s messes with Israel, but to warn us yet again against striking Iran. Endearing really.
- When we excluded Jerusalem from our building freeze, openly – matter of factly. Did Obama get the message? Or was his giant ego utterly incapable of absorbing even basic realities? The answer seems clear enough, Joe Biden has thrown a hissy fit here WHILE in Israel over our declared building plans in Jerusalem, last night he made Bibi wait 90 minutes with dinner on the table. Apparently we’ve endangered the mockery that is Obama’s greatest achievement. Non existent INDIRECT talks with the Palestinians. Frankly, Bush could achieve more in a night’s sleep than this President can in a year of failures, next time tell Biden the Kitchen is closed, send him out for a slice of Pizza instead.
Just like the UK, Honduras, France, The Czechs and a litany of other nations it boils down to one thing. None of us trust the President of the United States. Incidentally Chris Matthews – It’s not because he’s black. It’s because for all his academic prowess he seems to have a learning disability. Yes ladies & gentlemen, the President is an ideologue, an educated moron cum laude.
Harvard spits them out like Big Macs these days apparently.
Coup D’etat: The Revolutionary Guards In Control of Iran Had Nothing to Fear From Obama Biden (OP-ED Update II)
Last night I was struck by the fact that one of the net’s top bloggers Allahpundit, who’s stellar coverage of Iran at Hotair has been remarkable struggled to wrap his head around what in reality is going on in Iran like much of the West in general.
On the surface, none of what is going for many American minds makes much sense. If the Theocracy controls Iran, hand picks the candidates, and already resisted a ‘reformist’ presidency previously without much difficulty why is the Supreme Leader so invested in Ahmadinejad. Yesterday in two of his amazing posts on the issue he asked himself and readers that very question twice.. It is an excellent question.
Why is Khamenei so invested in an Ahmadinejad victory?
As a frequent commenter at HotAir I responded to the query, but it is so vitally important to understanding these events that it deserves some expounding. By the same token, the answer sheds some light as to why the entire American administration is seemingly equally clueless & impotent regarding events in Iran in general, and why the Americans are now failing miserably with their new Hope & Change strategy and engagement policy. A strategy which has now been thoroughly shredded, despite the fact that Obama, Hillary & CO. are living in convenient denial.
The initial Revolution has undergone Evolution
The answer is simple enough if one understands Iran in its current incarnation. The Theocracy is invested in Ahmadinejad because the Revolutionary Guard are invested in Iran. When I say invested I mean literally and figuratively. Over the last number of years the Revolutionary Guards have instituted a near full takeover of Iran. Wielding incredible power internally they have utilized Iran’s great wealth and their positions as the upper crust of Iranian society or access to it, to seize power across the board. The relationship between the guards & Khameni is symbiotic, as much as the Guards need Khameni, the Supreme Leader needs the guards.
That’s a big sell these days, that Obama is a ‘Great Statesman’
Other than the fact that he mostly met his 1st foreign leaders 3 months ago this summer on his big world tour, this like most everything else about Obama is mostly fantasy spun up by his adoring legions. Personally Obama reminds me more of the Teflon Don, you know the gangster in the suit employing Chicago style dirt to achieve his aims while the common folk sing his eternal praise.
Willingness to meet the World’s worst regimes for coffee & tea does not a great statesman make incidentally, but that’s not my concern at the moment. A greater concern are the statements made by Obama & Biden regarding Israeli politics previously, specifically Obama’s denigration of the Likud, historically one of Israel two leading parties and a current favorite to sweep into power in our upcoming elections..
The left in Israel is already trying to make hay
Israel cannot elect Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu prime minister after the United States voted for president-elect Barack Obama, because of the differences in their views on the Middle East conflict and economic issues, Labor and Kadima MKs charged Wednesday in the wake of Obama’s victory. [...]
There’s more there, including the sad & pitiful statements so typical of our left wing of late, who have tried everything under the sun to secure their own asses and seats in a manner not befitting statesmen of any stripe. Bush was of the right, yet he dealt fairly and with respect with our center left governments as well as our center right wing governments. He respected Israel’s right to choose & define its own destiny in this regard.
We don’t need no thought control..
Will Obama step forward, in contrast to his previous statements before he became a ‘great statesman’, and state that Israel has both the right & the responsibility to choose its own destiny and elect its own leaders in democracy? Or will he play into the hands of Israel’s left and his own convenience, by unduly influencing Israel’s internal politics and subtly intimidating Israel’s electorate, as our own left is already doing in order to create the great socialist order?
Before Syria, Iran, the Palestinians and all manner of dangerous foreign policy plays available to him, Obama will have an opportunity to first show how much he respects the State of Israel and her vibrant democracy, specifically by repudiating the kind of self serving schlock served up above by our own politicians and stating that whatever Israel chooses, the choice will be respected & welcomed by the new US administration once he takes office. He met with Bibi previously, that’s a positive start though the meeting reportedly was cool.
Netanyahu and Israel’s own right wing have so far been gracious in regard to Obama’s victory. We will be at the height of election fever specifically around Obama’s inauguration, he will have ample opportunity to shows us his statesman ways in this regard..