Don’t take my word for it…look at how the American President has treated Israel every day of his Presidency.
Last year, during the UN General Assembly, Obama refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Then, when he finally did meet with him…he did so without live cameras.
This year, after Israel openly insulted Vice President Joe Biden by announcing expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have taken one of the hardest lines in recent memory. Obama cancelled several military shipments, including bunker buster bombs, to Israel in retaliation. And today, when Netanyahu visits the White House…again there will be no cameras live.
Now, taking a hard line with Israel does make some diplomatic sense. But this does not occur in a vacuum. In a world where our President calls for open and frank talks with dictators such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim-Il Sung, and openly meets with Hugo Chavez on camera, Obama’s actions speaks volumes.
Obama has basically painted Israel into a corner. How exactly does the Isreali government back down, when Obama takes a harder and harder line? Well, what we get is more unilateral action by Israel than we have seen in recent memory. Several months ago, Mossad agents assassinated a Hamas official in Dubai…without ever discussing it with CIA affiliates. This was a remarkable statement. For all practical purposes, the Mossad was basically announcing their lack of faith in the American Administration.
Yesterday, Netanyahu basically reiterated his defense of building additional settlements, and for all purposes, told the Obama Administration to go to hell.
Now, public polling shows a recent surge of approval for Obama in the Israeli populace after the Biden trip; whether this is a short term phenomena or a long term change remains uncertain. But that is beside the point. The government and military do not trust Obama to defend their interests, and that is the most important factor involved.
In an era where Obama has been reluctant to criticize Iranian troops from beating and killing democracy protesters, or opposing Hugo Chavez’s continued stranglehold on freedom of speech in Venezuela, the administration’s harsh rhetoric against Israel stands out. Harsh language to an ally is sometimes necessary and required. However, at some point, that bond of friendship can break, especially when the other side views their existence at threat. Obama is pushing this relationship to its practical breaking point.