We’ve come to know and not love Obama’s petulant thin-skinned persona who cannot take criticism from allies, or even disagreement on policy. Several times over the past years Israel has experienced the sharp edge of his or the Administration’s tongue, but two reports in recent days are quite stunning.
The first, via Elder of Ziyon, is that the US just declassified solely the portion concerning Israel of a 1987 report on allies’ nuclear capability.
In the midst of controversy over the Israeli prime minister’s plans to address Congress next month, a researcher has won the release of a decades-old Defense Department report detailing the U.S. government’s extensive help to Israel in that nation’s development of a nuclear bomb.
The 1987 report, “Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” compares the key Israeli facilities developing nuclear weapons to Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the principal U.S. laboratories that developed the bomb for the United States.
Only 129 of the 386 pages were released, with anything not having to do with Israel (specifically, the programs of France, Italy, West Germany and “Other NATO Countries”) still censored. The person who requested the report under the Freedom of Information Act agreed to that redaction, because his one and only purpose was to attack Israel.
It is curious that the report was released so soon before the controversial Netanyahu visit to Congress, something that is noted in the Courthouse News article as well.
It’s not only curious. It is damned suspicious and positively outrageous. I hope that Israel will be protesting officially at this breach of trust by the US.
Another report, subsequently denied by the Administration was that the US has stopped updating Israel on the nuclear talks with Iran:
The White House and State Department denied that it had stopped updating Israel on progress in talks with Iran over its contested nuclear program, as had been reported earlier by Channel 2.
According to the TV report on Sunday, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice has cut off contact with Israeli National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen on the talks. It also quoted chief US negotiator Wendy Sherman as saying that she will no longer keep Israel informed of the attack. The channel characterized the move as revenge for Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month, which has raised the ire of the Obama administration.
But the US swiftly rebutted the claims, with the White House terming the report “patently false.”
…“And Secretary Kerry continues his conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu about this issue, as has always been the case,” the State Department said.
Earlier, a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel that the report was false.
The question that arises though is where did this report originate from? Was it from Channel 2 TV whose agenda is not particularly pro-Netanyahu, especially towards the upcoming elections? Were they hoping ot discredit Bibi by such a report? On the other hand would an established TV channel just make up such a report out of whole cloth?
Or was the story true, but when it broke in the media the Administration was embarrassed enough to deny it?
I doubt the full truth will come out, but the sad thing is that the story could possibly have been true. That is the character of Obama and his Administration and that is the nature of the rickety US-Israel relationship at present.
On a related matter, former Defence Secretary Leon Panetta stated that he was “afraid of Netanyahu’s speech”. He explained this rather startling admission thus:
Panetta told CNN, “I’m afraid what is going to happen here with what Netanyahu will do, is to make this partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans and that makes it a very dangerous trap.”
Panetta said the real focus should be on unity, not on fighting. “We need to get back to presidents and Congresses who can work together to try to confront the challenges we face,” he said.
If it’s unity that he’s worried about, and he’s right to be concerned because the divisiveness si giving the Iranians a huge morale boost, then he ought to address his concerns to the Administration, and in particular to Obama who made Netanyahu’s speech a partisan issue in the first place.
The divisiveness and partisanship is evident not on Capitol Hill but within the American Jewish community too, where many members are adamantly objecting to Netanyahu’s speech on the grounds that it will undermine the President, the deal with Iran, and/or interfere in American politics. Gabriel Eichler in the Algemeiner answers these concerns with a timely reminder of the apathy and acquiescence of American Jewish leaders during the Holocaust at a time when speaking out might have saved millions:
Jewish apathy, acquiesce, and outright collaboration that immeasurably assisted Hitler’s Nazi regime in carrying out its “Final Solution.”
Let’s look at historical facts first: on August 28, 1942, American Reform Rabbi Stephen Wise received an alarming cable from London.
…Rabbi Wise was the most well-known leader of the American Jewish community during the years of World War II, and he also officiated as president of both the American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress.
His shameful failure of “leadership” ended up to be a criminally disgraceful disaster when it came to making any rescue efforts on behalf of Europe’s Jews – including my entire murdered family – during the Holocaust.
On October 6, 1943, a delegation of American Orthodox rabbis arrived in Washington hoping for a personal audience with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They planned to present to the President irrefutable proof that the Nazis were conducting a wholesale annihilation of unimaginable scale of European Jews.
The rabbis understood that this was a decisive moment – the very last chance to stop the Holocaust before the last of European Jewry was extinguished.
Wise who – like a good political lackey – called President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ‘Boss’ and ‘Chief,’ advised the President not to meet with the 400 pleading Orthodox rabbis who marched on Washington.
So accordingly, the President did not make himself available to hear the pleas.
Which brings me to a recent public statement I read in a New York Jewish newspaper – a statement, that was attributed to the current leader of Reform Jewry in the US.
In the Jewish Daily Forward, a certain American Reform leader reportedly pronounced that it would be “ill-advised” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, because it would take place two weeks before Israeli elections and also because the appearance had been organized without the knowledge of the White House.
On one hand, it could be seen as just one of many opinions expressed on Netanyahu’s stated intention of giving a dire warning to Congress regarding the dangers of a nuclear Iran. But since this is eerily similar to another Reform leader – Stephen Wise’s horrific mishandling of a truly existential threat to the Jewish people – the stunning coincidence simply cannot be ignored.
Prime Minister Netanyahu cannot be expected to sit back and leave the future of his people in the hands of a murderous, radical – and soon to be nuclear-capable – Islamic Republic, nor to the whims of naïve dilettantes in Washington who are looking for a “legacy” or to curry favor with the Administration.
Am Yisroel Chai!
The people of Israel will live only if we look after our own interests without kowtowing to well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning friends who think they know better than us how to protect us – or how to save us from ourselves.