Obama’s spiteful reaction to Netanyahu’s winning the elections

Obama’s spiteful revenge on Netanyahu

By now everyone has heard all about Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement about a two-state solution not happening while he is Prime Minister, and also his possibly ill-advised words warning about Arabs being bussed in to vote on election day.

I call his statement about the Arabs ill-advised because someone of Netanyahu’s stature and experience should have realised the fallout that they would cause. and indeed it led to  being interpreted by the left as racism – they in effect accused him of objecting to the Arabs voting at all. However, when looking beyond the screaming headlines, it is obvious that Netanyahu was not calling for the Arabs’ disenfranchisement. He was simply pointing out that the Arabs were voting in huge numbers and was therefore calling on his own voters to come out in similar numbers to prevent being ousted. This is a legitimate call for a politician to make, although I still think he should have thought twice about the wording as he was handing ammunition to his enemies.

However the biggest fuss is being made of Netanyahu’s other “controversial” statement, about a Palestinian state not being established under his watch, in answer to a question from to the NRG Hebrew news site:

The prime minister warned in an interview with the NRG news website Monday that a Zionist Union-led government would push for relinquishing territory, a move he said was tantamount to “burying its head in the sand.”

“I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state today, and evacuate areas, is giving radical Islam an area from which to attack the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “This is the true reality that has been created in past years. Those that ignore it are burying their heads in the sand. The left does this, buries its head in the sand, time and again.”

Asked directly whether no Palestinian state would be created under his leadership, the prime minister answered: “Indeed.”

It is clear that Netanyahu’s one-word answer was a simple statement of fact, not a new policy. But as if lying in wait for a statement exactly such as this, the Obama Administration seized upon Netanyahu’s words and accused him of backtracking on his pledge to establish a Palestinian state and work towards a two state solution. And when Netanyahu clarified that he meant it as a statement of fact, rather than staking out a new direction or expressing a fervent wish, Washington remained frosty while Obama snootily decided, like a headmaster chiding a naughty schoolboy, that Netanyahu was not being sincere:

WASHINGTON — The State Department said Wednesday that the US would “evaluate” its approach to the two-state solution in light of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of Palestinian statehood during his campaign for reelection

“Based on the prime minister’s comments, the US is in a position going forward in which we will be evaluating our approach with regards to how best to achieve a two-state solution,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during her press briefing.

She acknowledged that “the fact that [Netanyahu] has changed his opinion certainly has an impact” on US decision-making moving forward.

Prof. Jacobson shows how the media distorted Netanyahu’s words , thus implying he was zig-zagging when he walked them back:

If you take the actual text of Netanyahu said, he never ruled out a two-state solution and never discouraged Arab voting. But those were the headlines and the foaming-at-the mouth hyperbole, fomented by the Obama administration in numerous anonymous statements to the media.

Netanyahu expressed his clarifications in an interview on MSNBC (at the link above):

But even after Netanyahu’s clarification, the White House stood by its ungracious and unrelenting rejection of Netanyahu’s stance:

Although Netanyahu later backtracked, and reiterated a commitment in principle to a “sustainable, peeaceful two-state solution,” Obama told The Huffington Post in an interview published Saturday that his administration is now operating under the assumption that Netanyahu does not envision the creation of a Palestinian state.

“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership,” Obama said, “and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.”

Former Ambassador and spokesman Dore Gold also attempted to explain the brouhaha and tries to bring some clarity to the disagreement in an interview on CNN:

Clarifications notwithstanding, relations between the two countries have now descended to such a level that Netanyahu has been left with the strong impression that the US will not back Israel at the UN any more. There is a disturbing twist in this tale: it appears that the Administration has been waiting for an excuse to “reassess” their relationship with Israel for 4 months – four months!! – i.e. long before Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, and certainly long before the elections were even called:

Quoting unnamed Israeli sources, they said the president made clear he didn’t believe Netanyahu was genuinely supportive of a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, and that he indicated that the US would no longer automatically support Israel at the United Nations.

According to a Channel 10 read out on the call, indeed, Obama left Netanyahu with “the impression that he intends to abandon Israel at the UN.”

The United States has actually been considering a reevaluation of ties with Israel, including its automatic support for the Jewish state at the United Nations Security Council, for at least four months, the Israeli sources also told Channel 2. Although the White House claims the reassessment was prompted by Netanyahu’s remarks on Monday in which he rejected the establishment of a Palestinian state — and which he walked back Thursday — that is not the case, according to the officials.

The White House is certainly giving every impression that it is trying its hardest to ignore any and every attempt by Netanyahu to appease them, placate them and backtrack on anything which might upset them.

Asked Friday why the White House was not taking Netanyahu at his word, White House spokesman Josh Earnest retorted, “Well I guess the question is: Which one?” Earnest said the Obama administration did take Netanyahu at his word — and understood that the prime minister does not envision a Palestinian state being established during his term in office.

“The divergent comments of the prime minister legitimately call into question his commitment to this policy principle and his lack of commitment to what has been the foundation of our policy-making in the region,” Earnest said. Netanyahu had prompted questions about his “true view” on the two-state solution, the spokesman added. “Words matter.”

Sure they do.  So do the words of promised support by the US matter to Israel. Trust is a two way street Mr. Spokesman. Nowadays Israel can’t trust a word that the Administration says, and not only Israel. Ask any Saudi, Jordanian or Egyptian how they feel about American support these days.

And then the threats:

Earnest said the administration has not decided what a reassessment in policy might mean. But he noted that in the past, the US has regularly opposed UN resolutions to create a Palestinian state by arguing that such a two-state arrangement should be negotiated between the parties. “What has now changed is that our ally in those conversations, Israel, has indicated that they are not committed to that approach anymore,” Earnest said.

Translation: “Nice little country you got there. Shame if something nasty happened to it. By accident you understand. Just a misunderstanding…”.

Charles Krauthammer aptly calls the Obama Administration’s reactions “unseemly” and “spiteful” (via Legal Insurrection):

But Israel is not alone. Stay tuned for another post on Israel’s wonderful defenders in Congress.

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31 Responses to Obama’s spiteful reaction to Netanyahu’s winning the elections

  1. NormanF says:

    In my view, Netanyahu should not have clarified anything. Obama was going to punish him anyway for something every one knows will never happen.

    A Palestinian Arab state is not in Israel’s interest because it will not live in peace alongside Israel. The Palestinian Arabs have no interest in such an arrangement.

    Its not like Israel didn’t try in good faith to make it happen. Netanyahu should have told his interviewer, what I said at Bar Ilan is no longer valid because the circumstances have changed and the other side did not seek to reach out to Israel.

    Israel cannot be expected to keep that door open forever just in case the Arabs might change their minds. They won’t and that ship has sailed.

    And the fact that it has doesn’t give the US the right to belittle, insult and threaten Israel. A sovereign country has the right to reassess what is feasible for it. So what if Israel is no longer committed to the two-state solution?

    The US once committed to making sure Iran could not acquire the means to build a nuclear bomb. Without so much notice to Israel, it decided it could live with a nuclear Iran. Its unfair and hypocritical of the US to demand fidelity of Israel when it shows none of its own towards the Jewish State.

    What all it comes down to in Obama’s churlish spite and desire to get even – he is the one – not Netanyahu who is aiming a wrecking ball at the US-Israel relationship. He thinks he can walk over Israel and still expect Israel’s cooperation on what the US would like to see in the Middle East.

    An alliance, is like a marriage of equals. It takes a partnership to make things work for the benefit of both sides. Obama has made it clear its my way or the highway. Since those are his terms, there is no good reason for Israel to suffer abuse from him for no tangible gain. Netanyahu tried to mend fences with the President on Thursday to no avail.

    History will record its Obama that killed the two state solution and not the Prime Minister Of Israel. No one has done more than him to destroy the slim prospects of peace in the Middle East that existed and all because for him getting revenge upon Israel was far more important than preserving the enduring ties between the two countries.

  2. JudyPt says:

    All the pundits and talking heads are ranting that Netanyahu has upset Obama in his aims to force Israel to do his bidding and therefor should backtrack on his behavior. Actually it is Obama who since day one has treated Netanyahu disgracefully, letting him wait in the middle of a meeting while he went for lunch, exiting him through a side door, something he never did to other heads of state. He treats Bibi with disdain at every meeting trying to avoid photo ops. Now that all his efforts to unseat Bibi have failed he is acting like a petulant child throwing his toys out of the pram . He is cutting off his nose to spite his face. No one understands why Obama took such a visceral dislike to Bibi from the beginning so I can only assume its pure anti semitism, there is no other explanation.

    • anneinpt says:

      I agree 100% with your comment too. “Petulant child” is a perfect description of Obama, except he is so much more dangerous than a child. If only we could just laugh at him and shrug it all off.

      I would only amend your words “cutting off his own nose to spite his face” to “cutting off his nose to spite Israel and America’s face”. He doesn’t think what he’s doing he’s wrong.

      I used to slightly mock those who called Obama an antisemite, I thought it was a conspiracy theory. But I’ve come round to that idea over the last couple fo years as his behaviour towards Israel has become worse and worse. He’s even got our Arab neighbours worried – now that takes some doing.

  3. xivv says:

    Terrifying. Attempting to trade a friendship with Israel for a friendship with Iran, or giving in to radical Islam. Seems Obama has an agenda, and he’s certainly got nothing to lose at this point.

    • anneinpt says:

      Precisely. At first he seemed just rather wishy-washy with regards to radical Islam. But then as the Iranian nuke program progressed and became more dangerous, he suddenly didn’t seem so naive any more, especially not when you consider Israel’s dire warnings, and more importantly, the alarms sounded in all the Western-oriented Arab states, e.g. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.

      Add to that how he “threw under the bus” not only Israel, but also those Arab states, and you get malice, not naivete.

      I’m working on the presumption that Obama’s agenda, for whatever reason, be it his religion or Marxism or who knows, is to weaken the West. And he’s done a jolly good job!

      • xivv says:

        No, it is certainly not naïveté. Believing genuinely that Iran will suddenly end a nuclear programme and work with him towards regional and worldwide is not a stance that he could stick to if he was not naïve; I don’t believe all his advisors are also naïve to allow that thought (though he does have a bad track record in respect of hiring good people).

        About his agenda, we know he at least used to be Muslim, that places Islam above all other religions, hates Western values and was instructed very specifically in Marxism and has preached Marxism throughout his time in office. He likely believes that in weakening the West and allowing Islamic extremists to run riot for a while he’s righting some injustice in the world.

  4. Reality says:

    Seeing as we are a sovereign state(something I think the left doesn’t realise -they think we belong somehow to the US) it’s time Netanyahu stated extremely firmly to Obama ,that seeing as we cannot rely on his goodwill & obviously never could, we will go shopping to find other states to support us ,thank you very much ,including the Arab states. This he should state on American national television , chronicling the entire relationship ,starting from day one , and ending with today. It’s time for Israel to put daylight between us & the US administration as it now behaves. If it changes its’ tune we will rethink our relationship. I think if he said that ,all those pundits would get a shock & might actually pressure Obama to behave as he should. If not we indeed will turn to any other states agreeing with us ,including the Arab states.

    • anneinpt says:

      Our big problems is that other countries are not as reliable. Not that Obama’s US is particularly reliable at the moment, but at its core, America – the people and Congress – are staunch supporters of Israel. China and Russia might sell us arms, or buy ours, but then they buy and sell the same stuff to our enemies.

      I don’t think Netanyahu need say anything. As you will see in my next post, we have many very strong supporters in Congress, and being davka won’t win us any more friends there. It will only alienate more people. We have to somehow get through the next 1.5-2 years and whoever comes in next, even if a Democrat, cannot possibly be as bad as Obama.

      Meanwhile I think it would be better if we simply learned to rely more upon ourselves.

  5. Aridog says:

    I will try to be crude without vulgarity…something that is hard for me to do in this matter. All this American administration criticism of Netanyahu’s words is pure unadulterated pig crap. How many times has the purported “Palestinian” Arab leadership walked away from a reasonable settlement offer? I say “purported” because a large number of the West Bank Arabs were driven out of Jordan in the Black September of 1971 IIRC….e.g., their own people didn’t want them because they are incorrigible…and lethally mendacious. So, no, without a major turn around among the non-Israeli Arabs, there will be no “two-state” solution in Bibi’s or my lifetime….other than the one mandated by the British in 1922. As for pundits and political ignoramuses referring to the “1967 Border” …guess they missed the part about that being an Armistice line, post 1948 invasion by Jordan, not a border treaty. Next: How’s that “freedom for Gaza” thing worked out? Increasing Hamas land would be demographic suicide for Israel. As for Bibi’s comments about high Arab voting within Israel any different than similar comments made in the USA between the parties and ethnic groups….every election time is how often. It is no different and a legitimate political call to the polls. BTW, Arabs within Israel are allowed to vote, and finished 3rd in fact in a new coalition. How many Arab nations allow Jews to vote, let alone live there in even semi-peace? Criticism of Israel vis a vis the Israeli Arabs, who have citizenship, votes is hypocritical in the extreme.

    I am more concerned now that we might not survive as Americans under 1.7 more years of Obama…he’s run off the rails and now is dangerous to us all. He could start WWIII with his folly and petulance…then be all surprised that his drawn down military couldn’t defend from let alone attack enemies en mass. He then would demand conscription and off we go. That will be our heritage for electing a “community organizer” for President. G-d save us all from this “babo eongdeong-i gumeong” written 바보 엉덩이 구멍 in another language I once spoke semi-fluently.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you Aridog for stating the facts about the so-called Palestinians so clearly. Why is it so hard for politicians of a certain stripe to understand what is so clear and so well-documented?

      You make a very good point too about the hypocrisy of criticizing Netanyahu’s “call to arms” to vote, when that is standard practice amongst all politicians.

      Indeed G-d save us all.

      PS I love those funny characters you wrote in your unprintable expletive. I wonder what they really mean…? 🙂

  6. Pete says:

    With US-Israel ties now on a very rocky road, it is difficult to imagine a strong level of cooperation. Certainly this includes major political goals – such as Palestinian statehood and Israeli security in a nuclearized Middle East.

    America’s role in the world is changing rapidly now. And the Middle East seems more fractured than ever.

    The “hidden hands” here … are the fingers of policy from Moscow and Beijing. I don’t believe that the Obama-Netanyahu dispute is related (in any way) to Russia and China. But I do I think that the fallout between America and Israel will assist the Russians and the Chinese to exploit new openings.

    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      I agree with your general assessment Pete. However, I do think that behind the scenes there is a lot more cooperation between Israel and the US than either side is letting on. It is known for example that our intel services share information, and other bilateral agreements are still in place. But what will America’s role be in the near term? It’s very hard to tell under Obama.

      Certainly you are correct that the Russians and Chinese are benefiting from America’s weakening – and that is completely unconnected to any disagreement with Israel. That dispute is just a symptom of Obama’s deliberate (it seems) weakening of America. Why doesn’t he stand up and explain to everyone precisely where he sees America headed, and how he is going to keep Russia and China from taking control of territories, policies and economies?

      It’s all a msytery.

      • Aridog says:

        Obama the Mendacious is not to be trusted, even if there are agreements and treaties in place. He has proven he will ignore any law or promise he doesn’t like. I note synonyms for Mendacious = lying, untruthful, dishonest, deceitful, false, dissembling, insincere, disingenuous, hypocritical, fraudulent, double-dealing, two-faced, Janus-faced, two-timing, duplicitous, perjured, et al. Trust Obama’s administration at your peril….you may get a shocking surprise. Ask the Egyptians, the Libyans, and Tunisians, and now the Yemenis. Two of those he touted loudly as his success stories within the past 18 months…whoopsie.

        Most Americans recall his famous bold faced lie [paraphrased]: If you like your health plan, you can keep it…if you like your doctors you can keep them when selling us Obamacare…only to discover than no you cannot in all too many cases nation wide. I am lucky that (so far) I’ve managed to keep mine and not yet been forced in to Obamacare per se…but the demands of the PPACA (Obamacare) forced my total premiums to increase by a ratio of 4:1…even though I am also on Medicare (65+ now). Since I have minimal deductibles I fear 2018 may bring on his “Cadillac Plan Tax” of 40% flat out. He did it to the US Congress persons, literally denying them the exact same coverage I have as a former DOD person…which they all had up to the advent of the ACA. What will make me special? My only hope is that by 2018 we’ll have a sane person in the White House. By itself that is a dicey proposition.

        Obama and his entire administration are cut from the same cloth and their attitude is “what have you done for ME lately?” Given I am convinced Obama has strong anti-semitic feelings, though he may not even realize it…community organizer and all that are pure of heart doncha know. Mainly he is a ttong-ui jogag-eul geojismal aka 똥의 조각을 거짓말 … and that might well really be unprintable.

        • Aridog says:

          For clarity, my formal Hangul epithet above is literally in English slang, “Lying POS”. I apologize for using it Anne, and I won’t use Hangul (Korean) to be uncivil again. It is just that when angry I tend to revert to it because I like the direct bluntness of the language, never used in such a manner except to intentionally be insulting and challenging. Hangul is a relatively modern language, consisting of 24 letters, which are “stacked” upon each other similar to English words and strung out as sentences. The translation phonetics have been revised since I learned it with the fluency of an 8 year old or so, and reflects how educated people in Seoul might speak…with the guttural throaty emphasis, that isn’t revealed in print, they still know an insult from a joke. For example, the word for “puppy” is just that unless uttered with the throaty guttural intonations….then it is an insult. I didn’t learn the Seoul versions, rather my learning was from rural Kimhae Province in the south to the Han Estuary in the north, from ROK soldiers who also were all around me in RVN. They mostly country boys with a finesse like mine back in the day…e.g., none.

          • anneinpt says:

            No need to apologize Aridog. This is a very cosmopolitan blog. All languages gratefully accepted. 😉

            It’s quite fascinating actually to see foreign characters and then their explanation. Being completely fluent in Hebrew makes me forget how difficult other languages can be.

            Anyway I certainly prefer rude words to be in an incomprehensible language! So carry on! 🙂

        • anneinpt says:

          Yep. The lack of trust is the core of the problem with Obama. He’s completely unreliable and doesn’t even stick to his own red lines. See Syria for example.

          Still LOLing at your “unprintables”. 🙂

  7. DavidinPT says:

    I think the time is well overdue for an Israeli reassessment of our relationship with the USA regime. I use the word “regime” because there is no need for any reassessment of the relationship with the American people, as represented by their Congress.
    Measures that could be up for consideration are:
    * Warming up our relationship with Putin, including inviting him over for a visit here.
    * Ditto re China.
    * Voting at the UN against the USA (& Europe) [instead of abstaining] on subjects such as Ukraine.
    * Discussing the sale of weaponry to countries blacklisted by the President (I believe Taiwan is one of them).
    * Announcing that we support the creation of the Asian World Bank being built by China to supplant the dollar as the currency of world trade.
    * Stopping or slowing down cooperation with Federal authorities on US taxpayers with assets in Israel.
    * and of course continuing to threaten an attack on Iranian nuclear installations.

    Relationships are a two-way street!

    • xivv says:

      I agree with this sentiment. I’m not Israeli, but it’s not hard to see how much the US abuses the relationship. If for nearly two years longer Mr. Obama refuses to look at both sides of this argument, then — even simply as a protest to him, because while the people are not responsible for his actions, they are responsible for his position — some of these bullet points need serious reassessment.

      If Mr. Obama has forgotten how important the Jewish State is to regional politics, its people, and democracy in general, then maybe he needs a reminder of the importance and ingenuity of the Israeli people on the world stage.

    • Aridog says:

      DavidinPT … much as is pains me, I have to consider your ideas positively. I hate the politics of bluster and posture, but given my President refuses to do anything else, a taste of his own medicine may be in order. It would hurt they majority of us who favor Israel, but at this point I really, not kidding, am concerned we may not make it whole under 1.7 more years of this fools and his handlers. So why not stir things up. His words to Sarkozy a while back and most of his pronouncements of late tell me he is an anti-Semite…one barely closeted. Our problem is that he is also anti-any successful American as well….except those who shovel him money in mega amounts. If they dared to stop, he go after them with every agency he can muster from EEOC, ETP, DOJ, to IRS and FBI. The man was raised by leftists, tutored by a communist (Frank Marshall Davis), and schooled by fools like Cloward & Piven, all who advocate our American downfall by a thousand cuts.

      He reveals himself when he crowed to Americans that “I won”….but doesn’t like it when Netanyahu essentially did the same thing without crowing. The only measure you suggest I’d not recommend is any messing with the UN (just abstain on everything)…a body that is not your friend and never will be due to the way it is constituted….you do not need the UN to accomplish your other ideas.

      Future horrors: If the “Witch in Waiting” Ms Clinton should win the Presidency here, or anyone like her, we are toast. I am old and maybe I’ll not live to see the civil war that will surely break out. We already have states and politicians advocating secession across the country…and neither Obama nor Clinton are Abraham Lincoln. It has reached the point where it makes me physically sick.

      • Aridog says:

        Correction: Where is cited “ETP” I fat finger what was supposed to be “EPA”…one of the recent resurgent bludgeons in active over reach of the law of the land.

    • anneinpt says:

      Like xivv and Aridog below, I’m in general agreement with your direction, though not with all your suggestions. I would be wary of cosying up to Russia too much. Putin is a very dangerous man, and Russia and China are both totally amoral. They’ll sell the same arms to us and our enemies and then sit back to watch the fight while pocketing the profits.

      Supporting the Asian World Bank might be interesting, and slowing down cooperation with the Fed – well, that WOULD make my work interesting ! 😀

      I agree with Aridog about being careful with the UN. It might blow up in our faces. I would rather we simply walk out. Who needs that bloody institution?

  8. DavidinPT says:

    In my earlier comment above of march 23rd I wrote that as part of Israel’s reassessment, Israel should announce “that we support the creation of the Asian World Bank being built by China to supplant the dollar as the currency of world trade”.

    Well, see link below, we’ve done just that!

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-joins-china-based-asian-investment-bank/

    • anneinpt says:

      Very interesting! I hope it’s a sound business move as well as political.

    • xivv says:

      Well something’s gotta give! The alliance is either give and take or it’s run its course.

      • anneinpt says:

        The alliance will hold in my opinion. It’s just going through a rough patch with Obama as Prez. If we can all hang on another couple of years I reckon relations will be repaired.

        • xivv says:

          I agree. Not to say that conservatives — pro-democracy, democrats — pro-totalitarianism, but I think a good run of G.O.P. is what America needs. In the same way that we needed a good run of Tories here in the U.K.

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