Obama, the 'anti-Israel president'

Ed Lasky
Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens nails President Obama to the wall in his column: An Anti-Israel President.  Stephens writes about the Obama doctrine: insult and punish friends, reward adversaries and enemies.  His latest target, Israel (a frequent punching-bag for him). Obama articulated a policy with either no warning or very little warning to our allies, the Israelis, that would adopt the Palestinian policy requiring Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines (with agreed land swaps) and make it the American policy. Of course, Barack Obama has a penchant of doing this to individual Republicans (he has insulted Paul Ryan to his face, and Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock as well) but now he does it to an entire nation.
Say what you will about President Obama's approach to Israel -- or of his relationship with American Jews -- he sure has mastered the concept of chutzpah.

On Thursday at the State Department, the president gave his big speech on the Middle East, in which he invoked the claims of friendship to tell Israelis "the truth," which to his mind was that "the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace." On Friday in the Oval Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his version of the truth, which was that the 1967 border proposed by Mr. Obama as a basis for negotiating the outlines of a Palestinian state was a nonstarter.

Administration reaction to this reciprocal act of friendly truth-telling? "That was Bibi over the top," the New York Times quoted one senior U.S. official, using the prime minister's nickname. "That's not how you address the president of the United States."

Maybe so. Then again, it isn't often that this or any other U.S. president welcomes a foreign leader by sandbagging him with an adversarial policy speech a day before the visit.

This pressure to withdraw to these lines would imperil Israel behind so-called Auschwitz borders (Hat Tip: Abba Eban) even before such contentious issues as the so-called Palestinian right of return and the status of Jerusalem would be negotiated.  In other words, Israel would give up something tangible for ...nothing.  And endanger its existence along the way.  Obama threw out a sop that he would call for a demilitarized Palestinian nation.  Of course, that is a red herring and shameless spin.  Stephens points out that Obama himself reveals this to be a lie since Obama, in the very same speech, says that every state (presumably including "Palestine" ) has a right of self-defense.  Furthermore, even assuming the Palestinians agree to such a state, it would be a ruse.  Once they have a state, the Palestinians would insist as a sovereign nation they have a right to have an army.  International law -- and the international community -- would be used to support their position.  Besides, the Middle East has many examples of arms embargoes that have been violated-right under the knowing eyes of the United Nations (for example, Lebanon).

But Stephens sees this pressure on Israel as part of a pattern of how Obama has treated that tiny nation.

Then he ends his column with a bang:

What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term. Assuming, of course, that he gets one.

Clearly, he is not alone in presuming Barack Obama -- should he win a second term and be unbounded by any political constraints -- would make how he has treated Israel so far look like a day at the beach. He would just be warming up to deliver even worse policies, if not punishment, in a second term.

One is reminded of what Cyrus Vance, Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State (until he resigned in the wake of the bungled Iran hostage rescue mission), said Jimmy Carter would have done had he won a second term: sell Israel down the river.

Stephens thinks Obama would pursue policies in a second term that would make Jimmy Carter's smile even wider.
Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens nails President Obama to the wall in his column: An Anti-Israel President.  Stephens writes about the Obama doctrine: insult and punish friends, reward adversaries and enemies.  His latest target, Israel (a frequent punching-bag for him). Obama articulated a policy with either no warning or very little warning to our allies, the Israelis, that would adopt the Palestinian policy requiring Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines (with agreed land swaps) and make it the American policy. Of course, Barack Obama has a penchant of doing this to individual Republicans (he has insulted Paul Ryan to his face, and Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock as well) but now he does it to an entire nation.
Say what you will about President Obama's approach to Israel -- or of his relationship with American Jews -- he sure has mastered the concept of chutzpah.

On Thursday at the State Department, the president gave his big speech on the Middle East, in which he invoked the claims of friendship to tell Israelis "the truth," which to his mind was that "the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace." On Friday in the Oval Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his version of the truth, which was that the 1967 border proposed by Mr. Obama as a basis for negotiating the outlines of a Palestinian state was a nonstarter.

Administration reaction to this reciprocal act of friendly truth-telling? "That was Bibi over the top," the New York Times quoted one senior U.S. official, using the prime minister's nickname. "That's not how you address the president of the United States."

Maybe so. Then again, it isn't often that this or any other U.S. president welcomes a foreign leader by sandbagging him with an adversarial policy speech a day before the visit.

This pressure to withdraw to these lines would imperil Israel behind so-called Auschwitz borders (Hat Tip: Abba Eban) even before such contentious issues as the so-called Palestinian right of return and the status of Jerusalem would be negotiated.  In other words, Israel would give up something tangible for ...nothing.  And endanger its existence along the way.  Obama threw out a sop that he would call for a demilitarized Palestinian nation.  Of course, that is a red herring and shameless spin.  Stephens points out that Obama himself reveals this to be a lie since Obama, in the very same speech, says that every state (presumably including "Palestine" ) has a right of self-defense.  Furthermore, even assuming the Palestinians agree to such a state, it would be a ruse.  Once they have a state, the Palestinians would insist as a sovereign nation they have a right to have an army.  International law -- and the international community -- would be used to support their position.  Besides, the Middle East has many examples of arms embargoes that have been violated-right under the knowing eyes of the United Nations (for example, Lebanon).

But Stephens sees this pressure on Israel as part of a pattern of how Obama has treated that tiny nation.

Then he ends his column with a bang:

What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term. Assuming, of course, that he gets one.

Clearly, he is not alone in presuming Barack Obama -- should he win a second term and be unbounded by any political constraints -- would make how he has treated Israel so far look like a day at the beach. He would just be warming up to deliver even worse policies, if not punishment, in a second term.

One is reminded of what Cyrus Vance, Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State (until he resigned in the wake of the bungled Iran hostage rescue mission), said Jimmy Carter would have done had he won a second term: sell Israel down the river.

Stephens thinks Obama would pursue policies in a second term that would make Jimmy Carter's smile even wider.