Monday, January 9, 2012

Aaron David Miller Tells Us Why Obama Doesn't Much Like the Jewish State


{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives}

He writes:

Barack Obama has an Israel problem. Almost three years in, the US president still can’t decide whether he wants to pander to the Israeli prime minister or pressure him.

That Barack Obama has an "Israel problem" can hardly be in doubt, but it is mainly a problem of his own creation because, indeed, Obama does want to keep the pressure on Israel, but pressure to do precisely what is anyone's guess? After all, the Israelis long ago agreed to two states for two peoples while the Palestinian-Arabs have year after year, and decade after decade, absolutely refused to end their war against the Jews in the Middle East.

This, apparently, is what the Obama administration fails to understand.

Buckle your seat belts. Unless Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu find a way to cooperate on a big venture that makes both of them look good, and in a way that allows each to invest in the other, the US-Israel relationship may be in for a bumpy ride.

It is going to continue to be a bumpy ride because Barack Obama does not understand Israel, doesn't care to understand Israel, and most certainly does not understand the conflict in the Middle East. Obama, like most progressives, thinks that the Jews are mean and that if they would stop being mean then there would be peace between the vicious Israeli colonialist state and the peace loving indigenous population who want not nothing more on this earth than to tend their Sacred Palestinian Olive Groves and raise their children to be accountants and pastry chefs.

Unlike his two predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Obama isn’t in love with the idea of Israel.

I would say that this is a considerable understatement. President Obama, through his contempt for Prime Minister Netanyahu has demonstrated a distinct dislike for Israel and no amount of pandering to the American Jewish population before the coming election is going to change that. The truth of the matter is that Obama does not much like the Jewish state and I predict that if he gets reelected he will show that dislike, that contempt, in a much more open manner because he will have nothing to lose. It is then that we will really see the ways in which Obama has swallowed the fabled "Palestinian narrative" lock, stock, and barrel.

Intellectually he understands and supports the pro-Israeli trope – small democratic nation with dark past confronts huge existential threats – but it’s really a head thing.

Does he understand that, even intellectually? I tend to doubt it. From his behavior toward Israel it seems far more likely that he views Israel in much the same way that progressives in general view Israel, i.e., as a racist, imperialist, colonialist, apartheid state that needs to be pressured heavily in order to make it accept a Palestinian state in Gaza, and Judea and Samaria. Of course, just because Israel long ago agreed to such a state, and the Palestinians have never so agreed, does not faze the anti-Israel Obama one little bit.

He still seems hell-bent on pressuring Israel to accept what it already accepts and won't pressure the Palestinian-Arabs to accept what they have never accepted. Israel favors two states for two peoples and the Arabs do not, yet Obama thinks that the United States must pressure Israel. It's rather odd, actually. Or, perhaps, just simply ridiculous, but there it is.

It’s also a conflict that is vital to American interests. And those interests are being threatened by the divide between those who want a solution and are serious about moving toward one, and those who aren’t serious about finding a solution and throw out obstacles. After three years, the president has clearly placed the Israelis in the latter category and the Palestinians in the former.

Precisely. All evidence to the contrary, Obama blames the Jews of the Middle East for the ongoing conflict, despite the fact that it has been the Arabs, century upon century, that has persecuted its Jewish minority and now will not allow the Jews to live in peace and in sovereignty on Jewish land.

As for Bibi Netanyahu:

Obama doesn't like him, doesn’t trust him and views him as a con man. The Israeli prime minister has frustrated and embarrassed Obama and gotten in the way of the president’s wildly exaggerated hopes for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he’s been pursuing with more enthusiasm than viable strategy since his inauguration.

Quite right. Obama has an irrational disdain for the Israeli leader that matches his irrational disdain for the Jewish state. Furthermore, he has been pursuing an end to the conflict with far more enthusiasm than viable strategy. In fact, he has been pursuing an end to the conflict with no strategy whatsoever beyond trying to force Israel to accept what it has already accepted and through a racist policy of seeking to prevent a Jewish presence on ancient Jewish land.

To make matters worse, when the president went after a settlements freeze, Netanyahu called his bluff and Obama backed down – a terrible humiliation.

Is Obama humiliated? I tend to doubt that. He certainly should be humiliated because the demand that Jews should be allowed to live here, but not over there, is racist to the core. Any president of the United States should be thoroughly embarrassed if he honestly thinks that he has the right to tell an entire ethnicity where we may be allowed to live. Heck, I am embarrassed for him.

In the end, the Barack-Bibi relationship is likely headed south because the trust and capacity to give each other the benefit of the doubt has long ago evaporated.

The blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama who, through his ingestion of the "Palestinian narrative" at the feet of Rashid Khalidi, believes that because Israel is almost entirely at fault for the conflict, only Israel can fix the situation, which is the exact opposite of the truth. This is also why Obama is entirely incapable of fixing the problem. He doesn't understand it, so how can he possibly fix it?

Without some common enterprise to bind them together and with a great many issues to drive them apart (settlements, the peace process), relations will get worse, taking their toll on the US-Israel relationship, Israel’s security, American interests and, for certain, any remaining hope for a two-state solution.


And look for "progressives," including "progressive Zionists," to kick around the Israeli Prime Minister because of this, rather than understand that it is the American President, himself, who has entirely screwed up the potential for a negotiated settlement.

It is Obama who has failed, but they will give Netanyahu the blame.



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