Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

It’s Uniquely Offensive for America to Intervene in the Israeli Democratic Process

January 21, 2013 2:30 am 1 comment

Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Photo: wiki commons.

With all of the talk about the unique Israel-America relationship, American interference in Israel’s democratic elections is indeed uniquely offensive. In this week’s upcoming election, and in many previous Israeli elections the American President has been active in attempting to help the left win in the only real Middle Eastern democracy. This is no way to treat one’s so-called “closest ally” – and America does not involve itself in this way in Russia or European or Asian countries.

No matter who is elected as the next Israeli Prime Minister, when elections are held this Tuesday, one can rest assured that Israel will remain the only country in the Middle East where the American flag isn’t burnt regularly.

An update on the most recent case in point:

  • Last week, a few days before the Israeli elections, President Barack Obama was quoted as saying “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” Obama reportedly commented that with “each new settlement announcement, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation.” The leak of this comment is clearly an attempt to get Israelis to vote for someone Obama would be ideologically closer to than Netanyahu – but I wonder if the heralded Start-up Nation needs Obama to tell its free citizens how to vote? Perhaps Obama should focus on the many countries in the Middle East which are hostile to the United States.

This isn’t the first time American intervention has occurred on the eve of Israeli elections:

  • In 1992, when Israeli Prime Minister Shamir refused to surrender to President George H.W. Bush’s demands that Israel stop building in Judea and Samaria, Bush withheld loan guarantees on the eve of Israeli elections. He then dispatched his Secretary of State James Baker to campaign for the Labor party. Indeed, Shamir lost the election and polls showed that the Israeli public was upset about the crisis between America and Israel and reacted accordingly. (The aftermath of this election brought Israel the Oslo peace process which has resulted in tens of thousands dead. Had America not intervened, perhaps the Middle East would be safer today.)
  • Four years later Bill Clinton did everything he could to aid then PM Shimon Peres in his bid to stay in power – including making a virtual joint campaign appearance. The President appeared with Peres in Israel and in the U.S. during the campaign and repeated Labor Party electoral slogans almost verbatim.
  • In the late 1990s, Ehud Barak was enlisted by President Bill Clinton to help bring down Netanyahu’s government. Clinton went so far as to pressure the coalition partners of Netanyahu’s Likud to bring down the government – and Clinton’s close aides and political strategists. James Carville, Stanley Greenberg and Robert Shrum ran Barak’s election campaign. (Barak is almost universally regarded in Israel as an awful Prime Minister. In late 2012 he announced his resignation from political life.)

American meddling in Israeli elections is offensive, and it must end. Politically, and from a public relations standpoint, Israel should remind America of the many benefits it brings to the table as an ally – and not just vice versa.

The great Prime Minister Begin once told an American ambassador that “we are not a banana republic” – and Israel continues to thrive and flourish.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR and a passionate supporter of Israel.

1 Comment

  • Beware Greeks baring gifts. When the US started giving about a hundredth what it gives to Muslim entities to Israel, and in such a way that it will seem like Israel is getting the most, in about 1983, Israel signed up for antisemites to do this.

    Atr that moment all of the Soviet lies became true both before and after about Israel being colonialist project of the West. nd evil evil people developed an America is owed your life philosophy for Israel.

    ISrael should have kept the Sinai, and America would have been forced to fight Egypt eventually anyway because it would have still been in the Soviet sphere, and everything would look a loit better today. Began was Israel’s Korach bringing in these shmoes.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    JNS.org – Nine months ago, Seth Cohen, director of network initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Randall Lane, editor of Forbes Magazine, were schmoozing about the “vibrancy of Tel Aviv and soul of Jerusalem,” as Lane put it. They dreamed about how they could bring young and innovative millennials to the so-called “start-up nation.” From April 3-7, Forbes turned that dream into a reality. Israel played host to the first-ever Forbes Under 30 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) […]

    Read more →