Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Obama Needs to Realize It’s Not About the Palestinians

January 23, 2013 12:05 am 1 comment

President Barack Obama listens as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responds to a question during a joint meeting with the press in the Oval Office. Photo: Pete Souza.

President Obama’s criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu — on the eve of the Jan. 22, 2013 Israeli elections — underlines the secondary role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation.

Since March 2009, Obama has systematically scorned Netanyahu’s policies on the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem and the construction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, in particular. However, since March 2009, irrespective of harsh disagreements over the Palestinian issue, the mutually-beneficial U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation has expanded, especially in areas which feature the distinctive Israeli added-value: intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism, homeland security, missile defense, training, battle tactics, joint exercises, pre-positioning of military hardware, medical treatment of soldiers and civilians, research and development, space, commercial and defense industries and high-tech in general. Neither Israel nor the U.S. intends to subordinate primary interests to secondary issues by cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

The volcanic eruption of the Arab Winter since 2010 — independent of the Palestinian issue — has exposed the unpredictable nature, instability, violent volatility, unreliability, inefficiency, intolerance and anti-U.S. terrorism and hostility on the Arab Street. It has highlighted Israel’s unique features as the only stable, predictable, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the U.S.

Mutual threats to the U.S. and Israel — such as nuclear Iran, Islamic terrorism, the proliferation of advanced missiles and nuclear technologies, and the clear and present radical menace to pro-U.S. Arab regimes — transcend the Palestinian issue. Moreover, pro (and anti) U.S. Arab leaders have never considered the Palestinian issue a cardinal matter on their agenda. They are currently traumatized by the lethal Iranian nuclear threat, raging Arab Winter, emboldened Islamic terrorism and the erupting Iraqi, Syrian and Muslim Brotherhood lava, which might trigger their downfall.

Notwithstanding Obama’s distrust of Israel’s Palestinian policy, U.S. defense and high-tech establishments trust Israel’s unique contributions to U.S. national security and the economy as a matchless source of cutting-edge technologies, a sterling beachhead in a vital region, a battle-tested laboratory, and the largest U.S. aircraft carrier which does not require U.S. boots on board. Such attributes are doubly crucial while the U.S. reduces its power projection and severely cuts its defense budget.

Obama’s criticism of Netanyahu is not unprecedented. Prime Minister Shamir’s policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestinian issue, was ruthlessly criticized by the U.S. administration. However, in April 1988, at the height of President Reagan’s brutal criticism of Shamir’s handling of the First Palestinian Intifadah, Israel was elevated to the status of a major non-NATO ally. A Memorandum of Understanding was concluded, enhancing U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation in an unprecedented manner. It aimed at leveraging Israeli capabilities in the face of joint regional and global challenges, which superseded the Palestinian issue.

In fact, from 1948 until 1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers faced rough U.S. pressure on Arab and Palestinian-related issues. In most cases, the pressure was repelled, criticism was sharpened, but strategic cooperation surged beyond expectations. Middle East reality overpowered oversimplified policy and moral-equivalency.

While President Obama rebukes Israeli policymakers, the U.S. constituency demonstrates its overwhelming support for the Jewish state. A Dec. 2012 poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that Americans support Israel over Palestinians by a 5:1 ratio, similar to a 59 percent:13% ratio documented by a Nov. 2012 CNN poll. While the executive branch of government is in the habit of criticizing Israel, the coequal, co-determining Legislature — the most authentic representative of the American people — has been a bastion of support for Israel since 1948 and for the idea of a Jewish state since 1776.

President Obama’s preoccupation with the Palestinian issue, and criticism of Israel, is out of the American mainstream.

This column was originally published by Israel Hayom.

1 Comment

  • THE ERNTIRE ISSUE IS TOTALLY CLOUDED IN OBAMA’S MIND BECAUSE OF HIS ISLAMIC EMPATHY TOIWARDS ARABS, REGARDLESS OF THEIR CONTINUED HOSTILITY TOWARDS ISRAEL. HIS ADHERENCE TO CHRISTIANIY IS OF SERIOUS DOUBT. A MAJOR PROBLEM WITH HIM!!

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...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Jewish former CNN host Larry King asked a Saudi Arabian fan if taking pictures with Jews is allowed in his country, before agreeing to pose for a photo with the man, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The world-famous interviewer was leaving the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. with a New York Times reporter when a “dark-skinned man” approached and asked to take a picture with him, according to the publication. Whereupon, King asked the fan where he was from. When the man said Saudi […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    British-Jewish business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar joked on Wednesday that London synagogues will likely be empty during Yom Kippur with congregants fleeing to watch the match-up of two leading English soccer teams known for having hordes of Jewish fans. “Spurs V Arsenal cup game drawn on most important Jewish festival,” Lord Sugar pointed out on Twitter. “Both teams have loads of Jewish fans. Conclusion Synagogues will be empty.” North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC will go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup third-round […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Two Jewish men were the only unwitting participants in a social experiment conducted by Jimmy Kimmel, for his popular TV show. As part of a candid-camera-like sketch featured Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host devised different street scenes to observe human behavior — in particular, to see how long it would take people walking down California’s bustling Hollywood Boulevard to notice and interact with others in distress. One scene involved a man in a Spongebob Squarepants costume who had “fallen down” on the sidewalk and needed help […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    A major Jewish organization rebuked actress Natalie Portman on Monday for saying in a recent interview that Jews put too much emphasis on teaching about the Holocaust relative to other genocides. The Israeli-born movie star told the U.K.’s Independent that the Jewish community needs to examine how much focus it puts on Holocaust education over other issues. She said she was shocked when she learned that a genocide was taking place in Rwanda while she was in school learning only about the horrors of the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    JNS.org – A new book that draws parallels between the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of Independence) has sparked outrage ahead of an official book launch, to be hosted by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on Sept. 7. The Zionist organization Im Tirtzu wrote a letter to the institute demanding that it cancel an event it planned in honor of the book’s authors, under the title The Holocaust and […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Famed actress Natalie Portman warned on Friday against the use of Holocaust education to evoke fear and paranoia. In an interview with the U.K. Independent she added that the trauma should make Jews more empathetic to others who have also experienced hatred. “Sometimes it can be subverted to fearmongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen,’” the Israeli-American star said. “We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, antisemitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    The Tribalist, by Louis Marano, is ostensibly a work of fiction but at its core a kind of love song by a gentile journalist for the State of Israel, and especially its secular Zionist core. (Because of the relentless attacks by left-wing polemicists on Israel’s allegedly “messianic” fringe, it’s often forgotten that most of Israel’s founders and all its leaders have been secular Zionists.) The author, the product of an Italian-American family in Buffalo, served two tours of duty in […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    JNS.org – Rugelach (singular: rugala) are a beloved traditional Jewish pastry, with a quirky history to boot, but they often present a kosher conundrum. Though parve rugelach are often a preferred dessert after a meat meal for those observing kosher laws (which stipulate a waiting period between eating meat and dairy), some of today’s most popular rugelach are known for their dairy fillings. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer—author of the books “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” and […]

    Read more →