Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Israel’s Emphatic Response to Obama’s Thinly Veiled Threat

January 24, 2013 12:01 am 1 comment

Yair Lapid. Photo: Wikipedia.

There is much to be said about Bloomberg Columnist Jeffrey Goldberg’s recent report on President Obama’s current attitude towards Israel, where he claimed that the President believes that ‘Israel doesn’t know what its best interests are.’

“With each new settlement announcement, in Obama’s view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation,” wrote Goldberg.

The timing of the release of this information, has led some to believe that the leak amounted to a deliberate attempt by the President to influence the outcome of Israel’s election this week. If this was his intention, he failed dismally.

While Goldberg’s portrayal  of the President paints a picture of a reflector in chief, who is surmising over his experiences, the truth is that the release of this information amounted to nothing less than a thinly veiled threat.

President Obama is no observer. When it comes to Israel’s place in the world, his comments aren’t mere pontification or thesis. Obama is the President of the United States and his assessments often influence reality.

Obama’s message to the Israeli public was simple: Either elect someone that will fall in line with my dictates or you will be alone in the world.

Of course, the President is aware that Israel knows what its interests are. His problem is that Israel knows too well what they are, and they are not what the President wants from Israel.

Obama’s expressed indifference in Goldberg’s article, means that after being ‘shot’ earlier in his term, he no longer wishes to be the messenger.  He won’t be the bad guy, but he will let the United Nations hang, draw and quarter the Jewish state without lifting a finger.

Sure, he didn’t vote for the recent Palestinian Authority upgrade, but he didn’t make much of an effort to stop the diplomatic lynching of Israel perpetrated by Europe and others. The PA’s efforts were successful now, as opposed to in the past, for this very reason.  The United States failed to create an incentive for countries to make the right moral choice by opposing the unilateral action.

Media pundits have hailed the Israeli election as a shift to the center Left, a weakening of Netanyahu’s position, but here is the truth: On security issues, Israel moved rightward, and Obama proved toxic for any politician that dared associate with him. Israel emphatically rejected the American President’s ultimatum.

The big election winner was political newbie Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party, who’s focus has been primarily on internal Israeli affairs.  Lapid has been lumped in with the Israel’s Left by many commentators. On security issues however, he is as close to a centrist as you can get. A contrast between his positions and Netanyahu’s can be drawn only on semantics and style.

While his general approach to the issues is likely to be less confrontational than Netanyahu’s, Lapid wants Israel to maintain control of large settlement blocs even some outside of Jerusalem, including Ariel where he launched his campaign. He is in favor of building within existing settlements to support natural growth, as is Netanyahu. Lapid wants Jerusalem to remain the undivided capital of the Jewish people, and he would not likely agree to the current PA preconditions for entering into talks with Israel. He also has a solid right wing voting base. Polling analysis shows that about 35% of his electorate were formerly backers of Avigdor Lieberman, who the international press is fond of describing as ultra-hawkish. On the Iranian nuclear threat, he seems to be closely aligned with Netanyahu as well.  Obama on the other hand has essentially adopted the Arab position on settlements and his administration convulses every time expansion plans for the greater Jerusalem blocs of Maale Adumim or Givat Ze’ev are announced.

Those parties, specifically Labor and Hatnuah, that aligned themselves with Obama’s threat of international isolation, were punished severely by voters. Both tallied disappointing results.

In the last Knesset 55 seats were affiliated with the Left. In the new Knesset including the Arab parties there are about 39.

In the Knesset, Obama’s positions on security, the Palestinians, the Peace Process and Iran are now represented by a relatively small bloc, and an even smaller one of Israeli Jews.

Israel’s response to the President’s threat was loud and clear. Firstly, it’s not all about you, and secondly, on matters that relate to our security, only we will decide what our best interests are.

The author is the editor of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com.

1 Comment

  • Lawrence Kulak

    I contratulate the editor David Efune for having the courage to call a spade a spade (half spade? no pun intended) I do not recall when an American President has ever issues a thinly veiled threat to the Jewish State for settling its own land. No President has ever feared G-d so little as to attempt to use his power to intimidate the Jewish People to such an extent. Presidents have criticized settlements, made certain benefits contingent on halts on expansion (this has been the worst thus far) but never gone this far. The only thing worse would be an overt threat and that no President would have the guts to do. The ineluctable conclusion that is to be drawn is that Obama is Gog. Days may be drawing to a close more rapidly than we think.

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 World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read 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 →