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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.