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January 28, 2014 5:57 pm

Obama Treats Ally Israel Worse Than Enemy Dictatorships

avatar by Morton A. Klein and Daniel Mandel

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President Barack Obama meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office in 2009. Photo: White House.

Earlier this month, it leaked that Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, had privately described Secretary of State John Kerry as “obsessive and messianic” in his quest to broker an Israeli/Palestinian peace settlement. The Obama Administration angrily rejected Ya’alon’s words as “offensive and inappropriate,” demanding and receiving an apology.

Yet, only weeks earlier, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a close adviser to Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, also excoriated John Kerry as possessed of “dangerous” proposals and seeking to “appease Israel by fulfilling its expansionist demands in the Jordan Valley under the pretext of security. He wants to buy Israeli silence over the Iran deal.” But for these grave, personal PA allegations against Kerry, the Obama Administration has said nothing.

Why this startling discrepancy in the Administration’s response? Why has it ignored blatant anti-peace statements from the PA, such as the call by the PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, for Syrian jihadists to cease murdering each other and wage war against Israel? Or the PA’s Abbas Zaki reaffirming that the PA’s public demand for a state alongside Israel is merely a device aimed at eventually removing Israel from the map – a policy supposedly repudiated more than 20 years ago?

Because the Administration will not assimilate evidence that invalidates its public formula that the Palestinians are willing to conclude a genuine peace with Israel. So it ignores or finesses PA anti-peace words and deeds, while stridently criticizing Israel on disagreements and reluctance to make unilateral concessions.

Under Obama’s pressure, Israel’s Netanyahu government accepted in-principle a Palestinian state and unprecedentedly froze Jewish construction in the West Bank for 10 months in a bid to bring the PA to the negotiating table. The PA refused to come until the very end and broke off talks shortly after, but it was Israel whom Obama singled out in a January 2010 TIME interview for failing to make any “bold gestures” for peace.

When in March 2010, during a visit to the region by Vice-President Joseph Biden, the PA named a public square in Ramallah after Dalal Mughrabi, the leader of the 1978 coastal road bus hijacking in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were slaughtered, the Obama Administration was silent for days. When Clinton belatedly criticized the Mughrabi event, it was only to whitewash the PA by falsely claiming “a Hamas-controlled municipality” had initiated it.

In contrast, a mere Israeli announcement of building program in a Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem that also occurred during the Biden visit led the Obama Administration to immediately condemn it and describe it as “destructive,” an “insult,” and an “affront.”

No other state, let alone ally, attracts the same ire, even when policy divergence is massive. When in April 2010 Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in the words of journalist Joel Brinkley, made “delusional criticism of the United States and its allies” and threatened to “join the Taliban”- this, in the midst of U.S. soldiers fighting and dying shoring up his regime – the Administration found it merely “troubling” and “frustrating,” and asserted that Karzai needed to be “treated with respect.”

When in June 2010, Turkey voted against a new U.S.-supported UN Security Council sanctions bill on Iran, there was no talk of destructiveness, insults, or affronts – the U.S. was merely “disappointed.” And when in October 2011, Abbas’ Fatah brazenly demanded U.S. taxpayer aid as “a political and moral right,” Obama took no notice, let alone curtailed or withheld aid to the ingrate PA.

When Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addressing a mass rally, called the U.S. a “Great Satan” and an “enemy who smiles,” and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani boasted that “the U.S. and world powers surrendered to the Iranian nation’s will,” Obama said nothing. Only when the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, laid a wreath at the tomb of a Hezbollah terrorist leader, who in 1983 murdered 242 U.S. marines in Lebanon, did the Administration permit a low-level National Security Council official to condemnit is a short statement.

Israel is expected to do things neither the U.S. nor its other allies would do. This month, the Obama Administration was critical of Afghanistan’s Karzai releasing of scores of Islamist “dangerous criminals against whom there is strong evidence linking them to terror-related crimes.” But last year, the Administration pressured Israel into releasing scores of convicted Palestinian killers of Israeli civilians – although it did express concern when one of those released, Al Haj Othman Amar Mustafa, turned out have also murdered an American. Actions unacceptable elsewhere were positively demanded of Israel.

The Obama pattern is clear. The respect for sovereign decisions and deference to security concerns that apply to other U.S. allies are absent when it comes to Israel. Israel is expected to bow to the Administration’s policy without demur, run security risks the U.S. itself would not abide, and ignore the extremism, non-acceptance, and bad faith of its Palestinian partner, just as the Obama Administration does. This is just the unseemly underside of the disconnect between the Administration’s public words of support for Israel and the reality of its coolness and indifference to the realities it faces.

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’ s Center for Middle East Policy.

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  • Morry

    Thanks to the 70%-74% of lefty Jews who were duped by a con-artist who mesmerized them with speeches. Turkeys voting for Thanksgiving! Way to go. The nightmare will be over for us and the world in 2 years or less!

  • Efram Paul

    Obama has been a disappointment to reasonable Democrats since shortly after taking office. He is a terrorist sympathizer, and Islamistophile, and really is no longer bothering to even dispute this. He hates Israel. Islamists, terrorists, extremists are far more important to him than US interests, let alone fairness to Israel. When Iran develops the bomb, a move which received Obama’s tacit approval with his ‘deal,’ Israel will be their first target, but not their last. The US will be in Iran’s cross hairs, just as the marines, just as we have been in al Quaida’s cross hairs for 20 years. Obama’s joy at terrorist successes supersedes any responsibility he feels towards the US. Just as Bush succeeded in destroying Constitutional rights during his reign, Obama is succeeding at making the world a far more violent and unsafe one for anyone who is not a Muslim extremist. He is so baldfaced in his actions, it is impossible for any fair minded person to see him as anything other than a man working for the success of global jihad.

    • Wellwisher

      Mr. Paul,

      It’s great to see a Democrat who’s fed up with Obama. However, you can’t just leave Bush alone; so we know Obama is really not THAT bad. What rights did Bush exactly destroy while pursuing those terrorists and supporting Israel on EVERY turn? Whatever Bush “destroyed” can be easily fixed. The damage that Obama has done and will do internationally to the U.S., Israel and our allies can’t ever be repaired.

      • Jerry G

        What rights did Bush destroy? How about starting with the the Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Amendments which were effectively shredded by the so called Patriot Act. We didn’t realize the effect of the Patriot Act until Obama used it to further his agenda. And how did Bush help Israel by forcing it to accept the suicidal two state solution?

  • American conservative

    history will look back at this time as the era of Jewish treason

    • Don Harmon

      Treason? Yes, and the treason originates from mush-headed American Jews who voted for Mr. Obama because he is black and a democrat. Mr. Obama was raised in Muslim lands by black or oriental Muslim fathers who hated Westerners, Jews and Israel. Why would you expect Mr. Obama to be a friend of Israel? Further, although Mr. Obama claims to be a Christian, remember that he sat for decades in the congregation of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who screamed insults against the US (“I say God damn America!”). It is a vexing and perverse attribute in those Jews who votes for this man, who has affection for Muslims but certainly not for Jews or Israel.

  • Don’t ever forget his years of soaking up the vicious anti-American, anti-Semitic rantings of the Rev. Wright. They didn’t fall on barren soil did they?

  • yussi

    President Obama must put aside political concerns and recognize the reality of the situation at hand. The FACT is that the PA does NOT want peace,DOES NOT recognize the Jewish state of Israel and its right to exsist.Therefor,the so called peace talks are a complete sham. So let s stop the charade and call it as it is. Give Kerry another job and allow Bibi and Israel to take care of business as the need presents itself. If Canada sent missles into US cities attempting to kill innocent civilians what would the US do? RIGHT! Bomb them into submission.Israel must do likewise. Enough with the restraint,bomb them to Allah…

    • Kris Kristian

      American conservative.

      You too must be a Muslim

      What treason are you referring to?

      The only treason is what Obama is doing to USA and Israel.

      Comments like yours, can only be made by a Muslin

  • zvi gross

    This president can’t shake his Islamic background of blind Islamic hate of Israel.Childhood indoctrination from his Maddrassa days, and he is the President of USA.

    • yussi

      don t know about that but he does have to face the reality that it takes two to tango and Israel does not have a partner in the PA.

    • Don Harmon

      Zvi, Mr. Obama was raised in Muslim lands by black or oriental Muslim fathers who hated Westerners, Jews and Israel. Why would you expect Mr. Obama to be a friend of Israel? Further, although Mr. Obama claims to be a Christian, remember that he sat for decades in the congregation of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who screamed insults against the US (“I say God damn America!”). Mr. Obama was born in the US, but does not think like an American any more than Louis Farrakhan!

    • Jonathan Gibson

      when I read the ”Amateur”by Ed Klein one of his sources for the book revealed that Obama left President Netanyahu and his staff alone in the white house for two hours with only almonds to eat while Obama went upstairs for dinner with his family.I haven’t been able to accept this as fact and it scares me if true!!

      • Jerry G

        From all accounts the story of Obama leaving Bibi to cool his heels when Obama went to eat is true.
        The sad part of the story is that Netanyahu is such a wimp he allowed Obama to do this, rather than picking himself up and leaving. And even sadder is that despite all his tough talk Netanyahu is still a wimp.

  • HaroldT

    It is time the Israelis took the Obama to task publicly for its one sided attacks on Israel and its deafening silence to Palestinian aggression.

  • M.A. Kinamohn

    Obama has become a huge disappointment to even the democrats!