Obama’s Middle East
This was a busy week for the Obama administration. On Tuesday, US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the Middle East to meet separately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. One presumes this was part of a flimsy effort to get some peace-brokering going — or at least to bang on the lid of the jar, to loosen it for the US State Department or the French government. Whatever.
Lo and behold, however, upon landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport, where he was greeted by a slew of Israeli dignitaries, including the defense minister, the whir of ambulance and police car sirens put a bit of a damper on the festivities. A terrorist was in the midst of a 20-minute stabbing spree spreading from the area of Jaffa Port to the Tel Aviv promenade. During his rampage, which was finally stopped by a quick-witted guitar player who chased and hit him with the instrument, enabling police to finish the job, the 22-year-old Palestinian managed to seriously injure many innocent people and to kill American graduate student and US Army veteran Taylor Force.
Nor was this bloody attack the only one of the afternoon. Within the space of two hours, terrorists in Jerusalem and Petach Tikvah had also landed Israeli victims in the hospital with serious bullet and knife wounds.
Nevertheless, Biden was whisked off to the Peres Center for Peace, where he met with former Israeli President Shimon Peres, whose delusions of a new Middle East are only matched by those of Obama. Indeed, both secretly — and not so secretly — hold Netanyahu responsible for the lack of progress in realizing their dreams.
Biden was pretty annoyed, then, when Abbas failed to condemn the terrorist attacks, which were merely the latest in the current surge of Palestinian violence that has been taking its toll on Israel since September.
But Abbas wasn’t the only leader who embarrassed the Obama administration this week. The Islamic Republic of Iran, which has been test-firing ballistic missiles while bragging about their destructive capabilities and long range, on Wednesday went as far as to launch missiles engraved with the words “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew. After blaming Netanyahu for sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong during the lead-up to the signing of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers — and assuring him that the agreement would better for everybody, including Israel — Obama’s people were not too happy about having to find a way to dismiss this little piece of evidence to the contrary.
Meanwhile, the State Department was caught with egg on its face, when the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that sanctions weren’t the only things lifted as a result of the nuclear deal; the requirements for providing details of Iran’s nuclear activities were also curtailed.
Luckily for Obama, news emerged that Netanyahu had canceled a planned trip to Washington next week to attend the annual AIPAC conference — and, by extension, a purported meeting with Obama — without letting the powers-that-be in DC know about it. This gave the administration the opportunity to turn the focus away from terrorists, both lone-wolf and state-sponsored, and return it to Netanyahu’s ostensibly bad behavior.
All the above took place between Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Thursday, a massive piece by Jeffrey Goldberg came out in the April issue of The Atlantic. In the article on “The Obama Doctrine,” the president whined about being misunderstood on the one hand, and doubled down on his “leading-from-behind” policy on the other.
Obama probably didn’t get a chance to read the whole thing, however, unless Goldberg had submitted an early draft for White House approval, because he was busy preparing to receive a welcome visitor: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Like Obama, Trudeau was elected on the basis of a liberal hope, change and handouts agenda, replacing a leader who had zero tolerance for radical Islam or moral parity between the West and the Third World, while considering Israel a true and natural ally, without caveat. Indeed, Trudeau is like an Obama clone.
So it is no wonder that the two peas in a dubious pod got along famously; thick as thieves, so to speak. Nor is it surprising that what they touted as “central challenges” included climate change and refugees.
Addressing Trudeau and his wife on the White House lawn, Obama beamed at his guests. “It’s long been said that you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your neighbors,” he announced.
Yes, Mr. President, that’s what Israel has been trying to tell you for the last seven years. But you haven’t been listening.
Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner.