Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ultimatums And Humiliation - Bibi's White House Meeting With Obama

A number of details have leaked out about the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Hussein Obama at the White House Tuesday.

While it was obvious that there was little if any agreement between the two, it's also become obvious that Obama went out of his way to humiliate and show disrespect for his Israeli counterpart:

For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of.

Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip seen in Jerusalem tonight as a disastrous humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on Jewish settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisors and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman who spoke to the Prime Minister said today.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House phone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

Actually. I think the President of Equatorial Guinea would have received better treatment. Certainly Mahmoud Abbas, Hugo Chavez, or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, cast doubt on minor details in Israeli accounts of the meeting but did not deny claims that it amounted to a dressing down for the Prime Minister, whose refusal to freeze settlements is seen in Washington as the main barrier to resuming peace talks.

And along with bullying and deliberate humiliation came the ultimatums:

In their meeting Mr Obama set out a number of expectations that Israel was to satisfy if it wanted to end the crisis, Israeli sources said. These included an extension of the freeze on Jewish settlement growth beyond the 10-month deadline next September, an end to Israeli building projects in east Jerusalem, and even a withdrawal of Israeli forces to positions that they held before the Second Intifada in September 2000, after which they re-occupied most of the West Bank.

What the Times is talking about when they say 're-occupied' is Operation Defensive Shield. Just for historical context, the 're-occupation' took place in the midst of the war Arafat unleashed against Israel's civilians, after the 'Palestinians' murdered 31 Israelis and injured hundreds with a homicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel. This attack was particularly deadly because it targeted families sitting down to a Passover Seder.

It also goes a long way towards explaining why none of Obama's cynical demands would be agreed to by any Israeli government, let alone just Netanyahu's center right coalition. And Obama was fully aware of that fact.But in the meantime, Obama is demanding that Israel knuckle under to his demands by this Saturday.

Rest assured that if the Israelis are foolish enough to agree to any of this, it will simply lead to greater and more outrageous demands, just at Netanyahu's concession of a temporary 10 month building freeze did.

That's because Obama's idea is not to come to any kind of agreement with Israel. It never has been.

Instead, his main foreign policy goal is to ingratiate America with the Muslim world, no matter what that entails. And part of that involves attempting to force Israel to accept an Arab dictated settlement or at the very least destroying America's relationship with Israel.

Netanyahu appears not to have realized how deep this went beforehand, but he certainly must be aware of it now.

So far, the Obama Administration has already trashed previous agreements with Israel, told them they have no right to their religious shrines , threatened an aid cutoff, and instituted what amounts to a de facto arms embargo.

At the same time, Obama is obviously not planning to do anything about the one issue Netanyahu really could use American cooperation on, dealing with a nuclear Iran. Obama has obviously decided that he can live just fine with the Mullahs having nukes, even if Israel can't.

That's a mistake that will undoubtedly cost America dearly in the future, but the Israelis are going to have to deal with it in a matter of months.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and the upside of Obama's treatment of Israel is that there's very little leverage he has left on the Jewish State, having used almost all of it up. The Israelis are thus free to deal independently with the Iranian problem,having very little to lose..and don't be at all surprised if they simply put negotiations with 'Palestinians' on hold until after the American midterm elections, or perhaps even until there is very different leadership in Washington.

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Anonymous said...

Listen, I think Israel is in very good company. Remember the picture of the Dalai Lama being led out of the White House near the garbage?

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi IP,
Not only that, but to demand an answer to his ultimatum on the Jewish Sabbath, the one right before Passover??!!?!

Israel is definitely in good company.You probably know how Zero has dissed the UK, but he's dissing India too.

Check this out.