Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Narcissus In The Promised Land

President Obama landed in Israel today, receiving a welcome from Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Israeli president Shimon Peres at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.

The president had a number of pleasant things to say that sharply contradicted his usual tone on Israel. From his cheering section at the Associated press:

Arriving in Israel on his first trip to the country as president, Obama told the Israeli people at an extravagant welcoming ceremony that "peace must come to the Holy Land" and that goal would not be achieved at Israel's expense. U.S. backing for Israel will be a constant as the Middle East roils with revolution and Iran continues work on its nuclear program, he said.

"The United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend," Obama said, accepting profuse thanks from Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the tarmac at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport.

"Across this region the winds of change bring both promise and peril," he said, calling his visit "an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security, and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors."

Seeking to alter a perception among many Israelis that his government has been less supportive of Israel than previous U.S. administrations, Obama declared the U.S.-Israeli alliance "eternal."

"It is forever," he said to applause as Israeli and U.S. flags fluttered in a steady breeze under clear, sunny skies.

I think what we're seeing here is yet another attempt at a 'charm offensive' from this president, who continues to believe that his presentation and his personality is all that matters. And after all, talk is cheap, especially with the 2014 midterms coming up.Narcissus indeed.

The very symbolism of the president landing in Tel Aviv rather than in Jerusalem, Israel's capitol sends a message...and don;t think that message was lost on Israelis, no matter how flowery the president's carefully crafted speech was.

President Obama has called for Israel to retreat behind the indefensible borders of the pre-67 cease fire lines Israeli diplomat Abba Eban famously called the 'Auschwitz lines'. President Obama wants the Jews out apartheid style and a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem and the rest of Judea and Samaria. Is he even aware that if Israel complied with that, Air Force One would be unable to safely land at Ben Gurion or any other Israeli airport because of the danger of a Palestinian missile attack?

You also have to wonder exactly what the president has planned to deal with Iran. That will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation between thepresdent and PM Netanyahu. So far, America's response has been largely ineffective sanctions riddled with waivers given to numerous countries by the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, the centrifuges keep spinning, the Iranians have reacted with cynical contempt to efforts to resolve the matter peacefully and Iran gets closer every day to its goal of having nuclear weapons.

Is he planning to wait for Congress or the 'international community' to act rather than lead? when push comes to shove, will President Obama be there or will he simply grease out from under as he has before?

Rest assured, this is not just a problem for Israel, but a major security challenge for the United States. It's not a task that can simply be left for others.

I do know one thing. While the Israelis would much rather work in concert with the United States, when it comes down to the wire they will act alone. Even the dovish Shimon Peres understands that.

As a matter of fact, it would not surprise me if that is President Obama's have Israel remove the Iranian threat for him and then go to the UN to push for a 'nuclear free Middle East' to disarm Israel as well as for a Palestinian Jew free reichlet in Judea and Samaria with Jerusalem as its capitol.

Narcissus is in the Promised Land,beguiled by his own reflection and thinking that of course the natives will be as enamored of him as he is of himself.

It remains to be seen if he's right, but I think he overestimates his appeal.

UPDATE: Apparently President Obama not only overestimated his appeal (particularly to the Palestinians) but may actually be starting to realize it as he gets his nose rubbed into the truth of that famous saying by President Lincoln about not being able to fool all of the people all of the time...


louielouie said...

looking at this visit as a gentile, this visit will be viewed in hindsight as a pivotal change in israeli/us relations.
this is a break-up kiss.

dymphna said...

He's confident because he's doing the only thing he knows how to do: campaign and speechify. He is dead sure that the average Israeli citizen will find him irresistible.

Your title for the post is brilliant. Our correspondent in Sderot has sent us his observations but I don't know if the Baron has posted them yet.

dymphna said...

Oh, it's up:

I've forgotten how to do the image tags I used to have in Blogger, so here's the short URL. I think they're clickable:

Rob said...

Thanks for the kind words Dymphna

Louie old buddy,
I'm not so sure it's a goodbye kiss yet.

Obama won't last forever. And he's screwed up royally in the region and set it afire. Even if he'd never admit it , others see it and in any event the results of his arrogance and stupidity re: the Middle East are going to become quite apparent before he leaves office, although the media will still try and protect him.

Even Obama may be belatedly realizing that the Muslim Brotherhood ain't what he thought it was, and could very well seek to hedge his bets a bit out of self-protection. In that respect, he and others may realize the U.S. needs a friend in the region.

And if not...well, I'm not worried about Israel. They will find other friends and allies if it comes to that, and they've been in tough situations before and survived.Th every existence of the Jews let alone Israel is a modern miracle, and that is no small thing.

Remember, in the end it was Pharaoh who ended up on the losing end of things in spite of all his power, not Moses.


MCin Sderot said...

O is no fool, I think, I hope, maybe I just wish.....

On the face of it he is still the most powerful man in the world, but this morning we got a volley of 5 missiles over, first for months. What is more worrying is that the usual follow up by the IDF did not happen, no drone, no F16s and no Apache Helicopters.

Somebody is sending O a message.

Chris said...

From inside his own skin, all that a "Top Banana" (of his own Banana Republic) sees is....



The problem is that, sooner or late, one can SLIP on that (a)peel --- with disastrous results.

louielouie said...

Louie old buddy,

3 out of 3.

Anonymous said...

Obama knows exactly what he is doing. I hope and pray that the Israeli gov. can see through his deception.