Friday, November 28, 2014

'How Obama Can Show He Has Israel's Back'..Wha-aat?

William McGurn at the New York Daily News has an interesting piece up entitled 'Embassy row: How Obama can show he has Israel’s back.'

McGurn's proposition? That the president issue an executive order recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol.

He attempts to make the case that this would actually benefit the president by improving his relationship with congress by doing something it wants done,and that it would "show that this president is committed to the connection of the Jewish people to the heart of the Jewish homeland."

He writes that it would give President Obama more credibility in opposing Israeli PM Netanyahu's policies,that it might actually improve the climate for negotiations for a Palestinian state, and that it might preempt congressional action on the matter with the new Republican dominated congress.

Now, all this is an admirable sentiment,and some of the benefits Mr. McGurn spells out here actually are real and tangible.But can anyone even imagine President Obama caring about that for a moment? Are you kidding?

Aside from the fact he could care less about having a good working relationship with congress, let's not forget that he has done nothing since he was quite young but hang out and be influenced by anti-semites and Israel bashers, including Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi et al. An animus against Israel is practically wired into his DNA.If congress passed legislation recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol, he would veto it without a second thought, even if his fellow Democrats begged him not to.

He came into office in 2009 pledging to create 'daylight' between America and Israel. His feelings about Israel are so innate as to be unchangeable. In fact, that's one reason Former defense Secretary Hagel got the axe..After getting to know the Israelis better, Hagel had changed his views quite a bit. Remember Obama's reaction during the Gaza War when he found out the Pentagon was following its normal policy and shipping Israel arms it had already paid for? He held up the shipments of things like Hellfire missiles for 'State Department review' in the middle of a war, and Israel didn't receive them until well after the war was over. That has never happened before, not since the US first began selling Israel arms during the Nixon administration.

I have good sources in Israel, and I can assure you that while some parts continue to work (such as long standing cooperation between the two militaries)this president and his team have severely damaged America's relationship with one of our most important allies to the point that it is going to take a lot of time and a huge amount of work to repair it. The Israelis themselves never imagined an anti-Israel president in the White House, and the shock was deep. The Israelis are not even certain at this point about one of the key benefits for them in the relationship, America using its Security Council veto to shut down blatantly anti-Israel resolutions in the anti-semitic fun house the UN has become.

President Obama is probably less likely to do anything that shows 'he has Israel's back' than a pig would be to suddenly start singing Broadway show tunes. It would simply be an unnatural act for him.

In fairness, Mr. McGurn seems to realize this, although perhaps not how deep seated the reasons for it are.

But if he realizes that it's something President Barack Hussein Obama would never do, I can't quite see the point of the article either. And rest assured, this by itself would not reassure the Israelis or give the president any added credibility with them given President Obama's track record. Instead, they would immediately be worrying what dagerous concessions he forced Netanyahu to agree to in exchange.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

The problem with many talking head pundits such as Mr. McGurn is they are simply to stupid to recognize they are stupid. Even if POYUS issued the executive order which as you correctly point isn't going to happen, Congress would simply block funding for it.

Congress does not want to move the embassy. They only passed it because they knew it would not come to fruition any way in the current political environment. Other than a few meaningless speeches and highly conditional military and other foreign aid that actually has negative utility for both countries especially Israel, the US does little to nothing for Israel.

It would kind of cool if the attempt by POTUS to create "daylight" between Israel and America actually made Israel and ultimately America stronger. Obviously this would not be the intended effect but a strong Israel able to act completely independently of America is strongly in the best interests of both nations. This entire situation seems to have made Israel stronger.

As far as repairing the relationship, I think a great place to start would be for America to stay out of Israel's business. America has many problems of it's own. Trying to negotiate some type of peace treaty between Israel and the "Palestinians" is not something we are capable of doing nor are we qualified. Even if we were, we have huge problems of our own that desperately need to be addressed. To spend resources on the Israeli/Arab conflict is not helpful. A policy of "benign neglect" is probably the way to go here. This should, in time, help to restore the relationship with Israel. Furthermore American leaders need to understand America needs Israel, Israel does not need America.

Finally, even if the US did move its embassy to Jerusalem, it would make little difference anyway. Few other countries recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capitol and no one else will simply because the US chooses to do so. In fact, such a move would probably only further inflame anti-American sentiment around the world.

With this said, I think the best approach to where the embassy is would be to ask Israel where they wish us to locate our embassy. If they say "Jerusalem" then we respect their wishes and locate our embassy there. If they pick somewhere else, we respect those wishes as well. If such a policy is followed up by the "benign neglect" approach to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict I suggest earlier, this should help us to establish a good relationship with a valuable ally while defusing a great deal of the increased anti-Americanism that would result from such a policy.