The fault for this breakdown in relations can be assigned in good part to the junior partner in the relationship, Netanyahu, and in particular, to the behavior of his cabinet. Netanyahu has told several people I’ve spoken to in recent days that he has “written off” the Obama administration, and plans to speak directly to Congress and to the American people should an Iran nuclear deal be reached. For their part, Obama administration officials express, in the words of one official, a “red-hot anger” at Netanyahu for pursuing settlement policies on the West Bank, and building policies in Jerusalem, that they believe have fatally undermined Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace process.
What, he's really going to go around the President and go straight for the AIPAC lobby, like he runs this country and not Israel? OK Bibi, you do that.
Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.) But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.” I thought I appreciated the implication of this description, but it turns out I didn’t have a full understanding. From time to time, current and former administration officials have described Netanyahu as a national leader who acts as though he is mayor of Jerusalem, which is to say, a no-vision small-timer who worries mainly about pleasing the hardest core of his political constituency. (President Obama, in interviews with me, has alluded to Netanyahu’s lack of political courage.)
“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”
Look folks, it's not like Israel has done us too many favors in the last six years here. The response from Tel Aviv has always been "OK, seriously, we know you elected the black guy, but when do we speak to the people actually running America?"
Frankly, Bibi's been a pain in the ass the whole time, and if the US finally allows the UN to do something about the massive criminal acts being perpetrated against the Palestinians, well maybe some tough love is going to be necessary for both Abbas and Netanyahu.
But of course that's too much for our conservative betters to stomach. Our old friend Colonel Mustard is miffed to say the least.
Obama and John Kerry have a vision that makes the Palestinians the center of the Middle East universe even though everything on the ground from North Africa to Yemen to Syria to Iraq says otherwise.
Because of the view, Obama on down in the administration desire peace at any cost, even if it is at best a temporary peace that redivides Jerusalem and puts Hamas within mortar range of the Tel Aviv suburbs, and turns the West Bank into an Iranian base of operations.
That's not true of course, but because the Obama administration actually admits that Palestinians may be human beings instead of animals to be penned into the post-apocalyptic, bombed-out hell that is the West Bank, this makes them the "center of the Middle East universe" somehow. If that's the case, it's a pretty horrific place.
Goldberg assesses that “[b]y next year, the Obama administration may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations.”
That’s something I have been anticipating for years — it’s the hammer Obama has over Israel’s head to abandon Israel to the U.N. wolves. It would be more damaging to Israel than withholding weapons or military aid.
Funny, I thought conservatives were always going on about how the UN is an outdated, ineffective bureaucratic paper tiger with no real ability to enforce anything whatsoever, a showpiece of talking heads and pointless bluster. They've been supposedly coming for America's guns for decades now and yet somehow that particular dog not only won't hunt, it won't move off the damn porch. Such an inept and feeble relic of ancient 20th century realpolitik can't be a threat to mighty Israel.
Unless the narrative calls for the UN to be all-powerful, then the US is the only country brave enough to stop the "wolves" from destroying the Jewish homeland utterly.
If only Obama would actually walk away from shielding Bibi from the consequences of his own actions.