It is March 2012. Much is taking place in Washington. Campaign speeches and interviews can be heard everywhere. This month, the annual AIPAC meeting is taking place. They have an impressive panel lined up. Unfortunately I could not attend. President Obama is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the Iran nuclear situation on Tuesday March 6th, 2012.
I watched as Obama spoke on March 4th, 2012 at the AIPAC meeting. He moved his lips in an attempt to sway the audience. He attempted to convince the Jewish crowd about his "undying support of Israel." The audience clapped and roared, and each time I wondered why. For the past 3 years Obama has mistreated Israel and disrespected her and her leaders. He applied and continues to apply pressure on Israel but extends zero demands toward the Palestinians. In this commentary, I will attempt to put together a list of some of his actions and incidents.
"Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided"
(AIPAC speech 6/4/2008). We know that he didn't mean that. He "misspoke."
Obama began his term with appeasing the Arab world, his very first interview as US President was granted to Al Arabiya news channel.
He then proceeded to visit Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but never made it to Israel. He delivered the infamous speech in Egypt, promising them a Palestinian state within 12 months, to make matters worse in the same speech he made a moral equivalency between the Holocaust to the way Israel treats the Palestinians. In other words, in less than 3 minutes, he delegitimized Israel in front of her enemies.
In July of 2009, Obama met with 15 American Jewish leaders. Where he proceeded to question Israel's intent for peace, demanded that Israelis must engage in self-reflection. In other words, he feels that Israel and Jews are not serious about peace with the Palestinians.
In 2010 the US, per orders from President Obama, has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel. The ship was diverted to a military base in Diego Garcia instead. 387 smart munitions was to join the pre-positioned US military equipment in Israel Air Force bases. Obama has also refused to approve any major Israeli requests for US weapons platforms or advanced systems. Which included but not limited to: AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, refueling systems, advanced munitions and data on a stealth variant of the F-15E.
In 2010, the Obama administration demanded a settlement freeze, cessation of all building on land the Palestinians claimed as theirs. Zero demands were laid on the Palestinians. Even a simple demand, to stop indoctrinating Palestinian youth would have sufficed, but that never happened. Israel froze settlements fully for 10 months. During Biden's trip to Israel, the Israeli department of buildings announced that it authorized the building of 1600 apartment units in Ramat Shlomo, a north Jerusalem neighborhood inside of the 67 lines (not an area that the Palestinians are claiming as theirs). In fact, Jerusalem was not part of the agreed freeze altogether, yet the Obama administration decided to use this as a diving board for Israel condemnation and humiliation. Public shaming of Israel was shocking! But certainly gave the Palestinians a green light to continue with their narrative and anti Israel rhetoric. When Bibi arrived in Washington to put out the fire, Obama let him in through the side door, would not eat with him, and served Bibi and his group non Kosher meals!
Fast forward to the Turkish Gaza bound Flotilla, a fleet of six ships that sailed toward Gaza in an attempted to break the blockade on Hamas, a terrorist organization that is recognized as such by literally the entire world. The Israeli navy, succeeded in stopping the five ships, but Marmara was different. The Marmara carried knives, metal rods, Molotov cocktails, some guns, but most importantly members of the IHH, a group of terrorist thugs that chanted antisemitic anti Israel songs as they sailed toward Gaza. A group that expressed their desire to die inorder to become Shahids/Martyr.
The Flotilla incident was played out in the media as a one sided incident. Israel was guilty without investigation. Israel was condemned again, even though they were outnumbered and acting within the law. Despite the fact that weapons were found, Israeli soldiers were wounded, stabbed and beaten, Israel was vilified and humiliated by the Obama administration. The Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan, has boasted to the media that the US is in full support of Turkey.
A claim that the Whitehouse has never disputed!
And then there is this little gem:
"We believe that the border of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps" ( Just hours before PM Netanyahu was to board a plane heading to the US to meet with Obama. May 2011).
No U.S. president has overtly endorsed the '67 lines as the root for negotiating a lasting border. Michigan's Juan Cole, not at all a supporter of the Israel lobby, referred to it "a major turning point." He's advocating that Israel cede territory, place itself into a weaker position, let the chips fall where they may and pray, hope for the best. How does that parse the land for peace modus operandi?
And then there is that not so little incident of the open microphone at the G20 meeting, that Obama apparently had no idea was still on when he responded to Sarkozy's disparaging words against Benjamin Netanyahu;
Sarkozy: "I can not bear Netanyahu, he's a liar"
Obama: "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him everyday!"
Obama: "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him everyday!"
It is un-presidential, it is describing precisely the Obama attitude not only toward Benjamin Netanyahu, but the state of Israel. And while President Obama is notorious for his apologies to the Islam world, he has not apologized for his insult to the leader of US's strongest ally in the Middle East.
In summary, it is blatantly obvious that Obama's view of Israel is lining up with the European view. That Israel is the root of the problems in the Middle East. That it isn't Iran's race toward an nuclear armament, but that it's Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.
In my opinion, Obama's tilt in the Palestinian direction has actually harmed the peace negotiations. With all his negative actions toward Israel in the past 3 years, it has sent a message to the Palestinians that it's okay to seek statehood in UNESCO, it has instilled false hopes in them and the idea that they will gain statehood without peace.
It is my sincere hope that the Jewish people in America remember this when they go to vote, that they think long and hard about how drastically things changed in the past 3 years.