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Eitan Haber Photo: Shalom Bar Tal
Eitan Haber Photo: Shalom Bar Tal
 
 

Obama closing in on us

Israel now paying price for longtime efforts to get smart with America

Eitan Haber
Published: 03.25.10, 23:36 / Israel Opinion

The Americans play no games. The moment Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's entourage was told that there will be no joint statement, that the media won't be allowed into the Oval Office, that there will be no photo-op, and that the meeting will be held at a late hour of night, the PM should have realized – and he did – that this won't be a happy funeral.

 

The Americans, who love symbols and ceremonies, were not impressed or scared off by the laud applause Netanyahu received at the AIPAC Conference. It may have worked the other way around: The laud cheers may have encouraged White House officials to show the Israeli delegation and its US supporters who's the boss in America.

 

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There is no randomness over there. Everything was apparently planned carefully, and Israel's prime minister, who in the past 20 years may have been the most welcome guest at the Oval Office, was received as if he was a lowly official from Senegal.

 

It needs to be said that the Americans treated Bibi Netanyahu and his people rudely. Even if they have plenty of qualms, this is not how one treats a leader whose predecessors went from one red carpet to another at the White House. The president himself should have done some thinking – about everything that happened before, and mostly about what's to come.

 

They warned us

Meanwhile, Netanyahu too needs to do some thinking. Ever since he came to power via real democratic elections, and ever since he formed an impossible government, the State of Israel's global status has been deteriorating to the point of genuine danger. We're approaching, with immense speed, the realization of the well-known song: "The whole world is against us."

 

So you think Gaza is facing trouble and sanctions? We are the ones facing them – some of them are hidden from view, while others are well known. The most terrible thing is the de-legitimatization campaign conducted against the State of Israel across the world.

 

Almost all of us, and almost all our governments thought that we can get smart with the Americans, who never (and I mean never) recognized our control of the territories, never recognized the borders beyond the 1967 lines, and never recognized a united Jerusalem.

 

We thought we can get along with friends through winks. Yet they warned us; oh, did they ever warn us. Now, Obama is presenting us with the bill of all American administrations.

 

Obama is exaggerating, conducting himself too harshly, and insulting us – yet we're no angels either. Besides, Obama is allowed to do it. He's America. How many times this week did you hear and read that joke about the eight-ton elephant that can sit down anywhere it wishes? Well, Obama sat down on us this week.

 

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