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'Obama‘s view of Netanyahu is distorted'
Photo: Reuters
Don’t trust Barack Obama
Op-ed: Obama’s latest pro-Israel statements deceitful, aimed at winning Jewish vote
By now, everyone is aware of the infamous open microphone incident in which President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were overheard in a private conversation ridiculing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the G20 summit in Cannes. After Sarkozy was overheard saying that he” could not stand Netanyahu” and calling him a “liar,” Obama replied - ”you are fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day.”

 

Obama’s lack of defense at the character assassination of a supposed ally should awaken Jewish voters to the inescapable conclusion that President Obama is not a friend of the Jewish state despite his recent efforts to change this perception.

 

It seems that Obama’s recent strategy of publicly adopting pro-Israel stances while avoiding public confrontations, condemnations and humiliation of Israel’s PM has only been a temporary public relations ploy to hold on to Jewish votes and reelection campaign donations.

 

While publicly reassuring Jewish supporters of his commitment to Israel’s security and repeatedly pointing to the close cooperation with the Israelis, privately Obama has been undermining Israel by agreeing with European leaders that Israel’s prime minister is to be blamed for the lack of progress toward peace in the Middle East (while giving the Palestinian leader a pass.)

 

A reality check reveals that Obama‘s view of Netanyahu is distorted, whether by personal bias or selective memory. In fact, since Israel’s PM came to power three years ago, he has bent to Obama’s will on many occasions.

 

Netanyahu agreed to commit for the first time his Likud party to accepting a Palestinian state. He froze West Bank settlement growth as well as any buildup in east Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital, something no other Israeli leader has ever agreed to do, including dovish prime ministers such as Rabin and Peres. Netanyahu removed dozens of roadblocks, agreed to dismantle illegal outposts, and eventually accepted Obama’s territorial formula for a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders with land swaps.

 

Moreover, while Netanyahu accepted the Mideast Quartet’s call, which included France and the US, to return back to negotiations with the PA without preconditions, Palestinian leader Abbas said no. Moreover, Abbas has rejected numerous personal appeals from Obama not to take the Palestinian statehood bid to the United Nations, forcing the US to use its Security Council veto - which is something Obama seems to dread.

 

Erdogan’s buddy

For almost three years, until he began his reelection campaign, Obama has been involved in public confrontations, condemnations and humiliation of the democratically elected Netanyahu, while being silent and respectful to Mahmoud Abbas, a corrupt and undemocratic Holocaust denier, who has never ended the anti-Jewish incitement in Palestinian schools, mosques and in the media.

 

Jewish Obama supporters, who claim that despite his apparent personal dislike and disrespect to Netanyahu the president is still a friend of Israel and can be trusted to ensure its survival, delude themselves. Respect for and a cordial relationship with a democratic ally demands that the president accept the democratic selection of Israel’s leader and treat that elected leader with courtesy. Anything else is a slap in the face of the Israeli people.

 

It is even more humiliating when one witnesses the great personal rapport that Obama has created with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. Turkish media outlets reported that after Erdogan‘s mother died last month, Obama was among the world leaders who called him and the two “spoke for 45 minutes about their feelings.” The Washington Post reported that since summer the relationship has been on the upswing and that the two leaders speak often and frequently agree on Mideast policy.

 

It would be interesting to know whether Obama agrees with Erdogan’s policy towards Israel. Since summer, Turkey has expelled the Israeli ambassador, downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended long-term military agreements with Israel. In September it even threatened that Turkish warships would accompany the next flotilla to Gaza.

 

Only fools will ignore the alarming signs of Obama’s animosity, and Jews are not fools. Each Jewish voter must decide if he or she can trust Obama with Israel’s survival for four more years.

 

Shoula Romano Horing was born and raised in Israel. She is an attorney in Kansas City and a national speaker. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com

 

 

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