President Obama
Photo: MCT

Bibi, you can trust me

Op-ed: Obama to use his personal charm, far-reaching pledges in bid to placate Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will enter the White House Monday to find presidential empathy and a big, tight embrace: In the play of horrors taking place against the Persian Gulf backdrop, the American president assumed the role of the man who would prevent the war with Iran.


Obama will make it clear to Netanyahu that nobody understands Israel’s fears like the US president. He will explain that he is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and note that keeping a nuclear bomb away from the ayatollah regime is an American interest as well.


However, in Obama’s view, the time has not yet come to warm up the engines and load America’s bunker-busters on the heavy bombers. The US president needs time, in order to let the sanctions stifle Iran’s economy and give the diplomatic process a chance.


Obama does not wish to wake up one morning and hear that Israeli jets are flying over Iran. His mission will be to get a time-out from Netanyahu, even though the president estimates that Israel’s PM has not yet decided to launch a strike either.


Obama will tell Netanyahu that the president is committed to watching Israel’s back and explain that should there be no choice one of these days, he will prefer to utilize the American military against Iran rather than to allow it to hold nukes. Obama is familiar with Israeli assessments that he is willing to live with an Iranian bomb – in the upcoming summit he will make it clear that he’s not.


Zero trust in Bibi

In front of the cameras, Obama will be praising Netanyahu for his leadership, concern, and historical vision. The American president will not be expressing his pent-up anger at the PM, who has been interfering in the Republican race and fueling Republican attacks on Obama.


Obama is indeed truly committed to Israel; he proved it already. However, he has zero trust in Israel’s leader. Still, the president will not be settling the score with Netanyahu in an election year. Obama needs the Jewish vote at this time more than ever. Indeed, even before meeting Netanyahu, the president was expected to deliver a warm pro-Israel speech at the AIPAC conference.


On Monday, once Israel’s PM enters the White House, the president will try to use his personal charm, as well as far-reaching defense pledges, in order to mitigate the PM’s appetite for a fight and get even a vague pledge from him to halt the drumbeat of war for the time being.


Obama believes this is the only way he can win – on behalf of himself and the Free World – in the poker game against Ahmadinejad.



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פרסום ראשון: 03.05.12, 00:49
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