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Rubin Reports

Did Obama mean that?

It is hard to believe that he did, yet no Israeli leader is going to miss that apparent “green light.”

Obama announced continued military assistance to Israel, continued funding for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system, and other unspecified help. Naturally, Obama continued by saying any two-state solution must leave Israel secure alongside a sovereign and independent Palestinian state.

One statement probably left Israeli officials amused. Obama:

I’d note that last year was a milestone, the first year in four decades when not a single Israeli citizen lost their life because of terrorism emanating from the West Bank. It’s a reminder that Israel has a profound interest in a strong and effective Palestinian Authority.

They know how much the Palestinian Authority has done to promote violence, how weak and ineffective it is, and how much its survival is due to Israel’s protection.

Turning to regional issues, Obama said:

As the United States supports the Egyptian people in their historic transition to democracy, we continue to underscore the necessity of Egypt contributing to regional security, preventing Hamas from rearming, and upholding its peace treaty with Israel.

Obama barely mentioned getting Egypt to maintain its peace treaty with Israel, a vital issue. Pushing Egypt to prevent Hamas from getting more weapons — a commitment under the last ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — has been an achievement for Obama. But much of the success is due to the recklessness of Hamas in going too far in supporting radical Egyptian Salafist groups that are attacking the Brotherhood regime.

He also mentioned support for Israel’s concern regarding Syria’s transfer of advanced weapons to Hizballah “that might be used against Israel”, and efforts regarding Iran. Obama said the standard U.S. position:

We do not have a policy of containment when it comes to a nuclear Iran. Our policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon … All options are on the table. We will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world’s worst weapons.

But what does this mean? If negotiations fail and sanctions do not intimidate Iran, that leaves either an attack or accepting that Iran gets nuclear weapons — that is, containment. There are no other options, unless Tehran decides to give up, or acquires the ability to build nuclear weapons without actually doing so. That wishful thinking — it could happen but it is less likely — is the only thing that could get Obama out of his dilemma.

Obama spoke at length about how it isn’t yet clear what the Syrian regime has done regarding chemical weapons. He defended his administration as having been actively involved in trying to get rid of Assad.

He did not address the likelihood that U.S. policy is helping to produce a new Syrian regime that will be a radical Islamist government extremely hostile to Israel.

Another interesting point raised by Obama was his acknowledgement that “what was already a pretty tough neighborhood has gotten tougher”, and Israel could expect U.S. support not only because of Israel, but due to U.S. interests. Obviously, if the neighborhood has gotten tougher, it is due to U.S. policies toward Islamists coming to power.

Yet, again, Obama does not link this situation to his own behavior.

So does he really understand the implications of what he’s saying, or does he still feel it is the time for Israel to make risky concessions toward the Arabs? Perhaps Obama now does understand that — another factor making the “peace process” a mere rhetorical flourish rather than a serious policy option.

Obama then spoke at length about why the “peace process” wasn’t advancing. And Obama added accurately, and obviously reflecting internal discussions that have been going on in the U.S. government:

And I purposely did not want to come here and make some big announcement that might not match up with what the realities and possibilities on the ground are.

Obama had thus gone to a point where an American reporter could ask, very politely, whether the president might not have worked very effectively on the issue in his first term. He then rewrote history to say that he merely promised to work on a solution during his first term. He even blamed the press for exaggerating his emphasis on the issue. It was that blatant.

Yet he added:

But ultimately, this is a really hard problem. It’s been lingering for over six decades. And the parties involved have, you know, some profound interests that you can’t spin, you can’t smooth over. And it is a hard slog to work through all of these issues.

In other words, although he will never say so openly, he was wrong in thinking the problem could be solved easily and he now knows better.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Obama's whole performance in Israel has been predictably disgraceful, right up to lecturing Israeli students to "walk in the Palestinians' shoes" and referring to the Prime Minister in public as"Bibi" in a cheap effort to sound chummy but coming off as flip and disrespectful instead. This smug, insufferable egomaniac belongs in some forgotten faculty lounge, far away from the levers of power.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, in summary:

1)"I have no plan"

2) "you should have no expectations"

3) "their violence is no reason for your response"

4) "I hope things change...hey...hope and change, that's a good slogan!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Prof. Rubin, don't believe a single word of what O says.
This is the man who goes peacefully to sleep while an American Ambassador is being slaughtered, imagine HOW LESS he cares about anyone else.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (27)
All Comments   (27)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Obama's whole performance in Israel has been predictably disgraceful, right up to lecturing Israeli students to "walk in the Palestinians' shoes" and referring to the Prime Minister in public as"Bibi" in a cheap effort to sound chummy but coming off as flip and disrespectful instead. This smug, insufferable egomaniac belongs in some forgotten faculty lounge, far away from the levers of power.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Taking out the Iranians does not require bunkerbusters or boots on the ground. The facilities are underground so they've half buried themselves already. Collapse the entrances and bury them alive. Go for the electrical infrastructure and bury them in the dark. Just shutting down the electrical system would take care of everything. Nothing works without juice. If the whole country goes dark so be it and so much the better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I get the sense that Netanyahu was trying to steer the discussion in public in order to get PresidentPersonalPronoun to make a comment live that would ideally force him to extend support beyond the false bromides. There is no doubt that Bibi is a more intelligent man and politician than our President so if the Teleprompter wasnt around I do believe eliciting such a comment would be possible. While the President certainly would not be bound in such a case the whole exercise would surely be a no lose exercise for Netanyahu.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I know its been said many time before but the advice is as true today as it was back in 2008 when I first heard it - Forget what Obama says - watch what he does.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Netanyahu knows he is the weak sister in this relationship. He tried to intervene in the US election and failed, Obama intervened in the Israel election and succeeded (to a degree). Of course Netanyahu now needs to kiss and make up. Israel needs us more than we need them, exactly how US foreign policy should be. America first, our allies second, our enemies - dead - last.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Excellent, so in the service of your patriotism you overlook that the President has advanced the cause of the MB throughout the region. What counts is that he 'showed' Bibi?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All we can say with any certainty is that there's a lot going on that we don't know about. Apologies for that understatement.
But, really...Obama now seems to've done a 180 and now seems to be all ...."Bibi and I.....[fill this space yourselves]..."

We must continue to rely on Barry Rubin to sort this stuff out for us.

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A personal question, though, keeps popping up on my mind that I'd like to toss out here, and that is, "Why is nothing...nothing...nothing mentioned anywhere about that infamous Syles-Picot Agreement being the creative-point....nexus?...of each of these presently so troublesome Muslim area "national" borders?...where previously there were no drawn borders for those nomadic Arabs?

Why are not the British and French called out in any of these current discussions?.....for their direct responsibility for today's tangled mess? Why are the English permitted to remain so coy about their duplicity in that Agreement and also their Balfour Declaration?

Why is everything George Bush's fault? What's happened to our attention spans?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, in summary:

1)"I have no plan"

2) "you should have no expectations"

3) "their violence is no reason for your response"

4) "I hope things change...hey...hope and change, that's a good slogan!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

...permit me to add here that this is just ....obamataqiyya.....and he seems to've gotten pretty good at it.......very scary.

Very scary indeed that this Obama-eleon was elected twice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Netanyahu should look to this president's covert hostility towards israel and Obama's treatment of him on a couple or three trips to DC and not fall for the charm offensive.

(Some of Netanyahu's generous statements towards Obama border on sycophantic.) I'm sure he (N) knows what he's doing, but I could do with a little more restraint and less gushing.

Just heard an excerpt of Obama addressing Jewish students, basically alluding that Israel's positions vis a vis Gaza/West Bank are essentially not "fair".

I wonder if Obama considers the intifada, against whose vicious tactics Israel has instituted practices to defend itself, "fair".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Netanyahu is too wily to fall for anything Obama tries to pull. The PM can think rings around little Barry, so I'm sure there's a plan behind his smile. He has it all over Obama in age, experience, intelligence and statesmanship. No contest.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Plus, he's showing Barry up by the simple act of being a gracious host. Remember, the President treated Netanyahu with unmitigated rudeness on his visits to the U.S.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem is I do not believe the President knows what the word fair means. It is merely one of those buzzwords that got him a treat when he parroted them high in class.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Fair" means nothing, and shows him to be the juvenile that he is. Has he never been told, "Life is not fair"?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"fairness" is what the community organizer in chief has hung his hat on in the past, continues to do in the present and will undoubtedly hang out there as his goal in the future.

fairness was what "fundamental transformation" was all about and why this limited thinker Obama is weirdly and eternally focused on "higher taxes on the rich

The fairness concept attaches to everything for the shallow Left, food distribution (it is so "unfair" when there isn't a supermarket in the neighborhood), climate (wealthy countries need to pay poorer countries reparations for using more than their share of resources and screwing up the climate)...ad infinitum, ad nauseam

I agree this president doesn't understand anything about genuine fairness, but, as a knee jerk buzzword with an emotional appeal to the uninformed and as a weapon of class warfare ("yeah, it's not FAIR that X is rich and I am poor") he will trot it out to his dying days.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Left's obsession with "fair" reinforces my belief that the root of the liberal's world view stems from their perceived mistreatment or rejection early in life, their failure to accept, adapt, and successfully overcome, and therefore expect government to, in effect, do the bootstrap-pulling for them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, the Left, permanently stuck in immaturity...

http://www.libertymind.com/index.php?page_id=257

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sounds like a green light to me - though god knows what was really said in private. Still I don't see Bibi in fact backing down on Iran if in his judgement he feels he has to attack. The American public from polls I'm reading support stopping Iran. We may be in for an interesting year with some surprises.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Any Obama speech tells us what he wants us to believe, and nothing more. Once in a while, an unrehearsed offhand comment actually tells us what he thinks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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