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Rubin Reports

Obama’s Israel Visit: A Parable

March 22nd, 2013 - 5:34 pm

After some years, marked by tensions between them, the baron decided to pay an unexpected visit to the village. The people were very excited and turned out to give him a warm welcome. The mayor and the baron spoke of the eternal friendship between the castle and the village.

Everyone cheered, especially when the baron promised his help in defending the village from dangers prowling around its borders. The baron urged the village to make peace with those forces, but said he understood if it couldn’t do so and confirmed his support for the village’s right of self-defense.

The people were pleased, but the mayor remarked to the town clerk: “Funny he didn’t mention his ongoing role in creating the problem.”

Still, the visit of Baron Victor Frankenstein could be considered a big success. Of course, President Barack Obama did not fully create the new monstrous threats facing Israel as much as Frankenstein did his monster. But the president did a lot to nurture these problems to life, or made them much worse by coddling Iran for most of his first term, taking a soft stance toward Syria, praising the Turkish regime despite its anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic activities, and encouraging or even supporting Islamists who took over Egypt and are seeking to take over Syria.

Make no mistake: Obama’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority did mark an important shift, but only on part of his policy. He has given up on promoting the “peace process” as a high priority.

While publicly his administration blames Israel more, it also acknowledges that it cannot press Israel into taking high risks and making big concessions. The White House clearly knows that the PA is a large part of the problem, though it publicly remains silent on this point — and doesn’t comprehend that the PA is almost all of the problem.

In practical terms, that means he understands that pushing on the peace process won’t work, and trying to bully Israel will damage him in several ways. American public opinion and Congress, including most of the Democrats, are supportive of Israel. He has no interest in throwing away political capital that he needs for other things in order to pursue a goal that he knows cannot be attained.

The main international problem he needs to deal with is the Middle East itself, especially the two issues he focused on for his visit: Iran and Syria. Obama intends to spend 2013 negotiating — futilely — with Iran. While the strong sanctions against Tehran have damaged the economy, they are unlikely to force it to stop the drive for nuclear weapons.

As Iran gets closer to obtaining nuclear weapons, Israel’s government will increasingly consider an attack on Tehran’s facilities. Obama has spoken of all options being on the table, and of Israel’s right of self-defense. But assuming, which seems accurate, that Obama does not want to back an Israeli attack, how is he going to restrain Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government? Obama needs Netanyahu’s cooperation in making a very tough decision, and for that the president must have Israel feeling more secure and rewarded by the United States.

On the second issue, Syria, another country neighboring Israel is on the verge of a revolution that will bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power and even more extremist Salafists into having a powerful armed presence. While Obama still claims Syria will produce a democratic and moderate regime, that outcome seems increasingly unlikely.

What appears quite possible is that the weapons and training supplied with U.S. support will be turned against Israel. So how will Obama get Israel’s cooperation in trying to keep things quiet despite that new threat? This, too, requires him to be friendlier to Israel on bilateral issues.

There is also a third issue that parallels Syria, and that is Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is already in control and armed Salafist groups roam the Sinai Peninsula. If Egypt breaks the peace treaty, Israel will call on the United States to put pressure on Cairo, a demand that Obama wants to avoid. Here, too, he wants Israel to exercise restraint, and once again this requires an Israel that feels the United States is defending its back.

This, then, is the paradox of Obama’s second-term policy toward the Middle East. He has abandoned his earlier effort to distance himself from Israel that he hoped would curry favor with Arabs and Muslims while at the same time (he thought) advance toward Israel-Palestinian peace. The strategy clearly didn’t work, as Israel’s enemies showed themselves unready to compromise and not eager to pursue peace.

That step is a victory for Israel.

But Obama has not abandoned the pro-Islamist policy that has created a far more dangerous security situation for Israel, and in fact made Arab-Israeli peace an even more distant dream.

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Top Rated Comments   
I hope Israel doesn't base its defense on Obama's statements. His idea of the truth is different.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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"He has given up on promoting the “peace process” as a high priority"
Of Course he has Given up the peace policy? The brotherhood chaos is in place, mission accomplished. And how did he nurture this 'chaos'? Think back: to the role of Code Pink whom met with wh before during and after Egypt. of course this puzzle is only one piece.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not my best photograph, but thanks for the promo.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The mistakes of the people in in high places are more consequential than those of the rest of us, but we beat them hundredfold when it comes to the suffering. This president is not a divine gift to Israel. The divine gift is Mr. Nethanyahu's ability to navigate the ripples in the wake of the misguided power boat.

Where is the miracle that would cause power and wisdom to walk in synchrony?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Netanyahu offered Erdogan an apology (mere words) and compensation to the families that lost relatives on the Mavi Marmara ( atrivial bribe). Erdogan, who had called Zionism a crime against humanity, accepted these offerings and in exchange agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. That's a big plus for Israel, the most hated country on earth. Why did Erdogan agree? Because Obama was one of the three people on this three-way phone conversation.
The anti-Israel Arab woman who holds a seat in the Knesset objected to the deal, as one would have to if one is anti-Israel. The fact that she is in the Knesset shows just how democratic Israel is.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166496
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is surfacing, his policy change reflects his previous impulsive, reckless policy making. (?) Or, scarcely had he realized the threat in all its monstrousity, and it's just now. But wait, most instances his words barely match his (final) decisions, eerr, aims. Double stirring. Pray for Israel, the world, the only hope.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Thus, Obama’s visit to Israel represents a real shift, a policy change."
I'm not buying it. Maybe he's trying to forestall military action by the Israelis. An Israeli preemptive attack on Iran for example would make him look like the impotent he is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually far above the level of his incompetence. That said, compared to his behavior four years ago his actions are brilliant, at least he learned to do almost nothing. Hopefully he will keep it up for four more years.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually far above the level of his incompetence.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Frog and the Scorpion comes to mind. 0 plays the role of scorpion.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I hope Israel doesn't base its defense on Obama's statements. His idea of the truth is different.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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