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The Atlantic Interview: Obama Rewrites His Record on Israel

He's damaged the relationship more than any president in Israel's history.

by
Anne Bayefsky

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March 2, 2012 - 11:53 am
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On the eve of a meeting between President Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the president has orchestrated the publication of his most revealing interview yet on the state of relations between the two countries. Instead of bolstering his pro-Israel image, however, the interview is proof-positive of his dangerous animus towards the Jewish state and its elected leaders.

The interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg took place earlier this week but was released only today. In it, the president exasperatedly asked:

Why is it that despite me never failing to support Israel on every single problem that they’ve had over the last three years, that there are still questions about that?

To which Goldberg solicitously responded: “That’s a good way to phrase it.” The president replied: “There is no good reason to doubt me on these issues.”

Let me count the ways.

During the interview the president claimed to “have Israel’s back” at the United Nations, among other places. The administration’s actions at the UN allegedly corroborate that his “relationship [with Israel] is very functional and the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

What digestible meal might that be? The president specified:

When you look at what I’ve done with respect to … fighting back against delegitimization of Israel, whether at the [UN] Human Rights Council, or in front of the General Assembly, or during the Goldstone Report, or after the flare-up involving the flotilla — the truth of the matter is that the relationship has functioned very well.

Actually, the truth is that President Obama has done more to legitimize the delegitimizers of Israel than any other president in the history of the Jewish state.

For instance, one of his opening foreign policy moves was to join — for the first time — the UN Human Rights Council, allowing the full weight of American membership to boost the credibility of this viciously anti-Israel body.

When the president decided to join the Council he knew full well that the body organized every regular session around a permanent agenda of ten items, one directed only to Israel-bashing and another to the remaining (unspecified) 192 UN member states. But the administration claimed that it joined the Council to reform it from the inside during a five-year deadline imposed by the General Assembly. The reform scheme went down in flames last June, and the agenda remained unchanged. What was the president’s response to the ritualized Jew-bashing that carries on unabated in a global forum in the name of human rights? He is now actively seeking a second term on the Council for the United States.

Not once did President Obama make the equal treatment of the Jewish state a condition for remaining on this “human rights” body — notwithstanding that the whole foundation of the UN Charter is the “equal rights of nations large and small.”

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