A Great Reckoning in a Little Room


Back in July of 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama visited Sderot, the southern Israeli city battered by rocket fire from Gaza, and delivered a speech emphasizing Israel’s right to defend itself and stressing that “peace should not undermine its security.” He vowed that he would not, as president, force Israel to make dangerous concessions and warned that “the world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” The Israeli leadership -- not least the irresponsible and spineless Ehud Olmert -- and many of the country’s citizens, including the leftist, anti-Zionist newspaper Haaretz, could scarcely restrain their enthusiasm for the fine words and noble sentiments expressed by the president-in-waiting.

The speech was a stirring one for those who had not tracked Obama’s less-than-stellar record to that date, who had not examined his chequered past and problematic mentors and acquaintances, and who wanted desperately to believe in the empty mantra of “hope and change.” As I watched the YouTube* clip of Obama’s address and listened to those familiar sinusoidal cadences, I knew instantly that the man did not mean a word he said, a conclusion that anyone who had done his homework would have reached. Regrettably, it has taken much of the world five more years to realize that Obama is a trained prevaricator of the first water, whether the issue is government transparency, receding oceans, competitive bidding, citizen surveillance, deficit cutting, the closing of Gitmo, unilateral military action, Fast and Furious, Obamacare, and, in the realm of foreign policy, Iran and Israel. Obama’s evasions and hollow assurances on this latter file demonstrably imperil the future of the Middle East and, quite possibly, the safety of the planet. It certainly spells imminent danger for Israel.

A recent article by Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick claims that the nuclear deal reached with Iran, eagerly pursued by the Americans, was “not just to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power…the goal of Obama’s foreign policy is to weaken the state of Israel.” Her thesis is cogently argued and based on persuasive evidence. Behind-the-scenes negotiations have been going on for an entire year, “yet the deal reflects Iran’s opening position.” Since nothing had changed from day one, why did Obama wait until the present moment to conclude an agreement?

The answer Glick provides makes considerable sense. Obama needed the year to marginalize the Jewish state, to work against its interests by portraying it as a belligerent nation trying to conscript the U.S. into an unnecessary war, and compelling it once again to enter negotiations with the Palestinian Authority “engineered to weaken Israel strategically and diplomatically” and furnishing support to the European Union’s propaganda blitz and economic war against it. Obama knew full well that Israel’s inevitable rejection of the Palestinians’ outrageous and unacceptable demands would make the country look intractable and bellicose to a denunciatory world. Within that portico time-frame, Obama gave his blessing to the anti-Zionist Jewish organization J Street, appointed anti-Israeli officials to key positions, and managed to embarrass the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC. “When we consider Obama’s decision,” Glick writes, “to wait a year to sign the deal that enables Iran to become a nuclear power in the context of his main activities over the past year, we understand his foreign policy.”