Is Obama Using Israel as a Scapegoat for His Foreign Policy Failures?

Though needing to handle dozens of difficult issues around the world, President Obama seems obsessed with one: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Obama's administration has been on the warpath with Israel from the beginning, picking fights over issues that have been around for a long time. These include where Jews can live and build in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria (the West Bank); removing checkpoints that stop terrorists; and easing restrictions on the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. Yet Obama has been silent regarding anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incitement, and the upsurge in rioting, violence, and terrorist attacks sponsored by the Palestinian Authority.

An innocuous announcement of approval for building permits in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem during Vice President Joe Biden's visit gave Obama the opportunity he, perhaps, was waiting for -- he bombarded Israel with unprecedented wrath and scorn. Out of proportion and unusually harsh, Obama's disappointment seemed irrational.

A few weeks later, David Sanger of the New York Times quoted one of Obama's foreign policy advisors:

If Obama can't set some parameters for our allies, how is he going to set some for the mullahs?

Sanger also wrote:

Obama's team seems to understand that if they lose that contest of wills [with Israel], the rest of their foreign policy agenda is also threatened.

Assuming this is true, Obama is tying Israeli concessions to U.S. moves to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons, and to other issues as well. This policy makes Israel a scapegoat for Obama's failures.

It's those Jews who want to build homes in Jerusalem that prevent the U.S. from stopping Iran, North Korea, and the Taliban! David Petraeus has been quoted as implying that America's support for Israel is harming allied war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It's a wonder the Jews aren't blamed for global warming.

The danger of Obama's attack is not only that it shifts blame for difficulties the West faces in its wars against Islamists to Israel, but that it makes Israel responsible for the threat from Iran. This is blood libel; it has been floating around for some years by extremists. Coming from the White House, however, it now has legitimacy.