First Panetta, now Ambassador Gutman: When it Comes to US Policy towards Israel, Listen to what its Representatives Say, Not to the President's Promises
As Ambassador Gutman himself told a representative of the Israeli press, the paper Yedioth Ahronoth, “the Arab world appreciates Obama following his speech in Cairo,” referring to the president’s now infamous 2009 Cairo speech that was filled with errors and that infuriated friends of Israel and the Jewish people.
Ambassador Gutman received his appointment, obviously, because he was one of the wealthy Jewish donors to Obama’s campaign, who raised $50,000 for him in 2008 and for the Democratic Party.
As Omri Ceren comments at Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog:
It’s also going to be hard for the administration to say Gutman’s views do not reflect Obama’s broader approach to Israel and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Quite the opposite, they fit perfectly into the linkage dogma embraced by Obama and the foreign policy left, where pathologies in the Arab world are the result rather than the cause of the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Why should we be surprised? As many documented during the 2008 campaign, in leaving Chicago, Obama promised his friend Rashid Khalidi that if he became president, he would use his power to move American power in a direction more friendly to the Palestinian worldview. Later, Khalidi would comment that he thought the president had to hold back because of the power of the Jewish lobby and the need to keep it in line for Democratic success.
Unless Obama repudiates both Panetta and Gutman, it is crystal clear that both speak for the administration, which wants it known that its policy prescription is to continue pressure on Israel and to exonerate the Muslim states from having any blame for the inability to preserve an unstable peace. A brief announcement of the White House that it “distances” itself from the ambassador’s remarks is not sufficient.
As scores of Jewish groups have demanded, Gutman’s views must be denounced publicly. One groups’s head, Doris Wise Montrose, made the following statement:
“As an organization devoted to making sure that the West upholds its promise of ‘Never Again’ by recognizing the genuine causes of genocidal Jew-hatred and the Holocaust” said CJHS founder and President Doris Wise Montrose, “we’ll remind the Ambassador that Muslim antisemitism stretches back centuries before the creation of the modern state of Israel and is explicitly advocated by the Koran.”
Ambassador Gutman is a noted donor to the Democratic Party and President Obama. His statements echo those made in 1999 and 2003 by George Soros, another significant Obama backer widely seen as hostile to Israel and to the US/Israeli relationship. Soros has repeatedly gone on the record insisting that Israel behavior is responsible for antisemitism, and urging Israel to weaken itself in the face of Arab hostility. Apparently the Obama administration has found something new to blame on Israel. Whether it’s Palestinian terrorism or Iran’s nuclear program, there seem to be an endless list of problems caused by the tiny Jewish State.
Ambassador Gutman’s wild theories are particularly troubling given the ongoing campaign by the White House to undermine Israel. Everyone is baffled by why President Obama would again and again pressure Israel while letting the Palestinians literally get away with murder, and nobody can come up with a good explanation for what he thinks he’s accomplishing by undermining the US/Israeli relationship.
The White House must be inundated with demands that Panetta be censured and that Ambassador Gutman be removed from office. If this is not done, anyone who votes for Obama thinking that he is aligned with Israel is simply fooling himself. Clearly, the pro-Israel statements of the president mean little, and are meant only to reassure Jewish voters that he stands with Israel, and that they should support him. As Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary, the administration “is at its heart hostile to the Jewish state. Only a blind partisan would think such an administration could be trusted to deal fairly with Israel once the constraints of Obama’s re-election efforts are removed.”
Those like Mayor Ed Koch, whose efforts led to the victory of Rep. Bob Turner in New York City’s 9th District last month, and who then changed to endorsing Obama in 2012 on the basis of one speech, must now reevaluate their views and acknowledge that when it comes to being fair to Israel, this administration is simply not to be trusted. It is more than clear that only one conclusion can be reached: A new fair policy towards peace in the Middle East, that treats Israel as an ally that has always sought peace, will not be forthcoming unless the Obama administration has no second term. That result is up to all of us.