The PJ Tatler

Israeli Vice Premier Gets It Wrong on Obama-Iran

From the J-Post:

Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon voiced disappointment with the Obama administration on Sunday, saying “election-year considerations” lay behind its caution over tough Iran sanctions sought by US legislators.

While Washington has been talking tougher about Iran’s nuclear work and threat to block oil export routes out of the Gulf if hit with harsher sanctions, new US measures adopted on December 31 gave US President Barak Obama leeway on the scope of penalties on the Iranian central bank and oil exports.

The senior official contrasted the administration’s posture to that of France and Britain, which he said “are taking a very firm stand and understand sanctions must be imposed immediately.”

Sorry, Moshe. If only.

Just as Americans sometimes have difficulty parsing Israeli politics, the reverse is true. This isn’t about vote-getting for Barack Obama. This is who he is. Israelis should know that by now (probably many do). This is the same Obama who stood by heartlessly when the democracy demonstrators were in the streets of Tehran. This is the Barack Obama of the hidden Khalidi tape.

As we used to say in the sixties, “Which side are you on?” Obama is on two sides: himself and some mythological, lost-in-time anti-colonialism. Israel – and indeed Western values themselves – are not part of that.