Much has already been written about Jeffrey Goldberg’s amazing interview with President Obama. The interview took place Thursday, the day before Russia captured Crimea from Ukraine.
The salient segment:
On the subject of Middle East peace, Obama told me that the U.S.’s friendship with Israel is undying, but he also issued what I took to be a veiled threat: The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively.
“If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time,” Obama said. “If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.”
It’s less a veiled threat than a plain old threat. The United States could make the case for Israel if it chose to. Obama is telling the world that he no longer intends to make that case.
The case for Israel, and against its closest enemies, is simple. The Palestinians elected Hamas to lead them (which “complicated peace efforts,” according to the Washington Post at the time); Hamas openly wants to destroy Israel. The majority of the Palestinian people openly reject any peace deal that includes Israel’s existence. Those facts haven’t changed just because Barack Obama wants them to or pretends that they are not facts. That fact that the Palestinians teach their children to hate Jews, and celebrate acts of terrorism against Israel, hasn’t changed either.
Maybe after Obama’s unfairness and weakness result in another terrible Middle East war, the Washington Post can stir itself to describe Obama’s Israel policy as “fantasy.”