GIVAT SHMUEL, Israel March 5, 2014 — As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the air on Sunday en route to DC, US President Barack Obama took to the press to hammer Netanyahu for the umpteenth time.
In his interview with Bloomberg journalist Jeffery Goldberg, no fan of Netanyahu himself, Obama placed 100% of the responsibility for making peace on the shoulders of Israel. POTUS told Goldberg, “If there’s something you know you have to do, even if it’s difficult or unpleasant, you might as well just go ahead and do it, because waiting isn’t going to help. When I have a conversation with Bibi, that’s the essence of my conversation: If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who? How does this get resolved?” His implication that Israel is the reason peace has not prevailed is not only naïve but historically disingenuous.
It would appear that the only person Obama holds less accountable for their actions than himself is the Palestinians.
In a brilliant piece in the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Herb Keinon pointed out that while Netanyahu did not hesitate to answer back the moment he landed, telling reporters on the tarmac that, “the tango in the Middle East needs at least three,” the real test for Obama will not be this week but the next. As Keinon points out, “[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas is coming to Washington next week for his own talks with Obama. What will be telling is whether that meeting will be preceded by another Obama interview, only this time one in which Obama publicly takes Abbas to task over issues such as incitement and refusal to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
While this makes it abundantly clear why Netanyahu should have foregone his visit to Pennsylvania Avenue once he landed, it does not explain why he should never have left Israel intending to visit in the first place.
So while endless media outlets will no doubt spend days analyzing and reanalyzing the most recent Bibi-Obama photo-op, the truth is that, due to clear signals sent by Barack Obama, Israel should have been boycotting the White House months ago.
Two clear-as-day signals in particular should have prompted the Jewish State to give the US the cold shoulder, and those signals were the appointments of Samantha Power and Robert Malley.
In June of last year Obama nominated Power for the post of United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He did this, despite the fact that, “Power has a documented record of describing both the U.S and Israel as committing war crimes and being human rights-abusers; urging the U.S. to distance itself from Israel and take the Palestinian side; complaining that U.S. support for Israel harms U.S. interests; comparing terrorist Yasser Arafat to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; and showing antipathy to those who support Israel,” pointed out Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America in an Arutz7 op-ed at the time of the nomination.
In a now infamous interview in 2002, Power noted that taking action against Israel was needed, even though doing so would involve “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.”
She more recently blamed Daniel Pearl for his own beheading on Twitter.
Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence. @DanielPearlFNDN
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) February 24, 2014
This small sample of the vitriol that has spewed from this radical ideologue’s mouth would have made here persona non grata for the 2008 Obama campaign seeking the Presidency, as well as the 2012 Obama White House seeking reelection. A 2013 Obama Administration with nothing to lose, however, can show its true colors without consequence. Thus, Israel-hating Samantha Power became the US Ambassador to the UN.
Perhaps the Power nomination, in and of itself, was not enough for Netanyahu to boycott the White House. However, combining Power’s appointment with Obama’s more recent promotion should have sent Bibi running from the Beltway at top speed.
In 2008, Obama, seeking to find a foothold among pro-Israel Jewish American Democrats, distanced himself from Clinton-era National Security Council staffer Robert Malley. As Jonathan S. Tobin recently noted, Malley is “best known for his stand blaming Israel rather than Yasser Arafat for the collapse of the 2000 Camp David peace summit,” and “when it became known in May of 2008 that Malley had met with Hamas terrorists, the Obama campaign severed ties with Malley.” Not only was this a politically savvy move by Obama, it was the morally correct one as well. Anyone willing to lend legitimacy to a terrorist group that indiscriminately slaughters not only Israelis, but the very people who elected them to power, as Hamas does, has no place in American foreign policy decision-making.
Obama wanted to send a message to Jewish voters that he would not tolerate anti-Israel radicals in his administration. As scary as the thought may be, Israel would be in a better situation today if Obama were up for reelection once again.
Last month it was announced that the White House had appointed Robert Malley as a senior director at the National Security Council. This means that the unabashed Hamas supporter will now significantly influence policy at one of the most powerful security bodies on the planet.
Malley is an enemy of Israel. Power is an enemy of Israel. Obama, by appointing these two when accountability for his actions is marginable, sent a message that he intends to be less friend and more foe to the Jewish State.
The moment Malley sat down at his NSC desk was the moment Benjamin Netanyahu should have RSVP’d no to a White House powwow.
Israel has enough enemies in the world, it should not have to tolerate its allies spitting in its face and asking them for a thank you.
While it was no shock that Bibi’s visit to DC was a waste of time, Israel would have been better served if the PM had taken to the lawn of the White House with a picket sign then to a chair in the Oval Office with a forced smile.