- - Wednesday, March 18, 2015

During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a Joint Session of Congress, he stated that he would always be grateful for President Obama’s support for Israel. Additionally, Mr. Obama continues to describe the bond between Israel and the U.S. as unbreakable. Despite both leaders attempts to reassure people of the close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, the Obama administration’s animus toward Mr. Netanyahu is unprecedented in the history of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

• Mr.  Obama badmouths him to other world leaders. During the 2011 G20 summit in Cannes, it was reported that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy described Mr. Netanyahu as a “liar” that he cannot stand. The president’s response was less than presidential, responding to Mr. Sarkozy by saying: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day.”

• Mr. Obama’s staff feels comfortable berating him. It has been reported that officials in the Obama administration use a lot of terms to described Mr. Netanyahu. This list includes recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” Last year, a senior Obama official even went so far as to describe Mr. Netanyahu a “chickens**t.”

• Mr. Obama threw a hissy fit when Mr. Netanyahu spoke in front of Congress. After House Speaker John Boehner decided to move around the White House to invite Mr. Netanyahu to speak to Congress, the president declined to meet with Mr. Netanyahu during his visit. The president also chose to skip Mr. Netanyahu’s speech altogether. This led to a double-digit number of Democrats boycotting the speech.

• Obama officials chose not to meet with Mr. Netanyahu, but did meet with his opposition. The president’s excuse for not meeting with Mr. Netanyahu was that he did not want to be seen as interfering in the Israeli election process. However, this didn’t stop Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry from meeting informally with Mr. Netanyahu’s opposition, Isaac Herzog, in Munich a few weeks prior to his speech.



• Obama campaigners are actively working to manipulate Israeli elections. Following Mr. Netanyahu’s address to Congress, a group of Obama campaign veterans arrived in Israel to lead the campaign against Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Obama’s 2012 field director, Jeremy Bird, is now leading a group, called OneVoice, a U.S. taxpayer funded 501(c)(3) engaging in political activity in Israel. OneVoice is funding V-2015’s “Just Not Bibi” campaign.

These are only a few of the many assaults on Mr. Netanyahu by the Obama machine and the contempt goes beyond the prime minister. The Obama administration’s current ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, has shown herself to be hostile to Israel in the past. She has regarded Israel as a human rights abuser and called for the U.S. to shift Israeli military aid to Ramallah and to deploy forces to protect Palestinians. Mr. Kerry has described Israel as a country on the road to becoming an “Apartheid state.” There have even been reports that the Obama administration threatened to shoot down Israeli planes.

Additionally, there is a growing hostility toward Israel in the Democratic Party. During the 2012 Democratic National Convention, party officials had difficulty hearing each other through all of the booing as they voted to re-insert “Jerusalem” as Israel’s capital into the party platform.

Following a dramatic come from behind turn in the morning hours on Wednesday, the Likud party emerged as the clear winner with 30 seats in the Knesset. This will mean Mr. Netanyahu will return to the post of prime minister.

Mr. Netanyahu coming back in power will be a blow to the Obama team, especially because the administration has no interest in dealing with any type of opposition to their negotiations with Iran. Even though the president talks about the bond between the U.S. and Israel, we are likely to see more confrontations, nasty remarks and blatant anti-Israel sentiments coming out of this administration and the Democratic Party.

The post-election hostility has already started. Following Mr. Netanyahu declaring victory, Mr. Obama’s former strategist and political adviser David Axelrod decided to tweet his contempt for the election results and Mr. Netanyahu: “Tightness of exits in Israel suggests Bibi’s shameful 11th hour demagoguery may have swayed enough votes to save him. But at what cost?”

Mr. Axelrod’s distasteful tweet toward the prime minister is just a glimmer of the things to come in the U.S.-Israel relationship, as the Obama administration and Democratic Party start to divorce themselves from support for Israel.

Alex VanNess is manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.

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