- - Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Of his many disgraceful blow-offs of our key allies — returning the bust of Winston Churchill to Great Britain, refusing to march in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline coming from Canada — President Obama’s epic dis of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week takes the cake.

One of our staunchest and most strategically important allies, Israel is being swarmed by terrorists from all sides: Hamas from the south, the Muslim Brotherhood from the south and east, Hezbollah from the north. It faces a slightly more distant but equally deadly threat to its northeast from the Islamic State.

Then there is the biggest threat of them all: Iran, which bankrolls, arms and trains many of these terrorists, is about to be legitimized as a threshold nuclear state, thanks to a deal being pushed desperately by Mr. Obama.

In order to stop a catastrophic agreement, which would imperil Israel’s survival in unimaginable ways, Mr. Netanyahu spoke directly to Congress and the American people, expertly laying out the existential crisis facing his nation, the region, the West, and the United States.

To their eternal shame, Mr. Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry pointedly refused to be available to meet with Mr. Netanyahu, and 58 congressional Democrats boycotted the speech, claiming that House Speaker John Boehner violated “protocol” with his invitation to Mr. Netanyahu, and that a full-throated embrace of the Israeli leader would jeopardize Mr. Obama’s precious nuclear negotiations.

It’s bull — and they all know it.

In order to understand how we got to this shameful moment, we must understand how Mr. Obama thinks about Israel, when he thinks about it at all.

Schooled on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the terrorist sympathizer and Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, Mr. Obama came to office with the view that Israel is an occupying force and that Israel bullies its way around the region, exaggerating the threats it faces and holding the so-called “peace process” hostage with outrageous demands. It’s no wonder that once he became president, he reoriented our policy away from a staunch alliance with Israel and toward one far more sympathetic to Palestinian — and Iranian — demands.

A few months after entering office, Mr. Obama told American Jewish leaders that essentially he had had enough of the close U.S.-Israeli relationship. Referring to the Bush years, he said, “For eight years there was no light between the United States and Israel, and nothing got accomplished.” He then placed the burden on Israel to negotiate more, self-reflect more, give up more.

In spring 2010, a local Jerusalem office announced plans for new settlement construction in a part of the city, leading to a collective Obama Team freak-out. Mr. Biden stormed out of Israel, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dressed down Mr. Netanyahu in a 45-minute phone call during which she blamed him for “harming the bilateral relationship.” The administration canceled its Middle East envoy’s scheduled trip to Israel, and it joined a European Union condemnation. Apparently, everyone in the world is allowed to build houses except Jews.

Within two weeks, Mr. Netanyahu arrived in Washington to try to smooth things over but was left cooling his heels at the White House by Mr. Obama, who not only ditched Mr. Netanyahu midmeeting to have dinner, but who also denied him a photo-op, a joint statement and even an honorable exit. He forced Mr. Netanyahu to leave through a side door.

Later, Mr. Obama attended the Group of 20 meeting in France and was caught by a hot microphone denigrating Mr. Netanyahu to then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Mr. Sarkozy said, “I cannot bear Netanyahu. He’s a liar,” to which Mr. Obama replied, “You’re fed up with him? I’ve got to deal with him everyday.” Mr. Sarkozy subsequently apologized to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Obama did not.

The ease with which Mr. Obama could summon all of this sound and fury against Israel is striking, and yet he couldn’t manage one word of condemnation for Tehran when it mowed down its own people during the 2009 Green Revolution.

As he negotiates with Iran, remember this: He’s never demanded meaningful concessions from the Palestinians, in terms of insisting that they recognize Israel’s right to exist, quit terrorism, give up the so-called “right of return,” which would dilute the Jewish state out of existence, and negotiate in good faith over the final status of Jerusalem.

Why would he demand similar concessions from Tehran?

You can’t treat allies like this and expect them to stay allies for long. If the overarching Obama objective has been to weaken America’s place in the world, though, in order to create a new world order in which our allies are more vulnerable and the bad guys are elevated by our own hand, then he has succeeded.

Once those bad guys have nuclear weapons, however, they will define that new world order. And it won’t be pretty.

Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.

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