Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reflections on Obama's turn against Israel

Testing Obama, at Home and Abroad -David E. Sanger

David Rothkopf, a noted expert in the exercise of presidential power, noted, "He's in the position of appearing fierce with the Israelis over an insult, but timid with the Iranians over nuclear weapons."
(New York Times)

Obama and Israel: Not Smart -John Podhoretz

While Jews are divided over Israel's policies, most do not want the U.S. to become part of the beat-up-on-Israel forces.

A Telling Tiff -George Jonas

Why Israel builds apartments? That's what countries do.
Why it builds on disputed territory? Every inch of Israel is disputed. That's what the Middle East conflict is about.

With Barack Obama in the Oval Office, America may be Israel's ally but it isn't Israel's friend.
(National Post-Canada)

Overkill: Rebuke of Israel Goes Overboard -Editorial

We suspect lots of Americans are wondering about the Obama administration's sense of proportionality: Iran's government cuts down opponents in the streets and barely creates a ripple with the Obama crew, which has no problem reaming our most valuable friend in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, it is this president's pattern: tread lightly with America's adversaries and land like a ton of bricks on friends - especially dangerous for Israel because of those who will be emboldened by it.
(The Oklahoman)

Democrats Criticize Obama on Israel -Ben Smith

Pro-Israel Democrats have begun to criticize the Obama administration's stern stance toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Critics Accuse Administration of Aiding Enemies

The Obama administration is drawing fierce criticism from both sides of the aisle for appearing to take dead aim at U.S. policy toward Israel by exploiting a dispute that began as a mere bureaucratic blunder.

"These matters need to be thought through before public pronouncements can significantly damage the U.S.-Israeli relationship and give aid and comfort to the enemies of the Mideast peace process," Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) said.
(FOX News)

Allies Everywhere Feeling Snubbed by President Obama -Robert Kagan

Israelis shouldn't feel that they have been singled out.

* In Britain, people are talking about the end of the "special relationship" with America, despite their ongoing sacrifices in Afghanistan.

* In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has openly criticized Obama for months.

* Relations with Japan are rocky, partly because of a perception that the U.S. can't be counted on for the long term.

By now, a moderately self-reflective administration might be asking why so many allies, everywhere, are worried. Who has attracted [positive] attention in the Obama administration? The answer, seems to be not America's allies but its competitors, and in some cases its adversaries.

The president has shown seemingly limitless patience with the Russians as they stall an arms-control deal that could have been done in December. He accepted a year of Iranian insults and refusal to negotiate before hesitantly moving toward sanctions.

The administration continues to woo Syria without much sign of reciprocation in Damascus.

Yet Obama angrily orders a near-rupture of relations with Israel for a minor infraction - and after the Israeli prime minister publicly apologized.
(Washington Post)

Israel and the Crisis with Obama -John Bolton [pictured above]

Mr. Obama almost certainly believes the real obstacle to peace is not new housing or unfortunate timing but so-called Israeli intransigence.

On Iran, Mr. Netanyahu's mistake has been to assume that Mr. Obama basically agrees that we must prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But the White House likely believes that a nuclear Iran, though undesirable, can be contained and will therefore not support using military force to thwart Tehran's nuclear ambitions. What's more, Mr. Obama is also unwilling to let anyone else, namely Israel, act instead.
(Wall Street Journal)

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