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May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
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Last Defense Of Obama’s Defenders On Israel Has Evaporated

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There is much to say about last week’s Wall Street Journal report on the further deterioration of U.S.-Israel relations under President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. But there’s one aspect in particular that stands out. And that is the fact that if the basic structure of arms transfers from the U.S. to Israel is described accurately in the story – and it appears it is – the last refuge of Barack Obama’s defenders on his attitude toward Israel has evaporated.

Obama never hid his contempt for the Israeli government or the majority of Israel’s voters. Even as a candidate in 2008 he let loose, ranting about Likud in a way that showed his lack of understanding of the basics of Israeli political life as well as his desire to push back on Israel’s supporters in the U.S.

After he became president, only the most dedicated leftists were surprised when he, in entirely predictable fashion, picked silly fights with Israel and tried to collapse its elected governing coalition. (Though it can also be argued that those leftists were cheered by this course of action.)

There was always, however, one defense Obama’s “fanboy”s in the media would fall back on: at least he is dedicated to ensuring Israel has what it needs to defend itself. This was generally thought to be a fair point, though never as compelling as they hoped it would be. After all, “Obama hasn’t abandoned Israel to a bloody genocide at the hands of its neighbors” is quite a low bar to clear.

But the Journal story takes apart the idea that Obama has always had Israel’s back when the chips were down:

 

White House and State Department officials who were leading U.S. efforts to rein in Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval.

Since then the Obama administration has tightened its control on arms transfers to Israel. But Israeli and U.S. officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and that both sides know it.

The munitions surprise and previously unreported U.S. response added to a string of slights and arguments that have bubbled behind the scenes during the Gaza conflict, according to events related by senior American, Palestinian and Israeli officials involved.

 

So the essential resupply was not approved by Obama, because it didn’t have to be. It’s simply the default setting: the two countries’ defense departments have military cooperation on autopilot. But when Obama found out, he put a stop to the automatic resupply. In other words, Obama sought to downgrade the U.S.-Israel military relationship.

A general defense of Obama on Israel’s security goes something like this, from Obama’s dedicated press ally Jeffrey Goldberg: “On matters of genuine security, Obama has been a reliable ally, encouraging close military cooperation, helping maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge over its regional rivals and, most important, promising that he won’t allow Iran to cross the nuclear-weapons threshold.”

You tend to hear some variation on that theme from time to time, usually when Obama is busy picking fights with Israeli leaders. Diplomatically, he may be consistently harsh on Israel, so the thinking goes, but at least he’s absolutely committed to Israel’s security. (The Iran part of that Goldberg quote, by the way, is also up in the air, considering the president’s consistent attempts to water down or derail sanctions on Iran and his desperation for a deal that lets Iran drag out the process.)

About the Author: Seth Mandel is assistant editor of Commentary magazine.


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34 Responses to “Last Defense Of Obama’s Defenders On Israel Has Evaporated”

  1. And we never hid our contempt for him either. I personally despise him.

  2. And we never hid our contempt for him either. I personally despise him.

  3. I like him!!!! Poor guy having to solve all the stuff the awful red neck bush left behind!

  4. I like him!!!! Poor guy having to solve all the stuff the awful red neck bush left behind!

  5. I like him!!!! Poor guy having to solve all the stuff the awful red neck bush left behind!

  6. Can wait for his tenure to be over man

  7. Can wait for his tenure to be over man

  8. Can wait for his tenure to be over man

  9. We feel the same about him

  10. We feel the same about him

  11. We feel the same about him

  12. I admit, I have lost much “love” I had for Obama. But he doesn’t the country by himself, and the American system allows for every president with checks and balances. But he’s also done some very good things other presidents didn’t have the brains or balls to do. Regarding Israel–not so much. But we have American Jews who have as much contempt for Israel and perhaps Judaism as Obama shows Israel. And republicans… hell no! And if “conservatives” control the US Jews here will be made to join Jews for Jesus, or learn to hide being Jewish (as some do already).

  13. I don’t believe the propaganda that the president hates Israel, but I do believe there are people with power who love to stir the ” hate” pot ( sound familiar, tea partners, supremacists,…?) .

  14. I don’t believe the propaganda that the president hates Israel, but I do believe there are people with power who love to stir the ” hate” pot ( sound familiar, tea partners, supremacists,…?) .

  15. I don’t believe the propaganda that the president hates Israel, but I do believe there are people with power who love to stir the ” hate” pot ( sound familiar, tea partners, supremacists,…?) .

  16. He has no choice to help, but he HATES Jews and Israel in particular.

  17. Obama isn’t fit to tie Mitt’s shoes

  18. Obama isn’t fit to tie Mitt’s shoes

  19. And you know the word of God very well!!!! Only you and the ones that agree with you right ?

  20. And you know the word of God very well!!!! Only you and the ones that agree with you right ?

  21. The majority of you commenting here are idiots!!!! And I am an even bigger idiot for trying to point it out to you!!!! After all I would probably have more success talking to a horse than to you lot!

  22. The majority of you commenting here are idiots!!!! And I am an even bigger idiot for trying to point it out to you!!!! After all I would probably have more success talking to a horse than to you lot!

  23. Go play with an animation character and leave politics alone you twit!

  24. Go play with an animation character and leave politics alone you twit!

  25. You racist twit!!!!

  26. You racist twit!!!!

  27. Gimme a break they send weapons to Israel so America don’t have to send troops to fight terrorist. Like in Syria and other countries. The jewish lobbyist is pushing for support for Israel. The Iron Dome was developed in Israel not america. Get you facts straight.

  28. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that he hates Israel.

  29. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that he hates Israel.

  30. Not a question of the president. This country needs to support one of the few remaining true democracies.

  31. Not a question of the president. This country needs to support one of the few remaining true democracies.

  32. Alan Cornet says:

    Not ALL Jewish voters supported President Obama. Don't lump all Jews together Cody.. OK?

  33. I think Israel should stop relying on outsiders, and instead start relying on the Lord, on HaShem only! He is the One who will help His people, the apple of His eye!

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