Op-Ed: Obama in NY Times Interview: Pro Zoabi, Anti-Netanyahu
American President Barack Obama, in arrogant know-it-all fashion, conducted an interview with known Israel-basher, New York Times’ columnist Thomas L. Friedman this weekend, an interview which is the latest example of the president’s complete lack of understanding of the Middle East – as well as his complete lack of empathy for Israel.
The interview saw Obama actually blame Netanyahu for the “stalemate in peace negotiations,” claiming that Netanyahu’s high poll numbers saw him “less inclined to engage in risky and divisive political endeavors.”
What Obama fails to grasp is that this war is not a right-wing or left-wing issue in Israel, except for Israel's tiny radical left who are still trying to resuscitate the PA's Mahmoud Abbas– and Netanyahu is certainly not to blame for anything regarding the so-called “peace” process.
The Palestinian Arabs want to wipe Israel off the face of the map – that’s what this war was about.
Obama told Friedman, ““if [Netanyahu] doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement. That’s a tough thing to do.”
Mr. Obama: Netanyahu faces pressure from the people of Israel, but it is pressure to stop attacks. He’s a moderate – but even the more-left wing forces in his government, Yair Lapid, for example, just called for targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders – as America killed Osama Bin Laden.
The people of Israel want, demand and deserve quiet. Netanyahu is being pressured to crush terror.
The reality is that Netanyahu is very unlikely to be succeeded by someone to the left of him – and much more likely to be succeeded by someone from the right. Netanyahu, in fact, is largely unpopular among the rank and file of the Likud’s powerful central committee – as they too are more right-wing than Netanyahu.
And in his government? Whether it’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, or others, Netanyahu is under pressure is not to compromise or even negotiate with terrorists. Who would dare revive talk of a two-state solution which puts Ben Gurion airport 8 kilometers away from a probable Hamas takeover in the "West Bank" - America, who shut it down?
Jonah Goldberg’s book: “Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas” has a parable about an extremist: “If I say we need 100 feet of bridge to cross a 100 foot chasm that makes me an extremist. Someone else says we need no bridge because we don’t need to cross the bridge at all. He is an extremist. The 3rd guy says let’s compromise with a 50 foot bridge, and end the bridge in the middle of the air. As an extremist, I will tell you the other extremist has a better grasp on reality.”
Israelis simply want to survive – and Netanyahu is a moderate leader of the people of Israel. But if he compromises on anything that could endanger security, assuming he might even want to do that, or succumb to US pressure to do that, he will be finished.
In the interview with Friedman, talking as if Israel faced no existential danger from terrorists who launch thousands of rockets, build tens of tunnels and use their own children as human shields, Obama elucidate what he sees as the real problem. He wondered what kind of Israel there would be saying, “I think the question really is how does Israel survive.” He continued, “How can you preserve a Jewish state that is also reflective of the best values of those who founded Israel.”
Obama: No Israelis believe or give a damn about what you think are the best values of Israel. Leave Israel alone.
In 2008, Obama said: “I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel, and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel.” That seems to be Obama’s warped logic here and his continuing to claim he supports Israel.
What Obama neglects to mention - or does not even understand - is that the Israel he supports is the Israel of Hanin Zoabi and Ahmed Tibi.