Dr. Manfred GerstenfeldThe writer has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the boards of several major multinational corporations in Europe and North America.He is board member and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and recipient of the LIfetime Achievement Award (2012) of the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism.
The lengthy description of “Obama’s doctrine” recently published by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, reflects the confusion of the American President’s behavior. Israel occupies a minor place in the article. Yet an analysis of Obama’s positions on Israel and Netanyahu as presented in this text reveals more than the President's stance on these issues. It also serves as a prism bringing various flawed elements of Obama’s doctrine into focus.
One can begin a review of the article with Goldberg’s description of Obama’s admiration for Israel’s resilience in the face of constant terrorism. He added that "it is clear that he would like to see resilience replace panic in American society.” Such an American response is unlikely. A sizeable minority of Americans agree with Donald Trump regarding his proposal to temporarily prevent foreign Muslims from entering the US.  This indicates that resilience, a more passive stance, is probably not on the cards, especially if more crimes are committed in the US motivated by Islamist views.
Obama stated that there are only a limited number of moral issues, not directly concerning the United States, where he would feel the need to intervene. Israel's defense in extreme circumstances made the shortlist, supported by Obama's words that “it would be a moral failing for me as president of the United States” not to defend Israel.
Yet Goldberg writes that Obama has “long believed that Netanyahu could bring about a two-state solution that would protect Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority democracy, but is too fearful and politically paralyzed to do so.” This view is bizarre. It is highly improbable that a lasting ‘peace’ agreement could be reached with Abbas and Fatah, who glorify murderers of Israeli civilians. Such an agreement with this Palestinian minority group would encourage the anti-Israel genocide efforts of the Hamas Islamo-Nazis even further. Goldberg would have done well to ask Obama what he meant when he said he wanted to help the Palestinians achieve “dignity,” a warped concept given that the Palestinians' main “contributions” to humanity to date are their innovative terror and hate mongering techniques.
Obama also mentions that Netanyahu was publicly condescending in giving him "'something of a lecture about the dangers of the brutal region in which he lives.' Finally, the president interrupted the prime minister and said: 'Bibi, you have to understand something … I’m the African American son of a single mother, and I live here, in this house. I live in the White House. I managed to get elected president of the United States. You think I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I do.'” Obama’s words can be easily exposed as a non-sequitur, as it is not clear what the relevance is of Obama being the African American son of a single mother and having made it to the White House, as proof of understanding the Middle East.
Recently a two-part Frontline program was aired on the tensions between Netanyahu and Obama, which despite its obvious slant in favor of the American President did indeed highlight two major mistakes made by Netanyahu.  One was his apparent support of Romney running against Obama's re-election. The second was Netanyahu’s public condescension toward the President of the United States, which despite the reasonable accuracy of his remarks -- and the probable satisfaction at having expressed them -- was clearly a diplomatic faux-pas. Obama had made the first step toward a poor relationship when he travelled to the Middle East shortly after becoming President, without visiting Israel.
Global terrorism deaths have substantially increased during Nobel prizewinner for peace Obama's presidency in comparison to that of his predecessor George Bush.
This program was produced by the Public Broadcasting Service which has often been accused of anti-Israel bias. One would have hoped that it would shed some authorized light on Obama's much reported condescending snub of Netanyahu, when the President interrupted a meeting with him at the White House to eat supper - without inviting Netanyahu to accompany him. Is that story authentic or not? Also noticeably absent from the PBS program is any mention of the wiretapping of some of Netanyahu’s telephone conversations by the American secret services under Obama's control.
There is one major issue concerning Netanyahu which Obama seems to outline rationally. He claims that the differences between himself and Netanyahu about Iran’s bomb are a matter of definition. Obama wants to stop the Iranians from possessing a nuclear bomb, whereas Netanyahu wants to prevent the Iranians from being able to produce nuclear weapons.
In this light Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech at Congress, though not discussed in Goldberg’s article, makes eminent sense. Goldberg quotes Obama as saying “look, 20 years from now, I’m still going to be around, God willing. If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this.” He added “I think it’s fair to say that in addition to our profound national-security interests, I have a personal interest in locking this down.” Yet in the brief period since the deal with Iran was signed, it has already been partly breached by that country.
David Axelrod, the President's former adviser, was featured on the PBS program reiterating that that Obama had once told him that he was the closest thing to a Jew sitting in the Oval Office. That may be truer than one might think. Quite a number of “enlightened” American Jews conform well to the masochistic tradition which has been entrenched in the Jewish psyche for millennia. They criticize Israel while remaining silent on major Palestinian crimes including Hamas’ genocidal statements.
In his interview last year with Obama – also in the Atlantic -- Goldberg let pass a remark by Obama regarding his desire to repair the world, a term from medieval Jewish vocabulary referred to often by self-styled progressive Jews. Rather than showing any signs of repair, the world's downward slide has intensified during Obama’s Presidency. This has been evident in the deterioration of US-Russia relations, the increased chaos in the Middle East and the expansion of extreme terror movements in the Muslim world, to name but a few examples. Global terrorism deaths have substantially increased during Nobel prizewinner for peace Obama's presidency in comparison to that of his predecessor George Bush.
Goldberg’s current article focuses mainly on Obama’s credibility. This in particular after the President did not make good on his 2012 threat to resort to force if Assad used chemical weapons, something the Syrian president indeed did. There are also many lesser issues which cast doubt on Obama’s credibility. For instance he actively helped push out America’s long term ally Hosni Mubarak from the Egyptian presidency. In light of this how credible is his statement that he intends to defend Israel if it were in extreme need of help?
Goldberg explicitly states in the article that Obama has not come out against the huge criminality in large parts of the Muslim world in order not to “exacerbate anti-Muslim xenophobia.” Obama’s intentional omissions of what should have been said about Islam-related major crimes, have prepared the ground for the resonance of Trump’s extreme anti-Muslim remarks.
One should also contrast the attitude which minimizes the very real problem of Muslim criminality and its global impact with the frequent US condemnations of Israel on settlement building, an issue which is not even mentioned in this article.
On doing so, yet another flaw of Obama’s declared doctrine comes into focus: according to the US. State department definition of anti-Semitism, the double standard of condemning Israel while remaining silent about major Muslim crimes is an anti-Semitic act.
 Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, Sarah Dutton and Fred Backus, “Poll: Solid opposition to ban on Muslims entering US,” CBS News, 11 December 2015.
 “Voters Like Trump’s Proposed Muslim Ban,” Rasmussen Reports, 10 December 2015.