Is Obama Interfering in the Upcoming Israeli Election?

Dr. Joseph Frager,

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Dr. Joseph Frager
The writer is a leading American pro-Israel activist who sponsors and coordinates many Zionist events. He is clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases) at the Einstein School of Medicine as well as a practicing physician.
Presidents of the United States are not supposed to interfere in foreign countries Democratic Process. Elections in Israel, unlike any of its neighboring 22 Arab States, are truly Democratic. Israel is a remarkable bastion of Democracy rivaling only that of the USA in the free world.
 
The President of the United States has no business injecting himself into Israel's Election. Unfortunately, various Presidents on both sides of the aisle have done so. The worst offender was probably Bill Clinton who sent over his close friend and Political Guru James Carville to Israel in 1999 to help Ehud Barak get elected Prime Minister.  President H. W. Bush helped Yitzchak Rabin win his election in 1992-mostly indirectly by calling for the Madrid Conference which embarrassed then Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir and played into the hands of the Pro-Oslo Labor Party.

President Obama would very much like to see a Livni-Herzog-Lapid Coalition in Israel. As Commander in Chief with the largest platform of any political figure in the world he has done everything in his power to bring this about. It started in 2010 when the President left Prime Minister Netanyahu to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have dinner with his family. In 2011 after Nicolas Sarkozy told President Obama on a "hot mike" that he could no longer bear Benjamin Netanyahu and called him a "liar", President Obama responded, "You are fed up with him but I have to deal with him even more often than you".

In 2013 on the President's last trip to Israel, he made sure to shake Yair Lapid's hand in a very energetic and obvious to all "endorsing" manner. Some call it a "masonic handshake" indicating "the one who will light the torch". In contrast the President does not miss an opportunity to snub Prime Minister Netanyahu. In October 2014 the White House denied a request by Bibi's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon to meet with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

This was the very same month when Jeffrey Goldberg described relations between the U.S. and Israel as a "full blown crisis" and a senior Obama Administration official called Netanyahu "chicken-expletive deleted". Both Livni and Lapid jumped on these situations to say that Netanyahu was spoiling the Israel-America relationship. In point of fact it was the President who was creating the crises to help Livni and Lapid.

The President has become more subtle lately in his injection of himself into Israeli Politics. He now lets the New York Times do his bidding. In a series of articles by Roger Cohen, Livni and Herzog are touted as the saviors of Israel. He declares, "As the campaign for March elections begins, this disquiet looks like the precursor of political change. The status quo with its bloody and inconclusive interludes, has become less bearable." The New York Times does not officially work for the President but has been his most steadfast apologist and supporter.

The Israeli Public is very leery of President Obama. Israel is facing increasing existential threats whether it is from Iran, or Hamas. The President's interference is not helpful to a very worried Israeli populace. America just sent the President a very clear message in its recent mid-term elections. I believe Israel will do the same in its upcoming election.