One upon a time, there was a new country with high ideals, formed after much bloodshed and displacement (native peoples), that realized that governments, dictators and kings were rarely benevolent.
A new constitution was born and years later, after a terrible civil war, came the emancipation proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln said, “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
And so we arrive in 2014, 150 years after that proclamation, where a different president, supposedly once a Constitutional Law Professor, ignores The Constitution and laws as he pleases, and threatens one-time friends and foes alike.
Not content with threatening tyrants across the waters, president Obama openly threatens friendly nations, in an effort to coerce them into agreements with others who are not so friendly.
Last Sunday, Israel was threatened with “international isolation and possible sanctions from countries and companies across the world.” The way to expiate this threat was for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to endorse a “framework agreement” with the Palestinians.
The Middle East is ruled by dictators, kings and a few democracies. Of the 22 countries, only one is both democratic and free. Seven are democratic and Partly Free, according to “Freedom House.” The other 14 are authoritarian regimes.
For some reason unknown to most observers, Obama is threatening the Middle East’s only free democracy, raising a diplomatic wall between the United States and its most trusted ally in the region, by attempting to force upon Israel an agreement that will strategically impair the country’s existence in an area of the world where they are surrounded by sworn enemies.
It seems the Obama foreign policy punishes friends and rewards foes.
Interviewed by Bloomberg Media, Obama said “time is running out for Israel to achieve a peace deal.”
The only time that is running out is Obama’s time as president.
Then, on television, Obama undiplomatically said if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.”
Since when was foreign policy and (un)diplomatic discussion carried out on TV?
What alternative approach after threatening the tiny nation with isolation if they do not abide to his plan?
It appeared that Obama had no clue about what Israelis face, when he said “There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices.”
Note to President Obama: Israel already made difficult choices and the Palestinians continue to incite hatred, teach their schoolchildren lies, praise terrorists and fire rockets into Israel.
But Obama wasn’t through yet.
Taking a shot at settlement activity in Judea and Samaria, he said, “If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction, and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time, if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.”
So this means Israel’s concerns come second, a big change from the course of all presidents since the Jewish State was founded in 1948.
Taking another stick to beat Israel, he said, “Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”
Then the discussion came to Palestinian views. Asked if he felt Abbas was sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist, the president replied “I believe that President Abbas is sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist, to recognize Israel’s legitimate security needs, to shun violence, to resolve these issues in a diplomatic fashion that meets the concerns of the people of Israel.”
Just think about that. Obama said “I believe” that Abbas is sincere. His answer was not “yes,” not “yes, absolutely,” not “yes, he made that commitment,” just “I believe.”
That doesn’t sound like a commitment at all. History says it isn’t a commitment at all.
For Obama, it seems anything Israel does is bad and anything the Palestinians do is good. Building Israeli settlements – bad. Honoring Palestinian terrorists, good. Teaching lies and hate to Palestinian schoolkids, good.
Netanyahu really wants to talk about Iran, a far more pressing issue. An obsession with scoring an Israeli-Palestinian deal at any cost seems to be more pressing for Obama.
Does this feel like a foreign policy win – or another failure?