Oh my: Senate Dems to rebuke Obama over Israel border comments

posted at 3:07 pm on May 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Both Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu made their cases to the American public and to Washington this week, and without doubt, the winner is the Israeli Prime Minister.  Not only did Congress respond so enthusiastically to Netanyahu’s speech that they interrupted him more often for standing ovations than they did for Obama in his last SOTU speech, even Democrats on Capitol Hill are looking for ways to issue a rebuke to the President:

Senate Democrats are expected to support a resolution intended as a rebuff to President Obama’s call for basing Middle East peace talks on the 1967 Israeli-Palestinian borders.

It would be a rare rebuke of the president by the upper chamber and a sign that Democrats are worried about the impact of last week’s speech on the U.S.-Israel relationship and pro-Israel constituents.

Democrats in both chambers are scrambling to fix the damage caused when Obama called for the 1967 borders and land swaps as a basis for peace.

Some Democrats have tried to downplay the rift, but Israel’s strongest supporters in Congress say there’s no denying that Obama made a tactical mistake in handling the relationship.

Harry Reid already publicly rebuked Obama at AIPAC earlier this week, but the rest of his caucus apparently wants in on the action, too.  Joe Lieberman has a draft resolution (co-sponsored by Orrin Hatch) that would not only reject the 1967 borders as indefensible for Israel, but also contrary to American national security.  Ben Nelson (NE) and Ben Cardin (MD) quickly announced their support for the resolution’s draft language, while Carl Levin and Dianne Feinstein both said they would decide after the language gets finalized.

The President left the US for a trip to Ireland and the UK convinced that he had resolved the controversy with his speech to AIPAC.  What happened?  Benjamin Netanyahu stuck around to address Congress, and turned the issue into a rout.  As I explain in my column for The Week, the Israeli PM demonstrated his superior statesmanship by shaming Obama with kindness:

When Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress this week, he started the speech by congratulating President Barack Obama on killing Osama bin Laden.  He bookended the speech by expressing his appreciation for Obama’s position that peace could not be imposed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The address was peppered with compliments to the American President, who was traveling through Ireland and the UK, and to the American people.

Yet the speech, and its reception, deftly shamed Barack Obama for his rush to show up Israel and pressure the US ally into concessions, and established the Israeli Prime Minister as the real statesman in the conflict. …

Instead of scolding and lecturing again,  Netanyahu turned on the charm with Congress – and Congress responded.  The Israeli deftly handled a protest in the gallery by noting that such dissent would never be tolerated in Tehran, allowing him a natural segue into a lengthy discourse about our common enemy in Iran.  He lauded American support for Israel and the partnership that helps Israel secure its own nation without American military assistance.  And Netanyahu took every opportunity to praise Obama while making it clear that the President had gone in exactly the wrong direction regarding the peace process.

That message resonated with Republicans and Democrats alike.  Even before Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, members of Obama’s own party had openly opposed Obama’s explicit calls for a return to the 1967 border.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sharply criticized the imposition of terms outside of negotiation; he avoided using Obama’s name, but the message was clear.

As ABC News noted, Congress gave Netanyahu 29 standing ovations for a 40-minute speech, while Obama received 25 in a much longer State of the Union address.  Obviously, with the rebuke floating in the Senate, the standing Os were more than just gracious hospitality.  While Obama and his team committed one gaffe after another on his current junket, Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making Obama look petty, radical, and unschooled.  Democrats can’t abandon Obama quickly enough on his new peace initiative, which tells us all we need to know about who won this round.


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Smackdown!

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Which is to say that while they know they can always have the Jewish vote, the donations were starting to dry up and the Democrats cannot lsurvive without that.

myrenovations on May 25, 2011 at 3:10 PM

So the cheese stands alone.

SukieTawdry on May 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Remember this gem from Obama, referring to a Democratic majority in upcoming elections…

“The difference is, you’ve got me.”

Hah.

cs89 on May 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM

This only hits home for Team Obama if they somehow think it might cost them large campaign donations or put a few states normally in the Blue column into play. Otherwise they’ll just put on a happy face for the public but fume and plan payback against the people they think are responsible for embarrassing their leader.

jon1979 on May 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

They must be getting major blowback from their constituents.

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

These guys are starting early. The election is still 18 months away.

Tommy_G on May 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Rogue fraction in Obama’s admin (Samantha Power?) won the day (for such a speech).

Now it is the Elders doing damage control.

Sir Napsalot on May 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

You hear that? It’s the sound of sphincters clenching tightly across the beltway.

I think the Dems have realized exactly how big of a PR problem this can become.

teke184 on May 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making Obama look petty, radical, and unschooled

Well that was “gimmee”. Mr. Netanyahu is in a totally different league from The Won.

oldleprechaun on May 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

I hope the d’s follow through! bho needs to be taken to the wood shed and given a spanking! God bless you Bibi and Israel.
L

letget on May 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

But, but, but, he’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner!

Scrappy on May 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM

That’s why Jews will not be leaving the Democrats. It’s a better place to be holding the choke-collar from.

pedestrian on May 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM

The only liberal friend BHO has left is DSK.

MaiDee on May 25, 2011 at 3:18 PM

The 2012 anti-Obama ads are writing themselves. Are we SURE he won’t be challenged for the nom?

MadisonConservative on May 25, 2011 at 3:19 PM

and turned the issue into a route.

Great post, Ed. But I think you mean “rout.”

Missy on May 25, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Instead of scolding and lecturing again, Netanyahu turned on the charm with Congress

He must have read The Devil and Daniel Webster.

DrAllecon on May 25, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Benjamin Netanyahu stuck around to address Congress, and turned the issue into a route.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.
/Inigo

SirGawain on May 25, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Awesome.

nickj116 on May 25, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making Obama look petty, radical, and unschooled.

Bibi didn’t have to make him look that way–that’s who BHO is. All Bibi had to do was show up and be himself, and the contrast would follow.

INC on May 25, 2011 at 3:22 PM

It’s the difference between being a leader and an apologist.

kingsjester on May 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

He must have read The Devil and Daniel Webster.

DrAllecon on May 25, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Haha! I assume Bibi is Webster, Congress is the jury of traitors and BHO is you-know-who.

INC on May 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

As we would say in the military, he was “Damned with faint praise”

yakyak on May 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

They’re just doing CYA for Obama.

This allows Dem voters to think the party will rein in Barry’s follies, meaning: okay, we can vote for him even if he is a frackin’ idiot, because the other frackin’ idiots say I can safely.

profitsbeard on May 25, 2011 at 3:24 PM

They must be getting major blowback from their constituents.

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Here in South Florida??? Believe it.

katy the mean old lady on May 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Changed route to rout. Sorry about that!

Ed Morrissey on May 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Nice but the MSM is still spinning it as: How dare he speak to our Lord that way!!!1!!!1!!!!

Blake on May 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM

“rout”, not “route”

mydh12 on May 25, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Andrea Mitchell hardest hit.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Do not forget one undeniable fact. Bibi knows it, no matter what platitudes he gave Obama’s way. There will never be peace in the East. The Arabs will never give up their dream to destroy Israel. Our Muslim President will also never give up his dream to destroy Israel.

Big Nicholas on May 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Stupidly, and self-destructing, the Jews will finance Obama and the left, vote for him/them and sing kumbaya.

They are a mystifying bunch – Utopian idealism trumps survival.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

It would be a rare rebuke of the president by the upper chamber and a sign that Democrats are worried about the impact of last week’s speech on the U.S.-Israel relationship and pro-Israel constituents.

It might even be remotely possible that some of them think Obama’s ‘policy’ is potentially disastrous for Israel?

ProfessorMiao on May 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

While Obama and his team committed one gaffe after another on his current junket, Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making Obama look petty, radical, and unschooled.

nice work, Ed. very nice, indeed.

ted c on May 25, 2011 at 3:29 PM

This really isn’t good news as this SHAM being produced by the Congressional Crotch Critters ONLY serves to assist in getting the issue quieted up before it becomes PERMANENTLY embedded in the minds of American voters.

Never forget that the Democrat Party KNOWS that STUPID Americans suffer Alzheimer’s Disease when it comes to politics.

Where was the outrage displayed by these democrats immediately after the 0bamaBorders were announced? All I heard were the crickets chirping. ;o)

DannoJyd on May 25, 2011 at 3:29 PM

It’s Obama’s administration, his staff, his cabinate thatwe have to worry about. The mouthpiece needs to be voted out of office but the people behind him need to be exposed.

Vince on May 25, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Democrats don’t give a flying crap about Jews or Israel … it’s donations that have them scrambling. They don’t want to lose money.

darwin on May 25, 2011 at 3:31 PM

They are a mystifying bunch – Utopian idealism trumps survival.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

The Jews were slaves, Obama’s people (not literally) were slaves.

It’s this pseudo-mystical union that binds them and Barry plays it like a Stradavarius kazoo.

profitsbeard on May 25, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Talk and resolutions are cheap. Jug Ears does not care. His actions and misactions are what is going to kill Israel and this country. He is a destroyer and he is going to do it his way.

retiredeagle on May 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Mike Murphy, acknowledged the serious mistake Obama had made: “I’ll bet we pick up 75,000 votes in Florida”

faraway on May 25, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Changed route to rout. Sorry about that!

Ed Morrissey on May 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM

back in 2008, you coulda gotten away with that…./

ted c on May 25, 2011 at 3:35 PM

My guess is that Bibi knows most Americans support Israel. If Israel was attacked, millions of Americans would jump on a plane and go to the Middle East and fight along side the IDF. Obama is the loser in this episode.

NickDeringer on May 25, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Dear me. What’s a Leftist Israeli-hater to do? Can’t take a university job yet. Looks like it’s back to “under the radar”!

rrpjr on May 25, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making Obama look petty, radical, and unschooled

Well that was “gimmee”. Mr. Netanyahu is in a totally smarter different league from The Won.

oldleprechaun on May 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

FIFY And to boot, unlike Teh Wannabe, Bibi was a real live commander in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit, taking part in many missions including the hostages rescue mission from the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in 1972 (coincidentally under the leadership of Ehud Barak). He fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and achieved the rank of captain before being discharged.

What has Obambi done and/or risked for the US, besides opening and rubbing raw sores within racial/class issues as a community organizer???

AH_C on May 25, 2011 at 3:40 PM

It’s going to be a strange election.

“Vote for Obama for President, but don’t associate me with the President when you vote for Senator / Representative.”

Holding the Prez at arm’s length. One hand holding their noses while the other gives a big ‘thumbs up’.

What strange, strange times we live in.

Pass the popcorn.

Timothy S. Carlson on May 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM

This will not make Cynthia McKinney happy.

Bishop on May 25, 2011 at 3:42 PM

It’s this pseudo-mystical union that binds them and Barry plays it like a Stradavarius kazoo.

profitsbeard on May 25, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Brilliant!

Gang-of-One on May 25, 2011 at 3:42 PM

What has Obambi done and/or risked for the US, besides opening and rubbing raw sores within racial/class issues as a community organizer???
AH_C on May 25, 2011 at 3:40 PM

He vainly searched for a Whole Foods store in Iowa; I hear it was quite a stressful few hours for him.

Bishop on May 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making Obama look petty, radical, and unschooled.

You forgot childish. Don’t forget childish.

Now if Dems only had this fortitude when it came to Obamacare. Where the he!! were they then? Their constituents made no secret about how they felt on this issue.

So now, they’re at risk of losing donations, and large ones from the Jewish community, and they suddenly have scruples, and a sense of honor for Israel, and their own country? Puleeeeeeeeeeeze.

capejasmine on May 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Unless somebody primaries him this is all just smoke and mirrors. His incumbency will not be weakened by Senatorial spankings.

Seth Halpern on May 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

What has Obambi done and/or risked for the US, besides opening and rubbing raw sores within racial/class issues as a community organizer???
AH_C on May 25, 2011 at 3:40 PM
He vainly searched for a Whole Foods store in Iowa; I hear it was quite a stressful few hours for him.

Bishop on May 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM

ROFLMAO!!!

capejasmine on May 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Obama is a tactical mistake!

The Rock on May 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

My guess is that Bibi knows most Americans support Israel. If Israel was attacked, millions of Americans would jump on a plane and go to the Middle East and fight along side the IDF. Obama is the loser in this episode.

NickDeringer on May 25, 2011 at 3:36 PM

righto. Bibi was right on the money to take his case directly to the American people and over the head of the perpetually-over-his-head-in-foreign-affairs Obama.

ted c on May 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Obama is a tactical mistake!

The Rock on May 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

ordering kinetic military actions….

ted c on May 25, 2011 at 3:51 PM

The only ones not abandoning him is the lsm….you should of heard andrea Mitchell chastising bibi

Disgraceful

cmsinaz on May 25, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Obama is a tactical mistake!

The Rock on May 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

He’s a disaster.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making Obama look petty, radical, and unschooled.

Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t simply look that way by comparison – that’s his natural state, and it’s been on display since well before the 2008 election.

Midas on May 25, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Benjamin Netanyahu stuck around to address Congress, and turned the issue into a rout.

Obambi has a habit of spliting the podium to leave the wrapup to someone else, i.e. Billy Jeff and now Bibi.

AH_C on May 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM

He vainly searched for a Whole Foods store in Iowa; I hear it was quite a stressful few hours for him.

Bishop on May 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Bwahaha. Touche.

AH_C on May 25, 2011 at 3:54 PM

It’s important to note which Dems are taking the lead on this. Lieberman is front & center on this, and is strongly supportive of Isreal as well as American national security.

He’s a lib on many issues, and I disagree with him emphatically, but I trust him to work on maintaining strong bonds with Isreal and striving for strong American defense.

cs89 on May 25, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Smartest Guy in the Room strikes again.

AZCoyote on May 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM

In taking the side of the Terroristinians Obama made a strategic, not a tactical, error. The question Americans need to keep asking is: what would he do differently if he were a closet Muslim?

Basilsbest on May 25, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Netanyahu gave a tour de force performance that ended up making revealing that Obama look is petty, radical, and unschooled.

John the Libertarian on May 25, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Wasn’t it also revealing when Bibi acknowledged the Joplin tornado disaster with compassion and respect during his speech to Congress while Obama campaigned with the Irish and later looked hurried into acknowledging the disaster. Obama looked like he had to be reminded by some PR toadie that he needs to be seen as the President of all the bible/gun clingers in flyover country too–if for no other reason because they vote. Yes quite revealing who the real statesman is when comparing these two.

chickasaw42 on May 25, 2011 at 4:24 PM

It’s the difference between being a leader and an apologist a junior jackwagon.

kingsjester on May 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

FIFY.

They must be getting major blowback from their constituents.

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Here in South Florida??? Believe it.

katy the mean old lady on May 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM

This moronic move has Samantha Power written all over it. Remember, she is the twit who suggested sending American troops into Gaza to enforce her idiotic “solution” on both sides.

This one may cost him Florida. Smart Power!

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 4:27 PM

As we would say in the military, he was “Damned with faint praise”

yakyak on May 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

When I was in the Navy, you finished up by saying, “other than that, he’s a nice guy.”

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 25, 2011 at 4:28 PM

This would make an awesome campaign commercial

mizflame98 on May 25, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Looks like Prince Barky chose a good time to get out of Dodge.

james23 on May 25, 2011 at 4:45 PM

This moronic move has Samantha Power written all over it. Remember, she is the twit who suggested sending American troops into Gaza to enforce her idiotic “solution” on both sides.

This one may cost him Florida. Smart Power!

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 4:27 PM

But for Israel the damage is already done. The Palestinians will go the UN in September requesting a state be recognized on the 1949 armistice lines (although they won’t use that language), and Obama has endorsed them. Doesn’t matter if the US votes against the resolution, virtually every other country will.

And Abbas has adopted Obama’s position as a precondition for any further negotiations with Israel.

Your president is a supreme a$$hole.

ProfessorMiao on May 25, 2011 at 4:49 PM

A rebuke from the Senate Democrats does absolutely nothing to change the fact that Obama is no friend to Israel. It does nothing to change the fact that he is a foreign policy diaster. He steps in it so frequently that even his allies have to shake their heads, and mutter to themselves. The Obama syncophant mass media must twist themselves into rhetorical pretzels to defend his incompetentence. Senate Democrats know that in 2012 a vote for a Democrat senator is a vote to continue the agenda of this ridiculous president. That is the primary reason for this attempt at damage control.;

stefano1 on May 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I am pretty sure there will be a new attitude in the White House when Obama returns home…the little boy has been spanked, and placed in the corner, now he has to ask politely if he can come out and play with the big boys.

right2bright on May 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Isn’t that what Monday’s joint meeting of Congress was about?

Do any of the President’s words come without an expiration date?

Angry Dumbo on May 25, 2011 at 5:09 PM

‘…Your president is a supreme a$$hole.’

ProfessorMiao on May 25, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Well, I don’t think he is a supreme anything. But he is a major league rectum, I’ll grant you that much.

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 5:12 PM

There will be no sea of Arab democracies and no recognition of Israel. Both are a death sentence for any proponent.

Rea1ityCheck on May 25, 2011 at 5:15 PM

They are a mystifying bunch – Utopian idealism trumps survival.

Schadenfreude on May 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Hasn’t Dennis Prager written about the problem with self-loathing Jews?

oldleprechaun on May 25, 2011 at 5:17 PM

novaculus on May 25, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Oh, come on! Give Obama a little credit.
/ heh

Shambhala on May 25, 2011 at 5:27 PM

In all seriousness, I have some good news.

My 87 year old diehard Liberal Jewish father lives in Aventura, Florida. The only time in his life that he ever voted for a Republican was when he was still living in his native Baltimore, where he once voted for a Republican mayor in the 1950′s. I did everything in my power to convince him not to vote for Obama. He wouldn’t hear a word of it. He was equally impressed with Carter when the media sold him to the public like a shiny new electric shaver on NFL sundays. I think he even spoke personally with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who assured him that the Germans only want to give the Jews a nice hot shower after their long journey by train.

He’s been gradually souring on Obama. Now he’s telling me that there’s no way he’s going to vote for him again, and that every single Jewish person he knows who voted for him will not be voting for him again. If this is true, then there’s no way Jesus Lincoln King Jr. will win Florida.

ardenenoch on May 25, 2011 at 5:39 PM

It might even be remotely possible that some of them think Obama’s ‘policy’ is potentially disastrous for Israel?

ProfessorMiao on May 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Perhaps a few, and it certainly could be disastrous. This is how wars get started, when our enemies think they see a weakness in an alliance. Look at Korea and the ‘sphere of influence’ mistake, and the muddy messages from the State Department that led Iraq to invade Kuwait. Look at JFK’s pitiful weakness that led Khruschev to Cuban adventurism.

Little Bammie’s stupidity or perhaps malice has resulted in a dangerous signal to the Middle East. Congress should do all they can to correct the mistake, and quickly.

slickwillie2001 on May 25, 2011 at 5:39 PM

So the cheese stands alone.

SukieTawdry on May 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM

That’s a thread winner, folks.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 25, 2011 at 5:51 PM

He was equally impressed with Carter when the media sold him to the public like a shiny new electric shaver on NFL sundays.

ardenenoch on May 25, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Former New England Patriots owner Victor Kiam could not be reached for comment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acVaVl9o0JA

Del Dolemonte on May 25, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Senate Democrats are expected to support a resolution intended as a rebuff to President Obama’s call for basing Middle East peace talks on the 1967 Israeli-Palestinian borders.

This one’s for you, Chump Threads!

Del Dolemonte on May 25, 2011 at 5:54 PM

nothing new here … the Presidents (including Bush) support the borders and drawn up … the congress smacks them down.

You would think that Obama was the very first president to support such a plan.

Monkei on May 25, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Monkei on May 25, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Hi Wolf! Say hello to Hack Cafferty for us.

Del Dolemonte on May 25, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Mid East lesson for today……………. Who does Israel belong to?
An Israeli sense of humor at the UN set the record straight. An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly and made the world community smile.
A representative from Israel began: ‘Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses:
When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, ‘What a good opportunity to have a bath!’
Moses removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Palestinian had stolen them!
The Palestinian representative jumped up furiously and shouted, ‘What are You talking about? The Palestinians weren’t there then.’

The Israeli representative smiled and said, ‘And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech.

kingsjester on May 25, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Changed route to rout. Sorry about that!

Ed Morrissey on May 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM

I knew what ya meant. Even though it’s spelled differently, “route/rout” sounds the same in Minnesotease, followed by “root/ route” and root/rut.”

2L8 on May 25, 2011 at 7:26 PM