Obama to Israel: Make peace now or we can’t defend you … from criticism

posted at 8:41 am on March 3, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Did Barack Obama really tell Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg that the US would refuse to defend Israel if Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t get serious about peace talks with the Palestinians? Well, yes and no. The headline on the Times of Israel report on Obama’s remarks blared, “Obama: US won’t be able to defend Israel if peace talks fail,” but the context is a little more nuanced. Here is what the Times of Israel article reports in the body of the article:

The president went on to condemn in no uncertain terms Israel’s activity in the West Bank, and said that though his allegiance to the Jewish state was permanent, building settlements across the Green Line was counterproductive and would make it extremely difficult for the US to defend Israel from painful repercussions in the international community.

“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,” Obama said.

Goldberg’s original article emphasizes that this is a frustration for Obama over Israel’s settlement policies, and not a rejection of a military alliance:

Obama was blunter about Israel’s future than I’ve ever heard him. His language was striking, but of a piece with observations made in recent months by his secretary of state, John Kerry, who until this interview, had taken the lead in pressuring both Netanyahu and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to agree to a framework deal. Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have. It seemed obvious to me that the president believes that the next move is Netanyahu’s.

“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? 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?” …

On the subject of Middle East peace, Obama told me that the U.S.’s friendship with Israel is undying, but he also issued what I took to be a veiled threat: The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively.

“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,” Obama said. “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.”

Goldberg has the entire transcript from the interview at the link. It’s clear from that, and the context of Goldberg’s original report, that Obama was not talking about military support at all — in fact, that question never arises. Instead, the “defense” Obama means is from criticism over Israel’s policies, especially at the UN, where the US wields its veto power to keep the UNSC from punishing Israel at the behest of the hostile General Assembly. Given what’s happening with Russia in Ukraine, that use of the veto is unlikely to change, so Israel has little to fear at the Security Council. This sounds more like a warning that the US will start getting more public about its disagreements with Netanyahu and putting him in an increasingly more difficult position at home unless he starts bending on settlement policies, among other things.

This is not inconsequential, and it’s also debatable as a strategy. It’s also interesting to note that neither Obama nor Goldberg bring up the Palestinian Authority refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which was recently reaffirmed by the PA in John Kerry’s attempts to restart the peace process. Instead, Obama insists that this is Netanyahu’s golden opportunity to get a state with “permanent borders,” which doesn’t make a lot of sense without that concession from the PA.

Still, Obama wasn’t saying that the US would refuse to defend Israel if it came under physical attack. Obama was saying that a refusal of Netanyahu to bend would make it difficult to defend Israel from the criticism that would create. That’s still an unpleasant signal and it’s obviously intended to pressure Netanyahu into security concessions, but it’s not an abdication of our commitment to Israel either.


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After the Ukraine, you really have to ask yourself if Obama or the US has any credibility making any assurances to anybody, the Israelis or the Palestinians.

J_Crater on March 3, 2014 at 8:44 AM

it’s not an abdication of our commitment to Israel

Give it time – Obama’s still got 3 solid years to make that happen.

jwehman on March 3, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Israel’s new friend, Putin, will have her back – and supply the veto where necessary.

OldEnglish on March 3, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Because Obama will be one of the loudest critic?

Wethal on March 3, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Given the Ukrainian situation, do you really believe the Obama Administration is ready to defend any other nation including Israel?

No. Me neither.

Mr. Obama has made the world a more dangerous place and in the process destroyed American credibility.

Mr. Netanyahu is smart enough to know he’s already on his own. It is many Americans who are still in denial.

Marcus Traianus on March 3, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Obama further stated that in his opinion, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “has proven himself to be somebody who has been committed to nonviolence and diplomatic efforts to resolve” the conflict.

Wasn’t Abbas the bagman for the PLO attack on the Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972?

Wethal on March 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Give it time – Obama’s still got 3 solid years to make that happen.

jwehman on March 3, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Maybe less after Lerner’s testimony on Wednesday. *fingers crossed*

SteveInRTP on March 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Yeesh! Isn’t there a golf course he needs to visit?

platypus on March 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Not an abdication …..are we sure?

cmsinaz on March 3, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Waiting for another “red line” to be crossed.

This one writ in Jewish blood… (leading from behind)

Kuffar on March 3, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Shorter Obama: It’s Israel’s fault.

Let’s face it, this guy considers Israel’s existence as much of a nuisance as its Arab neighbors to. Gosh, why don’t they just make peace with a group…that refuses to acknowledge their existence?

changer1701 on March 3, 2014 at 8:52 AM

American Jews overwhelmingly have supported Obama.

Yet, it is clear that he’s willing to let the Muslims drive the Jews in the sea (after 2016) just so long as he can put that pen of his to some treaty, agreement, accord, or pact. It’s legacy-building time for the filthy worthless rat-eared moron.

Happy Nomad on March 3, 2014 at 8:53 AM

It doesn’t matter how “moderate” Abbas pretends to be. Until the Palestinians give up their desire for the eradication of Jews putting any energy or time into a peace deal is a waste of time.

And until Islam goes through a reformation and purges itself of anti-Semitism, I don’t think that will happen.

rbj on March 3, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Let’s face it, this guy considers Israel’s existence as much of a nuisance as its Arab neighbors to. Gosh, why don’t they just make peace with a group…that refuses to acknowledge their existence?

changer1701 on March 3, 2014 at 8:52 AM

And those Jews are just so unreasonable on that return to 1968 borders thing. Some sort of agreement would be so much easier if they are bullied into border changes and right of return for the Palestinians.

Happy Nomad on March 3, 2014 at 8:55 AM

LOL! Obama is not going to do jack either way, so if I was Israel now would be the time to expand Israel’s territory as much as you want. Call his bluff…just like Putin did, and everyone else does.

William Eaton on March 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have.

Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

GarandFan on March 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Wasn’t Abbas the bagman for the PLO attack on the Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972?

Wethal on March 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Nah, he didn’t collect the money for the attack at Munich. He provided it. But he assures us that he had no idea that it was going to a terrorist attack. And since he’s a Muslim we should take him at his word that he really wants to live in peaceful co-existence with the Jews. What could possibly go wrong?

Happy Nomad on March 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

The Israelis aren’t fools. They don’t trust Obama, and will wait for a friendlier administration to arrive.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

After the Ukraine, you really have to ask yourself if Obama or the US has any credibility making any assurances to anybody, the Israelis or the Palestinians.

J_Crater on March 3, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Fortunately, after Obama bent over for Putin in both Syria and Ukraine, Netanyahu has little reason to listen to him and will ignore this as the whining it is.

Doomberg on March 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

That’s still an unpleasant signal and it’s obviously intended to pressure Netanyahu into security concessions, but it’s not an abdication of our commitment to Israel either.

If you like your country, you can keep your country.

BobMbx on March 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM

“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said quoted from Valerie’s notes. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? 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?”

The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively.

What has he done “effectively” in the past 6 years?

Flora Duh on March 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM

TWM…..if Hillary should win……*shudder*

cmsinaz on March 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Obama and other liberal Democrats have thought Israel is being run by their own version of the Republican Party for most of the past 37 years, since Likud broke Labor’s stranglehold on the government with Begin’s election in 1977.

Liberal support for Israel in the Untied States was always predicated on Labor’s socialist domestic policies. Once that was no longer assured, their support has waned more and more, tempered only by the fact that Democrats need Jewish votes and campaign donations for their election efforts. Without that, we would have seen the party and its supporters follow the path of Europe and the leftists there at a far faster pace (Vanessa Redgrave was all-in on attacking Israel in her Oscar speech just a few months after Likud took power), and odds are once he’s out of office, Obama’s going to give speeches on Israel that will make Jimmy Carter look like Simon Wiesenthal by comparison.

jon1979 on March 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Where is the Obama currently defending Israel from criticism now? Heck, many who work for Obama are Israel haters.

William Teach on March 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

I’m sure Israel is quaking in its boots about being criticized. Nukes in Iran yes.

notwantedinN.Y.

jmtham156 on March 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Obama has no skills in negotiation, that is obvious.

To openly expose your “hand” during negotiation is foolish and counter productive…along with that, forcing Israel to take a deal that may not be in the best interest is just plain stupid.

Palestine has no standing in this, they are not a “nation” they have no land, they never have, they are a nomadic tribe that no one else wants, so they are pushed onto Israel.

What Obama needed to do is tell Palestine to make a deal with Israel, to take the deal that Israel proposes, not the other way around…but then, Obama has no idea how to negotiate, perhaps his biggest weakness, of many.

right2bright on March 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

He won’t abdicate our responsibilities towards Israel’s defense until Israel is attacked.

NotCoach on March 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Goldberg sitting down with chuck in a minute….I’m sure they’ll be praising Obama’s tough stance against Bibi

cmsinaz on March 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

The Obama administration is reminding me of that “Oldest Trick in the Book” commercial.

Obamacare is in tatters, the WH says, “Look a minimum wage increase… HaHaHa Made you look.”

Russia is rebuilding the Soviet Union a piece at a time, the WH says, “Look it’s Israel… HaHaHa Made you look.”

WestTexasBirdDog on March 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Too add…this is what the Jews in American have wrought upon themselves. Israel is in this position because American liberal Jews have backed the dems, a party who loves their money, but despises their heritage.

right2bright on March 3, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Did Bibi laugh in his face?

gophergirl on March 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Heck, many who work for Obama are Israel haters.

William Teach on March 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Pretty much all of them. Chuck Hagel got the SecDef job despite a long record of hating Jews. Samantha Power wrote in detail about how Israel might get rid of its Jew problem. The rat-eared dictator spent decades sitting in a church that openly attacked Jews (not Israelis, Jews). So it is fair to say that Israel’s interests don’t really line up with those in the current administration.

Happy Nomad on March 3, 2014 at 9:18 AM

No, you were right – drop the “…from criticism”. Obama aids terrorists but spies on and turns on allies. Clinton cut the military to the point where we can’t fight wars on two fronts. Obama ‘doubled-down’, and now we can’t even fight ONE war on ONE front.

But hey, maybe Obama and Kerry ought to make ONE MORE ‘Red Line’ bluff…it ight work THIS time. (That would be funny if it wasn’t so freaking sad.)

easyt65 on March 3, 2014 at 9:19 AM

The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively.

What has he done “effectively” in the past 6 years?

Flora Duh on March 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Slowest recovery after a recession, ever … real unemployment over 10% … lowest labor participation rate since the Carter years … income inequity grows to its largest ratio … a country more divided than ever before …
.
Oh, you mean in international relations? Well, there’s that “reset” thing with the Russians … “red line” in Syria … Benghazi …

Alien on March 3, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Still, Obama wasn’t saying that the US would refuse to defend Israel if it came under physical attack.

I don’t know why this silly idea keeps bouncing around. Israel has NEVER had the US “defend” it from physical attack. Israel has always defended itself. The US has been Israel’s main weapons supplier since 1967 (after France stabbed Israel in the back for winning the 6 day war) but that has always been the extent of it. Israel has always done its own military defense (and then some).

Barky is threatening to join the EU and the rest of the Jew-haters (basically, the rest of the world) in boycotting, embargoing, and possibly blockading Israel in the near future. That is the threat and it’s no big surprise. Barky has been leaning hard on Israel since the first day he slimed into office and started out by blaming all the problems in the world on Israel’s building houses in the Jerusalem suburbs. That blame went on for a good two years until Barky had to concentrate more fully on directly harming American interests and affecting his national socialization of the health care system. Now, with that complete and the American Constitutional Republic good and dead Barky can get back to leaning on Israel.

Israel needs to leave the UN. They are on their own, as anyone with a brain knew when Barky was first elected to an office he is neither eligible nor qualified for.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 3, 2014 at 9:22 AM

once he’s out of office, Obama’s going to give speeches on Israel that will make Jimmy Carter look like Simon Wiesenthal by comparison.

jon1979 on March 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I fear that after Obama is out of office, he will become a vicious provocateur on many issues and will seek to further destroy and divide the country, especially if a Republican follows him.

Aplombed on March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

The Israelis aren’t fools. They don’t trust Obama, and will wait for a friendlier administration to arrive.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Yep!

Why do business with a lunatic…aka King Choom The Magnificent I?
The EU keeps harping on their anti-israeli agenda to appease the local muslims squatting in their own countries.

Dated 2013

“Israel, increasingly confounded by Washington’s Mideast policy, is mulling ways to enhance security cooperation with Moscow without jeopardizing its pre-eminent partnership with the US.

Acknowledging a shared frustration with Saudi Arabia and other US allies in the gulf over Washington’s perceived wavering on Iran and diminishing regional influence, Israeli officials are seeking to cultivate additional sources of support for its diplomatic and security agenda.

“The Americans have a lot of problems and challenges around the world that they need to solve and they have problems at home. We need to understand them and how that affects our place in the global arena,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

An outspoken and controversial political ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman was reinstated as Israel’s chief diplomat after being cleared last week of longstanding corruption charges. Speaking Nov. 20 as Netanyahu traveled to Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lieberman said Israel should strengthen ties with other powers as a means of advancing critical security interests in the region.

“Israel’s foreign policy for decades has focused on one direction — toward Washington. But my policy is multi-directional,” the Moldovan-born, Russian-speaking minister told a gathering in Sderot near Israel’s border with Gaza.

While expressing gratitude for traditional US support, Lieberman alluded to growing anger with Washington over its willingness to ease sanctions against Iran without a clear commitment from Tehran to dismantle its nuclear program.

“Our foreign policy needs to focus on finding allies and not just complaining and saying, ‘Come support us,’ ” he said….”

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131123/DEFREG04/311230009/Israel-Seeks-Stronger-Security-Ties-Russia

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

once he’s out of office, Obama’s going to give speeches on Israel that will make Jimmy Carter look like Simon Wiesenthal by comparison.

jon1979 on March 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I fear that after Obama is out of office, he will become a vicious provocateur on many issues and will seek to further destroy and divide the country, especially if a Republican follows him.

Aplombed on March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Yep!

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

And we see the only other people Obama acts tough against besides conservatives: Israel.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 9:31 AM

once he’s out of office, Obama’s going to give speeches on Israel that will make Jimmy Carter look like Simon Wiesenthal by comparison.

jon1979 on March 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I fear that after Obama is out of office, he will become a vicious provocateur on many issues and will seek to further destroy and divide the country, especially if a Republican follows him.

Aplombed on March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Yep!

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

I just hope we are fortunate that he DOES leave office without it costing us a Revolution.

Because as a gasbag ex-President he can be IGNORED.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

I see. Obama is willing to concede Crimea, but Israel must give back the West Bank.

BKeyser on March 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

I just hope we are fortunate that he DOES leave office without it costing us a Revolution.

Because as a gasbag ex-President he can be IGNORED.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

We can only hope.

He’s getting pretty despotic though…so I guess we’ll see what happens.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

So we have Syria in all out civil war, Iraq being overrun by Iranian proxies and oh yeah, Russia invading Ukraine.

And this is the moment that Dear Leader decides to lecture Bibi on the virtues of being weak on the international stage.

MJBrutus on March 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

We can only hope.

He’s getting pretty despotic though…so I guess we’ll see what happens.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Right now I’d put the odds of his leaving office on 1/20/17 without needing to be “pushed” at less than 50%. Because Obama is the one pushing the envelope and he’s meeting no resistance whatsoever. Congress isn’t even protesting. The courts won’t intervene. There, as yet, are no mass demonstrations in DC, nor is the Spite House surrounded by citizens with pitchforks and torches.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I see. Obama is willing to concede Crimea, but Israel must give back the West Bank.

BKeyser on March 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Then there’s this…

Map link:

http://zarkauthor.typepad.com/.a/6a00e5500940a98834013485095e0a970c-500wi

Article link:

Lebanon Seeks Energy Law After Israel Gas Finds tells that Lebanon and Israel have a dispute over an offshore natural gas find. The two gas fields may contain 24 trillion cubic feet of gas – twice the UK’s proven reserves.

Wiki locates the Tamar gas field as 50 miles west of Haifa in 5500 feet of water. An initial well was drilled to a total depth of 16,076 feet. Production is expected in 2012. It could potentially supply Israel’s natural gas needs for 30 years.

The second field, Leviathan, is estimated to have twice the reserves of the Tamar field. It too, is in the Levant basin which runs the length of Israel and Lebanon. Israel May Join Gas Exporting Nations With Leviathan Discovery adds that the Levant Basin is estimated by USGS with the potential of 227 trillion cubic feet of gas. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Levant provides additional reading.

Although not unexpected, but still ominous-sounding, Israel Would Defend Off-Shore Gas Find With Force. The Israel Minister of National Infrastructures, Uzi Landau, says the gas fields are within Israel international waters and the nation will defend its claims under maritime law…”

http://www.zarkanderson.com/2010/06/another-conflict-for-the-middle-east.html

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

I fear that after Obama is out of office, he will become a vicious provocateur on many issues and will seek to further destroy and divide the country, especially if a Republican follows him.

Aplombed on March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Agreed. There is a clear pattern. When a GOP POTUS (Reagan, Bush I, Bush II) leave office they leave office. They don’t criticize, campaign and backbite their successors. Donkeys (Carter, Clinton) don’t respect their successors and seem unable to relinquish the lime light.

MJBrutus on March 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Agreed. There is a clear pattern. When a GOP POTUS (Reagan, Bush I, Bush II) leave office they leave office. They don’t criticize, campaign and backbite their successors. Donkeys (Carter, Clinton) don’t respect their successors and seem unable to relinquish the lime light.

MJBrutus on March 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Like I said, I just hope that he becomes an ex-President without it requiring some blood to water the Tree of Liberty.

He will be an annoyance, all the more because the LSM will continue to treat him as if he were President, but that’s all he will be, an annoyance. He will have no actual power.

If he does leave office voluntarily, I could see him pull something drastic to get “power” again, such as “discovering” his real birthplace in Kenya and claiming it so he is eligible to be Secretary General of the UN. Where he will stick it to the United States.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 9:46 AM

When is President Tone Deaf going to realize that he is not worshiped outside of his own circle of drugged and deluded followers and that his words have no effect, other than to elicit moans of delight from the fawning faithful.

There was a photo published once of The Man Currently Impersonating the President of the United States. He was riding a bicycle on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I think.

It was a girl’s bicycle.

Enough said.

It is not only illustrative, but also an insult to any number of “girls” I would rather see at the controls of this nation.

IndieDogg on March 3, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Bibi, 0 is the weakest POTUS in history. Bibi, be completely prepared to go it alone. Bibi, redouble your manufacturing efforts in your defense industry. Quickly.

Bmore on March 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

It is not only illustrative, but also an insult to any number of “girls” I would rather see at the controls of this nation.

IndieDogg on March 3, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Sarah Palin wouldn’t abandon our allies and give aid and comfort to our enemies like Obama has.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Allies, either current or former, would be well advised to not trust the U.S. to come to their aid under this administration.

What gall our feckless leaders have to dictate where and when the Israelis can create settlements in their own country. There’s a million or two Palestinian refugees languishing in camps in Jordan and have been there for 60 years. Let the Arabs give them some of their vast acres of sand for a homeland if they care so much about them.

iamsaved on March 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

We can only hope.

He’s getting pretty despotic though…so I guess we’ll see what happens.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I’m more sanguine about this, not because of Republicans, but because of Team Hillary. Just as Obama doesn’t have the guts to take on Vladamir Putin, he wouldn’t have the guts to take on the Clinton machine and all of its supporters within the Democratic Party by trying to stay in office when there’s a 69-year-old woman struggling to avoid obesity problems banging on the door.

He’ll leave office and find fawning liberal audiences to give $500,0000 speeches to, while letting his true feelings about Israel hang out in his foreign policy statements.

jon1979 on March 3, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Is a nuanced warning less or more serious than a veiled threat in dear leader’s little foreign policy political board game? I never could keep his rules straight. Bibi shouldn’t count on anything from us for the next 3 years.

Kissmygrits on March 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM

It is O’s abdication of commitment to Israel and, since HE views himself as the ‘Healer of the Earth and Ruler of the Oceans’, by extension it can be assumed that it is also the loss of this country’s commitment.

vnvet on March 3, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I’m more sanguine about this, not because of Republicans, but because of Team Hillary. Just as Obama doesn’t have the guts to take on Vladamir Putin, he wouldn’t have the guts to take on the Clinton machine and all of its supporters within the Democratic Party by trying to stay in office when there’s a 69-year-old woman struggling to avoid obesity problems banging on the door.

He’ll leave office and find fawning liberal audiences to give $500,0000 speeches to, while letting his true feelings about Israel hang out in his foreign policy statements.

jon1979 on March 3, 2014 at 10:03 AM

He can always invent a crisis. Besides, I don’t see Hilldebeast even getting the nomination (unless her only rival IS Joe Biden) for the same reasons she lost to Obama in 2008. Obama has no fear of the Clintons anyway.

I just don’t see Obama converting the Presidency into Supreme Divine Emperor just to hand it to someone else in 3 years, not even to another Democrat. And I think Soros has the same idea.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Well, Mr. Obama has brought back the Cold War. Why not resurrect the Six-Day War while he’s at it?

Marcus Traianus on March 3, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Scratch Obama, find a muslim extremist.

portlandon on March 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Obama has absolutely no intention of defending Israel and the Israelis know it.

dockywocky on March 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Instead, the “defense” Obama means is from criticism over Israel’s policies, especially at the UN, where the US wields its veto power to keep the UNSC from punishing Israel at the behest of the hostile General Assembly. Given what’s happening with Russia in Ukraine, that use of the veto is unlikely to change, so Israel has little to fear at the Security Council. This sounds more like a warning that the US will start getting more public about its disagreements with Netanyahu and putting him in an increasingly more difficult position at home unless he starts bending on settlement policies, among other things.

WTH Ed? You sure have a Pollyannish view of Obama’s foreign policy in regards to Israel. Obama can’t even keep his promises to American citizens so what makes you infer he’ll protect Israel via the veto at the UN?

Vince on March 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Agree with dockywocky. Ed, can you seriously believe Obama would do anything whatsoever (anything effective anyway) to help Israel if they were attacked by anybody? Because I don’t. And clearly the Israelis don’t either.

Israel’s only calculation has to be what it can and must do on its own.

Zumkopf on March 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

American Jews overwhelmingly have supported Obama.

Yet, it is clear that he’s willing to let the Muslims drive the Jews in the sea (after 2016

It’s apparent most American Jews are internationalists, or aspire to be. Israel is a nationalist enterprise and turns off many progressives, whatever their background.

FrankT on March 3, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Did Barack Obama really tell Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg that the US would refuse to defend Israel if Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t get serious about peace talks with the Palestinians?

…does it matter?………what he says?

KOOLAID2 on March 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

This man obama is insane or very clever. He is destroying our defenses, and trying to destroy our energy sources here at home. Just look at the coal industry. He is against anything that creates jobs. He slammed the governor of Arizona the other day even after she agreed to the gaeys commands. He accused Arizona of trying to segregate. Now the man clearly has huevos to go against certain Americans and Israelies . He does not have any when it comes to Russia or China. He hides behind his desk and seeks Hollywood celebs for comfort. I can’t even stand to hear his voice or watch him on any video. I swear God sent obama to us is because we deserved him. I only hope he doesn’t destroy our nation before his term is done. God lets hope he doesn’t go for a 3rd and 4th term.
r

garydt on March 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

This man obama is insane or very clever. He is destroying our defenses, and trying to destroy our energy sources here at home. Just look at the coal industry. He is against anything that creates jobs. He slammed the governor of Arizona the other day even after she agreed to the gaeys commands. He accused Arizona of trying to segregate. Now the man clearly has huevos to go against certain Americans and Israelies . He does not have any when it comes to Russia or China. He hides behind his desk and seeks Hollywood celebs for comfort. I can’t even stand to hear his voice or watch him on any video. I swear God sent obama to us is because we deserved him. I only hope he doesn’t destroy our nation before his term is done. God lets hope he doesn’t go for a 3rd and 4th term.
r

garydt on March 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

He’s very clever and it’s very clear his intention is, and has been, to destroy this country in any and every way possible. He is anti-Israel and anti-America and incredibly racist. He’ll do what he can to destroy us and out allies and Israel in particular, to help his muslim friends. He’ll try for a third term, we have to do what we can to prevent it.

onesheep on March 3, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Has any other president been as backward and traitorous as this pos. I don’t care what blog you go to or comment sections, it’s the same. The hatred for this guy and what he has done to our country in 5 short years is amazing. many here did and do hate Carter and Bubba, but not with the same passion or utter contempt as Obama. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this guy, nothing, and yet the Republican elites sit on their hands out of “fear” What could they possibly be afraid of that already hasn’t been said about them?

jainphx on March 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Obama to Israel: Make peace now or we can’t won’t defend you … from criticism

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Thank you, American Jews, for helping to re-elect this clown.

Enjoy your jizya tax.

Maddie on March 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

@onesheep,,,, I agree 100 per cent on what you just said. Our media does not serve this nation and now we have it seems more takers than producers. Putin can see right through this president and Putin knows he has a free hand to invade any eastern European nation. I think he may even try to take Alaska and this president would do nothing.

garydt on March 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

And once again we’re blaming Israel for intransigence in solving all the world’s problems, forgetting all over again the lengths to which Israel historically has gone to secure peace.

The Schaef on March 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Wasn’t Abbas the bagman for the PLO attack on the Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972?

Wethal on March 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Maybe not, but he supported it, and still does.

July 8, 2010 – 3:14 AM
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah organization say the man who masterminded the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972 was a hero. He died in Syria over the weekend.

Mohammed Oudeh, better known as Abu Daoud, died in Syria last weekend at the age of 73. …
Three years after Israel and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo peace accords in 1993, an Israeli Labor government granted Oudeh permission to enter the self-rule areas to participate in a Palestine National Council meeting.

After the session he asked to remain and – despite Israel’s knowledge of his role in the Munich attack – he was allowed to settle in Ramallah.

In 1999, Oudeh published a French-language memoir entitled Palestine: From Jerusalem to Munich, in which he discussed the Munich operation.

He revealed that Arafat was briefed on the planning by another senior PLO leader, and said the PLO leader had seen him off on the mission with the words, “Allah protect you, Abu Daoud.” (The PLO had long denied direct links to Black September, the group blamed for the assault.)

In his book Oudeh offered no apology, blaming German police and Meir for the Israelis’ deaths.

The book’s release caused a storm. Prosecutors in Munich issued an international warrant for Oudeh’s arrest – although they decided not to pursue an investigation into Arafat’s role.

AesopFan on March 3, 2014 at 1:34 PM

On the other hand, maybe he did.

1. “New Palestinian PM behind Munich Olympics attack” (by Steve K. Walz, May 9, 2003).

Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, provided financing for the terrorist attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, says Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center. In a letter to President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Darshan-Leitner called for an investigation into Abu Mazen’s role in the Sept. 5, 1972, attack, carried out by Arafat’s central Palestinian Liberation Organization faction Fatah.

Nah, he didn’t collect the money for the attack at Munich. He provided it. But he assures us that he had no idea that it was going to a terrorist attack. And since he’s a Muslim we should take him at his word that he really wants to live in peaceful co-existence with the Jews. What could possibly go wrong?

Happy Nomad on March 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Thanks for the tip – I had forgotten the name change.

AesopFan on March 3, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Too bad we did not have a leader such as Bibi in The White House.

birdwatcher on March 3, 2014 at 1:40 PM

What Obama needed to do is tell Palestine to make a deal with Israel, to take the deal that Israel proposes, not the other way around…but then, Obama has no idea how to negotiate, perhaps his biggest weakness, of many.

right2bright on March 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

I agree that Obama is weak at negotiating (he’s much better at giving ultimatums and extortion), but he may be advertising exactly the deal that he wants.

AesopFan on March 3, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Speaking Nov. 20 as Netanyahu traveled to Moscowfor talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin , Lieberman said Israel should strengthen ties with other powers as a means of advancing critical security interests in the region.

“Our foreign policy needs to focus on finding allies and not just complaining and saying, ‘Come support us,’ ” he said….”

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131123/DEFREG04/311230009/Israel-Seeks-Stronger-Security-Ties-Russia

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

You have friends, and you have allies; you have enemies,and you have opponents.
The circles are not necessarily congruent.
But that would really take the cake!

AesopFan on March 3, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Bibi to Zero: Kish Meir Yiddische Tuchas!

annoyinglittletwerp on March 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Given the Ukrainian situation, do you really believe the Obama Administration is ready to defend any other nation including Israel?

No. Me neither.

Mr. Obama has made the world a more dangerous place and in the process destroyed American credibility.

Mr. Netanyahu is smart enough to know he’s already on his own. It is many Americans who are still in denial.

Marcus Traianus on March 3, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Exactly, Bibi is a pragmatist and a realist, I don’t think he’s ever been under the illusion that Obama will move a finger to protect Israel (heck, he won’t protect his own people) and I have no doubt that they have been planning accordingly.

jimver on March 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Remember the last time Israel gave up land,, for example the Gaza where the Arabs destroyed Israelie green houses and later they shelled Israel proper from these lands that Israel gave up for peace? I wouldn’t give a dirt clod to those liars. First they want Israel destroyed and the stupid leaders of the West are to ignorant to see that threat. Lets hope Israel ignores that stupid Obama.

garydt on March 3, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Obama to Israel: Make peace now or we can’t defend you … from criticism

What a wet noodle.

Who cares what a small nugget of cereal at the bottom of the cereal box has to say? *chomp* *chomp* *swallow*

avagreen on March 3, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Has any other president been as backward and traitorous as this pos.

jainphx on March 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

None. He’s in a category all by himself. And, should be in a cell all by himself.

He is truly out to destroy this nation. Regarding the others you mentioned, as I’ve said before…….he probs has nekkid pictures of them. If they had any guts at all (except for a few brave souls), they’d still do what is right, careers be damned. Obviously, they put their careers, retirement, under-the-table connections, etc. over the continuance of this country.

I’ve met a few conservatives that I’m grossly disappointed in regarding their own personal prejudices (and they do exist, although they seem to be blind to them), and they do seem to be increasing in number.

avagreen on March 3, 2014 at 4:23 PM

It was clear in his first year in office that President Obama not only didn’t have the faintest idea of how to prevent Iran from developing the capacity for and reality of nuclear weaponry, but that he was fully aware that he wasn’t goint to do it. And he set about from the very first moment to lay the groundwork to cast the blame for that eventuality at the feet of the Israelis. He has been consistant on that approach to this very day.

Additionally, if one wants to evaluate his “promises” is it really necessary here to physically list all of the proven Lies that have been told by this President, in order to support the reality that no promise of support of Israel is ever going to be kept until his term of office ends?

TKPedersen42 on March 3, 2014 at 4:31 PM

My take.

kingsjester on March 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

My take.

kingsjester on March 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Well, he’s gotta bully someone to look good (to himself and fans), preferably someone in a weakened position…..like most empty opportunist bullies.

avagreen on March 3, 2014 at 4:58 PM