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Unrequited Love: Obama and Netanyahu


In how many ways does President Obama love Prime Minister Netanyahu?

Let me briefly count them. There are those obvious and well known signs of love: the President toils to donate Netanyahu’s Israel with more American money than even the Bush-Cheney administration did. According to a report on “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel” by the “Congressional Research Service” [April, 11, 2014, P-26] In 2007, for example, the total amount of direct American governmental aid to Israel (not including loans-guarantees, tax exemptions and private donations) was 2.5 billion dollars; in 2012 it was 3.1 billion – “ceteris paribus” and all, this is one of those incidents when statistics say it more clearly than words of affection.  And the billions are delivered to this “wealthy and powerful country” (Obama’s portrayal) with no conditions attached.

And there’s the subtle moves: sporadically, and ever so cleverly, Obama’s administration manipulate timed and much publicized “personal encounters” with Netanyahu –meaning some tender criticism, or pleading suggestion to speak about the “Green Line” and recently to try and  take it easy with war crimes. All these artificial encounters ended up in the same way: the prime minister — as the true representative of “his people” spirit — gets another opportunity to wail: “Holocaust at the Gate”. And, in all cases, right afterwards the White House showers him with praise describing Netanyahu as a staunch defender of “Israel’s security”.

In a typical moving gesture, the White House termed “barbaric” the mere possibility that an IDF officer was captured by the Hamas inside Gaza. This act of immense empathy was made even before the details of the time-line were even clear. Now it is registered that, at least, both sides are responsible for the broken ceasefire, with the IDF the main offender. That humanitarian “cry from hell” was issued, while citing no more than “concern” over Israeli punitive actions which resulted in many more children and women being butchered than Hamas operatives killed (and hurriedly the President signed on the Congressional act to donate 225 million dollars to emergently replenish the highly overrated “Iron Dome”, and thus assure the smooth continuation of this “most moral of wars”, according to the Israeli ambassador to the U.S.).

The latest “lovers’ quarrel” regarding Israel’s conduct in Gaza, presumably have the Obama administration declare that from now on there will be some strings attached to having, basically for free, the best of American military industry. This farce will end up, as always, with gifts’ strings wrapping up further financial and strategic American contributions. The political implications are that Israelis’ are assured that no matter what is spoken, what is publicized, what is commented on, Netanyahu will always bring the fat American bacon home.

As true love dictates, Obama preserve and defend the cherished assets of Netanyahu and his people: by delegating (“comic relief”) Secretary J. Kerry to lead the peace-negotiations, while giving him no sticks whatsoever to waive in front of Netanyahu, Obama virtually assured that the dismantlement of even one settlement won’t be “on the table”. Thus practically redefining, for all time, the “Two-States” solution as consisting of Greater-Israel (from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean) and the State of Jordan (provided Jordan will recognize Israel as a Jewish Republic).

And for this titanic love affair, the Middle East is not enough: the president of the U.S. supplies Netanyahu’s Israel with the types and quantity of strategic weapons that have the potential to shake the foundations of the world system. One should read that sentence again and contemplate the nature of the Israeli leaders which are endowed with the capability to globally project this kind of destructive power.

Also, material possessions, world-shaking as they maybe, are not enough — there’s a need for the merging of world-views: the President’s unqualified and continues acceptance of Netanyahu’s blatant nuclear incitement as the one and only basis for negotiations with Iran is a prime example. Moreover, Obama took no measure to try and prevent the Republicans from Imposing in Congress major sanctions which were manipulated to need a congressional seal to dismantle (coming right after the “Rupture”).

And the love affair is indeed World-Shaking: in a systemic view, the geopolitical implications of the way Obama handles the manufactured Iranian Crisis (just as Netanyahu like it), are among the main factors – chief among them is the strategically absurd “Anti-Iranian” Anti-Missile System in Eastern Europe — that are accountable for the Russian-American crisis and the renewal of the Nuclear Arms Race — an Historical U-Turn which is hurling Humanity towards the brink of Super-Powers confrontation.

Where does all this love stem for? Before the presidential elections the answer was as obvious as can be – and Obama indeed won. But, after being elected? Well, one possibility is that we’re talking full manifestation of “true love” which no complete explanation can be provided for (though coming closely in “The Princess Bride”). As for other possibilities, the readers are free to choose their wildest (conspiracy) scenarios – writing from Israel, for the time being, I’ll keep mine to myself.

And how is the President rewarded for his most affectionate behavior? The way Obama is perceived and portrayed by the Israeli public at large is mostly unprintable. As for Netanyahu, fitting his lordly position, he recently admonished the American ambassador to tell the U.S and its president: “not to ever second guess me again” — the context was the handling of Hamas in Gaza. But have no fear, Obama actually never doubted Netanyahu, in any context, and the President never will.

Dr. Meir Stieglitz received a PhD in International Relations from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, an M.A in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the Hebrew University. Dr. Stieglitz did his Post-Doctoral as an adjunct fellow at the CSIA — Kennedy School of Government and at Harvard’s Economics department.  Dr. Stieglitz studies and writings center on the many aspect and implications –Philosophical, Theoretical, Geo-Political, Strategic and economic – of a fundamental query: Is Humanity Possible?  Since 2003, Dr. Stieglitz quitted all his public and governmental positions in Israel (including weekly columns in leading Israeli newspapers, academic attachments, media appearances and lectures). He is currently employed as a consultant to International Investments Groups on global Geo-Political, Strategic and Macro-Economic issues.

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