Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama Is Not First President To Test His 'Meddle' In Israel

Many have commented on the fact that as opposed to his laid-back policy towards Iran in the aftermath of the elections there, Obama exhibits no such hesitation when it comes to Israel.

However, truth be told--Obama is not the first to try to manipulate Israeli affairs. Actually, while Obama is trying to pressure Israel to freeze the settlements, there is no more talk about how Obama is trying to manipulate Israeli politics and force the fall of Netanyahu's coalition.

The same came not be said of previous US presidents.

Caroline Glick traces the history of US Presidents who meddled in Israeli affairs and lists instances of interference to varying degrees.
o George H. W. Bush helped get Yitzhak Rabin elected 1992 by undermining Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir--refusing to provide Israel with $10 billion in loan guarantees to enable the absorption of one million Jews from the former Soviet Union.

o In 1996, Bill Clinton came to Israel and actively campaigned for Peres, but in the end it was the Palestinian terrorism that instead secured Netanyahu's win over Peres.

o In the 1999 elections, Clinton sent Bob Schrum, James Carville and Stanley Greenberg to Israel to manage Barak's campaign against Netanyahu.

o And the Bush administration, after refraining from getting involved in the Israeli elections in 2001 and 2003:

made it self-evident that it wants a Kadima victory and is willing to do a great deal to ensure that such a victory comes about. Since Sharon's second stroke two weeks ago, Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made it clear that in Sharon's absence they want Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to form the next government.
Not unexpectedly, US leaders do not have a monopoly on interfering in Israel's internal affairs.
In an article in 2002, Caroline Glick wrote about--
o money that the EU gave to Yossi Beilin's Economic Cooperation Foundation

o money that the EU gave to Rabbis for Human Rights, "which recently participated in organizing delegations of foreign activists who were brought here to stand in front of IDF tanks and attempt to force their way through IDF roadblocks."

o the Norwegian government being one of the chief contributors to the Shimon Peres Center for Peace, whose operation is the main subject of Glick's article.
And the European meddling continues--these days even French President Sarkozy can't resist getting in his two cents:
The French president reportedly told Netanyahu that while he usually scheduled talks with Israel's top foreign envoys on visit to Paris he could not bring himself to meet with Lieberman. According to Channel Two, this statement was accompanied by disparaging hand gestures.
Sarkozy then advised Netanyahu to fire Lieberman and bring former foreign minister Tzipi Livni back into the coalition, according to the report. [emphasis added]
Meanwhile, Obama is trying his luck in Honduras. After commenting on the legality of Israel's settlements, Obama is now applying his knowledge of international law to Honduras. Allahpundit gives the background:
In a nutshell, Zelaya wanted another term as president so he decided to hold a popular referendum on whether he should be eligible. Minor problem: The Honduran constitution can’t be amended by popular referendum so the country’s supreme court ordered the vote canceled. Zelaya tried to go ahead with it anyway. Literally every other arm of the Honduran government — judiciary, legislature, military — was against him, to the point where the troops who arrested him this morning were evidently acting on a court order. Why such strong, unified opposition? According to one retired Honduran general cited by Fausta, it’s because Zelaya’s a Chavez stooge and him staying on would mean “Chavez would eventually be running Honduras by proxy.” [emphasis added]
Despite the backing of that country's supreme court and congress, Obama has insisted that the coup is illegal--reminiscent of the US position on the settlements, which also have the backing of legal experts.

Allahpundit suggests a reason for Obama's insistence that the Honduras coup is not legal
I can’t see any reason for a strong reaction from the United States here except as a way for The One to prove he’s different from all the other yanqui presidents in the past.
Now that Obama has strengthened ties with the Arab world by showing his willingness to pressure Israel, is he now working on strengthening US ties with Chavez and his friends in Central America ?

Who's next--Taiwan?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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