There is no need to “distort” or “mischaracterize” Obama’s problematic record on Israel. Dan Senor gave the best short summary of the argument in the Wall Street Journal in September, and it is as yet unrefuted in a serious way. Obama and his team can denounce their critics and trot out a host of liberal Jews to say what a great guy he is, but that will not change the fact that many in the pro-Israel community, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, recognize the problem and will be willing to vote accordingly in November.Troy is referring to Senor's summary in the Wall Street Journal of Why Obama Is Losing the Jewish Vote
• February 2008: When running for president, then-Sen. Obama told an audience in Cleveland: "There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel." Likud had been out of power for two years when Mr. Obama made this statement. At the time the country was being led by the centrist Kadima government of Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Shimon Peres, and Prime Minister Olmert had been pursuing an unprecedented territorial compromise. As for Likud governments, it was under Likud that Israel made its largest territorial compromises—withdrawals from Sinai and Gaza.
• July 2009: Mr. Obama hosted American Jewish leaders at the White House, reportedly telling them that he sought to put "daylight" between America and Israel. "For eight years"—during the Bush administration—"there was no light between the United States and Israel, and nothing got accomplished," he declared.
Nothing? Prime Minister Ariel Sharon uprooted thousands of settlers from their homes in Gaza and the northern West Bank and deployed the Israeli army to forcibly relocate their fellow citizens. Mr. Sharon then resigned from the Likud Party to build a majority party based on a two-state consensus.
In the same meeting with Jewish leaders, Mr. Obama told the group that Israel would need "to engage in serious self-reflection." This statement stunned the Americans in attendance: Israeli society is many things, but lacking in self-reflection isn't one of them. It's impossible to envision the president delivering a similar lecture to Muslim leaders.
• September 2009: In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama devoted five paragraphs to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during which he declared (to loud applause) that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." He went on to draw a connection between rocket attacks on Israeli civilians with living conditions in Gaza. There was not a single unconditional criticism of Palestinian terrorism.
• March 2010: During Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel, a Jerusalem municipal office announced plans for new construction in a part of Jerusalem. The president launched an unprecedented weeks-long offensive against Israel. Mr. Biden very publicly departed Israel.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a now-infamous 45-minute phone call, telling him that Israel had "harmed the bilateral relationship." (The State Department triumphantly shared details of the call with the press.) The Israeli ambassador was dressed-down at the State Department, Mr. Obama's Middle East envoy canceled his trip to Israel, and the U.S. joined the European condemnation of Israel.
Moments after Mr. Biden concluded his visit to the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority held a ceremony to honor Dalal Mughrabi, who led one of the deadliest Palestinian terror attacks in history: the so-called Coastal Road Massacre that killed 38, including 13 children and an American. The Obama administration was silent. But that same day, on ABC, Mr. Axelrod called Israel's planned construction of apartments in its own capital an "insult" and an "affront" to the United States. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs went on Fox News to accuse Mr. Netanyahu of "weakening trust" between the two countries.
Ten days later, Mr. Netanyahu traveled to Washington to mend fences but was snubbed at a White House meeting with President Obama—no photo op, no joint statement, and he was sent out through a side door.
• April 2010: Mr. Netanyahu pulled out of the Obama-sponsored Washington summit on nuclear proliferation after it became clear that Turkey and Egypt intended to use the occasion to condemn the Israeli nuclear program, and Mr. Obama would not intervene.
• March 2011: Mr. Obama returned to his habit of urging Israelis to engage in self-reflection, inviting Jewish community leaders to the White House and instructing them to "search your souls" about Israel's dedication to peace.
• May 2011: The State Department issued a press release declaring that the department's No. 2 official, James Steinberg, would be visiting "Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank." In other words, Jerusalem is not part of Israel. Later in the month, only hours before Mr. Netanyahu departed from Israel to Washington, Mr. Obama delivered his Arab Spring speech, which focused on a demand that Israel return to its indefensible pre-1967 borders with land swaps." (emphasis added)Senor leaves off in May, but just during December alone we have seen Obama's Israel policy in action in a variety of ways--thanks to Clinton, Panetta and Gutman--as William Kristol recounts how the Obama administration has been undercutting Israel during December:
...It is not a fact that his administration has been strong in support of Israel. It is a fact that in the past month alone, Obama administration officials have blamed Israel for the failure of the peace process, blamed Israel for fraying relations with the increasingly Islamist governments in Egypt and Turkey, compared Israel to Iran, and blamed Israel for Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe. The president hasn’t clarified or repudiated any of these remarks.Enough with Obama's platitudes.
Someone needs to explain how Obama can be considered a friend of Israel when he cannot even bring himself to be friendly to it and its Prime Minister.
Hat tip: DG
Technorati Tag: Israel and Obama and Election 2012.