Israelis Don’t Regard Obama As A Friend

An editor of the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz writes in the New York Times:

Six months into his presidency, Israelis find themselves increasingly suspicious of Mr. Obama. All they see is American pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze settlements, a request that’s been interpreted here as political arm-twisting meant to please the Arab street at Israel’s expense — or simply to express the president’s dislike for Mr. Netanyahu.

This would seem counterproductive, given the importance the president has placed on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If Israel is part of the problem, it’s also part of the solution. Yet so far, neither the president nor any senior administration official has given a speech or an interview aimed at an Israeli audience, beyond brief statements made at diplomatic photo ops.

The Arabs got the Cairo speech; we got silence.

This policy of ignoring Israel carries a price. Though Mr. Obama has succeeded in prodding Mr. Netanyahu to accept the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, he has failed to induce Israel to impose a freeze on settlements. In fact, he has failed even to stir debate about the merits of one: no Israeli political figure has stood up to Mr. Netanyahu and begged him to support Mr. Obama; not even the Israeli left, desperate for a new agenda, has adopted Mr. Obama as its icon.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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