Barack Obama did it again. He refuses to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel this month. Netanyahu will attend this year’s General Assembly session at the United Nations in New York City. But according to Israeli officials, Barack Obama can’t bother to make time to see Netanyahu. His “schedule” won’t let him. Everyone who cares to know, knows that’s false. Obama does not want to see Netanyahu. And at least one political observer says that Obama might have thrown away his chances to stay in office by striking this attitude.
Obama and his curious schedule
Talk about Barack Obama’s daily schedule has already embarrassed him. According to some reports, he does not make time for his daily intelligence briefing. Half the time, he misses it. In fact this confirms a report that came out more than a year ago, that looked like sheer speculation. It described Obama as acting more like a truant schoolboy than the President of the United States. He watches sports, or contemporary music, or maybe Fox News on television while taking an official briefing. That report strained credulity when “Ulsterman” first published it. But now The Washington Post asks its readers whether they will accept Obama skipping a daily briefing. Suddenly one can more easily believe Ulsterman and his “Insider,” whom he never names.
So Barack Obama can’t fit the visiting head of an ally state into his schedule? No. Barack Obama snubbed Netanyahu on purpose.
Obama and Netanyahu ever at odds
Barack H. Obama. Photo: Pete Souza, January 13, 2009
The latest excuse is that Netanyahu embarrassed Obama in public. At a recent news conference, Netanyahu, in plain English, said that Israel could not wait any longer for someone to act decisively against Iran over its nuclear program.
The world tells Israel “wait, there’s still time.” And I say, “Wait for what? Wait until when?” Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.
But Obama and Netanyahu don’t like one another. Two and a half years ago, Obama met Netanyahu only briefly at the White House. He then left Netanyahu alone while he, Obama, went to dinner with his family. Netanyahu had to leave by a rear door.
Last year, of course, Obama dumbfounded the leaders of Israel. He insisted that Israel withdraw behind the original 1949 Armistice Line, also mis-called “the 1967 Israel borders.” Netanyahu then spoke to a joint session of Congress. There he chided Obama straight-out for those remarks. Later, the two had a “photo-opportunity meeting” in the White House. Throughout, Obama turned away from Netanyahu, or else cast a baleful glare on him.
And after that, Ulsterman’s Insider said that Obama completely lost his temper. Several people could hear Obama ranting and raving and yelling at the top of his lungs up and down the hallways of the West Wing. His final, ironic command:
Never again! Do you understand me? Never again!
Alan Dershowitz’ warning
This evening, Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University warned Obama. His message: you should not have snubbed Netanyahu. That snub, says Dershowitz, might cost Obama a majority of Jewish votes nationwide and especially in the State of Florida. And furthermore:
I don’t think the United States ever has the right to stop a sovereign nation from defending its own citizens from the risk of apocalyptic nuclear attack — just as Israel would not have the right to stop the United States from taking action to protect its own citizens.
Dershowitz’ advice: send a clear signal to Iran and Israel both, to do nothing. But the signals that Obama and his Secretary of State are really sending are as clear as mud. Jerrold Sobel knows this. Today he asked his fellow Jews, “What more will it take?”