Is Obama’s Treatment of Netanyahu Anti-Semitic?

Obama_Netanyahu

In answer to the question, “Why has Barack Obama treated Netanyahu so ‘rudely’?”, Glenn Reynolds responds:

Possibly Obama just hates Israel and hates Jews. That’s plausible — certainly nothing in his actions suggests otherwise, really.

This is absolutely absurd. First of all, I wouldn’t characterize the President of the United States not completely kowtowing to a foreign prime minister as being ‘rude.’ The President and the Secretary of State have made it clear that the United States wants Israel to re-engage in the peace process and, in the meantime, does not want Israel to build more settlements in disputed territories. When Netanyahu completely disregarded this and approved more settlements in East Jerusalem, what could he honestly expect? Love and kisses?

It’s important to point out that at the present time, exactly what American interests are in the Middle East region. Those interests are not “unconditional support for Israel.” Those interests include (in no particular order): 1) supporting all of our allies in the region, including, but not limited to, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the U.A.E, Kuwait, and Israel. 2) Maintaining access to Middle Eastern supplies of oil. 3) Countering Islamtic fundamentalist, particularly fundamentalist terrorist organizations.

In order to protect all of these interests, it is important that the United States maintain an image of being a “fair broker” in Israeli-Palestinian relations, and that the United States continue to encourage the peace process. As Centcom Commander General David Petraeus stated in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this week:

The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.

Thus, when Israel acts against American interests by formenting conflict, it is the President’s job to stand up for the United States. It is not his job to roll over and let Israel do whatever it wants to, regardless of the cost to the United States.

Let’s not forget, too, that Netanyahu’s government has also angered our oldest, and most reliable ally, the United Kingdom, by using counterfeit British passports for its agents in an assassination operation in the U.A.E. As a consequence, the United Kingdom has expelled an Israeli diplomat from its borders. This action by Israel is also worthy of condemnation by the United States, too. Especially in a conflict with Britain.

It’s also worth mentioning that, among Israeli citizens, a strong majority do not believe that Obama is hostile to Israel. Indeed, on the recent visit of Netanyahu to the United States, a majority of Israelis believe that Netanyahu is acting irresponsibly, and 70% believe that Obama is either “friendly” or “balanced” in his relationship with Israel.

Of course, in order to distance himself a little from the absurd charge of accusing the President of the United States of being a racist, Reynolds suggests that, maybe, Obama’s just pretending because he’s engaged in a conspiracy to wage war on Iran!

But it’s also possible — I’d say likely — that there’s something else going on. I think Obama expects Israel to strike Iran, and wants to put distance between the United States and Israel in advance of that happening. (Perhaps he even thinks that treating Israel rudely will provoke such a response, saving him the trouble of doing anything about Iran himself, and avoiding the risk that things might go wrong if he does). On the most optimistic level, maybe this whole thing is a sham, and the U.S. is really helping Israel strike Iran, with this as distraction.

I don’t even know where to start with this completely ludicrous idea, except to observe that an Israeli attack on Iran would be a disaster for the United States. It would put our Middle Eastern allies in the uncomfortable position of defending Iran–strengthening their power in the region and limiting ours. It would cause Iran to re-double its efforts towards developing a nuclear weapon. It would strengthen the hard-liners in Iran and weaken reformers. It would make Iran less likely to deal diplomatically with the West and almost certainly strengthen its relations with China and Russia. The list goes on. (That an Israeli strike on Iran would also be bad for Israel goes without saying, but Bibi Netanyahu’s willingness to act in the long-term interests of Israel is often very limited.)

Honestly, I don’t know why certain segments of the right believe that supporting anything but the most pro-hardline Likud foreign policy is somehow “anti-Israel” or even “anti-Semitic”, but there it is.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, National Security, , , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. This is like writing an essay to rebut some guy screaming the N-word on the corner. Reynolds has long since abandoned any claim to be taken remotely seriously, and sunk far enough beneath contempt that I fear any attempt at basic decency would give him the bends. He’s WorldNetDaily with tenure at this point; don’t waste your time.

  2. Eric Florack says:

    This is absolutely absurd. First of all, I wouldn’t characterize the President of the United States not completely kowtowing to a foreign prime minister as being ‘rude.’

    Ya know, defending Obama is getting to be a full time job for you, isn’t it?

    As with the discussion about his being a confirmed Marxist, it’s a matter of comparison… who he is friendly and unfriendly with. Can you imagine him canceling a state dinner and being insulting with Asad, let’s say, or Chavez, or Ahmedinejad?

    I can’t, either.

    Obama is essentially demanding that Israel stop building homes on its own territories, in its own capitol and within its own Jewish neighborhoods.

    Even Arab leaders never asked Israel to stop building housing in Jerusalem. Palestinians have never ever demanded as a pre-condition to any negotiations to stop construction in Israeli neighborhoods. Who do you suppose was the first one to demand construction of housing in Jerusalem stop?

    Barack Obama.

    Of course now, the Palestinian leaders, so as not to look less demanding on the jews than the great Satan, the United States… are now taking up the call to freeze construction in Jerusalem.

    This is something Obama understood going in. He created this disaster, intentionally. On that basis, Glenn’s observation rates serious consideration.

  3. Jason says:

    I wouldn’t call it absurd. Remember, we are enquiring as to why this may be going on. You presented a hypothesis. And a good one. But there is also a host and list of things in the president’s past that be seen as motivation to his treatment of Israel.

    It’s fair to present those things in the discussion.

  4. anjin-san says:

    Ya know, defending Obama is getting to be a full time job for you, isn’t it?

    So is collecting garbage. Which is basically what he is being defended against. We all saw what happened to this country when the lies of the right went unchallenged a few years back “we know they have them and we know where they are” “we do not torture”.

    We learned this lesson the hard way:

    The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

    Albert Einstein

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    Eric,

    As with the discussion about his being a confirmed Marxist, it’s a matter of comparison… who he is friendly and unfriendly with. Can you imagine him canceling a state dinner and being insulting with Asad, let’s say, or Chavez, or Ahmedinejad?

    Um, yes, I sure can.

    Even Arab leaders never asked Israel to stop building housing in Jerusalem. Palestinians have never ever demanded as a pre-condition to any negotiations to stop construction in Israeli neighborhoods. Who do you suppose was the first one to demand construction of housing in Jerusalem stop?

    Barack Obama.

    B.S. Sharing Jerusalem between Israel and Palestine has been part of the Palestinian position for decades. Jewish settlements in Arab is a clear swipe against the position.

  6. anjin-san says:

    I love a good quote

    At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.

    Aldous Huxley

    Any chance you knew Huxley bit? ‘Cause he certainly knew all about you…

  7. anjin-san says:

    As with the discussion about his being a confirmed Marxist, it’s a matter of comparison… who he is friendly and unfriendly with.

    As I mentioned earlier, he is pretty friendly with Warren Buffet & Paul Volcker. And much of the left feels he is far too cozy with Wall St. Does that slow down your rants about his being a Marxist/Socialist? Of course not.

  8. This is absolutely absurd. First of all, I wouldn’t characterize the President of the United States not completely kowtowing to a foreign prime minister as being ‘rude.’

    Kowtowing? Weren’t you just complaining in another post about strawmen and the coarsening of partsian political rhetoric? Are you auditioning for Josh Marshall’s position?

  9. Eric Florack says:

    B.S. Sharing Jerusalem between Israel and Palestine has been part of the Palestinian position for decades. Jewish settlements in Arab is a clear swipe against the position.

    Nonsense, Alex, given that building settlements was not an issue until Obama brought it up.

  10. Eric Florack says:

    So is collecting garbage. Which is basically what he is being defended against. We all saw what happened to this country when the lies of the right went unchallenged a few years back “we know they have them and we know where they are” “we do not torture”.

    You are delusional.
    Nothing new there.

  11. Alex Knapp says:

    Eric,

    Nonsense, Alex, given that building settlements was not an issue until Obama brought it up.

    In all perfect seriousness, do you know anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all? Settlements in Palestinian territories and in East Jerusalem have been one of the controversial issues throughout the entire history of the process!

    Charles,

    If you look at the Powerline post that Glenn links to, “not kowtowing” is the best, most descriptive phrase there is to define the complaint of “rudeness.” And, of course, is not nearly as “coarsely partisan” as accusing the President of the United States of anti-Semitism.

  12. Eric Florack says:

    Let’s see, Anjin… You keep pointing at Buffett as proof Obama isn’t a Marxist. Let’s see a couple quotes to test this:

    “Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline,” Buffett said. “A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy.”

    “In a country that prides itself on equality of opportunity, it’s becoming anything but that as the gap between the super-rich and the middle class is widening.”

    Gee, a real free market capitalist, there. Remember in any event, my dim correspondent, that Marx was funded by a very rich “capitalist”… Engels. Let’s recall that George Soros is also a capitalist in the strict sense of the word. Yet, who can deny his socilaist tendencies?

    Your argument appears to have developed a slight leak. Maybe you’d better research a bit better, before trying to float this garbage, huh?

    You’re welcome.

  13. Eric Florack says:

    In all perfect seriousness, do you know anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all? Settlements in Palestinian territories and in East Jerusalem have been one of the controversial issues throughout the entire history of the process!

    I’m talking about since those plans were struck, say in the past couple years. Where have the objections been, then? No riots, no loud protests from the PA, nothing of the sort.

  14. Alex, I read the Powerline post and I believe you are continuing to exaggerate. Your apparent need to defend President Obama and demean his critics has jaundiced your view.

    Anyway, you can’t call someone ugly all week and then expect them to go to the dance with you on Saturday. Presumably Netanyahu didn’t get a bow, much less a kowtow.

  15. Alex Knapp says:

    Eric,

    From ‘On the Wealth of Nations’ by Adam Smith:

    “It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

    “Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.”

    “Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.”

    “The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess.”

    Clearly, Adam Smith was a Marxist.

    I’m talking about since those plans were struck, say in the past couple years. Where have the objections been, then? No riots, no loud protests from the PA, nothing of the sort.

    Except that, of course, they have been objecting to those plans, since the minute they were drawn up…

  16. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    The President’s critics are, in this case, calling him a racist because he is defending American interests which, in this case, run contrary to Netanyahu’s policies. I fail to see how I’m exaggerating their position.

  17. Actually, Professor Reynolds implied that being a racist would explain President Obama’s actions. I don’t believe he called him a racist. I think it’s called nuance.

    Perhaps Professor Reynolds was a bit over the top, but certainly no more than what many of us are experienceing for daring to complain and criticize the actions of our government. I know from my personl experience that I am growing weary of being told I am supporting violent racists, and the desire to lash out in kind is getting ever more difficult. Most of us are emotional mirrors and can only take so much unwarranted abuse hurled in our general direction while maintaining our normal, balanced, sunny dispositions. Fortunately, dissent is patriotic, or so I used to be told.

  18. PJ says:

    “Can you imagine him canceling a state dinner and being insulting with Asad, let’s say, or Chavez, or Ahmedinejad?”

    Has he held any state dinners with either Asad, Chavez or Ahmedinejad?

    Even more this wasn’t a state dinner, Obama’s plans changed due to the ACA vote. He would have visited Guam, Indonesia, and Australia. But I guess him canceling his trip to Indonesia proves that he’s not a muslim.

    The annexation of East Jerusalem has not been recognized by any country, and I can’t remember a President who has been positive about settlements on occupied territory.

  19. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    Actually, Professor Reynolds implied that being a racist would explain President Obama’s actions. I don’t believe he called him a racist. I think it’s called nuance.

    What Professor Reynolds said is that Obama is (a) a racist, (b) engaged in a conspiracy with Israel to wage war on Iran or (c) both.

    As for the rest, “sticks and stones”, sir. “Sticks and stones.” No matter what side of a political issue you’re on, people are going to get overheated against you. I trust in your ability to handle your own emotions. You gotta learn to handle it or hang up your spurs. Believe me, my inbox gets pretty full of vitriol for some of my posts. I just ignore it. It’s not worth fretting about.

  20. Eric Florack says:

    @ Austin:

    Alex, I read the Powerline post and I believe you are continuing to exaggerate. Your apparent need to defend President Obama and demean his critics has jaundiced your view.

    As I suggested, a full time job.

    I think it’s called nuance.

    Yeah, well, you’d better figure out that nuance only works if it benefits the left.

    @ Alex:

    “It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

    THere’s a rather large delta between the smith quote and the Buffett quote. And my points on Engles and Soros remain unanswered.

    @ PJ: Has he held any state dinners with either Asad, Chavez or Ahmedinejad?

    Wasn’t there chatter not long ago about Obama saying he’d be inviting Ahmedinejad? I forget the specifics and my web access at the moment is kinda limited on this Palm 700. My usual research tools are not to hand.

    Oh, wait… here it is.

  21. Alex Knapp says:

    Eric,

    Engels wasn’t wealthy. His father was. And at any rate, your argument is spurious.

    Buffett is wealthier than Soros, and at any rate, Soros is no socialist.

  22. COLINDALE London says:

    Obama is determined to get a two-state solution and will not tolerate or accept any further delaying tactics from a Likud leader whose (unpublished) manifesto is to resist a Palestinian state at any cost and to plan for a ‘Greater Israel’ from Eilat to the Golan Heights and a ‘transfer’ of all Arabs and Muslims to Jordan.

    Obama is not in the pocket of AIPAC as was Bush. This is a man of integrity compared to other politicians, who is not, apparently, in anyone’s pocket.

    Let us see if and when he will instruct his representative to cease vetoing all UN resolutions on Israel. Then, and only then, will we get action

  23. MM says:

    As with the discussion about his being a confirmed Marxist, it’s a matter of comparison… who he is friendly and unfriendly with. Can you imagine him canceling a state dinner and being insulting with Asad, let’s say, or Chavez, or Ahmedinejad?

    I can’t, either.

    I can.

    Wow. That was easy.

  24. Clovis says:

    Reynolds:Possibly Obama just hates Israel and hates Jews. That’s plausible — certainly nothing in his actions suggests otherwise, really.

    But it’s also possible — I’d say likely — that there’s something else going on.

    Knapp:The President’s critics are, in this case, calling him a racist because he is defending American interests which, in this case, run contrary to Netanyahu’s policies. I fail to see how I’m exaggerating their position.

    and

    What Professor Reynolds said is that Obama is (a) a racist, (b) engaged in a conspiracy with Israel to wage war on Iran or (c) both.

    So by leaving out the second part of the post , the “I’d say likely” bit, Alex has decided to cut his frame very narrowly indeed. When Reynolds proceeds to outline his view of why Pres. Obama is acting this way -“I think Obama expects Israel to strike Iran, …” -Alex intends to imply that these are the concrete expressions of Reynolds with his abc when Reynolds explicitly did not call Obama racist and stated that he thought Obama expected an Israeli strike. How is this saying that Obama is “engaged in a conspiracy with Israel to wage war on Iran” when he is saying nothing of the sort?

    Reynolds did throw out the possibility that Obama is an anti-semite, but did not endorse it. Unlike some people do with those horrible, awful, racist, violent, spitting teabaggers. Right? Is it possible that Reynolds was engaging in a little tit-for-tat. It’s possible. I’d say likely.

  25. Alex Knapp says:

    Clovis,

    I do, in fact, quote Reynolds regarding the “likely” scenario. Note that he also said,

    The question for readers is which of these — not necessarily mutually exclusive — explanations is most plausible.

    In other words, Reynolds is saying that Obama’s racist, wants Israel to attack Iran, or both.

  26. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Alex, you call not building apartments in Jewish areas of Jerusalem as in the American interest. Only if you are a member of Jeremiah Wrights church. Obama listened to hate speech spew from the maw of that communist for 20 years. Seems, Alex your are either anti-Israel or you have fallen for the lies of our dear leader. Ask the Israelis if they believe Obama is on their side. Alex, just how many democracies are there in the Middle East? Is there some part of Jerusalem was the Capital of Israel for 3000 years you fail to grasp? How many strong allies do we have in the Middle East, Alex? Do you think Jews should be forced to wear arm bands Alex? FO, Alex.

  27. Stan says:

    Obama’s been hosting seders for a few years, see

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/obama-to-host-seder-dinner/

    and his daughters ask the four questions at the ceremony and hide the afikoman. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is Jewish and aided the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) as a civilian volunteer during the first Gulf War. Emanuel’s family name was changed to its present form in honor of his paternal uncle, who died in an Arab-Jewish clash in Jerusalem. David Axelrod is Jewish. So is Larry Summers. So we have a guy who did some bridge-building and some self-education for himself and his family by hosting one of the most important ceremonies in the Jewish calendar and who surrounds himself with Jewish assistants, and this guy is called anti-semitic. This is colossally stupid, even for Glenn Reynolds.

  28. An Interested Party says:

    Ya know, defending Obama is getting to be a full time job for you, isn’t it?

    Funny you should type that, since demonizing the president has become a full time job for you…

  29. Alex, I’m not going to keep arguing with you about it any further, but you keep insisting on saying that Professor Reynolds is saying things that he is not saying. He is offering conjectures and hypotheticals and you are changing them into declarative statements. This is not correct.

  30. Herb says:

    Right? Is it possible that Reynolds was engaging in a little tit-for-tat. It’s possible. I’d say likely.

    Very likely. His petty immaturity is legendary.

    Professor Reynolds…is offering conjectures and hypotheticals

    Yes, he’s good at that. He’s not so good on the declarative statements thing.

    Glenn Reynolds rarely comes out and says, well, anything, but he sure implies a lot. Forgive us for noticing.

  31. anjin-san says:

    You keep pointing at Buffett as proof Obama isn’t a Marxist. Let’s see a couple quotes to test this:

    Actually, I’m not. It’s just a point to counter your assertion silly that Obama’s rather slim association with Ayres is somehow proof that he is a marxist. Neither really proves anything. It’s just one more thin reed that you are clutching, which is your SOP. Reach a ludicrous conclusion, then create a bizarre patchwork of “facts” to try to support it.

    I guess its more fun for you than contemplating the fact that the man you were so certain is an empty suit just punk slapped the right and won a legislative victory of historic proportions.

  32. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    Accusing the President of Anti-Semitism even as a “hypothetical” without offering a shred of credible evidence is disgusting and shameful and you know it.

  33. anjin-san says:

    My usual research tools are not to hand.

    The same razor sharp research tools that led you to offer speculation in the Examiner up as proof that Ayers is Obama’s ghostwriter?

    LOL. Let me clue you in about the Examiner. It is a once respected masthead that has degenerated into a free rag that homeless people hand you when you are going into a BART station. You are possibly the only person on the planet who is lame enough to cite it.

  34. anjin-san says:

    “Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline,” Buffett said. “A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy.”

    “In a country that prides itself on equality of opportunity, it’s becoming anything but that as the gap between the super-rich and the middle class is widening.”

    Well, this certainly proves that Buffet is capable of nuanced thinking, something that a serial regurgitator of dogma such as yourself is not.

    Poor bit, the blind man trying to understand the land of the sighted. Buffet gets up in the morning, makes more money than you will see in your lifetime by 10:00 am, then he has a cup of coffee and gives a little thought about how we might actually make our country a better place. No wonder you can’t relate to him.

  35. Dave Schuler says:

    Can we take a step back from the infighting and discuss what the U. S. interest is here? For example, is a Palestinian state of roughly the same size as the current West Bank and Gaza (possibly with same land swaps) and East Jerusalem as its capital in the U. S. interest or not and why?

    If it is, then surely actions by Israel that make that outcome less likely are not in the U. S. interest.

    Is the U. S. neutral or disinterested in the matter? How would that manifest itself in policy?

    Alternatively, are Israeli interests and U. S. interests identical? Are Israeli interests and Likud interests identical? What is in the Israeli interest?

  36. just me says:

    Accusing the President of Anti-Semitism even as a “hypothetical” without offering a shred of credible evidence is disgusting and shameful and you know it.

    Sort of like calling everyone who goes to a Tea Party a racist.

    That said, I don’t think anti semitism is the problem here, I think rude behavior is, and i happen to think Obama’s behavior was rude.

    Whether or not what Israel is doing is in the US interest, I think what Obama did was rude and didn’t do too much to win cooperation for friendship.

    I think rather than bringing into question Obama’s views about Jews, it brings into question Obama’s assertion that he is a grand negotiator. Personally I think his actions were kind of rude and childish rather than anti semitic.

    As much as Obama insists he can do a better job on this issue than his predecessors this pretty much tells me he is going to fail like everyone else but do it more rudely. His behavior seems to imply that he falls prey to the liberal belief that everything that happens in the region is Israel’s fault. Personally I don’t think anyone can mediate a peace-kind of hard to mediate a peace when one side won’t stop believing the other side should be slaughtered and pushed into the sea. I

  37. anjin-san says:

    it brings into question Obama’s assertion that he is a grand negotiator.

    Perhaps you could show us where he made that claim…

  38. just me says:

    Anjin all through the campaign he told us he could do things better than Bush and he was going to make the world love us again.

    He also indicated he thought he would do a better job with Israel and Palestine (although I think every candidate and president thinks he can do this and I think it is pretty much an impossible task-so we can maybe just say he was Naive).

    but I am not doing a google search for you, if you really don’t remember all the things Obama said about being all hope and changey and making the world love us, then you have more problems than I can help you with.

  39. anjin-san says:

    he was going to make the world love us again.

    Obama’s assertion that he is a grand negotiator.

    but I am not doing a google search for you

    In other words, he never said either of these things and you are trying to twist what he actually said into something that would make him look bad. I watched a great deal of the coverage of the election runup, and never once that I remember did Obama say he would “make the world love us”. That you have to resort to this kind of BS says a great deal about the weakness of your position.

  40. wr says:

    Just Me — Now you tell us that Obama hates American because he was rude to a foreign leader. Last month the entire tribe of right wing howler monkeys was in a frenzy because Obama was too polite to foreign leaders, which apparently proved that he hates America and wants this country to be ruled by the Japanese or whichever country he visited that day.

    Just out of curiousity, is there anything Obama could do that wouldn’t prove he hated America to you?

  41. just me says:

    Well I haven’t actually made the point that Obama hated America.

    I also don’t have issues with Obama being polite. I do think he in generally hasn’t been to polite to our allies.

    And I think what happened in this instance was rude and if Obama’s goals are getting Israel and Palestine to the negotiation table, treating Isreal’s leader this way doesn’t seem to be doing much for reaching the goal-or at least reaching it where one side isn’t going to view the mediator as rude and hostile. But then I think trying to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on anything and actually follow through on it is a hopeless goal. There is too much history and too much hate.

  42. clyons11 says:

    Alex, an excellent, well-reasoned post.

    If only Obama would have taken the well-reasoned advice of the senior senator from Arizona and simply told the whole lot to ‘cut the shit.’

  43. Eric Florack says:

    Soros is no socialist.

    Laughable, if what it indicates were not so very sad.

    Wow. That was easy.

    Now for the hard part. Indicate why.

    Funny you should type that, since demonizing the president has become a full time job for you…

    No, more’s the pity. It hardly requires even a part time effort. Were I to devote full time to it, I’m quite sure there would be far more to discuss. Wre the press to actually devote full time to investigating and reporting on Obama as they did Bush, we’d be seeing more anger out there than we are now.

    In other words, he never said either of these things

    No, leave that to the Democrat propaganda wing at the MSM (In this case, the WaPo)

    “A clearly frustrated President Barack Obama displayed impatience Friday with world leaders’ failure to reach a new climate accord,” the Associated Press reports, after Obama’s speech to an international audience. Obama said that “the time for talk is over” and “there is no time to waste.” The New York Times writes that Obama “called on world leaders to move swiftly to address climate change, and, in a direct challenge to China, pressed for a global climate change accord to include a way to monitor whether countries are complying with promised emissions cuts.” Though Obama did make his big speech, the deterioration of the Copenhagen talks changed his role there. “The result is an Obama forced to transform rather dramatically from America’s grand orator to its top negotiator,”

    And the usual nutcacke assortment at the Democrat Underground.

    I can’t help but be comforted when he goes on tv and explains what the hell is going on. It makes me feel much better about him and about what is going on behind the doors of power. Am I pissy that he talks to healthcare people behind closed doors? Hell no, and I’ll tell you why, because I honestly believe that he wants to help us as much as he can. I knew when I voted for him that I was voting for someone that has to play the game, I knew that he was the grand negotiator….

    Gee. Where do you suppose they might have gotten that phrase from, eh?

  44. steve says:

    Dave- My reading on this is that Netanyahu has given up on the two state solution. I think he is playing to the right wing in his coalition. While this may be best for keeping him in office, I do not think it best for Israel. The demographics are hemming them in. They need to decide if they want to be an apartheid state or not. Kind of looks that way.

    We have made major commitments to other countries in that area now. Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in particular. The announcement of the settlements undermined us as an honest broker and made the bonds to those allies less certain. Seems to play into the hands of Iran a bit.

    Steve

  45. An Interested Party says:

    Hmm…this perfectly fits some folks around here…

    Then again, I can understand Hanson’s frustration. He and others like him have spent so much time building up an absurd image of Obama as the embodiment of everything they fear and hate, and then he turns out to be a pretty typical, boring center-left Democratic politician who holds just about every conventional, mainstream view you would expect him to have. It has to be galling to be so profoundly wrong about almost everything one has written about the man, and so at this point the only thing to do is keep re-stating the earlier nonsensical claims with greater and greater intensity. Sure, it’s discrediting and embarrassing, but that hasn’t stopped them before now.

    Oh, and notice that this wasn’t written by some crazed loon at Democratic Underground…

  46. anjin-san says:

    It has to be galling to be so profoundly wrong about almost everything one has written about the man

    Well, maybe not if you are bithead, and you have a track record of being profoundly wrong about stuff. I guess you just get angrier and angrier…

  47. michael reynolds says:

    Israeli polls show 70% approval for Obama.

    Eric thinks Obama may be an anti-semite.

    Jews say “no problem.” Right wing dumbass says “problem.”

    Honest to God: we’re actually discussing this?

  48. RW Rogers says:

    As Michael just said what I was going to say, I’ll venture the opinion that what Obama did was not rude. Netanyahu knew the US position before he arrived. He wanted the one-on-one meeting yet arrived with no new information that had not been discussed before. Obama’s response was a pretty standard negotiating tactic when one party insists on wasting everyone’s time.

  49. anjin-san says:

    I’ll venture the opinion that what Obama did was not rude

    Well perhaps it was if you are a Palinite and believe US policy should be subordinate to Israel’s.

  50. sam says:
  51. Eric Florack says:

    Funny thing; there’s 327 congresscritters who agree with my read… the majority of the Democrats…. including Steny Hoyer.

    It should be noted that this particular letter was only floating around capitol hill for about three days together this many signatures …. 327 of them … including such luminaries as Steny Hoyer and Eric Cantor. and the bipartisanship here is remarkable given the amount of partisan vitriol flying around until just now. ALl it took to unite Congress is Obama… they’re united against him here. If nothing else, it shows clearly how far out of the mainstream the white house is on this topic.

    Over at Commentary, Jennifer Rubin raises two possibilities as to the current stand of the White House on Israel. Either this is an intentional affront to Israel, a point which I raised earlier, or it’s a more instinctive, and knee-jerk reaction, reflecting their instinctive dislike for Israel. That’s a dislike, and frankly, an anti Semitism, that Glenn has already noted.

    In this, we see the intersection of Obama’s multilateralism, his aversion to American exceptionalism, his fetish with his own international popularity, his obsession with engaging despots, his disinterest in promoting human rights, and his hostility toward the Jewish state. They are interlocking pieces in the greater Obama vision — each reenforces the other and makes more precarious the security of not only Israel but also the United States. Obama may suppose he is making America more popular or reducing conflict with rogue states, but instead, he is fueling the ambitions of aggressive despots and frittering away America’s moral standing. We are abetting an international free-for-all as the world’s bullies look for openings to assert themselves and to show just how dangerous it is to be a small democratic ally of the U.S.

    It doesn’t take a great visionary to figure out that Obama’s misbegotten foreign policy is leading us toward another world war. I hardly think that can be considered an overstatement of the issue. Indeed, the combination that Jennifer mentions, can hardly lead anywhere else.

    Amazing, isn’t it, what “hope and change” can do?

  52. Eric Florack says:

    Israeli polls show 70% approval for Obama.

    Well, they DID show that… several months ago.
    IN the last week, the approval numbers have fallemn into the single digit territory.

    JERUSALEM — A new poll shows only 6 percent of Israeli Jews see President Barack Obama’s administration as pro-Israel, while 50 percent see it as pro-Palestinian.

    That is a dramatic change from the previous U.S. administration of George W. Bush, which 88 percent termed “pro-Israel” and just 2 percent labeled pro-Palestinian.

  53. anjin-san says:

    there’s 327 congresscritters who agree with my read… the majority of the Democrats….

    The majority of the Democrats. Funny, when those same Democrats voter for HCR, you saw them as socialists who are destroying our country and ending freedom. There really is no straw you won’t clutch, is there.

  54. anjin-san says:

    A new poll shows only 6 percent of Israeli Jews see President Barack Obama’s

    So you are saying a President should lead with finger to the wind and polling data in hand. Foreign polling data at that.

  55. michael reynolds says:

    Eric:

    You have fallen into Ragshaft territory now as a person not worth the effort.

  56. anjin-san says:

    I hardly think

    My God bit. After all these years, you finally said something that has the ring of truth to it 🙂

  57. Eric Florack says:

    @Anjin-Dim:

    The majority of the Democrats. Funny, when those same Democrats voter for HCR, you saw them as socialists who are destroying our country and ending freedom. There really is no straw you won’t clutch, is there.

    So you are saying a President should lead with finger to the wind and polling data in hand. Foreign polling data at that.

    LOL! Wasn’t that the argument when the polling data was presented (incorrectly) as being overwhelmingly supportive? You’ve got more twists and turns in your argument than a dying fly.

    You have fallen into Ragshaft territory now as a person not worth the effort.

    Oh, NO!! FACTS!! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!

  58. just me says:

    So you are saying a President should lead with finger to the wind and polling data in hand. Foreign polling data at that.

    I think you missed the point.

    Erick didn’t bring up the issue of Israeli polling in support of Obama first, somebody brought it up to rebut the idea that Obama is perceived as anti-semitic or anti Israel (and I actually think a person can be against certain Israeli policies and not be anti-semitic) by Israelis therefore his treatment of Netanyahu wasn’t a big deal.

    Erick brought up the current polling to rebut the idea that Israeli citizens were still honkey dory with Obama and his policy views towards Israel.

    The polling was part of the discussion to indicate where Israeli’s stood on approval of Obama’s policies not necessarily whether Obama should be taking note of Israeli opinion (and I think a president doing the right thing is more important than leading by polls, I don’t think polls or opinion should be tossed out either-if Obama really does want to get Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiation table, pissing off the Israeli’s may not make that goal easier to obtain, but in the end maybe Obama thinks it will give him some kind of advantage).

  59. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Israeli polls show 70% approval for Obama.

    lolhaha, Dude why.

    READ THE WHOLE THING!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/18/obama-proisrael-only-31-o_n_204561.html

  60. anjin-san says:

    LOL! Wasn’t that the argument when the polling data was presented (incorrectly) as being overwhelmingly supportive? You’ve got more twists and turns in your argument than a dying fly.

    Where exactly did I present polling data to support my argument? Read much dude?

    And I still remember that you tried to paint me as an anti-Semite when I pointed out the historic fact that Menachem Begin was once considered to be a terrorist by the British.

    It’s pretty clear that you don’t give a rats ass about anti-Semitisim. It is just another label in your bag of tricks, like “socialist” or “jihadist”. You are unable to craft coherent arguments, so you cut and paste and resort to name calling.

  61. anjin-san says:

    I think you missed the point.

    I think you will have some credibility when you can show even one instance where Obama said he was “going to make the world love us”. After all, you claim he said it continually through the campaign. Even one instance will do. Or you can just hide behind the lame “I am not going to do you research for you” 🙂

  62. An Interested Party says:

    Funny thing; there’s 327 congresscritters who agree with my read… the majority of the Democrats…. including Steny Hoyer.

    Do you even bother to read the things you link to?

    He received some badly needed support on Friday from 327 congressmen, who signed a letter expressing concern that “the highly publicized tensions” in US-Israeli ties will “not advance the interests” of either state.

    While the piece goes on to state that the letter talks about Israel’s security and that differences should be handled quietly, nowhere in the piece does it claim that 327 congressmen agree that the president “created this disaster, intentionally” nor do they agree that the ridiculous idea of Glenn Reynolds claiming the president might be an anti-Semite “rates serious consideration”…try working a little harder on your reading comprehension in the future…

  63. anjin-san says:

    It doesn’t take a great visionary to figure out that Obama’s misbegotten foreign policy is leading us toward another world war.

    No, just a deranged ranter.

    Really dude, about the only thing you have not accused Obama of is conduction human sacrifices in the White House basement and calling Satan forth to walk amongst us…

  64. steve says:

    Forgot to post this from the New Atlanticist.

    http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/netanyahu-outdoes-himself

    Steve

  65. The Q says:

    Mr. Florack,

    Your continued insistence that Obama is a Marxist makes about as much sense as a critic of Cheney’s labeling him a Fascist Nazi.

    Both are incorrect and only cripple whatever substantive rational argument one might make otherwise.

    However, looking at your comments, many are consistently wrong and no matter how much rebuttal they get, you refuse to give an inch.

    This, to me, is what is absolutely destroying discourse in the U.S.

    Just to take one obviously wrong comment you make:

    “Building settlements was not an issue until Obama brought it up”

    Uhhh, let me destroy your mistaken belief by citing the following:

    “We consider these settlements to be contrary to the Geneva Convention, that occupied territories should not be changed by the establishment of permanent settlements by the occupying power. The ultimate status of the West Bank and Gaza area will be determined through negotiations, [the US has] long maintained this position that the establishment of settlements in that area was contrary to progress toward a comprehensive peace.” (Jimmy Carter June, 1980)

    “The United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements. Indeed, the immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by Israel, more than any other action, could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks. Further settlement activity is in no way necessary for the security of Israel and only diminishes the confidence of the Arabs that a final outcome can be freely and fairly negotiated.”(Ronald Reagan September, 1982)

    “The United States policy on settlements in the occupied territories is unchanged and is clear: We oppose new settlements in territories beyond the 1967 lines—settlements [are] contrary to the United States policy; and I will continue to reiterate the policy, and try to persuade the Government of Israel that it is counterproductive to go forward with additional settlements in these territories. Our objective is to get the parties to the peace table.” (George W. Bush June, 1990)

    So there you have it,3 presidents, 2 repub conpletely undercutting your statement above.

    The problem we libs have with some of you conservatives is the hopelessly, dense convoluted thinking that, even in the face of a mountain of contrary evidence, you persist in spouting.

    I don’t have another 2 hours to go through the other total BS in your writings….

    What is depressing is the complete close-mindedness of conservative thinking, but I guess that is the very definition of conservative –
    tending to oppose change.

    Even their own minds when confronted with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

  66. Eric Florack says:

    Actually, I’m not. It’s just a point to counter your assertion silly that Obama’s rather slim association with Ayres is somehow proof that he is a marxist.

    Slim? No.
    And he’s not the only one as I point out in another thread.

    So, you’re using slim arguments in a futile attempt to hold your end up?

    OK, Got it.

    Your continued insistence that Obama is a Marxist makes about as much sense as a critic of Cheney’s labeling him a Fascist Nazi.

    Obama says plainly in his autobiography that he intentionally surrounds himself with radical Marxists. Should we then assume he’s lying? Or maybe that he’s simply doing that because he likes a good argument? Or maybe the straightforward answer is the best one after all… he does so because he agrees with that mindset.

    Uhhh, let me destroy your mistaken belief by citing the following:

    Well, before you think you’ve done that, do you have a quote within the context of current agreements?

    I see you don’t.

    Thanks for trying.

  67. An Interested Party says:

    Maybe Bill Ayers is secretly behind this too…hey, ya never know…