Skip to comments.Fill your sandbags
Posted on 11/07/2012 3:29:18 PM PST by beagleone
Id like to believe that President Barack Obama's re-election means nothing significant for U.S.-Israel relations, since all Democratic and Republican presidents over the past four decades have been solidly pro-Israel as Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom argued on Israel Radio this morning. But Shalom is putting a pretty face on a forbidding situation.
Obamas re-election means that Ehud Olmert is going to run against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming Jan. 2013 Israeli election. It means that Obama is going to intervene aggressively in our election to boost Olmert. It means that a push for immediate Palestinian statehood is back on the international agenda. Most worrisome of all, it means that an American grand bargain with the Iranians, possibly at our expense, is on the table.
With good reason, Olmert and Tzipi Livni seem to think they can count on Obamas strong support in the race against Netanyahu. There are a myriad of ways in which Obama and his emissaries can make it clear to the Israeli voter that U.S.-Israel relations will suffer if Netanyahu is re-elected. They know that Israeli voters fear U.S.-Israel conflict.
Obamas anti-Netanyahu campaign will be the flip side to the campaign weve seen in recent weeks seeking to convince American Jews and Israeli Americans that Obama has Israels back. Just as the Jewish and Israeli press was swamped with pro-Obama testimonials from Dennis Ross, Alan Dershowitz, Jack Lew, General Dempsey and others, now well get hints and warnings that the unprecedented gains in U.S.-Israel intelligence sharing and weapons development approved by Obama will wither if Netanyahu is re-elected. White House backing for Israel in the Security Council will be conditional upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and so on.
It wont be the first time that an American administration has blatantly intervened to sway Israeli public opinion. Former President George H.W. Bush campaigned against former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in 1992, among others, by refusing to approve U.S. loan guarantees for Soviet immigrant absorption because of Shamirs settlement policies. Shamir lost that election after serving two previous terms. Former President Bill Clinton campaigned vigorously for Shimon Peres and against Netanyahu in 1996. That effort backfired.
In his second term, Obama will be seeking to fashion a long-term legacy. With Congress still at a deadlock, he will have difficulty aggressively advancing his domestic agenda. That leaves foreign affairs and defense policy, where he has a freer hand.
On matters that directly affect Israel, remember that Obama is deeply committed to three things: global nuclear disarmament, rapprochement with the Islamic world, and Palestinian statehood. I believe that he will forcefully act to progress on all three fronts, and this could bring him into conflict with Israel.
In a briefing that he is scheduled to give in Washington later today, Dr. Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, will assert that Obama intends to offer Iran a grand deal to test whether diplomacy can stop its nuclear program. In fact, according to one press report, Obamas close personal friend and White House adviser, the Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett, has for months been secretly negotiating in Bahrain with a representative of Tehrans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
A U.S.-Iran agreement could involve tacit recognition of Iranian hegemony in the Gulf region and acceptance of its nuclear status, in exchange for a long-term freeze in Irans enrichment of uranium to high levels. This would leave Ahmadinejads nuclear development facilities, including the Fordow underground center, intact, instead of dismantling them. This would allow the Iranians to continue refining their nuclear skills. Even at low levels of enrichment this provides a framework with which Tehran can bypass Western restrictions and hoodwink Western inspectors.
Every Israeli knows that Iran has clandestinely crossed every red line set by the West over the past 20 years putting nuclear plants online, building heavy water facilities, refining uranium, working on explosive triggers and warheads, and generally breaching all its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and has gotten away with it. So any deal that scales back sanctions and allows Iran to keep operating its advanced nuclear development facilities, even at a low-level, is a fatal bargain.
The deal could also involve a commitment to tackle Israels alleged nuclear weapons program. Israels nuclear status has been supported and criticized by different American presidents over the decades, but has never been significantly threatened. In July 2010, Obama pledged support for Israels right to defend itself by any means possible by implication, even with nuclear weapons.
However, Washington seems to have backtracked on its clear support, and is now supporting a U.N. conference on a nuclear-free Middle East scheduled for December in Finland which could very well focus on Israel. This issue holds the potential for acute friction between the two countries. Prof. Uzi Arad, who was National Security adviser to Netanyahu and who negotiated the July 2010 understandings, says that America had indeed undertaken to ensure that there would only be discussions at the Finland conference, with no move to enforce nuclear restrictions on Israel. Well see
There is a theory which postulates that Obamas re-election brings the required showdown with Iran closer than a Romney win would have, because Obama is already so invested in the issue and so clearly on record as rejecting the mere containment of Iran. But I dont buy it. Obamas paramount commitment to rapprochement with the Islamic world, I suspect, will overtake his declarations of opposition to Iran. He never was going to, and never will, confront Iran militarily.
Which brings us to Palestinian statehood, which was one of Obamas earliest and most earnest commitments. Mahmoud Abbas obstinacy hasnt made it easy for Obama to back Palestinian aspirations, but Abbas is forcing the issue with his push for unilateral recognition of Palestinian quasi-statehood at the U.N. later this month. Israel expects Washington to punish the PA for this, but I wonder. And when Israel announces new settlement construction, adoption of the Levy Report, and other penalties to Abbas in response to the U.N. decision, I doubt that well get much support from Obama.
So start filling your sandbags. Were in for a rough ride.
Just from eyeballing it, I can’t say that Obama’s support among Jews was any lower in 2012 than in 2008.
Half of America feels their pain. Thing is, doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it anymore.
Selling out to the enemies is the Obama way. Israel is a bump in the road, so to speak.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
This is a great analysis.
On the other hand, add an Israeli retaliation for a biological agent attack from Syrian rebels or the Syrian government between now and the election. Watch Barak and his Muslim Brotherhood “world” condemning Israel’s “war crimes” and demanding a new leadership and a “peace” agreement” or else...
The Jewish vote for Obama was lower than in 2008. I’ve heard it was 68 percent, about six percent lower than in 2008. That said, it was not low enough. Still, it is heading in the right direction, and it was a rare area where the Republicans picked up some votes they had missed in 2008 while depriving Obama of those same votes.
This election proves that, in general terms, Israel is not a major consideration for US Jewish voters. In contrast, Jewish American ex-patriates living in Israel overwhelmingly voted for Romney.
But forget the Jewish vote. The big problem for Romney was the Latino vote, which accounted for some 13 million votes overall. Between 75 percent-79 percent of Latinos voted for Obama; 21 percent-25 percent for Mitt Romney.
In contrast, only about 2.5 million Jews total voted in the election.
I hope Netanyahu wins the next round none other than to spite Obama. I would like to have Netanyahu for President.
According to what I read Jewish support for the democratic candidate was the lowest since Reagan ran against Carter. That’s not saying much it was still over 60%. You would think that the Jews would remember what happened to them when they failed to realize the threat Hitler was. Obama is no friend of Jews nor Israel.
It was down 9%, from 78% to 69%.
A fair start.
“You would think that the Jews would remember what happened to them when they failed to realize the threat Hitler was.”
I see this oft-said on FreeRepublic as some sort of “bro-knowledge.”
It is, however, false. Hitler was openly anti-semitic from the start and strongly and openly opposed by Jewish politicians and activists -— most of whom were killed.
If you are going to go with Jews-falling-for-false-promises-of-socialist meme, your bet is the communists and Stalin, in particular, who promised freedom and equality to the Jewish people.
Why liberal American Jews won’t do all to protect their brethren in Israel is astounding. They love liberalism more than Hashem and life.
America will not even take care of itself, so forget about us taking care of Israel. God is the only one to do that now, and it will be without us. We are now worshipping our god in the Whitehouse.
He got that right. Honestly, we all know what is about to happen. Although nobody wanted things to end this way, It’s prophecy, let’s embrace it. We know who wins that war. :)
“But forget the Jewish vote. The big problem for Romney was the Latino vote, which accounted for some 13 million votes overall. Between 75 percent-79 percent of Latinos voted for Obama; 21 percent-25 percent for Mitt Romney.”
And I wonder how many of these votes were illegal aliens.