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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Israel Is The New Honduras

Can't say I didn't warn you. The pressure tactics the Obama administration applied to Honduras -- such as the refusal to meet with high government officials -- now are being applied to Israel:
[I]n Jerusalem, prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu called his inner cabinet into its second session on the crisis that same night. The seven ministers were asked to review the situation after President Obama and secretary of state Hillary Clinton turned down their initial proposals for easing the upset and laid down three pre-conditions for restoring normal relations with Jerusalem:

1. The Netanyahu government must extend the 10-month freeze on West Bank settlement construction to include East Jerusalem;
2. When the moratorium runs out in September, it must be renewed for the duration of peace negotiations with the Palestinians;
3. Israeli must make more concessions to the Palestinian Authority and its chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli government was informed that until those conditions were met,its ministers would not be received in Washington by high-level American officials - a virtual boycott, which downgrades the normal diplomatic, strategic and security exchanges between the two administrations to the level of senators and the special Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
As Robert Kagan pointed out in the Washington Post, there is something perverse about the Obama administration's foreign policy, which treats enemies like friends and friends like enemies.

The administration, which insists it cannot impose its will on others or dictate what others should do, does precisely that -- but only with allies.

As the administration is upgrading its ties with Syria -- which serves and has served for years as the transit point for terrorists who kill American soldiers -- the administration also is floating the pernicious story line that Israeli policies put American soldiers in danger.

My prediction: The "threat to American soldiers" tactic will be used as the excuse to force Israel to change its security and political policies, and maybe even its government, as we ignore the real threat to American soldiers coming from Syria and Iran, and their terrorist proxies.

The American people stood with Honduras in the face of morally and politically bankrupt Obama administration policies.

Given recent polling, which shows that Israel has a higher favorability rating among Americans than Obama, I am hopeful that the American people will stand with Israel in the face of Obama's misguided Middle East policies.

And as to Hillary Clinton, I say: Ever wonder why Obama gives you the job of beating up our allies?

Update: There is truth to viewing the Obama policy as one of strategic realignment away from Israel long advocated by the traditional Arabists in the State Department and current left-wing academics who populate and influence the current administration, resulting in A Middle East Without American Influence?:
The new catch phrase in the Middle East is strategic realignment. Broadly speaking, this means that the balance of power is shifting from the U.S.-backed regional order to the axis of resistance. Some commentators, like Robert Malley, have argued alongside the Syrians that the Obama administration should drop its old allies—the sick horse—for new friends among the axis of resistance. From a certain perspective, it appears that the White House has done just that, albeit unintentionally.
Related Posts:
Chicago Comes to Honduras
I Hope Obama Fails In Honduras
Obama Throws Venezuelans Under The Bus
He Who Cannot Stop Talking, Is Silent On Iran

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  1. It is simply astounding to me how Obama has caused relations with Israel to slide to current levels and that conditions have been placed on Israel to reinstate normal diplomatic status. Combine this with his Admin's recent apology to Libya's dictator, Muammar al-Gaddafi, and you have yet another head scratch moment. I truly hope that the majority of those 77% of American Jews who voted for Obama in "08, remember this.

  2. While stuck at a light on my way into work this morning, I saw a car with "Barack Obama '08" bumper sticker written in Hebrew. Part of me want to walk over tot he driver and repeatedly smack him upside the head.

    I guess this is the change we can believe in.

  3. A number of points about this. One, the neighborhood in question, Ramat Schlomo, is not even in East Jerusalem, but in North Jerusalem, and it is already a Jewish neighborhood, not an Arab one. Also, the prior agreement by Israel not to build new settlements did not even apply to Jerusalem, but to Gaza, the Golan, and West Bank. Again, it did not apply to Jerusalem.

    This is nothing but geopolitics, Obama style, an attempt to treat Israel like a trained seal, or a wayward dog that needs further obedience training. It's mainly for the benefit of the Palestinian street (which in Jerusalem has seen anti-Israeli protests and rioting as a result of this) and as a sop to the Palestinian leadership-to say nothing of red meat to the more anti-Zionist elements of the American Left, for whom Israel owns the lion's share of the blame for all problems in the Middle East.

    In the meantime, if this causes the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to teeter and collapse, so much the better from Obama's perspective.

    And who will they blame? The American Right, of course, with Pastor John Hagee held up as an example of the Right's interference and contributions of instability to the region and to any obstacles to peace. It just so happens that the day before the announcement, during Biden's visit, Hagee was in Jerusalem, pledging support, including financial aid, for the building project.

    Don't think that went unnoticed by Obama, Biden, and Clinton.

    Hopefully, this is yet one more thing that will blow up in their faces.

  4. Why this comes as a surprise to anyone is absurd. We all knew who Obama was before the election, you are judged by the company you keep, and his company included America haters and anti-semites. Did it ever occur to anyone that what Obama is trying to do is not just to change his relationship with Israel and the Moslem world but to cause a war in which he thinks he will then be able to reshape the middle east to his dictates, ala Kissinger post Yom Kippur War. Somehow Obama and his advisors think that if they push Israel into a corner they can get Israel to jump through hoops. But this isn't 1973. Israel isn't a nation in shock and economic collapse. Isral is a major economic and military power and Obama is seen as a joke and a fool around the world, especially in the Arab and Moslem world. Obama will cause a war, of that everyone is certain (I do trust Ambassador Bolton on this issue)but the world that we will end up with is not what Obama thinks he is going to get. Israel will emerge stronger, because it will have survived on its own. The Arab regimes will be weakened because once again they will not destroy Israel, but the semi-secular Arab middle east will be gone for good and it will strengthen the hand of the Islamists creating an even more dangerous world for the rest of us. What does Obama think of Islamists? Personally I think he admires them. He refuses to condemn then when it came to the Ft. hood massacre (along with the acquiesence of the Pentagon and the DOD, whom now have decided that all the ills that the US troops suffer in Iraq and Afghanistan are not because of the Taliban and the Saudi financed Jihadists but Israel building in its capital and protecting Jewish holy sites)and he allows the Moslem Brotherhood access to the US, the White House and helped the UN declassify a Moslem Brotherhood financier off the terorist watch list. I think that says it all.

    As far as the Jewish Americans who voted for Obama and wanting to smack them. As a Jewish American,I have wanted to do that since they turned on Reagan. But since we can't, we need to be content with one thing however, that by voting for Obama it disproves the antisemtiic canard that the Jews are an overhwelming intelligent people. Like my grandmother always said, book learning is one thing but common sense is true intelligence.

  5. Very sad... I knew it gas going to happen !

  6. Actually, Obama has RELINQUISHED ties with just about all factions in the area - he is letting statesmen like Brazil's Lula fill his void. This would not have happened under any other President.

    He not Biden should have been in Israel last week. His obsession with Health Care Reform has caused overseas losses.

    See my post:

    Does Obama Health Care Obsession Mean Leadership Loss to Lula in Middle East?

  7. Speaking of Honduras, how is that going down there?
    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns and laments the murders last month of three persons in Honduras who were active in the resistance to the coup d’état or related to activists. It also deplores the kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, acts of torture, sexual violations, and illegal raids to which other members of the resistance have been victims. The IACHR also expresses its deep concern over information it has received indicating that sons and daughters of activists are being threatened and harassed, and that in two cases they have been killed.

  8. Why does everyone say how much Israel has done for the us. What have they done but cause wars, invade countries, and look for handouts. When handouts are not coming then weapons, including atomics are sneaked into the country at the expense of US citizens. How long before they decide that the US or Canada is really part of their promised land, will they then invade us and start building. Of course we could not fight back, they are our "allies".

  9. In response to AJB, the IACHR is hardly a neutral observer. It was a vocal opponent of the ouster of Zelaya, so I take anything it says with a very big grain of salt. I don't know enough about IACHR to say if it is as biased and corrupt as various UN and NGO human rights groups, but the wording you quote, referring to "information" it has received, leads me to wonder.

  10. WaPo:

    The human rights branch of the Organization of American States issued a blistering 300-page report Wednesday against Venezuela, saying that the oil-rich country run by President Hugo Chávez constrains free expression, the rights of its citizens to protest and the ability of opposition politicians to function.

    The report, compiled and written by the OAS's Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, reflects growing concern in the region over how one of the organization's member states is governed. The document holds legitimacy for human rights investigators and diplomats because it has the imprimatur of the commission, which is run independently from the OAS and largely free of its political machinations.
    "The threats to human rights and democracy are many and very serious, and that's why we published the report," Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, a member of the commission who specializes in Venezuela, said by phone from his home in Brazil.

    Chávez did not have an immediate response to the report. But in a phone interview Wednesday morning, Roy Chaderton, Venezuela's ambassador to the OAS, said the commission had become a "confrontational political actor instead of an advocate for defending human rights."

    Chaderton said the commission had shown support for a failed 2002 coup against Chávez -- an accusation denied by the commission -- and charged that its members had dedicated themselves to weakening progressive social movements in Latin America. "They have become a mafia of bureaucrats who want to play a bigger role in the efforts against Venezuela's government," Chaderton said.

    I don't see how NGOs such as HRW and AI are "corrupt" anyways. They don't think very highly of LatAm Chavez & co. either. They constantly report on human rights violations by all sides, that's what they're supposed to do. It's called being consistent.

    I am also perplexed by the fact that the right has generally ignored Honduras since Obama recognized the Lobo government as legitimate. He did what you wanted and you don't even give him credit for it.

  11. Professor jacobson-

    I'll give you a little clue right from the horses mouth-

    "three persons in Honduras who were active in the resistance to the coup d’état"

    That tells you all you need to know about their perspective. Zelaya tried to take over Honduras by imposing an unconstitutional referendum ostensibly with the support of Chavez and his leftist crew within the OAS, so naturally the fact that he was successfully resisted is seen as a "coup".

    The Left has turned the practice of hubris into an art form.