During a mostly sycophantic interview with the Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, President Barack Obama whined that he was personally hurt by all of the negative attention he was getting on Israel. The President believes that having policy differences with the Israeli Prime Minister shouldn’t immediately make him “anti-Israel.” On this point, I agree. However, that’s not where this stops. President Obama isn’t seen as “anti-Israel” because of simple policy disagreements, but because of repeated and profound attacks on Israel’s sovereignty and their ability to defend themselves.
Here’s Obama’s sad attempt at claiming to be super pro-Israel.
There has to be the ability for me to disagree with a policy on settlements, for example, without being viewed as opposing Israel. There has to be a way for Prime Minister Netanyahu to disagree with me on policy without being viewed as anti-Democrat, and I think the right way to do it is to recognize that as many commonalities as we have, there are going to be strategic differences. And I think that it is important for each side to respect the debate that takes place in the other country and not try to work just with one side. But this has been as hard as anything I do because of the deep affinities that I feel for the Israeli people and for the Jewish people. It’s been a hard period…
It has been personally difficult for me to hear sort of expressions that somehow we don’t have — this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest. And the suggestion that when we have very serious policy differences, that that’s not in the context of a deep and abiding friendship and concern and understanding of the threats that the Jewish people have faced historically and continue to face.
Over at Fox News Steve Hayes, opinion columnist for the Weekly Standard, has a simple solution to the President’s problems. Basically, ‘If you want to stop being seen as anti-Israel… stop doing anti-Israel things!’
Bret Baier: The president talked about what he said was anti-Israel comments that he’s hurt by.
President Obama: It has been personally difficult for me to hear sort of expressions that somehow we don’t have — this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest.
Bret Baier: One more sound bite. Late this afternoon, the president was on NPR. He was asked by Israel’s push to say in this deal to get Iran to say that Israel can exist.
President Obama: The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.
Bret Baier: Seems different. I mean, he is hurt by the anti-Israel comments, but then says that that’s not part of any possible deal.
Steve Hayes: Well, if he doesn’t want people to say that he has been anti-Israel he should perhaps have less anti-Israel policies. That would solve the problem. The bigger challenge for the president he actually outlined the differences correctly. He doesn’t think it’s necessary to have a change in the behavior of the regime. Benjamin Netanyahu very clearly does. But as to the point of whether this benefits or whether this potentially threatens Israel, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah chief, just said in an interview with Syrian state TV, “Iran will become richer and wealthier and will become more influential.” We’re seeing it now.
That’s exactly what I’m saying, Steve! Exactly.
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