Is Obama secretly working to replace Netanyahu?

A dispassionate look at the sequence of events shows that the Obama administration has generated an unprecedented crisis in US-Israeli relations.

By Aaron Klein, JPOST

Netanyahu and Obama

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Barack Obama meet in the White House. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Nurtured on Alinsky-style, ACORN-esque tactics of organizing revolution under the banner of “social change,” Barack Obama, as a young community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s understood early on the importance of a crisis and how to ride the waves of an emergency to effect the fundamental transformation of society.

As the nation’s chief executive, President Obama has demonstrated a particular specialty in the use and perpetuation of crises to push through policies that the public otherwise might not willingly accept, including the wildly unpopular healthcare law, immigration reform, and the first-term “stimulus” legislation. It is therefore unsurprising to detect the international export of the Obama’s “crisis” game plan to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A dispassionate look at the sequence of events shows that the Obama administration has generated an unprecedented crisis in US-Israeli relations, a crisis utilized at every twist and turn by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political rivals, most notably those within his coalition, to try to shake up the country’s leadership. There is more than a hint of White House interference in helping to agitate the coalition drama that provoked Netanyahu’s hesitant decision last Tuesday to dissolve parliament and schedule early elections that could potentially see the prime minister unseated.

Before divining the Obama administration’s fingerprints on the events that led to Netanyahu’s predicament, the immediate question is just what about the Israeli premier makes him so problematic for this White House. The answer is fraught with policy implications that cut to the very heart of Obama’s dangerously myopic, academic view of the world and America’s place among friend and foe.
Unforgivable to the US president is Bibi’s stubborn refusal to acquiesce to the concept of a sweeping, final deal with Iran that many experts believe will leave the mullahs perpetually within months of a nuclear weapon. Never mind that Iran has numerous times threatened to wipe Israel off the map and is a main state sponsor of the Palestinian terrorist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Obama is more than annoyed at Netanyahu’s Congressional activism of lobbying for tougher sanctions on Tehran at precisely the same time the US administration is working with European allies to extend sanctions relief until next June 30, as the deadline for nuclear talks was yet again postponed until that date. Netanyahu has repeatedly accused Iran of using the drawn-out negotiations as a smokescreen to develop an illicit nuclear infrastructure.
Also problematic for the White House is the breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian “peace” talks, with rhetoric from the Obama administration indicating that the US largely blames Netanyahu for the collapse of the negotiations. In the Alice’s looking-glass lens through which Obama views the Middle East, the sturdy legs of the bargaining table broke because of Netanyahu’s decision to build Jewish homes in sections of Jerusalem that will most likely remain under Israeli sovereignty in any future deal. Also, like every other prime minister before him who engaged in these kinds of negotiations, Netanyahu had dared to insist that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, an understanding that Israelis see as central to peaceful co-existence.
Never mind that Netanyahu took the unprecedented step of freezing Jewish construction in the West Bank and sections of Jerusalem and even released Palestinian terrorists as “good will gestures” to help jumpstart talks with an intransigent Palestinian leadership.
Using a different lens on Palestinian complacency, the White House is blind to such infractions as Abbas’s decision to walk away from the talks and instead seek unilateral recognition at the United Nations; the near daily anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement in the official Palestinian media; the role of Abbas’s Fatah organization in helping to guide riots currently rocking Jerusalem; the question of whether or not Abbas, amid Hamas gains in Gaza and the West Bank, even represents the Palestinian people; and of course the Palestinians’ long history of walking away from every other major international attempt to broker peace.
The White House has singled out Netanyahu as standing in the way of Obama’s utopian vision for a new Middle East and Persian Gulf.   What better way to bypass this obstacle than aiding in Netanyahu’s removal from office?
Let’s look at the clues. Netanyahu’s decision last week to disband his coalition came when he dismissed his finance minister, Yair Lapid, and his justice minister, Tzipi Livni, both of whom have not disguised their ambitions for the country’s highest office. Tellingly, both took advantage of the steady stream of US criticism toward Netanyahu by leading an escalating public campaign in which they repeatedly accused Netanyahu of causing this dangerous rift in relations with Israel’s most important ally.
Case in point.  In October, Israel’s Ynet news website reported that a request by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to meet with US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice during his visit to Washington had been denied by the White House. This reported move is highly unusual, and was a nearly unprecedented snub of Netanyahu’s government. It helped to set off a firestorm against Netanyahu in Israel, particularly among the center and the left, with Livni and Lapid leading the charge.
Also in October, in what can only be viewed as an orchestrated campaign, the US espoused uncharacteristically harsh language to oppose a plan for Israel to build 2,610 new homes on empty lots in Givat Hamatos, a Jerusalem neighborhood in the eastern section of the city where Palestinians want to build a future state.
Immediately following a meeting between Netanyahu and President Obama in October, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and White House spokesman Josh Earnest took the Israeli leader’s delegation by surprise when they released nearly identical statements slamming the Jerusalem construction. They warned the housing plans could distance Israel from its “closest allies,” a clear euphemism for the US, and questioned whether Netanyahu was interested in peace. Netanyahu for his part said at the time that he was “baffled” by the US criticism, stating the American position “doesn’t really reflect American values.”
As if on queue, Lapid and Livni raced to endorse the US condemnation and accuse Netanyahu once again of damaging US-Israeli relations.  That month, Lapid took further issue with Netanyahu’s plan to build roughly 400 homes in Har Homa and about 600 in Ramat Shlomo. “This plan will lead to a serious crisis in Israel-US relations and will harm Israel’s standing in the world,” Lapid said.
In another seemingly orchestrated development, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in October described relations between the US and Israel as a “full-blown crisis” and reported that senior Obama administration officials had called Netanyahu “chickenshit” on matters related to the so-called peace process.  Goldberg gratuitously added that Bibi is a “coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat.
This level of speech in a diplomatic confrontation between putative allies is close to unprecedented.  The Atlantic published a comically ruder exchange, but it was between enemies.
Lapid jumped on the puerile and vulgar remarks to release a vaguely nuanced criticism of Netanyahu: “I said only a few days ago that there is a real crisis in the relations and it needs to be dealt with responsibly,” he said, while faux-lecturing US and Israeli officials on the “need to tackle the crisis behind the scenes.”
Adding more fuel to the anti-Bibi firestorm, Ha’aretz reported last week the Obama administration had held a classified discussion a few weeks earlier about possibly taking more proactive measures against the “settlements,” including mulling sanctions or punishing Israel at the United Nations. While the State Department dismissed the claims as “unfounded and completely without merit,” the Ha’aretz article is already providing more fodder to target Bibi.
Here’s the kicker. In March, an informed diplomatic source in Jerusalem told me that representatives of the Obama administration held meetings with Lapid to check him out politically and to discuss the kind of prime minister he would make if he won elections in the future. The diplomatic source said the Obama administration identified Lapid as a moderate who would support Israeli-Palestinian talks. While the alleged meeting might have been as innocent as getting to know the powerful finance minister, the claim does fuel the perception of Obama administration tentacles working surreptitiously to change the political order in the Jewish state.
At the end of the day, this political interference could backfire monumentally. Obama’s support among the Israeli populace is dismal. Just last week, The Jerusalem Post reported on a poll that showed the number of Israelis who believe Obama had either a “positive” or a “neutral” view of Israel has fallen sharply. Israelis largely see Iran as their single greatest existential threat and seem to react positively to Netanyahu’s tough stance against the US-led negotiations. And remarkably, Netanyahu has the quiet support of the Egyptian and Saudi governments for his regional policies. It remains to be seen if Israelis are ready to entrust their security to a relative political newcomer like Lapid or the perpetually evolving Livni in the face of mounting threats that even now engulf the Jewish state in all directions.
Aaron Klein is a weekend radio talk show host, author, and staffer for WorldNetDaily and columnist for The Jewish Press.
December 12, 2014 | 7 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. Justin Said:

    I understand that the US was not supportive in 1967 and 1973 as it should have been, but there’s no way America would stand by while Israel gets destroyed. That doesn’t mean that the US has to support everything that Israel does, especially when it thinks that doing so will hurt Israeli and US security in the long run.

    At least 3 American Admins have done squat to prevent Iran from getting Nukes even helping in many ways to advance their program. Nukes in the hands of the Mullahs are an existential threat to Israel. How will America protect israel after the fact of a Nuke attack on us??

    Your comment is illogical bon ton BS and you have the stupid audacity to repeat them here with an apparent straight face????

    America supports and arms every enemy of Israel forcing Israel to compete in an arms race which is good for America but crippling for us and one we can’t hope to compete and win in the future. That is no friend at least in my concept and definition of friendship. America does not aid Israel she bribes us to comply to American dictate, showing our Arab enemies that America can control the Israeli barking dog. That gave America leverage with Arab regimes at least until recently. For a lousy $3 bil, America has a bargain where Israel must spend over 70% of American aid money in America helping to subsidize American industry employ American workers all at Israels expense. Good deal for America and a shitty one for Israel.

  2. @ Justin:
    The US made aircraft up until the F-35 were top of the heap. They still are. Helicopters are another kettle of fish though. The hybrid Osprey is a dud. The F-35 is quite not up to it.
    Helicopters are by themselves not that much for open warfare. I much rather have A10’s.
    As to other suppliers. Israel has designed and have built the next generation jet aircraft pilot trainers. Italy is assembling them. Israel makes the best large drones around.
    I have been in every US military aircraft production facility. Israel has the means to match several of them
    For combat aircraft engines, materials as well as design of air frames there is virtually no delta between the various suppliers. In fact, I prefer Russia’s power plants, main rocket engines and structural work.
    Israel has all the means to inject far more advanced SRU’s and LRU’s and systems of other types to any frame.
    Israel is making the wings for the F-35 and Lockheed Martin has set up a huge plant here.
    At any rate, Egypt is not longer MB controlled. In fact the MB’s is being decimated.
    Embassies. All countries wanting representation must adhere to the Israeli Law. Period. Internal resolutions are nice but do not make any difference outside the US. The US Embassy may remain in Tel Aviv but only as a consulate or interests representation. Embassies must locate in Jerusalem. It is Israels capital.

  3. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:

    I’ve got nothing but praise for the Israeli defense sector. A friend of mine works for Rafael and he compares it to Northrup quite favorably. I hear the US firms are much slower to innovate and very inefficient comparatively. Then again, the big US firms don’t have to compete, it’s the small contractors (their subcontractors) that have to work like dogs to stay alive in the US.

    Do you really want to use Indian and Chinese-manufactured helicopters? How about S300’s, the same jets the Russians are selling to Syria and Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egypt? Come on, Israel is a country of 8 million people, it would take a good fraction of that population to specialize in any kind of sophisticated jet manufacturing on the scale of Boeing or Airbus

    As for Mr Obama’s policies and Soros’ donations, I don’t really know. Obama has nothing to lose at this point making him a dangerous man. Soros is probably senile at this stage and yes he hates Israel for some reason, but Adelson is wealthier and more committed.

    Every administration has blocked the 95 act… every State Department admin has opposed it… do you think this is because they hate Israel or because they want to at least appear committed to peace?

  4. @ Justin:
    I did not expect you to answer let alone try to do a job with my co family in the “reservations”. I was 50% correct. 🙂
    One detail to make your decision making easier. And I am by far not the only so qualified person here.
    I am a former, (retired), Senior Fellow Engineer, US Department of Defense Military Avionics Programs, who still holds interesting Patent rights. There are few details outside my sphere of knowledge in that field. Trained at the US Naval Weapons Center in China Lake as well. I had the honor to be invited by the US Government in the 4th of July 1992 to visit Trinity Site, White Sands Test range for good reasons.
    I am listed as an Invited Consultant to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. They must know why…
    Israel does indeed use US systems including aircraft and we are thankful but not longer dependent on that, by far not. Rest assured that Israel can if so wish make its own or buy excellent Russian Indian or Chinese as well as other aircraft and fit as done for decades, local avionics. Do not worry, but pass along to the fellows there that blackmail is a nasty business likely to backfire.
    A few days ago it appears that our boys visited a few locations in Syria. Mind you, I do not know for sure…:) Did not take long coming in somehow undetected… to attend to business. Minutes in fact.

    Politics. Soon will return to semi normal no matter how much money Soros invests to subvert and sabotage Israel on Mr. Obama’s behalf.
    AH! Before I forget. We do not really need them “grants”. The US taxpayer is saddled with enough debt as it is. 18 trillion? Try to keep feed back money there.

    And last but not least.
    There will be no partition of Jerusalem, no pilistin hybrid and all Embassies will have to move to Jerusalem, our capital. Early birds can get lucky…

  5. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:

    As an American gentile (who is probably now despised on this blog) I would hope that Israelis would rather strengthen, instead of weaken, the relationship between the US and Israel. Also US defense systems are far superior to Russian and Chinese systems, and the US is still delivering those systems to the awful regimes in Saudi and UAE, countries that basically would be ruled by Islamists hostile to Israel if the population had their way.

    I understand that the US was not supportive in 1967 and 1973 as it should have been, but there’s no way America would stand by while Israel gets destroyed. That doesn’t mean that the US has to support everything that Israel does, especially when it thinks that doing so will hurt Israeli and US security in the long run.

  6. I do not accept the report that the US administration is working secretly to subvert our government, state and heritage. The present administration is composed of mortal enemies of the Jewish State, its people, institutions, elected officials, heritage… all and has been, from day one, subverting, sabotaging, blackmailing, conspiring against Israel, just as the elements tried in Egypt, etc.
    What the foreigners have been doing is not secret. It is a policy set in place since before 1948 by a Nazi riddled state department and corresponding elected officials.
    We, in turn must turn a page and finally, after a transition setting still led by Mr. Netanyahu who must be sternly controlled and directed as required, take the required steps to cut to size that ability of the US and others to undermine our historical prerogatives. The blatant sabotage of various Jewish Israeli elected governments is a matter of record.
    Wish list…
    Population and land expansion as proposed by Mr. HAris. That must be done relentlessly and w/o solution of continuity.
    The “grants” must be stopped. The US taxpayer has enough debts w/o us serving as bounce point for the administrations to give away cash to US companies.
    The US EU and other operations within our country must be terminated and ours there, if any, also stopped.

    The respective ambassadors must be residents of the respective capitals. Should that not be enacted immediately, the representations failing to do so must be downgraded to consular officers if at all.

    Israel must continue to shift strategic military suppliers. Either to local production or to sources that can be relied upon.
    Military contingents, installations and supplies on either country, removed.

  7. The key reason Israel has been put under pressure from this most worthless of US presidential regimes since the era of the despicable James Earl Carter, is that Israel’s government has been acting like ghetto Jews traditionally have done in times of threatening trouble, namely they put on a weak and placative face and attempt to appease the leaders of the threatening goyim, which, of course, leads only to intensification of the threats.

    It is high time for the leaders of the Jewish state to understand fully that this president, who learned his hidden Islam from his Moslem father and that father’s family in Kenya and from the Moslems who reared him in Indonesia. How could it be otherwise that he would side openly with Israel’s worst enemies? And any Jew who regards that man as a friend of the Jewish nation or the Jewish state must be regarded as an asshole utterly oblivious to factual evidence.

    There is only one way this kind of pressure can be eased, and that is to populate with Jews the 2/3 of Judea and Samaria that make up largely unpopulated Area C. Once that is fully done, then the US State Department, the office of the US president, the European Union, the UNO, or just about any other entity on this planet could no more reverse Israel’s control over that territory than they could relocate the population of New Jersey. The outstanding operative characteristic of facts on the ground is that the more factual they are, the greater the likelihood that nobody will ever again be able to expel them.

    And how could they do that in any case, short of what Stalin’s eastern European satellite states after World War II picked up all 14 million of the German populations of Poland, East Prussia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, and Jugoslavia, packed them into the usual freight cars, and shipped them westward into what became the German Federal Republic?

    But the fact is, nobody in Europe will ever start or participate in a shooting war in the Middle East for purposes of depopulating the Jews from a couple of thousand square miles of land no larger than the two of the counties of southern Wisconsin where I live.

    So shut to hell up about all the nonsense about a two-state solution that neither the Arabs nor the Jews will ever negotiate themselves into. Elect into power a government in Israel that will start increasing the Jewish population of those couple of thousand square miles, at a rate of about 6 per cent per year. And make sure you spread them around over the entire territory.

    That way, the Jewish population of annexed Jerusalem, now over 300,000 and the Jewish population of Area C, which is about 400,000, will double to about 1.4 million in just 12 years, and if you can sustain that 6% increase, you will have about 2.5 million Jews living there about 25 years from now.

    Do just that, and you can get the intense pleasure of knowing that the your enemy in Washington has been watching all this in his retirement and in his disappointment, was almost certainly turning even a darker color than he inherited from his Kenyan father. Schadenfreude, I think the Germans call it.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI