Skip to comments.How Barack Beat Bibi
Posted on 03/21/2010 3:48:57 PM PDT by nickcarraway
President Obama himself will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu next week. Peter Beinart on the fallout for Netanyahu in the Mideast.
Israels diplomatic war with the United States will likely end the same way its real war ended last year in Gaza: ambiguously. There will be no white flags or mission accomplished signs, just a slight tilt in the balance of power, a modest moving of the trench lines. Those lines arent fully demarcated yet, but in important ways the outcome is already clear: Barack Obama has won. Hes won because hes hurt Benjamin Netanyahu more than Netanyahu has hurt him. For decades, the relationship between an American president and an Israeli prime minister has resembled two guys with revolvers pointed at each others heads. For an Israeli prime minister, alienating your biggest patron is an excellent way to lose poweras Yitzhak Shamir learned after his showdown with George H.W. Bush and James Baker in the early 1990s. But for an American president, fighting with Israel almost always guarantees a fight with Congress, which tolerates little criticism of the Jewish state. If round one went to Netanyahu, things are looking very different in round two. Obamas first confrontation with Netanyahuwhen the White House demanded a halt to the growth of settlements in the West Bank early last yeardidnt go particularly well. Prodded by groups like AIPAC, many in Congress criticized Obama for bashing an ally. And even as Netanyahus U.S. allies peppered the White House with political buckshot, in Israel, Obamas gun fired blanks. Perhaps overly impressed by the Shamir analogy, Obama administration officials confidently predicted that Netanyahu would suffer immense political pain for having scuffled with the White House. In fact, it wasnt Netanyahus approval ratings that nose-dived; it was Obamas. The White House was forced to swallow a merely partial and temporary halt to settlement growth, and polls appeared suggesting that Obama was wildly unpopular in the Jewish state. But if round one went to Netanyahu, things are looking very different in round two. After Israel announced new building in east Jerusalem during Joe Bidens visit there, thus imperiling proximity talks that the Obama administration had been laboring mightily to arrange, the White House reacted with fury. Alarmed, AIPAC soon urged members of Congress to begin lobbing grenades over the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue fence. Republicans, and a few hard-line Jewish Democrats, complied. Interestingly, however, most Jewish congressmen refused to join in. To the contrary, Howard Berman, the influential chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, declared that the administration had real justification for being upset. Californias Dianne Feinstein announced that the chronic expansion of settlements is a serious obstacle. Even the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (we Jews have so many major organizations that the organizations themselves need an organization)not a group known for its even-handedness when it comes to Israel and its neighborscalled on all parties to act in a manner that does not undercut peace talks.
If that wasnt enough, Obama got political backup from an unlikely quarter: Centcom Commander and red-state heartthrob David Petraeus, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel foments anti-Americanism and strengthens al Qaeda and Iran. Meanwhile, in Israel, Netanyahu has been having a rougher time. Early polling is contradictory: Some surveys show him losing support while others show his approval numbers holding steady. But political elites have been treating him like a piñata. Shimon Peres, who as Israels ceremonial president usually remains above political spats, warned that we cannot afford to unravel the delicate fabric of friendship with the United States. Netanyahus defense minister, Ehud Barak, who also leads the Labor Party, noted that a peace process with the Palestinians is one of the things that anchors us in the governmentimplying that if Netanyahu keeps sabotaging peace talks, Labor could pull out. Nahum Barnea, one of Israels most revered journalistsand no knee-jerk leftyurged Netanyahu not to attend this Mondays AIPAC conference so as not to further alienate liberal American Jews.
Theres no point in exaggerating Obamas victory. Its unlikely that the East Jerusalem housing expansion that began this row will be formally reversed. Nor does Israels right-wing coalition government seem likely to fall any time soon. But Netanyahu will find it harder to torpedo upcoming talks with the Palestinians or to ensure that nothing of substance gets discussed. More importantly, Obama has shown that he can take on Netanyahu and inflict more political damage than he incurs. Both sides will remember that the next time.
Nice knee pads Beinart. What’s that on your collar?
A BS puff piece propping up teleprompter boy.
We conservatives need to support Israel now more than ever for all the obvious reasons - and besides, we may need to access their healthcare.
Bibi doesn’t need Obama, God’s watching over Israel. The problem is what happens to us when we don’t support Israel.
Netanyahu is about to tell Obambi to go F himself.
Oh you won’t see it in the media. Obama will hold his head up high, but Israel has won this round.
It will not agree to die. I will stand with it. And above my own nation I would support Israel, if my nation were to betray it as it has telegraphed it’s willing to do.
Obama, you have bitten off more than you can chew. And by God I hope you choke on it.
There is no Obama victory, except in the imagination of leftists. All you have is a skinny whimpish suspected American of Aranbdescent who has made a laughing stock of himself by drawing lines in the and making threats that he cannot deliver.Thats not diplomacy, thats campaigning, which is all Obama knows how to do, and in case anyone hasn't noticed, Obama can't run for office in Israel.
Israel? Has no altered its plans one iota for Obama, they have just disguised them , while seeking new alliances with India, Australia and Canada, not to mention the Russians.
AMerica is the internatuiuonal loser in this contest of wills. Obama is so ideologically set against "da Juice" that he is useless in diplomacy.And whaqt Israel cannot obtain fromm the USA, it will obtain elsewhere WHILE NOT GIVING UP ITS FREEDOM OR SOVEREIGNTY AS A NATION AS OBAMA WANTS.
In short Bibi said " Eff Obama!" And there is not one thing Obama can do about it , exept rely on pseudo journalists like Peter Beinart , who seeks to not only revise history, but to revise events as they happen. Perer: Bibi beat Obama. You have it wrong.
Obama just lost his influence in Israel because he made ultimatums.That is not diplomacy.It is idiocy.
Now Israel is going to do damn well what it wants, whether Obama likes it or not.Wrong move Obama!
Israel is reluctant to talk to the Palestinians because nothing comes of it. In the year 2000, a near agreement collapsed because Arafat wouldn't accept getting almost everything he wanted. And thus the intifada ensued. Subsequent to that, the Israelis were trashed incessantly for causing the intifada.
Who torpedoes peace in the Middle-East? It sure isn't the Israelis, and I'm damned tired of reading airhead comments that reflect that to be the case.
You got that right.
Beinart’s been into the hopium again. Bibi’s up in the polls after telling Barack what’s what. His economy is stronger than ours right now. I really don’t think Bibi is counting on BO for anything — except aggravation.
I do not buy the notion that a man named Hussein who has spat upon Israel will succeed in the end.
Hussein has not won even in the short term. I applaud Bibi’s defiance of the Ignorant Boob.
Beinart represents the views of the anti semitism rife in the left.
Israeli’s see the Kenyan as someone to outlive. Better Bibi than Biden.
I hope domestic Jews wake up soon.
And he should. We have lost a LOT with this idiot in charge. How can Israel trust us anymore with elections? Sure, we get a good guy in next election. Do they want this roller coaster ride? We’re sick of it, they are too. Enough. Until we remove the libs from this country, it’s going to be this way for a LONG, LONG time.
Thank God Bibi is there!
Israel may be the only salvation for millions of Americans seeking freedom from political tyranny.
Jews that remember the Holocaust may consider moving to Israel when the genocide of the elderly begins here courtesy of these Kapos and Liberal sewer slime.
As long as Obama writes the check for $3 billion in aid to Israel, he’s going to win.
Petraeus doesn't leave my red-state heart aflutter. He is a self-described "Rockefeller Republican", whose comments about Israel's apartment-building threatening U.S. troops--while giving Iran's nuke program a pass--was simply despicable.
We don't need another Colin Powell vying for the GOP presidential nod. Conservatives should distance themselves from this reckless RINO Petraeus.
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