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How Barack Beat Bibi
The Daily Beast ^ | Peter Beinart

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.

Israel’s 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 aren’t fully demarcated yet, but in important ways the outcome is already clear: Barack Obama has won. He’s won because he’s 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 other’s heads. For an Israeli prime minister, alienating your biggest patron is an excellent way to lose power—as 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. Obama’s first confrontation with Netanyahu—when the White House demanded a halt to the growth of settlements in the West Bank early last year—didn’t go particularly well. Prodded by groups like AIPAC, many in Congress criticized Obama for bashing an ally. And even as Netanyahu’s U.S. allies peppered the White House with political buckshot, in Israel, Obama’s 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 wasn’t Netanyahu’s approval ratings that nose-dived; it was Obama’s. 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 Biden’s 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.” California’s 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 neighbors—called on “all parties” to “act in a manner that does not undercut” peace talks.

If that wasn’t 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 Israel’s ceremonial president usually remains above political spats, warned that “we cannot afford to unravel the delicate fabric of friendship with the United States.” Netanyahu’s 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 government”—implying that if Netanyahu keeps sabotaging peace talks, Labor could pull out. Nahum Barnea, one of Israel’s most revered journalists—and no knee-jerk lefty—urged Netanyahu not to attend this Monday’s AIPAC conference so as not to further alienate liberal American Jews.

There’s no point in exaggerating Obama’s victory. It’s unlikely that the East Jerusalem housing expansion that began this row will be formally reversed. Nor does Israel’s 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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beinart; bho44; bhomiddleeast; husseinobama; israel; middleeast; obama

1 posted on 03/21/2010 3:48:57 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Nice knee pads Beinart. What’s that on your collar?


2 posted on 03/21/2010 3:51:32 PM PDT by noblejones (Obama rules!)
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To: nickcarraway

A BS puff piece propping up teleprompter boy.


3 posted on 03/21/2010 3:53:10 PM PDT by Canedawg (Deem this regime to hell.)
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To: nickcarraway

We conservatives need to support Israel now more than ever for all the obvious reasons - and besides, we may need to access their healthcare.


4 posted on 03/21/2010 3:54:11 PM PDT by demkicker (Helping Democrats Become Extinct)
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To: Canedawg

Bibi doesn’t need Obama, God’s watching over Israel. The problem is what happens to us when we don’t support Israel.


5 posted on 03/21/2010 3:55:22 PM PDT by Cowgirl
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To: nickcarraway

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.


6 posted on 03/21/2010 3:57:54 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (If we as Republicans can't clean up our house, who can or will? Just say no to MeCain(D).)
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To: nickcarraway; ExTexasRedhead
There’s no point in exaggerating Obama’s victory>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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!

7 posted on 03/21/2010 4:01:21 PM PDT by Candor7 (Now's the time to ante up against the Obama Fascist Junta ( member NRA))
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To: DoughtyOne
But Netanyahu will find it harder to torpedo upcoming talks with the Palestinians or to ensure that nothing of substance gets discussed...

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.

8 posted on 03/21/2010 4:04:30 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (If we as Republicans can't clean up our house, who can or will? Just say no to MeCain(D).)
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To: Cowgirl

You got that right.


9 posted on 03/21/2010 4:12:33 PM PDT by svcw (Jesus comforts the uncomfortable and makes uncomfortable the comfortable.)
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To: nickcarraway

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.


10 posted on 03/21/2010 4:13:58 PM PDT by avital2
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To: nickcarraway

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.


11 posted on 03/21/2010 4:24:20 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat
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To: nickcarraway

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.


12 posted on 03/21/2010 4:26:44 PM PDT by y6162
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To: DoughtyOne
There are still rumors in the spy community that the Israeli's have the goods on Opie. I so hope that is true and Bibi plays that card very soon.
13 posted on 03/21/2010 4:29:53 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: DoughtyOne

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.


14 posted on 03/21/2010 4:35:47 PM PDT by Indy Pendance (Gone Galt)
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To: Candor7

Thank God Bibi is there!


15 posted on 03/21/2010 4:37:11 PM PDT by Indy Pendance (Gone Galt)
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To: Candor7; bitt; Nachum; sheik yerbouty; Sarah Barracuda; MadMax, the Grinning Reaper; ...

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.


16 posted on 03/21/2010 4:38:00 PM PDT by ExTexasRedhead (Clean the RAT/RINO Sewer in 2010 and 2012)
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To: DoughtyOne
And by God I hope you choke on it.

Literally

17 posted on 03/21/2010 4:39:25 PM PDT by jersey117
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To: nickcarraway

As long as Obama writes the check for $3 billion in aid to Israel, he’s going to win.


18 posted on 03/21/2010 4:41:15 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: nickcarraway
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

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.

19 posted on 03/21/2010 4:44:58 PM PDT by montag813
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To: ExTexasRedhead
Oh yes. Many of us have plans to ex filtrate this place. Our ancestors left Europe inn order to remain free and in peace. Now we again are faced with that same necessity, 250 years later.We have allowed the fascist cretins to take away our freedoms, and have waited too long to act. So now those of us who can must plan to move on as did our ancestors.
20 posted on 03/21/2010 4:49:39 PM PDT by Candor7 (Now's the time to ante up against the Obama Fascist Junta ( member NRA))
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To: Indy Pendance; ExTexasRedhead
Yes, Bibi is the leader of the free Western world. Obama vacated that seat with his speech of cowardice to the UNnited Nations, while Bibi stepped up to the challenge.

You can compare their speeches on youtube. Obama's was a laughing stock.Bibis was the speech of a patriot ,dedicated to the freedom of not only his countrymen, but to all of humankind.

21 posted on 03/21/2010 4:52:53 PM PDT by Candor7 (Now's the time to ante up against the Obama Fascist Junta ( member NRA))
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To: DoughtyOne

Bibi can turn the tables real quick by nuking Iran.


22 posted on 03/21/2010 5:17:03 PM PDT by pankot
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To: mad_as_he$$

Now that would be nice.


23 posted on 03/21/2010 5:28:01 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (If we as Republicans can't clean up our house, who can or will? Just say no to MeCain(D).)
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To: Indy Pendance

I agree.

Look, when Bill Clinton decided to fight it out, to remain in office, it polarized this nation like never before. Gore, Kerry, and now Obama have doubled down on that. This nation is seething, it’s citizens furious with each other. There are two camps, and they’re becoming more vicious by the day.

We have the righteous side, but that doesn’t mean the other side doesn’t think they do. They’re blind, deaf, and dumb, but that doesn’t stop them.

We’re headed for a calamity if this doesn’t fade away.


24 posted on 03/21/2010 5:30:59 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (If we as Republicans can't clean up our house, who can or will? Just say no to MeCain(D).)
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To: jersey117

Yep!


25 posted on 03/21/2010 5:31:17 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (If we as Republicans can't clean up our house, who can or will? Just say no to MeCain(D).)
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To: Cowgirl

Um...look what’s happening right now...beyond that we’re (not us but the government)going to be supporting killing babies...I don’t think the good Lord will look kindly on this...


26 posted on 03/21/2010 5:36:37 PM PDT by BamaBlue
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To: ExTexasRedhead

I’m waiting for some local Dem to either come to my door campaigning this November or calling on the phone. By God, they’ll be sorry.


27 posted on 03/21/2010 6:16:58 PM PDT by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: avital2
I don't know why Jews are so ready to sell out Israel. I know they don't much give a damn but the least they could do is support their brothers' survival over there.

On the merits, my guess is that Israel is well along in preparations to carry on after the inevitable Obama betrayal ruptures relations in a serious way. They have to have seen this coming when we stupidly elected an anti-Israeli moslem partisan as president.

28 posted on 03/21/2010 7:05:17 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: DoughtyOne

Netanyahu is Advanced Placement English

Obama is remedial reading

;-)


29 posted on 03/21/2010 7:55:56 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINOS)
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To: DoughtyOne

I fear, it’s not going to fade away.


30 posted on 03/21/2010 8:06:16 PM PDT by Indy Pendance (Gone Galt)
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To: avital2
>>>I really don’t think Bibi is counting on BO for anything — except aggravation.<<<

I think we still give Israel at least 3 billion a year in support. Much of it is used as credits against purchase of military equipment from us.

Without that aid, Israel would have a much tougher time fielding the superb sirforce [IAF] it has.

I have heard that Israel military engineers have made over 400 changes to F-15 and F16 software and weapons that we have gotten gratis from them - and adopted most of them for own use.

Obama, being totally unaware militarily, probably has no appreciation of that fact.

31 posted on 03/21/2010 9:00:49 PM PDT by HardStarboard
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To: Cowgirl
Bibi doesn’t need Obama, God’s watching over Israel.

God let the Assyrians conquer Israel and exile 27,000 people. God let the Babylonians conquer Judah and exile all of Judah and Benjamin. God let Maccabees become decadent and corrupt tyrants. God let the Romans butcher 4 million Jews over a 100 year period and exile Israel once again. God let the Byzantines abolish the Sanhedrin. Got let the Muslims kill or exile the Jews of Arabia. God let the Crusaders massacre the Jewish communities in the Rhineland. God let the Mongels slaughter nearly the entire Jewish community of Babylonia. God let the Spanish expel 300,000 Jews from Spain and persecute those left behind. God let the Pope burn the Talmud and confine Jews to overcrowded, disease-filled ghettos. God let 6 million Jews die in the Shoah.

God may very well have a plan. But it is foolhardy to count on God to save Israel. Israel must rely on itself, first and foremost.

32 posted on 03/21/2010 9:47:04 PM PDT by ChicagoHebrew (Hell exists, it is real. It's a quiet green meadow populated entirely by Arab goat herders.)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Isn’t that the truth.


33 posted on 03/21/2010 10:20:22 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (If we as Republicans can't clean up our house, who can or will? Just say no to MeCain(D).)
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To: Indy Pendance

I’m with you there.

I’m not one bit happy about it either.


34 posted on 03/21/2010 10:21:52 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (If we as Republicans can't clean up our house, who can or will? Just say no to MeCain(D).)
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To: ChicagoHebrew

Yes, all these things happened but the Bible tells us that once they come back into the land they won’t be leaving.
Also, he will bless those that bless Israel.


35 posted on 03/22/2010 1:25:01 AM PDT by Cowgirl
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To: nickcarraway
...red-state heartthrob David Petraeus,????

Uh, I never trust a Democrat in uniform. The Democrats were, and are still, the party of appeasement and unilateral nuclear disarmament (and still are), and for phoney "social justice" (which ISN'T in the Bible) instead of righteousness...(which is). And on, and on. Why would you want to trust a guy in uniform who doesn't change his partisan allegiance after his nominal party picks people like Pelosi as the Speaker of the House?

How can you trust such a person to follow the Constitution, since his party doesn't? The person, at best, is horribly conflicted, or worse, a Manchurian Candidate MOLE.

36 posted on 03/22/2010 7:43:37 AM PDT by Paul Ross (Ronald Reagan-1987:"We are always willing to be trade partners buTt never trade patsies.")
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...
...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 aren't fully demarcated yet, but in important ways the outcome is already clear: Barack Obama has won. He's won because he's hurt Benjamin Netanyahu more than Netanyahu has hurt him.
So far. Thanks nickcarraway.
37 posted on 03/22/2010 2:44:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://themagicnegro.com/)
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