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Who decides what’s in Israel’s best interest?

Who decides what’s in Israel’s best interest?

Mideast Media Sampler 01/24/2014 – Obama Knows Best; Israeli Voters Disagree

Yesterday the Israeli media reported on remarks made to Israel Radio. According the Jerusalem Post:

A US official close to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said both men are disturbed over what is being perceived in their inner circle as “Jewish activism in Congress” that they think is being encouraged by the Israeli government, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.

The official has informed Israeli government figures that the president and secretary of state are disappointed over repeated attacks made against them by leading members of the Jewish community in the US.

So let’s try to unpack this.

According to Obama and Kerry American Jews are following the lead of the Israeli government. There’s something distasteful about that. Is the administration so convinced that it is following the proper course of action regarding Iran and the peace process that no one could object to their approach based on cold rational analysis?

Actually, I think that the answer is “yes.” The administration believes that it is correct and no one could object unless he was subject to undue influences.

Last year President Obama proclaimed to Jeffrey Goldberg that “Israel doesn’t know what its best interest are.” Kerry, for his part, says that he worries about Israel’s future without a peace deal. Clearly the administration is so concerned with Israel’s well being, so it must be doing the right things and above reproach. They know better than Israelis what is important for them.

Except Israelis may not share that assessment.

The Times of Israel reports that the merged Likud-Beiteinu party would get 46 seats if elections were held today. (An blog that follows Israeli polling says that the poll is in line with a couple of other recent polls. But it also appears that at least one other recent poll has the combined party at a much lower level.)

The Times of Israel explains the surge:

Some of Likud-Beytenu’s gains are due to the relative popularity of Netanyahu himself, the poll indicates. A majority, or 52%, of likely voters agreed with the statement that there is no viable alternative to Netanyahu as prime minister among the current class of Israeli politicians; just 35% disagree. Even on the left, 36% of likely voters agreed with this statement.

Likud-Beytenu’s dramatic increase also comes from self-identified right-wing voters, who are abandoning Yesh Atid in the center (down from 19 seats to 13) and Jewish Home on the right in favor of the ruling Knesset faction. Whereas Likud-Beytenu got 39% of right-wing votes in last year’s elections, that support has risen to 50% — even as the number of those voters as a whole has grown. This growth has come notably at the expense of the Jewish Home party, which has seen its share of right-wing votes drop from 18% last year to just 6%.

While there are signs of weakness among undecided voters; those who are more certain seem to be moving towards the ruling coalition.

Two other polls are worth mentioning. Two weeks ago, IMRA reported a poll showing that 73% of Israelis believe that Israel must maintain a presence in the Jordan valley. In November (before the Geneva deal was finalized) a poll found that a majority of Israelis supported Netanyahu’s approach towards Iran.

It’s interesting that the two issues on which President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu disagree most sharply are issues on which Netanyahu represents the mainstream Israeli opinion. This is a point lost on Netanyahu’s many critics. He isn’t a right winger or an extremist.

It’s also not something new. In advance of Netanyahu’s 2011 trip to the United States, Yossi Klein Halevi wrote Netanyahu the Surprising Uniter:

Mr. Netanyahu’s historic achievement has been to position his Likud Party within the centrist majority that seeks to end the occupation of the Palestinians but is wary of the security consequences. There is no longer any major Israeli party that rejects a West Bank withdrawal on ideological grounds. Instead, the debate is now focused where most Israelis want it to be: on how to ensure that a Palestinian state won’t pose an existential threat to their country.

(The Klein-Halevi column echoed sentiments written by Charles Krauthammer during Netanyahu’s first term as Prime Minister in The Road from Hebron, “With Hebron, Netanyahu managed to bring most of the nationalist camp of Israel to recognize that Oslo is a fact.”)

Because the President presumes to know where Israel’s interests lie, he believes that Israel is not suitably grateful to him and that American Jews are not sufficiently loyal. Israeli voters, apparently, think they know better.

[Photo: U.S. Department of State / WikiCommons ]

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Comments

Obama knows best.

That’s why he nationalized the Student Load Industry and the Automobile Industry. That is why he took over the HealthCare Industry.

If Israel is not careful, Obama will nationalize it and give it away to the Palestinians.

If American Jews did know what was best for Israel, they’d recognize that Obama is the enemy and they’d stop voting for him.

Who decides what’s in Israel’s best interest?

Well, it damn sure isn’t the Jew-Hater-in-charge, nor is it an asshat that sold every American that fought and many that died in Vietnam, under A big friggin bus THEN married Ms. Ketchup.

Who decides what’s in Israel’s best interest?

Why, the UN, the EU, the ASA, etc,, silly!

And then, Hamas, Iran …

Who decides what’s in Israel’s best interest?

Israel does.

its not our job to decide anything for them nor set their policies.
Our only decision is if we support them or not. and I personally would be hard pressed to not support them. It would take a lot for me not too and yes, its a religious thing.

Can someone educate me as to what this series of attacks on the administration by American Jews is? I’m not exactly closed to the news, and I haven’t heard one single peep about it. I did hear about Sen. Diane Feinstein making some amazing remarks about Israeli influence in Congress, but no, seriously, what’s this all about? It is not obvious so I am asking.

All I can think of is the push for increased Iran sanctions, which was being pushed by a large collection of Christians elected to Congress, last I heard.

JBourque, it’s a dog whistle.

What Di-Fi and others like her believe is that American Jews (properly said, American citizens who happen to be Jewish) should be loyal to the progressive agenda, which includes BDS, denial of Israel’s right to exist, and so on. They believe (to borrow Mr. Gerstman’s words) that this is so obviously the correct course of action that no reasonable alternative could possibly be considered.

Remember, for the Left, if you oppose them it’s not because you have a legitimate disagreement, and it’s also not because they failed to explain their position adequately (remember, the progressives are masters of multiple polysyllabic words). It’s either

a) you’re too stupid to understand them
b) you’re easily led by evil people
c) you’re evil yourself

See where this is going? The progressives can’t call the Jews stupid, that clearly flies in the face of their covert, under-the-radar anti-Semitism which paints the Jews as devious and cunning (c.f., Protocols of the Elders of Zion, etc). So the progressives choose both options (b) and (c): American Jews are easily misled by Israel, and the American Jews are being evil because they won’t accept the pure truth when it’s explained to them.

That’s what this is all about: the progressives need to paint American Jews as being unpatriotic in their support of Israel. Hence the dog whistle claim about “Israeli influence” and “disloyalty”. That delegitimizes both American Jews and the state of Israel, puts Jews on the defensive in the political debate (per Alinsky’s rules), and (as a bonus) reminds the rest of us not to get too uppity with any nostalgia for any other part of the world.

Mr. Gerstman will correct me if I got any of this wrong.

    I’m not Mr. Gerstman but it seems you’ve got it exactly correct.

    The loyalty and politics of America’s Jewish? Who cares? What the hell’s wrong with people? Does anyone notice the columns of smoke on the horizon rising from the rubble of Syrian cities, towns, and villages? How about the columns of refugees streaming into…Iraq – of all places? Or the soon-to-be born Iranian nuclear bomb? Or the missiles and rockets falling into Israel from southern Lebanon and Gaza? Or the hundred thousand plus dead in Syria alone? Or the whole sorry lot of these self-destructing souls taking time out of each wonderful day to reaffirm their vow to destroy Israel. It’s depressing that Benjamin Netanyahu, with no real problems of his own, has to take time out of his days to dither and kibitz with Obama and Kerry, neither of whom would know there was a problem unless someone poked them in the eye with a sharp stick.

    Americans should be ashamed.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Owego. | January 25, 2014 at 1:55 am

      I’m not Mr. Gerstman, either, but I do think I can speak for him when I say “Bingo!”:

      This is Bingo:

      “The loyalty and politics of America’s Jewish? Who cares?”

      Exactly. I couldn’t care less if 99.999% of American Jews voted for Obama and the Democratic Party.

      Why should I, a non-Jew, support Israel when so many American Jews support a political party which does not come anywhere near the other main political party in its members’ support for Israel?

      Because it’s the right thing to do.

      I couldn’t care less if I found out Netanyahu thinks I’m a worthless gentile dunce. I’d still support Israel, because it’s the right thing to do. It’s a free country and individuals can vote for and support whomever they please … and I don’t care—in terms of my decisions whom and what to support—what and whom any grouping of people votes for and/or supports.

      Sorry if this is somewhat off topic or off on a tangent. I’m pressed for time and speedreading/skimming through posts.

There’s a book title that sums up Obama and Kerry’s attitude to Israel: Protocols of the a Elders of Zion. How dare these American Jews in Congress be concerned about what happens to their brethren in Israel. It must be a plot.

“… the President presumes to know where Israel’s interests lie, he believes that Israel is not suitably grateful to him and that American Jews are not sufficiently loyal.”

This is the very essence of the man, writ small, providing one considers the continuing existence of a nation small.

He presumes to know where everyone’s interests lie, not just Israel’s. Any who disagree are disloyal and ungrateful.

So far, no one has paid a bigger price for his ignorance, ineptitude, and pigheadedness than the people of the Middle East. So far.

Neither Obama nor Kerry are particularly bright, but they understand their far left base hates Israel, and so do their international admirers. They are playing to their base.

American Jews supported Obama’s reelection, and have no influence with him at all anymore. Kerry may not be seriously considering another run.

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