Obama and the U.N. Won’t Intimidate Israel

 

Netanyahu obama israelIsrael’s enemies have always made the mistake of underestimating the Jewish nation.

One of those enemies is Barack Obama. According to a recent Jackson Diehl column in the Washington Post, the Administration is contemplating bringing the Israeli-Palestinian question to the United Nations in the form of a U.S.-backed Security Council resolution, stipulating that Israel hand over the West Bank as well as Gaza to a new Palestinian state, with Jerusalem divided between the two.

Diehl says the resolution would “set off an earthquake in U.S. foreign relations and for Israel’s standing in the world.” A colleague of mine here at the Hudson Institute, who knows the Middle East (and Obama) better than I do, says it’s firmly within the realm of possibility.

But if Obama and John Kerry (whose people drafted up such a resolution last year) think this will make Israelis cower in fear and do their bidding, they’re sadly mistaken.

My prediction: none of this will sway Israel, any more than it did Britain in 1940. Abandoned and alone, Israelis have found their Winston Churchill, and he’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

I found this out during my visit there last week, where two things struck me.

The first was the number of leftists who told me, usually shamefacedly, that they had voted for Bibi in the last election. “I can’t stand Bibi but…” or “I can’t stand Likud’s policies but…” was the way they usually prefaced their confession. I was reminded of Britons, especially trade unionists and intellectuals, who hated Winston Churchill but rallied around him during the Second World War because they sensed he symbolized what they felt despite the differences in ideology: that evil and cowardice had to be defied—and that he was all that stood between themselves and destruction.

If Obama and the New York Times thought they could shake the confidence of Israelis by dubbing the election “ugly “ and “racist,” they were also mistaken. Israelis know that if anyone turned ugly and racist in this past election, it was the leftist Zionist Union.

Leftist intellectuals in Israel haven’t been too careful hiding their contempt for Mizrahi Jews, i.e. those from Arab and Middle Eastern countries (whom they deride as Israel’s rednecks). But it all came out in the open during an anti-Netanyahu rally on March 9 when prominent artist and commentator Yair Garbuz railed against the “amulet kissers” and “idol worshippers” who support Likud and Bibi—a not-so-veiled attack on Mizrahim, who together with their Sephardic counterparts make up a significant percentage of Israel’s Jewish population and who also happen to live in places like Sderot that live under the threat of Hamas missiles.

They’ve voted heavily for Bibi, and have been roundly denounced for their xenophobia regarding Arabs—which, because they come from Arab countries and know the threats Arabs pose to Jews, doesn’t seem so illogical.

The other little secret the New York Times won’t mention is that Israeli Arabs—the ones Bibi supposedly insulted—also voted in sizable numbers for Likud, 30 percent in some districts. While the press was wailing and moaning about how lousy the Israeli economy has been under Bibi, the Arabs know better. It’s actually been pretty good for Israeli Arabs these past couple decades, and getting better—especially compared to what Palestinian politicians offer in Gaza and the West Bank. There may be one other reason why they voted for Bibi: rejection of a two-state solution means they won’t have to choose between living in Israel or living in a country run by the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas.

All this is the reality on the ground in Israel, which, of course, makes no impression on Israel-haters like Obama. A leftist Israeli journalist summed it up in a Times of Jerusalem editorial: “The nation wants Bibi.” Indeed they do. He’s their Churchill now. And no UN resolution will change that.

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  1. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Art,

    I have been sensing this from everything I know and everyone that I talk to. I’m glad you did a post in confirmation. As a collateral phenomenon, we may be seeing a new take on the Obama administration. Our own VDH has always been a great mind to be reckoned with but in his latest post at NRO he is hitting the stride of prophecy.

    OBAMA’S CHICAGO PRESIDENCY

    He asks the quintessential question.

    “So what are you going to do about it?”

    Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
  2. user_129440 Member
    user_129440
    @JackRichman

    If the Obama cave-in is as comprehensive as reported (and who among us would bet otherwise) Congress can cripple Iran’s economy by passing a bill that forbids US financial institutions from doing business with Iran or any foreign financial institution that does business with Iran. If Obama vetoes it and that veto is not overridden, Congress should announce its intention to hold financial institutions who violate the economic embargo accountable in the next administration.

    Make the international financial system choose and make them choose now. Even the prospect of being cut off from the US would mean it has far more to lose than it has to gain by casting its lot with Iran.

    • #2
  3. Black Prince Member
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    Jack Richman:Congress can cripple Iran’s economy by passing a bill that forbids US financial institutions from doing business with Iran or any foreign financial institution that does business with Iran.

    Hahahahahaha!!! That’s the funniest thing I heard all day! Thanks for the laughs.

    • #3
  4. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    The US can cripple Iran’s economy with a few (20-40) Tomahawk missiles. Iran needs its ports, its generation stations, and, most of all, its single oil refinery. Without that, everything will come to a halt.

    This is the conventional attack that many expect Israel to carry out before much longer.

    • #4
  5. Black Prince Member
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    iWe:The US can cripple Iran’s economy with a few (20-40) Tomahawk missiles.

    What the US can do is irrelevant—the real question is what will it do? And the answer is absolutely nothing.

    • #5
  6. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Jack Richman:If the Obama cave-in is as comprehensive as reported (and who among us would bet otherwise) Congress can cripple Iran’s economy by passing a bill that forbids US financial institutions from doing business with Iran or any foreign financial institution that does business with Iran. If Obama vetoes it and that veto is not overridden, Congress should announce its intention to hold financial institutions who violate the economic embargo accountable in the next administration.

    Make the international financial system choose and make them choose now. Even the prospect of being cut off from the US would mean it has far more to lose than it has to gain by casting its lot with Iran.

    I’m not sure if I follow you.  Are you saying that Congress should pass an embargo act, and even if Obama vetoes it and the veto is not overridden — i.e. even if the embargo does not become law — then Congress should announce its intention to punish financial institutions, in the next administration, that did not comply with the vetoed embargo act which never became law?

    If this is what you mean, then I strongly disagree.  This proposed course of action strikes me as utterly lawless.

    • #6
  7. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Is it possible that Obama has decided that the root cause of conflict between the US and the various nations of the Middle East is the existence of Israel?  And that he has decided to eliminate this cause by abandoning Israel to its fate?

    • #7
  8. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Arizona Patriot:Is it possible that Obama has decided that the root cause of conflict between the US and the various nations of the Middle East is the existence of Israel? And that he has decided to eliminate this cause by abandoning Israel to its fate?

    More than possible. It appears likely.

    • #8
  9. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Black Prince:

    iWe:The US can cripple Iran’s economy with a few (20-40) Tomahawk missiles.

    What the US can do is irrelevant—the real question is what will it do? And the answer is absolutely nothing.

    But will the US act to stop Israel if Israel takes the initiative?

    • #9
  10. PHCheese Member
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I am not worried about Israel being intimidated,but I am worried about her enemies being encouraged.

    • #10
  11. Black Prince Member
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    iWe:

    Black Prince:

    iWe:The US can cripple Iran’s economy with a few (20-40) Tomahawk missiles.

    What the US can do is irrelevant—the real question is what will it do? And the answer is absolutely nothing.

    But will the US act to stop Israel if Israel takes the initiative?

    Yes, it will.

    • #11
  12. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Black Prince:

    iWe:

    Black Prince:

    iWe:The US can cripple Iran’s economy with a few (20-40) Tomahawk missiles.

    What the US can do is irrelevant—the real question is what will it do? And the answer is absolutely nothing.

    But will the US act to stop Israel if Israel takes the initiative?

    Yes, it will.

    I don’t think the US would act to stop Israel. However, Barack Obama and John Kerry would do everything they could independently to do so. Could Obama order Israeli aircraft to be shot down? Could he order Israeli military installations to be attacked? I don’t know his – versus the Congress’s – authority. He will certainly attempt more than his statutory or Constitutional authority to defeat Israel. And, in the fog of what will certainly be a chaotic situation, he may get away with more than he is allowed.

    I have such a low opinion of the man that I’m fairly certain he would do everything he could privately to buy, beg, borrow or steal the assets necessary to assassinate Netanyahu.

    • #12
  13. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    iWe:The US can cripple Iran’s economy with a few (20-40) Tomahawk missiles. Iran needs its ports, its generation stations, and, most of all, its single oil refinery. Without that, everything will come to a halt.

    This is the conventional attack that many expect Israel to carry out before much longer.

    But lets say Israel does this–takes out all that infrastructure.  Does that slow down the bomb timeline?

    • #13
  14. River Member
    River
    @River

    Israel has experienced a profound wake-up call. Suddenly it’s obvious that traditional ‘liberal’ policies of appeasement and groveling to the enemies and harsh critics of Israel is suicide. Atheism and agnosticism are fatal. Christians are not the enemy. Radical Islam and its apologists are.

    Bibi wants Israel to survive and thrive. His opponents are unclear on the concept.

    • #14
  15. user_129440 Member
    user_129440
    @JackRichman

    Arizona Patriot:

    Jack Richman:If the Obama cave-in is as comprehensive as reported (and who among us would bet otherwise) Congress can cripple Iran’s economy by passing a bill that forbids US financial institutions from doing business with Iran or any foreign financial institution that does business with Iran. If Obama vetoes it and that veto is not overridden, Congress should announce its intention to hold financial institutions who violate the economic embargo accountable in the next administration.

    Make the international financial system choose and make them choose now. Even the prospect of being cut off from the US would mean it has far more to lose than it has to gain by casting its lot with Iran.

    I’m not sure if I follow you. Are you saying that Congress should pass an embargo act, and even if Obama vetoes it and the veto is not overridden — i.e. even if the embargo does not become law — then Congress should announce its intention to punish financial institutions, in the next administration, that did not comply with the vetoed embargo act which never became law?

    If this is what you mean, then I strongly disagree. This proposed course of action strikes me as utterly lawless.

    Congress can say what it wants. If foreign financial institutions believe there will be a business-threatening price to pay now or in the near future, they will recalibrate their incentives. Marquis of Queensbury rules should only apply when both sides adhere to them.

    • #15
  16. user_129440 Member
    user_129440
    @JackRichman

    Arizona Patriot:Is it possible that Obama has decided that the root cause of conflict between the US and the various nations of the Middle East is the existence of Israel? And that he has decided to eliminate this cause by abandoning Israel to its fate?

    Not even Obama can believe that. Egypt and Jordan has made common cause with Israel and even Saudi Arabia is less bellicose. He would like to blame Israel for the violence because he sees the Jewish state as the product of colonialist injustice and because misdirection is way to divert attention from the primary source of this turmoil — Iran.

    • #16
  17. J Flei Member
    J Flei
    @Solon

    Nice post.  Right makes might.

    • #17

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