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Posted at 2:24 PM ET, 02/17/2011

Obama demonstrates lack of foreign policy competence, again

By Jennifer Rubin

You can't say the White House hasn't brought diverse groups together on Israel. We have liberal Democrats like Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) criticizing the administration. ("America's support for Israel at the United Nations on the issues at hand is right on the merits and necessary for both America's and Israel's national security. The future boundaries of any two state solution must only be determined through direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians and not at the U.N. Additionally, any failure to stand with Israel during these difficult times in the Middle East will only encourage the enemies of America and Israel.") We see conservative congressmen like Rep. Peter King (R- N.Y.), who has released a letter expressive "grave" concern over the White House's conduct in the U.N. ("Any action short of a veto is a dramatic and frightening shift in policy."). Moderate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is also registering disapproval.

And the largest pro-Israel group in America, Christians United for Israel, has released this statement:.

CUFI strongly condemns the Obama Administration's reported offer to support a UN Security Council statement condemning "Israeli settlement activity," and urges President Obama to veto any Security Council action that unfairly singles out the State of Israel.

Year after year, the American people have made clear that they hold the U.S.-Israel relationship in the highest esteem; CUFI believes that anything less than a veto of any Security Council action that unfairly condemns Israel, or prejudges final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, fails to reflect the will of the American people.

The UN is already obsessed with condemning Israel. Further, every foray by the Obama Administration into supporting or imposing preconditions on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians has only pushed the prospects for peace further out of reach. Rather than enabling the UN to yet again unfairly single out the Jewish State, we urge the Obama Administration to work with all parties involved to reach a true and lasting peace.

In addition, friend of Israel and head of the group American Values Gary Bauer has sent a letter out to 250,000 religious voters, a copy of which I have obtained, that reads, in part:

The fact is that no anti-Israel resolution can pass the U.N. Security Council because the U.S. has a right to use our veto to stop resolutions we oppose. U.S. presidents have used that veto repeatedly over the years in defense of our interest and Israel's. The Middle East is boiling over with revolutionary fervor in the streets, while Hezbollah and Iran are on the march and threatening us and our allies, including Israel. Confronted with these dangers, the Obama Administration is once again demonstrating weakness and appeasement. Obama's softness in the face of Palestinian and Arab demands is demoralizing our friends and emboldening our enemies. The president needs to use his influence to demand that Palestinians return to the negotiating table with Israel. Instead he is caving into demands that undermine our most steadfast ally in the Middle East.

Certainly, this is no mere "squall." The administration has repeated the same error that has been at the core of its failed Middle East policy from the beginning of Obama's term. In an effort to ingratiate itself with Arab governments and the Palestinians, the administration has attempted to distance itself from the Jewish state, hammering the Israelis in public and in private. Each time, Obama winds up disappointing his Palestinian friends, scaring the Israelis and outraging pro-Israel groups in the U.S. It is remarkable, really, that the administration has learned so little in two years.

In the most charitable version of the events of the last few days, the administration was trying to maintain some street credibility with Arab governments at a time when the region is inflamed and American leadership has been sorely lacking. This gambit has backfired badly, forcing the U.S. now to veto the resolution (should it still come to the Security Council), for which it (rightly) will get no "credit" from Israel and Israel's friends. Rather, Obama will have only confirmed suspicions that in a pinch he is an unreliable ally. And don't you think Israel's neighbors notice that?

UPDATE (3:44 p.m.): Topping off an awful day for the White House, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virg.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) put out a joint statement that included this tongue-lashing: "Instead of negotiating directly with Israel to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, Palestinian leaders continue to seek to circumvent the negotiating process by advocating anti-Israel measures at the U.N. Security Council, U.N. General Assembly, and U.N. Human Rights Council. The U.S. should not condone or reward this behavior by supporting their resolutions. We strongly urge the Administration to veto this resolution and to uphold our longstanding commitment to Israel's security."

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 2:24 PM ET
Categories:  Israel  
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Comments

Jennifer, Israel is not the center of the world.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 17, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. I can remember the days when it was the Democrats who were the most stalwart friends of Israel.

On other issue, Jennifer, I would love to see you address the double standard of the media constantly asking Republicans to denounce "birther" rumors. Did any of them ever ask Democrats to denounce any "truther" rumors?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | February 17, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Reverend Wright (sorry- Reverend Wrong) is probably proud of his disciple.

Posted by: Abew | February 17, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

privacy5 -

I think one long-time objective of US foreign policy has been to assure that Israel is not the center of the world, or at least the focus of the military forces and terrorists in that bad neighborhood.

Note that this is not a partisan issue. The Obami are getting blasted by both parties.

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 17, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

If Israel were behaving counter-productively, is it supportive to say so? Israel is only concerned with Israel. For better or worse, the president has a wider set of priorities.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 17, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Talks about a Palestinian State have been a charade since 1967. Neither the U.S. or Israel ever had any intention of allowing a Palestinian State. The lies that have been told are infinite. The duplicity is profound.

And now, as the West Bank is largely made up of Jewish Settlements and Gaza is under siege, the U.S. and Israel still perform this evil charade. Both nations should be condemned by the whole of the world community. Boycotts should be directed at both of them, boycotts and divestments and sanctions.

Obama should be thrown into jail for being the world's biggest liar and Assange should be released and given Obama's Nobel Peace Prize.

Friends, the world is a madhouse. Black is now white and white is now black. How much longer are we going to allow the status quo to continue? How much longer are we going to allow the Evil Empire (the one run by the U.S.) to continue?

Stand up for justice, for equality, for human rights for all the world's people while you still can! Tell the Jennefer Rubin's of the world we will no longer accept your lies and hypocrisy! America first, not Israel!

Posted by: ardestani | February 17, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

In case of Israel, the best and very easy way out for Obama and any other President is to hand over the charge of U.N.'s Israeli matter in the hands of Israeli Foreign Minister, instead of making mockery of our prestige, reputation and power in the world every time, we have to VETO for mis-conduct or human rights abuse of Israel in the UN Security Council. Our 80% elected members will gladly accept this proposal.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | February 17, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

This botched up foreign policy mess is exactly what one deserves, and should expect, when one’s policy is driven not by principle, but by corner-cutting, splitting the difference, pandering for immediate effect (and self-gratification).

If anyone expects Obama’s foreign policy to get better he had better stock up on anti-depressants and be on the lookout for quantity discounts.

Posted by: nvjma | February 17, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama has finally brought together Democrats and Republicans -- in disgust at his cheap shots at Israel. Maybe his instinct for political self-preservation will make him stop listening to the Arabists at the State Department. The little fool seems so clueless it's scary.

Posted by: eoniii | February 17, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: WashingtonDame | February 17, 2011 3:28 PM

Did any of them ever ask Democrats to denounce any "truther" rumors?

_________________________

There were no "truther" in teh Democratic Party, unlike birthers in the GOP.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The Administration can show seriousness by suddenly sending Susan to Luxembourg.

Posted by: aardunza | February 17, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: eoniii | February 17, 2011 5:37 PM

Obama has finally brought together Democrats and Republicans -- in disgust at his cheap shots at Israel.

____________________

Too right eonii.

What an outrage. The president actually considering voting at the UN in accord with US foreing policy.

Totally unacceptable.
|

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Shingo, it's not in US national interest to slander Israel. It's cowardly and ultimately buys us no goodwill among Israel's enemies.

Posted by: eoniii | February 17, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

eoniii,

Israel is violating the 4th Geneva Convention on human rights and contravening US foreign policy. It is not slander to reprimand Israel's intransigence. Israel is putting American lives at risk and compromising US security.

Who's side are you on? America's or Israel's? You can't be both.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

There were no "truther" in teh Democratic Party, unlike birthers in the GOP.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 6:27PM
_________________________________________

Not so. Here's Howard Dean on the Diane Rehm show on Dec. 1 2003:

Diane Rehm: “Why do you think he (Bush) is suppressing that (Sept. 11) report?”

Howard Dean: “I don’t know. There are many theories about it. The most interesting theory that I’ve heard so far — which is nothing more than a theory, it can’t be proved — is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is?”

At the time, Dean was the frontrunner for the Dem presidential nomination and later became the head of the DNC. Is there a Republican of any stature, much less a leader of the party, who has said anything similar about the truthers?


Posted by: paco33 | February 17, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Shingo,the U.S. and Israel are staunch allies, so yes it's possible to be for both. OTOH the Palestinians who want to drive the Jews into the sea celebrated 9/11 by dancing in the streets and giving each other candy.

Why do you hate Israel?

Posted by: eoniii | February 17, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

And when Intifada III starts is added to the other regional fires we what, send more shipments of cluster bombs and white phospherous shells to our "special friend" Israel?

Posted by: goyo1588 | February 17, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Israel must be brought to task. Our lawmakers are completely oblivious to what is happening in the middle east. The crowds will be unforgiving if they see this inequity. Must we always look for Israel's interest. Who takes care of the American Interest? Not Israel and not our congressmen. Read 'Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. Bow to the Master as Israel’s Slaves' at sajepress dot com

Posted by: zafarz | February 17, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Israel is the Jewish canary in the kafir coalmine. If its enemies realize their true goal, which is the elimination of the Jewish state (and the death of a few million more Jews) rather than peace, they will then turn their full attention to the rest of the non-Muslim world - first Europe and then the US. We should protect Israel for a number of reasons, including self-interest.

Posted by: paco33 | February 17, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: paco33 | February 17, 2011 8:36 PM
Here's Howard Dean on the Diane Rehm show on Dec. 1 2003

Are you serious? First you post what Dean says he doesn't know and secondly, you expect us to believe you respect Howard Dean?

Go back to sleep.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Eoniii

The U.S. and Israel are 2 different countries and as such, their policies cannot be the same. Jonathan Pollard stands as a glaring example of that – allies don't spy ion one another, or betray one another, especially when it leads to the deaths of hundreds of CIA assets.

Israel refuses to sign an ally agreement with us BTW.

As for celebrating 911, 5 Israelis were arrested for dancing in Brooklyn and even admitted to knowing about the attacks before they took place. Netenyahu said the attacks were very good for Israel.

Some ally.

Why do you hate America?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Shingo: Lol. I'm wide awake. The night is young. I notice you didn't answer my question. And whether or not I respect Dean has nothing to do with the issue.

Posted by: paco33 | February 17, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: paco33 | February 17, 2011 9:59 PM

Israel is the Jewish canary in the kafir coalmine.
___________________________________

It started out that way, then ceased to be an asset when the Cold War ended.

If Israel wanted peace, they could accept the Arab Peace Initiative, which has been on the table since 2003. Israel has always preferred expansionism and territory to peace.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I love the way her commercial goes,'Nexxxt on the Diaaanne Reeehhhmmm ssshowwww...' What's she on? (Never heard the show, just the commercials.)

And who can sleep with that Dean Scream still echoing awaYEOWWWWYYY...!
(Only Popeye when he pulls everything into his little black hole to escape:)

Posted by: aardunza | February 17, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

To Shingo1:
You are doing a magnificent job, as usual enjoyed reading your comments. Keep up the good work. Your logic rattles your opponents, and I am enjoying it.

Posted by: abraham3 | February 17, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 17, 2011 10:25PM
Israel has always preferred expansionism and territory to peace.
_________________

You mean like giving the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for a peace of paper and leaving Gaza in exchange for ....bubkis?

Posted by: paco33 | February 18, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: paco33 | February 18, 2011 12:35 AM

You mean like giving the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for a peace of paper and leaving Gaza in exchange for ....bubkis?
__________________________________


No I mean like returning the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for being left alone with the Palestinians, no matter what it did to them, without the Egyptians raising an eyebrow.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 18, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the kind words abraham3

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 18, 2011 1:26 AM | Report abuse

You are right privacy5, Jerusalem, the heart of the Jewish People, is the center of the world.

Posted by: Beniyyar | February 18, 2011 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Israel may be the center of your world, but the US is the center of the world to true American patriots. You need to decide where your loyalty lies if our interests diverge. If you choose Israel over America, you should renounce your US citizenship.

Posted by: billyvw | February 18, 2011 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: paco33 | February 18, 2011 12:35 AM

You mean like giving the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for a peace of paper and leaving Gaza in exchange for ....bubkis?
__________________________________


No I mean like returning the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for being left alone with the Palestinians, no matter what it did to them, without the Egyptians raising an eyebrow.

Posted by: Shingo1
----------------------
That makes no sense. Why would the Israelis care if the rulers of Egypt "raised an eyebrow"? Israel defeated Egypt in four wars from 1948 through 1973. Israel didn't return the Sinai to get a free hand at home. Israel is a sovereign nation that doesn't need permission from Egypt for anything.

Posted by: eoniii | February 18, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Year after year, the American people have made clear that they hold the U.S.-Israel relationship in the highest esteem; the preceding taken from the article and is absolute speculation, unless a referendum on American policies on Israel has been taken that I am unaware of. Nothing against Israel but the idea that she is our friend is pure grade school nonsense, nations have interests not friends as was seen by the little influence we had on Israel in the recent peace conferences. Sympathy needs to be extended to the Jewish people who due to the balkanization of their political system are left in the hands of extreme right wing Jewish fundamentalists. After all it wasn't liberal Jews who killed Rabin.

Posted by: saintpeterii | February 18, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Shingo: You slid by the issue that you raised. You stated that "Israel has always preferred expansionism and territory to peace." I responded by pointing out Israel's surrender of the Sinai to Egypt and Gaza to the PA.

How do these facts not totally undercut your argument?

Posted by: paco33 | February 18, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer,

Can you very specifically delineate what is a national security concern for the US without conflating that supposed national interest with the security of another nation-state?

Why do you cite evangelical American Christians as so much more important to US interests than the actual US interests? What is the US interest there anyway?

If you blend it all as one and the same, then there is no national interest that that is of any substantive relevance to the US because you have done nothing except to supplant the American interests with those of another country.

Posted by: Mackdawg1 | February 18, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

what a disgrace! we need to wipe our brown noses real good tonight!
"EVERY TIME WE DO SOMETHING, YOU TELL ME AMERICANS WILL DO THIS AND WILL DO THAT. I WANT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING VERY CLEAR: DON'T WORRY ABOUT AMERICAN PRESSURE ON ISRAEL;

WE, THE JEWISH PEOPLE, CONTROL AMERICA. AND THE AMERICANS KNOW IT."

-- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Posted by: genie3 | February 18, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

FYI - the Sharon quote that "....we, the Jewish people, control America..." is a fabrication. As is the case with so many of these claims (starting with the original "blood libel") it is just not objectively true.

Posted by: paco33 | February 18, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Rubin, the blind follow the blind and they both fall in the ditch, or as the Greeks put it, those the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. How can you not see that Israel, while it would never be loved by the Arabs,for displacing them honey, has made things increasingly worse for its' childrens' future in that land? Israel pushed the Palestinians into the arms of Hamas, They pushed Labanaon into the grasp of Hezbollah, and by demanding that Egypt be forced by the US to keep its' treaty with Israel made it a matter of honor for Egyptians to dump it. By using the US as a means to throttle world opinion Israel destroys the world's opinion of it. (you and Israel may never have expected any support in the world, there are historical buttresses for that view, but Israel's actions make it a self-fullfilling prophecy. And those who put Israel first out of belief, or in the case of much of Congress, out of fear of your lobby's clout, will eventually bring up a generation of Americans sick of that country and its' demands on us. Your arrogance in your self-rightiousness is the arrogance of that state you love more than this country and it will bring that state to ruin, because pride goes before a fall, especially when the proud are blind.

Posted by: lastrebelstanding | February 19, 2011 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama has turned out to be a terrible leader. He has been on the wrong side on domestic issues as well as ME foreign policies (which are the same as Bush's). Israeli press always doubted his alliance to Israel, even before the elections.

No matter how many concessions he makes or how much he favors Tel Aviv, Obama will continue to remain a "closet Muslim", outsider, etc. in the eyes of his critics - both home and abroad. In the process, Obama has lost his own base. As for Israel, its parasitic behavior will continue as it has no concern for welfare of the US. No matter who is in charge, AIPAC, ADL are too powerful to be challenged.

Posted by: qalam11 | February 19, 2011 5:11 AM | Report abuse

"The future boundaries of any two state solution must only be determined through direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians and not at the U.N."

1. A UN resolution is not intended to determine anything, but only to make a stated resolution.

2. What is the UN for if not to bring nations together to resolve for peace? Isn't that the founding purpose?

This vetoed continues to damage BOTH the US and Israel -- declaring the US even more and more irrelevant and pushing Israel into greater isolation. The ongoing land grab is a crime and there are no justifications.

This is a disaster for all.

Ms. Rosen you are no "freind" of Israel, and surely no freind to your home country, assuming you are a US citizen.

Posted by: rhatso | February 19, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

According to www.Opensecrets.org; Congressman Cantor was the 2nd highest recipient of congress campaign 2010 money($195,00) from "Pro-Israel" Lobby groups; Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen was 3rd($142,957); and Congressman Hoyer was 6th($121,400).

Additionally Mr. Cantor is on the Board of Advisors at JINSA(Pro-Israel) lobby group accordig the their website. He has also given many speeches at the AIPAC conventions in recent years.

That being said, it pretty obvious that they are not concerned between "right" and "wrong" but that "their ends justify using all of our means" regardless of who is hurt, destroyed, or bankrupted.

Posted by: Alethean | February 20, 2011 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I found it very interesting reading some of these comments and realized that quite a few people have no idea how crucial, we as a nation should remain an ally to Israel. This land was not promised to the Palestians, it was promised to God's people the Jew. They are deserving of our support and deserving of all that land. I would really like for some of these people to pick up a Bible and read it for themselves. It is all there. Our president is not an ally of Israel, nor is he an ally of this country. I beleive we are in a great deal of trouble as long as he remains our president. Everyone seems to expect Israel to go to the peace tables and come to a conclusion that will work for everyone. How in the world can you go to the peace table with evil? You can't trust evil, nor can you trust your enemy. The Palestinians are not an ally to Israel, they are an enemy. If they succeed in destroying Israel, look out America, we're next. One good thing to hold on to, is that God has it all under control, and He will not allow the destruction of His people.Glory Halleluiah!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: slv1963 | February 22, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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