The community organizer was no match for the special ops vet.
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The Sayeret Matkal are like our spec ops guys. They aren’t, as is often said of spies, just like us. I know enough of them to say that they can be picked out of a crowd pretty easily: the way they walk, their wary, continuous measurement of whomever and whatever is around them, their well-earned pride and potential for individual action and bravery. Among the categories of humankind, they are at the top of the “least likely to be bullied” list.
Obama’s body language in the post-meeting session with Netanyahu and reporters in the Oval Office said it all. Obama was visibly angered when Netanyahu spoke: he sat, hand across his face, glaring at Netanyahu. His bullying failed and he knew it.
After reiterating the points made in his speech the day before, Obama turned it over to the Israeli PM. Netanyahu treated Obama better than Obama had treated him, the Supreme Court, and Paul Ryan. Without rancor or visible anger, he said that Israel won’t go back to the 1967 borders because they are indefensible: not the boundaries of peace but the boundaries of repeated wars because they left an attack on Israel so attractive to its enemies. He said, flatly, that Israel must have a long-term military presence along west bank of the Jordan River.
The Israeli PM went on to say that Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas, echoing what he said after the PA-Hamas agreement was announced. Hamas, he said, is a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction, saying that Israel cannot negotiate with what he called the Palestinian version of al Qaeda.
Netanyahu put the burden on Palestinian President Abbas: either negotiate with Israel or keep his pact with Hamas, which Obama had implicitly endorsed.
Addressing the Arab-Palestinian demand — which no Palestinian leader has ever agreed to compromise — that Palestinian “refugees” must be allowed the “right of return” to Israel, Netanyahu said that the 1948 war resulted in two refugee problems: Arab refugees and Jewish refugees in roughly equal numbers. Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees while the Arab states expelled them from their lands.
Netanyahu said, “Now, 63 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel ‘accept the grandchildren, the great-grandchildren of these refugees thereby wiping out Israel’s future as a Jewish state. It’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians it’s not going to happen.”
Obama pretended to look at Netanyahu, but couldn’t bear to make eye contact. He knew he had failed.
Though Obama failed to bully Netanyahu, one fact is now established: Israel is alone. Obama’s speech gives support to the Europeans’ anti-Israeli policies. Israel cannot rely on American support even in time of dire need as long as Obama is president.
Tomorrow, Netanyahu will speak before a joint session of Congress. His speech will likely repeat what he told Obama face-to-face on Friday, and for that he will receive thunderous applause and little else.
I recall some guy named Rumsfeld trying to teach us that weakness is provocative. Obama’s betrayal of Israel and weakness in dealing with the terror-sponsoring Arab nations will sustain those Arab nations and their Palestinian proxies in their unrelenting terror war on Israel. Thanks to Obama, peace between Israel and the Arabs is far less likely now than it was before the Palestinian Authority became a tool of Hamas.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?