I was struck by something Jonathan S. Tobin wrote yesterday in Commentary concerning the relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama during the remainder of the latter’s term:
It is true that Obama can up the ante on Netanyahu by abandoning a policy of supporting Israel in the United Nations as the Palestinians continue to violate their Oslo Accords obligation to negotiate rather than to attempt to gain recognition from the world body. But if that happens, it will create as many problems for him and the Democratic Party as it does for Israel.
It should be remembered that the 22-month period during which a re-elected Netanyahu will be forced to deal with Obama will coincide with the 2016 presidential election campaign. It is true that as a lame duck, he needn’t fear the voters even as he attempts to put more daylight between the U.S. and its only democratic ally in the Middle East. But Democrats who will be eager to hold onto the White House will not be happy if the president spends his last year in office alienating pro-Israel voters by venting his spleen at Netanyahu. Even if his liberal base has no affection for the prime minister, an overt tilt against Israel at the UN would probably place Obama at odds with Hillary Clinton who will be eager to demonstrate her pro-Israel bona fides. It will also give Republicans another stick to beat Democrats with as they seek to win back the White House.
Well, scarcely 24 hours after Bibi’s victory, Michael Crowley has written at Politico that the Obama Administration is already planning to throw Israel to the wolves at the UN as well as looking the other way as the Palestinian Authority lobbies to join the International Criminal Court and the EU seeks sanctions againt Israel over settlements.
Tobin is right to say that this will alienate pro-Israel Democrats and not help Hillary Clinton’s efforts to reach out to pro-Israel voters. But if it’s true that Valerie Jarrett orchestrated the whole Hillary e-mail scandal, then it tells me that President Obama doesn’t really give a damn about Hillary.
Now we all hate to lose. But when you throw in someone with as mammoth an ego as Obama’s, losing is completely unacceptable and especially to someone like Benjamin Netanyahu. With Obama’s single-minded determination to eviscerate Bibi in the pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran, he is unconcerned with what damage he does to the Democratic Party in 2016, not to mention the country.
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