Candidly Speaking: Further ugly vibes from the Obama administration
Prior to this, administration spokesmen had been campaigning behind the scenes to undermine the standing of Israel with the American public. That Israel had frozen settlement construction for nine months and conceded to an abhorrent release of Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands were facts they simply ignored. Conversely, the Palestinian refusal to make a single concession or agree under any circumstances to an end of conflict was rarely mentioned.
Even following the announcement of the PA-Hamas union, Secretary of State John Kerry continued blaming Israel, making bizarre predictions about it becoming an “apartheid state,” which followed his earlier warnings of an impending “third intifada” and “international boycotts” – all of which he subsequently retracted.
Kerry’s views were echoed by his envoy, Martin Indyk, whose feral hatred of Netanyahu should have disqualified him from assuming any mediating role. When Netanyahu agreed to the wretched terrorist release, he made it clear to both the US and the PA that construction in the settlements would resume. Yet, in a series of “background” and open briefings, Indyk laid the primary blame for the collapse of the peace negotiations on Israel for having announced building tenders for 700 homes, not in some obscure or isolated settlement, but in Gilo, a suburb existing for over 40 years in the heart of Jewish east Jerusalem. And so it was that this “provocative action,” the “poof” which scuttled negotiations, became the basis for the US administration’s condemnation of Israel.
To make matters worse, unsubstantiated allegations were circulated that Israel was engaging in massive espionage activity against the United States. Despite angry disclaimers from Netanyahu and leading government officials, the administration failed to refute the charges, which were even used to justify denying Israel eligibility for the US Visa Waiver Program.
However, with Obama’s current catastrophic ratings and the impending congressional elections, it was assumed – mistakenly – that at least in the short term, the White House would avoid a frontal confrontation and merely give the Europeans the wink to intensify the pressure.But the administration shocked Israel by accepting the new PA-Hamas government even before the consummation of the union. This was in flagrant breach of former undertakings, a betrayal of its long-standing ally by announcing disingenuously that it would work with the new PA- Hamas government, as long as it “abides by the principles mandated by the US.”
Yet, far from renouncing terror, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal boasted that “the reconciliation will actually consolidate the resistance… from one of intifada to another until the liberation of Palestine.”The US initiative was clearly designed to pave the way for Israel’s further global isolation. It was immediately endorsed by the European Union, the United Nations, the UK and France and of course China, Russia and India all of whom praised the union as an important step toward “Palestinian reconciliation.” …
Over recent months, Congress has also displayed a lack of confidence in the Obama administration’s lack of accountability and transparency in foreign relations. This has created major tension, particularly among Democrats who do not wish to be obliged to choose between abandoning their president or supporting Israel.
That is the reason why Democrat Senator Robert Menendez, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a powerful supporter of Israel, temporarily withdrew the US Israel Strategic Partnership Act from the agenda. He did so out of concern that an amendment, introduced by Republican Bob Corker reflecting congressional distrust of the president’s handling of nuclear talks with Iran and demanding greater accountability, could create major splits in the ranks of the Democrats.
The bill, which designated Israel as a “strategic partner” and had already been passed in the House of Representatives by 410 to one, was designed to expand US weapons stockpiles in Israel and extend areas of joint US-Israel collaboration in areas such as energy, water and homeland security.
Ultimately a compromise will be found, but this behavior reflects the turmoil – even among President Obama’s Democratic supporters – concerning the administration’s appeasement of the Iranians and pressure against Israel….