`Bibi` Votes Republican
Not since Nikita
Dwight Eisenhower over
Gary Powers` U-2 spy flight over Russia only weeks
earlier has an American president been subjected to a
dressing down like the one Barack Obama received from
Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.
crucial difference. Khrushchev ranted behind closed
doors, and when Ike refused to apologize, blew up the
Paris summit hosted by President
was lectured like some schoolboy in the Oval Office in
front of the national press and a worldwide TV audience.
And two days
later, he trooped over to the Israeli lobby
AIPAC to walk back what he had said that had so
then purred that he was
with the clarification.
is now being poured over the troubled waters, but this
humiliation will not be forgotten.
"We believe the borders of Israel should be based on
the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that
secure and recognized borders are established for both
states. … Israel must be able to defend itself—by
itself—against any threat."
"mutually agreed swaps" of land to guarantee secure
and defensible borders for Israel, Netanyahu, warning
the president against a peace
illusions," acted as though Obama had called for an
Israel withdrawal to the armistice line of 1967.
This was absurd.
All Obama was saying was what three Israeli prime
ministers—Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert—have
Palestinian and international recognition for a united
Jerusalem and Israel`s annexation of the settlements
around the city, Israel will have to trade land for
Obama was not
saying the 1967 borders were to be the end of
negotiations but the starting point. Indeed, where else
would one begin land negotiations if not from the last
Netanyahu won the smack-down. The president was
humiliated in the Oval Office, and in his trip to
AIPAC`s woodshed he spoke of the future peace
negotiations ending just as Israelis desire and demand.
Nor is this the
first time Obama has been rolled by the Israeli prime
minister. Obama came into office demanding an end to all
new or expanded settlements on the West Bank and in East
Jerusalem, and subsequently backed down from each and
Fed up, his
Mideast peace negotiator George Mitchell has quit.
too, the president has been hurt. To the world, and not
just the Arabs, he appears weak.
Netanyahu is seen as having stood up for Israel`s vital
interests and forced an American president to back down.
His right-wing coalition is cheering him on.
issue is not whether Obama has been hurt, but why Bibi,
raised in the U.S.A., who knows American politics better
than any previous Israeli prime minister, did it. Why
wound Obama like that?
Why would the
leader of a nation of 7 million that is dependent on
U.S. arms, foreign aid and diplomatic support choose to
humiliate a president who could be sitting in that
office until 2017?
explanation that makes sense is that Netanyahu sees
Obama as more sympathetic to the Palestinians and less
so to Israel than any president since Jimmy Carter, and
he, Netanyahu, would like to see Obama replaced by
someone more like the born-again pro-Israel
Christian George W. Bush.
And indeed, the
Republicans and the right, Mitt Romney in the lead,
accusing Obama of
"throwing Israel under the bus," seized on the issue
and, almost universally, have taken Netanyahu`s side.
This could be a
serious problem for the president and his party in 2012.
In 2008, Obama
won the African-American vote 95 to 4, or 16 to 1. He
won the Jewish vote 78 to 21, by 57 points, a historic
arguably the two most reliable of Democratic voting
And while the
Jewish vote may be only one-seventh of the black vote,
it has proven decisive in the crucial state of Florida.
Moreover, Jewish contributions, by some estimates, may
make up half of all the contributions to the Democratic
hearing an Israeli prime minister berate Obama for
ignorance or indifference to the cold realities the
Jewish state faces, Jewish folks decide Obama is bad for
Israel and close their checkbooks, the impact in a tight
election could be critical.
On the other
hand, for African-Americans to see the first black
president treated like some truant third-grader by a
prime minister of Israel whose nation is deeply
dependent on this country has to grate.
In the short
run, Bibi won the confrontation, hands down. Like no
other leader before him, he humiliated a U.S. president
in front of the world, forced him
to revise his remarks of four days previous, then
graciously accepted the revision.
second-term Obama is unlikely to forget what was done to
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.