Umpire: You’re pushing it, buddy, you’ll find out. You want me to run you? I’ll run you!
Crash: Oh, you want me to call you a cocksucker?
Umpire: Go ahead. Try it!
Crash: You want me to call . . . beg me!
Umpire: Try it! Call me a cocksucker!
Crash: Pretty please, beg!
Umpire: Call me a cocksucker, and you’re outta here!
Crash: Pretty please, beg me!
Umpire: Call me a cocksucker, and you’re outta here!
Crash: You’re a cocksucker. You’re a cocksucker!
Umpire: You’re *outta* here!
—Stephen Ware as the Umpire, and Kevin Costner as “Crash” Davis in Bull Durham
Why does the Obama administration hate Israel? More specifically, why does this administration, and Obama in particular, hate Benjamin Netanyahu?
Just this week, a piece in The Atlantic quoted multiple unnamed “senior officials” in the Obama administration referring to the Israeli Prime Minister as “chickenshit,” saying the former commando and combat veteran has “no guts.”
That’s a hot one coming from this President and this administration, particularly while hiding behind journalistic anonymity. But apparently this is just the latest in a running list of derogatory references to Netanyahu that The Atlantic catalogues as including: “recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery.’”
Is this really how we speak about the leader of one of our closest allies?
Meanwhile, last week in response to the killing of a 17 year old Arab-American by the IDF, the Obama administration issued a statement expressing “its deepest condolences to the family.” That’s fine, so far as it goes, but when State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was informed of reports that the teen was killed while throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli civilians when he was shot (and later buried wearing a Hamas handkerchief), she refused to identify that as an act of terrorism, thus denying the IDF’s action any cloak of legitimacy. I note this is exactly the same tactic used by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist apologists when they simultaneously denounce “terrorism” yet refuse to condemn Hamas or Hezbollah.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new, and the Obama administration’s mistreatment of Israel and Netanyahu is well documented. For example:
March 2010: Obama abruptly leaves a meeting with Netanyahu to have dinner in the White House private residence, leaving Netanyahu to twiddle his thumbs.
May 2011: Just prior to a UN vote on the recognition of an independent Palestinian state, Obama publicly calls for a return to the pre-1967 borders, thus undermining Israel’s negotiating position.
November 2011: Forgetting he has a hot mic, Obama complains to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day.”
September 2012: Obama refuses Netanyahu’s request for a meeting, despite Netanyahu’s volunteering to fly to the District to do it.
July 2014: While Israel is actively engaged in an effort to stop Hamas from firing rockets from Gaza into Israel, the administration announces $47 million in aid for Gaza, where instead of building hospitals and homes, Hamas builds tunnels for smuggling terrorists into Israel. This is on top of the $400 million a year the U.S. sends to the Palestinian Authority, which under the unity government arrangement, helps fund Hamas.
Why are we being like this?
The Atlantic, for its part, blames the soured relationship on Israel, in particular on the continued building of settlements on the West Bank. To be sure, the settlements tend to present a stumbling block on the road to peace, as they increase Israel’s hold on buffer zones she views as necessary to her national security. But The Atlantic—and, apparently, the Obama administration—forget that Israel has a history of giving up land for peace only then to be attacked from the very land she gave up (see, e.g. Israel’s withdrawal from settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005).
And Israel has good reason for concern. Israel is tiny; with about 8,000 square miles of territory and a population of 8.2 million, she is roughly the same size as New Jersey. Discounting the West Bank, Israel is barely 8 miles wide at her narrowest point, which makes for a very precarious defensive situation. She is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and hostile Islamic states to the south (Egypt), east (Jordan), and north (Lebanon and Syria). She has been invaded or threatened with imminent invasion by those states three times in the last 60 years (1948, 1967, and 1973). Calls for the destruction of Israel are common in the Islamic world, which is becoming increasingly influential on the international stage; the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has a permanent delegation to the UN, and its 57 member states typically vote as a bloc together with permanent Security Council members Russia and China, and is a primary driver behind pushes for UN resolutions criminalizing any speech deemed “insulting” to any religion (read: anything that upsets Islam).
And ISIS now controls areas barely 200 miles from the Israeli border.
You’ll forgive the Prime Minister if he’s more than a little frustrated and impatient with a U.S. administration that has little serious time (or regard) for him, even as it inches ever closer to a deal that will ultimately allow Iran to become a nuclear power. Iran has repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms, declared its desire and intention to erase Israel from the map. There is no reason not to take them at their word; if the Iranians get a nuclear weapon, they will use it on Israel, and they will do so immediately (Iran’s Shahab-3 cruise missile has a range of 1,200 miles, placing Jerusalem and Tel Aviv within easy striking distance from western Iran).
And that’s where the rubber really meets the road, because what it tells us is that in this drama there are, in fact, good guys and bad guys.
In contrast to Iran, or Hamas in Gaza (at least tolerated, if not supported, by the ruling Palestinian Authority in the West Bank), or Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel has never called for the destruction of any nation or group of people. And what’s telling about that is that Israel could long ago have cleaned Gaza and the West Bank of every living Arab if she wanted to.
But she hasn’t.
To the contrary, Arabs in Israel enjoy full citizenship, the same as Jews or anyone else. They can and do vote, serve in the Knesset or the courts, and own property. They pay the same taxes and receive the same government benefits as Jews. They can freely and openly practice their religion. Women, homosexuals, and even Muslim Arabs enjoy more freedom in Israel than anywhere else in the Middle East.
That we won’t stand firmly with what is obviously the only open, free, democratic society in the region—and indeed, why we instead are almost openly hostile to it—is flabbergasting. And it stems directly from this administration’s pathological inability or unwillingness to call a spade a spade. If we learned nothing from the Harry Potter franchise, it’s that you can’t fight an enemy until you have the courage to call it by its name. Yet these people are so wrapped up in their hyper-politically-correct worldview that they can’t acknowledge reality. They can’t accept that there are in fact good guys and bad guys, and identify them. They can’t call terrorism terrorism. They can’t call evil evil.
I suppose we shouldn’t really be surprised at this point. This is the same administration that blinked at its own “red line” in Syria; couldn’t pull the trigger on defending the consulate in Benghazi, and then repeatedly tried to blame it on a stupid internet video rather than call it terrorism (and two years later, Obama still has never had enough spine to stand before the American people like an adult leader and discuss that incident); insisted on calling the shootings at Fort Hood “workplace violence” despite convicted killer Nadal Hassan repeatedly shouting “Allahu akbar” as he did it; still hasn’t taken meaningful action to curb the growing threat from ISIS; delayed an attempt to rescue ISIS hostages until the intelligence on their location was stale (two have since been beheaded); and three times canceled the raid to capture/kill Osama bin Laden. Not coincidentally, this is the same administration that repeatedly gets caught spying on our closest allies (no wonder Obama almost never sits down with any of them one-on-one); has repeatedly hidden from legitimate inquiries behind stalling and bogus claims of executive privilege; never takes live press Q & A; and routinely engages in sophomoric gamesmanship.
And now we know this is the same administration that anonymously badmouths its friends to the press.
We have a word for that: